Author Spotlight – May Dawney
Meet EU Lesbian Fiction Author May Dawney (YLVA/EOS Publishing)
Our reviewer Valden had this to say about May Dawney’s books:
May Dawney’s first lesfic book was published with YLVA Publishing in March 2018. She is currently working on publishing a series of urban paranormal novellas, The Veil Chronicles, under her own umbrella EOS Publishing. The first book in this new series, Wild Magic, has just been released, with a second, Death Magic, to follow shortly. Congratulations!
This is an impressive and prolific start to her writing career, and I know we will be reading much more of her fiction in the future. We all wish her the best of luck on her writer journey.
We spoke to May Dawney about her books and her writing plans for the future.
(a) Tell us something interesting about your last published book.
Survival Instincts: In the original draft, Lynn and Dani ended up on a sailboat. It ended up on the cutting room floor, but I put the book “Moby-Dick” by Herman Melville in as an homage to it. Also, my girlfriend still hasn’t forgiven me for the bear cub.
Wild Magic: Noah doesn’t use contractions. It’s partially because English is her second language (for those who haven’t read the book, she’s Kenyan), but mostly because she believes that if it’s worth saying, it’s worth saying in full.
(b) What got you into writing?
Way back when? Buffy: the Vampire Slayer fan-fiction. And I learned to love creating stories by playing Dungeons and Dragons in high school. The desire to write anything other than fan-fiction is only a few years old and came about because Ylva reached out after reading one of my Once Upon A Time fics and offered me the chance to publish with them, if I wrote something original. That put everything else into motion, and here we are!
(c) Can you tell us about your writing style? How do you decide on plots and characters? Are you a planner or a pantser?
I am a planner! I usually get a glimpse of an idea; a character, a basic premise, sometimes just a line of dialogue. I let that simmer for a while and keep it in my head until there is a barebones story and there are vague characters to play it out. Then, I sit down and write the blurb. It’s supposed to convey the tone of the story and the selling points.
Once that’s on paper, I write the summary. It’s fine if there are some plot holes, all it has to do is convey in very broad lines what happens in the story. I decide on the word count of the story and average chapter length, then I break the summary up into chapters and describe the content of each in a few lines. This is where I make sure all plot holes are filled.
Of course, things change while writing. Especially characters tend to change. I create characters to fit the story and not the other way around. This is why I almost always start writing a novel at the second or third chapter. Then I can get started on the storyline and the characters shape up along the way. Once I get to the end, I write chapters one and two, then push right on through the self-editing round before it goes off to the editor.
(d) If you had to do it all over again, would you do anything differently?
It’s been a while since Ylva asked me to write something for them. I could have, maybe should have, written Survival Instincts earlier. That said, it would have been a different book because I was different and I am proud of how it turned out.
I also wouldn’t have been able to go (almost) full time in my writing career if I had been published even a year back. I have the financial stability to take the risk and I’m grabbing on with both hands. So no, I wouldn’t have done anything differently. I think I’m right where I should be and I am doing what I should be doing.
(e) What is next for you? What is your next project?
Oh, lots! I have my publication schedule set up until June 2019 right now! There are three more parts and a short story in The Veil Chronicles, which Wild Magic is part one of. Then it’s on to The Kincaid Chronicles (YA Supernatural — August, October, November + a December short), followed by The Eschaton Series (Post-Apocalyptic Supernatural — January through April 2019), and then the Broken Dawn Series (Dystopian Sci-Fi — May through September 2019).
There are also a few top secret projects I’m working on, but those won’t see the light until January, so shhhh!
VALDEN’s REVIEW of WILD MAGIC & SURVIVAL INSTINCTS
This is one of those books that leaves you feeling as if you have had the aperitif, and now you want the main meal! I can’t wait for more…..
It is a very well written novella, and I found myself drawn into the story very swiftly. The mystery of the Veil and its secrets, and how it affects the main characters, Ania and Noah, is really well done. The world that May Dawney creates as the Veil is magnificent, as is her description of an almost Dystopian Krakow.
This not a usual genre for me and I found myself really enjoying it….it’s a book that is really worth taking a chance on. It is a surprising little gem!
A dystopian US has a series of ‘Homesteads’ inhabited by settlers, and the rest of the population are called Wilders, and they mostly wander and travel. Everyone is suspicious of everyone else. Thus when a Wilder, Lynn, comes across a homestead in suspicious circumstances, after much animosity on both sides she is forced on a mission with one of the settlers, Dani, as her guard.
In modern times, the mission is simple, but in this version of the world, the journey is both hazardous and could result in either or both of the women’s deaths. May Dawney creates a really believable world, with both raw beauty and violent inhabitants, be they animal or human. Severe injury or death can happen in moments, and she makes us realise this with her storyline.
What makes the story really interesting is the characters of the two women. They are very emotionally naive while at the same time physically strong and with a survivor mentality. They are suspicious of each other, and their motives – with some good reason. I just loved how Lynn, in particular, battles against herself and her instincts, as well as Dani at times; and we see her become more trusting as she works out what she needs in her life. Even if you are not a dystopian fan, this is a masterly piece of work, particularly for a first book. You should read it!