Dawn grew up in the Seattle area and attended the University of Washington, graduating with an Honors Degree in English, emphasizing Creative Writing. She is also a cartoonist, Flash animator, and caricaturist with a preference for comedy writing. She loves animals, particularly feisty little terriers.
When did you first start writing?
When I was in first grade we were given desk-sized sheets of lined paper to learn how to draw the alphabet. The top of the page had a large, empty block so I began to draw cartoons to go with my writing to fill the space. In fifth grade a friend and I wrote and illustrated our own alien stories based upon the Kosmic Kiddle dolls we loved to play with; I called them Astros. I guess it was an early version of Fan Fiction. Classmates could check out stories from our library of little paper books. I still have the books I wrote and drew. Two other girls offered a competing library to our classmates, but I don't recall the content.
Money was tight when I was young, so my mother gave me a typewriter rental for several months as a birthday gift (I don't recall if it was 5th or 6th grade). I hadn't had any typing lessons yet but was very excited for the opportunity to type my stories for the first time. I wrote a novel about an alien invasion called, "It Came", likely due to the aged, black-and-white Sci-Fi and horror movies my brother and I watched on weekends. We'd turn on the TV and then hide under the cover together as we watched. He'd probably rather forget that.
For years as a grade schooler I'd draw underground mouse tunnel cities, similar to ant farms, and inhabit them with mice. Like most little kids, I was fascinated with mice. Might be because I was one of the smallest kids in my class.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Originally Cattle Capers(tm) was intended to be a comic strip, but in 1990 adventure/continuing story strips were losing audience share and editors were no longer purchasing them, so I abandoned the concept after the initial drawing. Then I planned to do a comic book but to have a successful series, you have to publish a new comic book every two months, and working full-time, I knew I could not keep that commitment. The only other option was to write it as a novel (ebook version is not yet available), titled: "Cattle Capers(tm), Caper#1: Search For The MooMoo Pearl".
I queried the completed manuscript to agents and publishers in 2003 but it was considered too niche, surprising since animal stories have always been very popular as animated movies. Basically, Cattle Capers(tm) is an animated cartoon in novel form.
Some initial characters designs were altered or dropped. The appearance of Adam Steer changed from 2004 to 2005. I didn't think his original face was cute enough. I dropped the karate mouse detective, Lt. Chops, because he wasn't necessary to the initial plot line.
Murderous Critters is a trio of outrageously funny mystery short stories, the first collection in a series featuring the zany comic animal characters from the world of Cattle Capers(tm). A killer magician, rogue dinosaur skeletons, and roaming gunslingers are no match for bovine Master Detective Adam Steer and his goofy sidekick Crazy Cal. Appropriate for teens and adults. Not for young children.