Welcome to my 2nd Indie Author Spotlight.
This week I’m featuring my friend, Dawn L. Chiletz. Her newest release The Fabulist, is unlike anything I’ve ever read before.
She was kind enough to answer a few questions for me. Enjoy.
1. Who/What inspires you to write?
That’s a tough one. Sometimes I’m inspired from my dreams – literal dreams, when I’m sleeping. “The Contest” came from a dream. Sometimes I’ll have a random thought in the shower that turns into a story and sometimes it’s something I hear in passing. I thought of Can’t You See while discussing insurance adjusters with a friend. I’m pretty random. But my boys are my biggest inspiration. I want to show them that no matter how old you are it’s never too late to follow your dreams.
2.The Fabulist is unlike anything I’ve ever read before. It’s literally reality television in a book, only better. For someone like me, (a reality television addict) this idea should have been something that was in the forefront of my mind but it wasn’t… what made you think of it?
I was actually trying to help a fellow author come up with a title for her book that had something to do with liars. When I’m brainstorming, I usually end up at an online thesaurus to search words. Every once in a while, I’ll draw a creative thought from a synonym or antonym. In this case, the word Fabulist came up as a synonym for liar. I’d never seen the word before so I searched the meaning of it. I loved the idea of a book called “The Fabulist” because it sounded so original. She didn’t like it and went a different direction and I couldn’t get the word out of my head. That’s what got me started. I wrote Can’t You See while I was still toying with the idea. The reality TV probably came to mind from the definition – a storyteller. I was trying to think of something people could relate to and that’s where the reality TV came from. It’s everywhere these days. The idea of trying to put reality TV into book form excited me. I write best when I’m excited. That’s usually why I write my books so fast – before the inspiration is gone.
3.In The Fabulist we follow Sam along on her journey to potentially win a reality television competition to work for The Fabulist. She has no idea who that is, or what the job entails, only that a fabulist is in essence a liar. How did you come up with what the competition would be for?
I wanted to do a different spin on lying. I loved the storyteller aspect of it. I thought of all the reality TV I’d seen and I knew right away I didn’t want it to be about looking for love. Sam’s character traits were clear to me before I started writing and I knew who she was. I could see her. I could hear her in my head. She was strong willed and fearless. There was no way she’d ever apply for a show to find a man. She didn’t need a man to make her whole. A job was the only way she might try out so I decided to make her jobless. The story fell into place from there. The challenges were another story altogether. I rarely plan in advance for a book. I mostly just let the story flow. When it came time for the first challenge, I realized it would be more difficult than I thought to come up with multiple increasingly difficult challenges for lying. I spent a lot of time doing research and staring blankly at my screen. LOL
4.So, um… heard any good lies lately?
Is there such a thing as a good lie? The book was dedicated to people who lie for the right reasons. I suppose everyone lies for one reason or another. Not all lies are meant to do harm. I think it’s why people can relate. Everyone has lied about something. Have I heard a good lie? Let’s just say I have teenage boys. I hear, “Yes, my homework is done,” daily. Rarely do I believe it. They need to work on their delivery. I’ll never share my notes!
5.For me music plays a big role in my life (and my books). Do you have a favorite band/artist that you listen to while writing? Or do you require complete silence?
Music plays a huge role in my writing, but not how you might think. I draw inspiration from the way certain music makes me feel. But to answer your question, I actually write in complete silence, unless there is music playing in my scene. If there’s music in the story then I’ll listen to a song over and over to make sure I get the mood and flow correct. When I write, it’s like I’m watching a movie in my head. If my characters are listening to music then so am I. If they aren’t then I’m not either. I don’t have a particular band I listen to. For me it’s about emotion. I listen to a little bit of everything.
6.What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? Best compliment?
I think some of the toughest criticism has come in the form of reviews. At first, it was hard to see anything positive in them, but I’ve learned to take them as opportunities to improve myself. There have been so many best compliments I don’t know how to narrow it down to just one. I can say that one of the best was hearing that my story helped someone and made a difference in their life. To me that is the greatest gift you can get as an author.
7. Sometimes I like to imagine that I’m my favorite book character, (don’t judge). If you could be any character for one day, who would you be? Why?
Me, judge? Never! Who hasn’t wanted to be a character from a book? I think it’s one of the reasons I write. It’s therapy. I can live a thousand lives. Hmm… Who would I want to be? Bella from Twilight because – Edward! I also wouldn’t mind being Lake from Slammed, Ana from Fifty Shades, Ellie from Defining Moments, or even Everly from Enough. Why? Because they were all so strong. I love strong female characters that overcome obstacles and odds. They’re who I want to be when I grow up. If I grow up!
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