Meet Dawn Goodwin!

Storytelling is not my full-time occupation. I am also a mother to two beautiful daughters and I run a company with my husband. I’ve lost count how many times someone has asked me how I fit in writing as well, but the advantage of living a full, busy life means that I interact with many different characters and personalities on a daily basis, who then find their way into my stories in some form or another.

 

Along with reading, writing is something I have always done. My childhood stories were fantastical and mostly involved talking animals, before I started reading a lot of Stephen King as a teenager and wrote numerous attempts at horror and sci-fi. Then came a romantic drama phase inspired by Danielle Steele… Basically whatever I have read, I have tried to replicate because I like to write the kind of novel I would read.

 

What I know now is that the story often comes to you, not the other way around. With The Accident (to be published by Aria on 1 October 2017) I couldn’t get rid of the image of Scarlet in my head and the idea was like none I had ever read before. I kept wondering what she would do, what she would say, where she would go and I knew I had to get the idea out of my head and onto the page.

 

Once I had started writing it, I applied for an online writing course with Curtis Brown and was one of only 15 students to be chosen based on the first three chapters and a vague outline of the plot. The story itself has changed dramatically since that first draft, but the bare bones remain the same.

 

The writing process differs for everyone. Because I don’t have a set block of time every day to focus on it, I tend to snatch a few hours of writing here and there, often at unsociable hours of the morning (much of The Accident was written at about 4am) or late into the evening. I don’t necessarily plan where the story is going. I start with an image in my head, almost like a scene from a play, and I let the story unfold from there. I am often as surprised by where the narrative goes as I hope my readers will be. Of course, this means there are likely a few holes to fill when it comes to the second draft, but it also makes the writing process like a voyage of discovery for me and I love exploring the different ways a character can solve a problem or get out of a hole. It’s a bit like the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books I used to love when I was little – I never know where the story will end up.

 

All I really need to get writing is my laptop, a notepad and a strong cup of tea (preferably with a biscuit alongside to dunk). The scariest part is the blank page with a flashing cursor. But once I get going, the story tends to take over. Of course, there is often a time when I have no idea how to solve a dilemma or figure out a kink in the plot, but that is when I take a step away and come back to it fresh another day. I always have a notepad beside my bed because my best ideas and solutions often come to me just as I’m dropping off to sleep, but they are never there when I wake up, so I’ve learnt to write them down straightaway. Similarly, some of my strangest ideas have come to me late at night after a few glasses of wine… those are more difficult to read in the notepad the next day!

 

My second book (to be published by Aria in 2018) is based on very different characters, but also explores the beauty and ugliness of relationships, this time between men and women. I find the idea of the masks we wear in public and how much we let others see a fascinating concept, especially in the current age of social media. I would tell you more about it, but I’m too busy choosing my own adventure and seeing where it takes me…. But watch this space!