Jun 28, 2011

Luminous - Interview with Dawn Metcalf

Your website said that if we wanted to know about you, to ask your mom. What three characteristics do you think your mother would choose to describe you?
Well, instead of guessing, I simply called my mom and asked. She said (and I quote): "immensely creative", "playful", and "authentic." Since she's known me the longest, I guess I'll have to take her word(s) for it!

You were/are an amateur cartoonist and illustrator, can you tell us a little about your work and if we can find some of your art online?
Actually, any art I did was for marketing, advertising, and/or educational curricula and I doubt any of it would be online. I made a cartoon strip for a couple of the college publications over the years and tons of cartoon cards, caricatures, moments of hilarity, and random sketches for friends and family. I also did some work as a freelance writer and artist under a pen name. The funny thing is if you've seen one of my drawings, you'd recognize the style, but not many know that they are mine! I long to spend some of the hours I spend writing familiarizing myself with my WACOM tablet, but I never seem to peel myself away from a story long enough to noodle it into competency.

I read that you wrote seven full length novels before college, any chance of one of those stories making a come back?
Some of the ideas or characters or images might pop up in later works, but those original manuscripts were "growth stories" and I hope that I continue to improve over the years. Some stories may have a second life, but I doubt that would refer to anything written before Clinton was president.

LUMINOUS started out having a different name, can you tell us a little about the changes?
Originally the title was SKIN & BONES which was an apt description of both the main character and her powers, but since this is a Young Adult novel, we didn't want anyone to confuse this dark, paranormal fantasy with a book about eating disorders! Hence, the name change.

[Author's note: As for the main character, Consuela was always Consuela, only her last name changed to Chavez.]

LUMINOUS is about a girl who can remove her own skin and craft skin out of just about anything to save other people. Well, where in the heck did that come from?
HAHAHAHA! I guess I have no one to blame but my own brain. Although, honestly, there was a piece of art in my favorite Mexican restaurant that showed a skull split in half, then a grimacing face split in half, then a human face at the core. I remembered that piece and even took a picture of it to keep in mind when writing Consuela as Bones. I found out later that this was something that hung in the owner's son's room when he was a kid.

When writing the character Consuela, what qualities or traits did you want her to have? 
I wanted her to be curious, loyal, empathic towards others, but also not entirely sure who she was and her place in life (and the afterlife). I wanted her foundation to be a secure, loving, two-parent family and a faith to fall back on (in Consuela's case, her Catholicism) and lastly, to have a certain weakness for guys with great smiles!

Can you tell us a little bit about what you are working on now?
Right now I'm working on an alternate-near-future story while another paranormal fantasy and a steampunk idea vie for attention, both of which I try to beat back with scribbled notes and threatening gestures. The truth is,I have far more ideas than I'll ever have time to write so I often have scenes and outlines set aside to percolate as I work on whatever's in front of me at present and when I put it aside to think about what it's done, I have a treasure trove of things to pick up next. Whatever screams "Ooo! Shiny!" the loudest gets my attention.

Any plans to come to Texas? *tips hat and winks*
Well, you never know what the future may bring! ;-)

Thank you, Dawn! 

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You can find Dawn at her website and Twitter
Dawn is hosting a huge Luminous Summer Grand Prize Giveaway. Find out all of the details HERE.