This interview is part of our Paranormal Romance Author series of interviews where we interview some of today’s top paranormal romance authors! Be sure to check out our past Paranormal Romance Author interviews to learn more about various authors working in this growing genre!
This week, we have an interview with the prolific and popular author Crystal Dawn! Crystal has been a professional writer for over half a decade, working in both the paranormal romance, sci-fi romance, and erotic fiction genres.
In this interview, we talk about her work including what led her to become an author, her popular White Wolf series, how she's able to be so prolific, her new and future releases, and so much more!
For those who might be new to Crystal Dawn, who are you and what are some of your more popular titles?
In school, literature was always my favorite subject. I also enjoyed writing stories.
My authoring career started later than most after my children were grown. There's a common saying, it's never too late to fulfill a dream. Always an avid reader, now I had to decided what I wanted to write about. I can read and enjoy almost any genre, and have at some time or another. Romance, science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, mystery, and suspense are my favorites. I think many of the best stories mix several genres. I like to think my books do that.
My white wolf books are probably my best known ones. There are several series including the one that started it all which is a free series.
It is about a legendary, strong, and magical werewolf bloodline that disappears. Werewolves begin to truly morn the loss of it and a handful of other strong bloodlines, when they realize they are dying out. Even though they have incredibly long lives in general, the in fighting and violence is killing their kind faster than they can repopulate. Fated mates are all but unheard of at this point and many of their pairings have no children with female offspring being even less likely. In the Legend of the White Werewolf series, an accidental meeting leads to the discovery that the line is not gone. They simply bred with humans until they were no longer distinguishable from them by the usual means werewolves had. This of course brings out all the bad guys and even tempts some of the better guys into trying to find their own white wolf mate by any means necessary.
What was your first published work?
The first book I published was Planet Amazon The Rebirth. It was the first in an ongoing series. Andrea, a scientist who is also a soldier, has searched for Atlantis all her life. She finally finds it at the bottom of the ocean. There's a doorway and she goes through it finding the Amazon of legends that the famous female Amazon warriors came from. Once there, nothing is like she expected and she is drawn into their life becoming an advisor to their queen.
This book is an example of combining sci-fi, romance, mystery, and action adventure. Andrea no sooner deals with one problem, when another arises.
You've written in different genres throughout your career. Everything from erotica to sci-fi to paranormal romance. Do you have a preference?
At one time I would have said SFR (sci fi romance) was my favorite, but I hadn't really read much PNR at that point. I began to read some of those stories and now I love PNR just as much. Maybe I should go with romance because all my stories tend to have a romantic element.
When starting a new story, do you go into it with a genre in mind or do you just see where the story goes?
Maybe I'm lucky in a way, the story starts itself.
It just comes to me and if I start it right away, rather than waiting until I forget, the general story line is there and the genre is pretty clear. But many authors will tell you, sometimes the devil is in the details. Working out the character's issues can be hard sometimes. It seems even fictional relationships can require a lot of work.
What do you attribute your prolific career to? Your back catalogue of work is mouth dropping considering you've only been publishing your work for around five years now.
I have written a lot of books in the almost five years since I started writing Planet Amazon. Once I decided to make a career of it, I put a lot of time into writing. It didn't take long to discover writing isn't all there is to being an author.
If you want to actually get your books out there, you have to spend as much time on promoting and developing relationships with good people to work with. Editors, cover designers, proofreaders and beta readers on the creative side and bloggers and promoters on the sales side. There are also those that assist authors and a support network that authors develop over time of avid readers who help get the word out.
It's mind boggling what really goes into getting a book out there into the hands of readers. Those other people work hard too and deserve a lot of recognition for what they do.
With such a large catalogue, do you have a favorite series? How about a personal favorite book?
The answer is complicated. My free series is one of my most popular especially with people on a fixed income. I love that I can give something to people who need it. One of the amazing things when you're an author is to hear back from a reader about how they were having a hard time and couldn't afford to buy any books but found my free series and loved it. It's not just satisfying as an author, but as a person to feel you are doing something good for someone who needs it.
I guess I would say it's my favorite series because I'm happy to be able to give it to my readers as a gift. It's also hard to pick a favorite book or even a favorite book in each series. One of my favorite characters though, is Cassandra in the book titled Cassandra in the White Wolf Matriarchs series. She is the kind of person I would want to have as a friend. She's been through some rough times, but all she wants to do is help others. The picture on the cover is a friend of mine and fellow author, Cynthia Lucas. She is also a talented cover designer, I have used several of her covers on my books.
Let's say someone new to your work wants to try one of your series out. What two would you recommend and why.
I generally recommend The Forgotten Ones, which is the first book in the Legend of the White Werewolf series for two reasons. One is that it's the start of the series that half my books are related to. The other reason is more practical. Many readers have a budget which limits their ability to try out new authors. They tend to stick with those they already know they'll love. This book is the first of a free series. They aren't risking their money on something they aren't sure they'll like. I've tried free books before and found authors I love.
As for a second book, it would depend on what they liked to read. If it's SFR, Planet Amazon or Zeus, the first of the Frozen Origin series.
One of your latest releases was Phoenix Under Fire for the popular Zodiac Shifters series. Can you tell us how you got involved with this fan-favorite series and what was it like working in that world.
Many of the authors involved in the series are also in the Wolf Pack group with me. This is an amazing group in the way they cooperate and help each other. They also give readers the best possible experience by giving them access to the authors they read and love.
That's how I found out about the project. Who doesn't love Zodiac? I immediately knew I wanted in. Melissa Snark has done an amazing job as the organizer and everyone is willing to jump in to help and participate in the events the group has. Each author in the group adds something unique and special to the collection. The covers by Raven Blackburn are incredible.
You also recently contributed a story to the Midnight Magic box set which just came out. Can you tell us about your story?
This story is my first slayer book. She slays at night but runs a real estate office during the day. We have werewolves and vampires and she takes them out when they go feral so they can't hurt anyone. The heroine is a real badass and there are two heroes that she ends up working with when she goes after her latest feral. One is a vampire prince who is a former boyfriend. She stopped seeing him because he wasn't responsible enough. The other is a werewolf prince. The two princes become friends and the three of them work together because they've found out something disturbing about the ferals. What is it? You find out near the end if the book.
We're a quarter of the way into 2017 and you already have a couple of titles out there. What else do you have planned for 2017?
It will be a busy year. I've already published the first of a series about big cat shifters. Sebastian, a lion shifter, is the first book. A tiger, Titus, will be book 2. The name of all the heroes in this series are being chosen by readers in contests.
I have two more books in the Zodiac shifters series to write this year, but one won't be published until early next year. I will be adding books to some of my series including book 10 and 11 to my free Legends series. That series will end at book 12 the following year.
There is also a boxed set coming out in the fall I'll have a story in. Catty Diva, my alter ego, will be finishing her Moon Hunters series and working on her Phoenix series. She only writes novella length sci fi books. Being busy is a mixed blessing, but for those of us who love to write, being busy is the only way to be.
Thank you for having me. It's always nice to be able to talk about writing!
Many thanks to Crystal for taking the time to talk to us! And be sure to follow Crystal via the links below: