Author Interview with Thea Dawson

Romance novels are always fun to read. But when romance meets wit and humor, the entertainment becomes complete and the novel becomes a total package of fun. That is what happened when I first came across Thea Dawson’s Wanderlust. I absolutely fell in love with the story and her writing. So when her next Novel Asking Angelina came up, there was nothing stopping me from grabbing it for a read.

Since I loved her writing so much, and also since she is currently launching her second book, I thought why not take this up as an opportunity to know more about my favorite author? What else could be a better way than asking for an Author Interview? So today, we have Thea Dawson on my blog, answering some questions for me so that we can know her a bit more, thus giving us more reasons to love her more. Read on and find out for yourself

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  • Tell us something about yourself and your background? Is being an author your full time job? If not what is your day job?

Well, to begin with, Thea Dawson is a pen name. My real name is Sarah Barbour. I’ve written a couple of non-fiction books and I thought it would be a good idea to keep my fiction identity separate. I’m not sure if that was really necessary—but it is kind of fun having an alter ego. Like Thea, I’ve traveled a lot. I lived briefly in the UK and in Italy and I lived in Japan for almost four years. And like Thea, I did get engaged in Southeast Asia. Unlike Thea, who I imagine being a little younger than me and still a newlywed, I have three children, all daughters, and I live in the Pacific Northwest.

In “real life,” I’m an editor and a book coach. I’d love to make a full-time living as a writer, but honestly I love editing and I love helping people at all stages of the book creation process, so no complaints. It’s pretty much books, books, books no matter what.

  • What were you like at school? What do you like to read? Which is your favorite book? Who is your favorite author?

I’m going to tell you something kind of embarrassing: when I was in college, I majored in English and I was a TOTAL snob about romance novels. I thought I was much too intellectual for them. My best friend was a big romance reader, and when she tried to get me to read one, I told her I liked classics—like Jane Austen. I didn’t realize at the time that Jane Austen is one of the all-time most influential romance novelists ever. Hah!

But I learned. Now I love reading romances, especially ones with a good sense of humor and relatable characters. Besides Jane Austen (who I still like a lot), I really enjoy books by Tracy Brogan and Samantha Tonge, who both write books that manage to be funny, romantic and a bit poignant.

  • Do you prefer ebook or hard copy?

Most of the time I prefer ebooks. I love being able to read in bed in the dark after my husband has gone to sleep. But I often buy hardcopy books as gifts.

  • Which is your favorite movie? Why?

I love Bringing Up Baby—I’ve seen it a dozen times and it still makes me laugh. And it stars Cary Grant, who was probably the sexiest man ever (except my husband).

  • What advice would you give to your younger self? What is your favourite motivational phrase?

“Start before you’re ready.” I’ve spent a lot of my life waiting for “permission” to do things. I kept thinking that if I got one more degree or got the right job or had enough money, then I’d be able to travel or start a business or do whatever it was I wanted to do. Eventually I realized that the key to life is action. Even if you don’t have the “right” background or aren’t sure exactly what you’re doing, just start moving toward your goals.

  • What made you start writing?

As an editor, I’ve worked with a lot of romance writers. After reading a lot of their books, I thought it would be fun to try writing one of my own.

  • How do you handle Writer’s Block, if any?

Confession: Asking Angelina was about 90% finished 4 months ago, and for ages I just could not bring myself to work on it. This may be different for every writer, but for me it’s really important to have a very detailed outline before I start writing. Otherwise, I get very excited, write a bunch of great scenes, and then get stuck for ages trying to connect them all in a way that makes sense.

  • What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?

You know, I got my first one-star review for Wanderlust on Goodreads a couple of months ago and it didn’t bother me nearly as much as I would have thought. I was lucky that by that time I’d gotten enough good reviews to know that there are plenty of people out there who really enjoyed it. Of course I love good reviews—who doesn’t?—but bad reviews are part of the bargain you make as a writer and you just learn to live with them.

  • Do you have any advice for upcoming writers?

Like I said—start before you’re ready. Seriously, don’t overthink it, don’t make excuses, just start writing and start publishing. There’s nothing stopping you except you.

  • How did “Asking Angelina” come across to you?

Someone I knew on Facebook mentioned that she’d once been in charge of writing the sex-and-relationships column for a women’s magazine even though she herself had never actually had sex. I thought it would be a great basis for a romantic comedy. (Moral of the story: don’t take women’s magazines too seriously.)

  • Are there any fun facts about the characters in “Asking Angelina” which are not included in the book?

Don’t tell anyone, but Natalya is based on a Russian friend of mine. She loves to boss people around, but she’s always right and in the end you’re grateful to her. And you know, I just love Roméo. I think he may have to show up in another book.

  • How has been the promotional journey with “Asking Angelina” so far?

I didn’t do as much to promote Angelina as I did with Wanderlust, mainly because it had been sitting on my laptop for so long and I just wanted to get it published already! As of now, it’s only been out two days, but people are buying it, so that’s exciting!

  • How did you come up with the cover page? Is it your own design or someone else designed it for you?How important do you think Cover Page is for a book?

Very important! I did the first cover for Wanderlust myself and it barely sold any copies when it first launched, even with some pretty heavy promoting. Once I changed the cover, it started to sell a lot better.

Christa Holland of Paper and Sage Designs did the new cover for Wanderlust as well as the one for Asking Angelina. Christa is wonderful to work with, and I love that the two covers have a similar feel while still each having very much their own personality.

  • Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?

Just that I really appreciate the chance to answer these fun questions! Thank you so much for your interest in me and my books.

Upcoming Release of Thea Dawson
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Thea Dawson has come up with her 2nd book “Asking Angelina” on 1st November 2015. Do check it out at Goodreads

It is also available for purchase at Amazon

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