BLOG TOUR – Survivors’ Dawn
The SHANNON MUIR’S INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS weekly column is a place at Shannon Muir’s author website open to interviews and guest posts from other authors. One thing Shannon firmly believes in for readers not only to learn about new books available, but about those who craft the tales behind them. As its name implies, SHANNON MUIR’S INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS weekly column features writers from all genres of fiction who want their potential audience to get to know them, and their works, better – and occasionally may offer features from Shannon herself that support readers to discover words.
This week, find out more about the book SURVIVOR’S DAWN in an interview with its author.
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Author: Ashley Warren
Publisher: Chaparral Press LLC
Genre: Contemporary Fiction / Women’s Fiction / New Adult Fiction
first glance, Brooke Flanagan, Lauren Le, and Nikki
Towers have little in common:
a churchgoing virgin, a party girl, and a resident advisor. But they all
have their own dreams, dreams that can be shattered in a single night.
freshman Brooke Flanagan first arrives at the university, she’s
excited to escape her sheltered life in a Southern town. Lauren Le, a
scholarship student, likes to have a good time, but she never disappoints her
hardworking, single mom. Nikki Towers
always goes her own way. Confident, poised, and wealthy, Nikki’s biggest
problem is what to do with her future.
these girls’ lives walks Colin Jordan. Colin is the son of a private equity
titan, captain of his club basketball team, and a brilliant pre-law student. He
is also a sexual predator.
Dawn relates a journey of heroes: the strength, courage,
and determination of the victims as they fight to survive; the obstacles they
face in their pursuit of justice; and finally, with its conclusion, hope for a
future where students can pursue their dreams without fear of being attacked.
contemporary novel, Survivor’s Dawn wrestles with issues of
privilege, sexual assault, and the responsibility of academic institutions to
protect their students.
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What initially got you interested in writing?
I’ve always loved stories, listening to them, telling them, and reading them. In the second grade, my first poem was published in the school journal. It ran four lines and rhymed. I keep the journal in a box of old papers.
It seemed natural to want to write stories of my own, but it took years of effort and many failed drafts before I knew I could write a story worth reading.
How did you decide to make the move into being a published author?
Finishing the first draft of my first novel was a pivotal point in my journey. I remember typing The End and pushing my chair back to stare at the screen. Wow. I wrote a book. I didn’t know if it was any good (spoiler alert: it wasn’t), but I knew that it felt good and that I wanted to do it again.
I spent months polishing my gem, creating a second, third, and fourth draft. Finally, I shared it with a few close friends. Not being editors, they didn’t know how to give specific feedback, but they gave me encouragement. “This is good,” they said, “still rough in some places, but keep going.” That’s when I decided that one day I would become a published author.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
As a writer, my first duty is to entertain my readers. They give me their time, so I try to pay them back by making them laugh and cry and smile. I try to engage them.
With Survivors’ Dawn, I wrote a story that will introduce you to a tough subject: sexual assault on college campuses. Brooke Flanagan, Lauren Le, and Nikki Towers are fictitious characters, but their stories are real. Victims face similar fates every day. And predators like Colin Jordan exist too. College students have been sexually assaulted for as long as colleges have existed.
As you read Survivors’ Dawn, you will walk with the survivors—you will experience fear, despair, anger, disgust, purpose, redemption, and finally, hope. You might even decide to get involved. A good start would be to take the It’s On Us pledge and make a donation.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
Occasionally, I write a sentence that sounds perfect, as if the words have been waiting a long time to be put together in just that way. This rarely happens on the first try. I have to play around with the sentence, swap verbs, delete adjectives, or even start from scratch. But when I get it just right, I smile. On rare occasions, a reader will mention a passage they enjoyed that I thought was particularly good. That is reward enough for me.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
Finding the time. Life consumes time by requiring us to eat, sleep, make money, socialize with friends, pay bills, and attend to social media. Writing a good novel takes a lot of time.
Some writers earn enough to write full time, but I have yet to reach that point, and if I’m going to write a book a year, I need to budget twenty hours each week. That leaves little time for anything else, so I have become stingy with my time. I decline invitations. I let other things go. Activities that I used to enjoy don’t make the cut.
What advice would you give to people who want to enter the field?
Take this simple test. Lock yourself in a room and write for four hours without interruption. Don’t worry about the quality of the writing; it will likely be poor. The test is whether you enjoyed yourself. If the answer is yes, and you read enough and study enough and spend enough hours writing in that room, you will write a good book. If the answer is no, find a different way to spend your time.
What ways can readers connect with you?
I’d love to hear what you think of Survivors’ Dawn, so please do send me a note. You can get in touch using the contact information below.
write of the victim’s journey, to tell a story about the strength, courage, and
determination of survivors, to describe the difficulties they face in their
pursuit of justice, and finally, to offer hope for a future where students can
pursue their dreams without fear of being attacked.
how it feels to be assaulted, but we can try to empathize, and we can try to
help. Awareness is key to reducing the incidence of sexual assault on campus.
Please do your part by taking the It’s On Us pledge and contributing to
organizations that are fighting on the front lines.
is an incredible thing, so thank you also for telling your friends about Survivors’
WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:
Ashley Warren is giving away a FREE
Kindle copy of SURVIVORS’ DREAM!
- By entering
the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
- One winner
will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
giveaway ends midnight March 30.
- Winner will
be contacted via email on March 31.
- Winner has
48 hours to reply.