Friday, February 10, 2012

Guest Post: Dawn Greenfield Ireland

Today, we welcome author, Dawn Greenfield Ireland, who is promoting her book Hot Chocolate.

Welcome Dawn!

Publisher: Artistic Origins Inc.
Date of Publication: October 2011

Meet the middle-aged Alcott sisters: Madge, Lila Mae and Dorothea, heiresses to the Alcott Chocolate fortune and mavens of Houston’s elite River Oaks. 

Madge ambushes Lila Mae with Dorothea’s manipulative plea: she can’t care for Bernie, their 92-year old father, any longer. Lila Mae explodes in a hissy fit—she had warned Dorothea years ago that they should put Bernie in an assisted living center.

Robert, Lila Mae’s astrologer, warns of impending problems and he’s rarely wrong.

The sisters call a meeting with Walter Branson, their solicitor. They discuss Bernie’s nurse Bambi Chaline, a blonde bombshell who looks more like a hooker than a nurse. 

Arrangements are made for Bernie to be transferred over to Lake Sides Assisted Living Center in the Uptown Galleria area and a severance package is drawn up for Bambi.

Jimmy Ray Chaline, Bambi’s bowling alley husband, is enraged that Bambi was let go. He hires ambulance chaser Mark Slade to file a lawsuit for wrongful termination. 

The suit is thrown out of court further fueling Jimmy Ray’s rage. Bambi had been more than satisfied with her bonus, letters of recommendation and praise from the Alcott clan.

When Jimmy Ray fails to return home from the bowling alley that night, a series of events unfold that shocks the entire Alcott family and their extended members.

My Life as a Writer
By Dawn Ireland

It started back in 1979 – my daydreaming/fantasies. At that time I had a very long commute from the 1960 area of Houston, down Highway 6, over Addicts Dam until I reached the southwest side of Houston.

I’m pretty clear that the fantasy of my first book, which is a science fiction/parallel world tale currently called Passage, started while stuck in traffic at Addicts Dam. It had a chance to grow twice a day, five days a week. When I had this full-blown plot in my head, I started writing it down. Quite frankly, I didn’t know what I was doing, just did it.

This was in the era before personal computers. Typewriters were alive and selling, large corporations had a network of monitors hooked to a huge room-sized VAX computer system. Unless you wanted everyone in the company to see what you were doodling with, you only used the system for work.

Yellow lined tablets were a writer’s best friend. Then you transcribed to a typewriter. Thank God for the invention of correction tape and white out! Young people have no clue as to how many times an entire page had to be retyped when errors were made!

My kids were little and I wrote after they were in bed. Sometimes I stayed up until two or three in the morning if the words were flowing. I slept little in those early years. There was so much to write about and so little free time.

Fast forward to the present day. My day starts at 4:35 in the morning with a one-hour meditation. I keep a pad of paper and a mechanical pencil within reach because I typically have snippets of insight about one project or another flit past at the speed of light. Unless you capture them on paper, they’re gone forever. I’ve solved plot problems and fixed character flaws in my meditation sessions.

Another benefit to meditation is keeping a calm, serene outlook on life. I’m pretty sure that if I didn’t meditate I’d most likely end up as a mass murderer. My meditation keeps me calm and gets me through the day. For more details, you can contact me online and I’ll clue you in on what exactly it is I do while in the chair.

I’m one of those methodical, organized people. I get my clothes ready the night before and seldom change my choice in the morning unless I discover a flaw. Shower, shampoo, light makeup, dressed, feed Midnight and out the door by 6:30. To the office just before 7:00.

My day job is technical writing for an oil and gas company. I spend the day editing procedures written by engineers who can’t seem to find the right keys.

My joy! Oh yes!

To get through the day I either bring my lunch or buy it onsite and eat at my desk so I can work on “my stuff” for 30-45 minutes. Sometimes I’m interrupted by someone with a MS Word “emergency” and I have to fix it.

When the clock strikes 4:00 I’m out the door and on the road back home, with an occasional stop at the post office to see if any checks arrived from sales of my two award-winning books: The Puppy Baby Book and Mastering Your Money. Sometimes a stop at the grocery store, sometimes dinner out with a friend.

But most of the time it’s a clear shot home, unjunking myself of the office drama and hitting my PC.

When I’m working on one of my novels, I’m a typing fiend. Sometimes it’s hard to get the fingers to keep up with the brain dump. There are times when I have to work something out so I may get up, get a bite to eat, check email, yack on the phone, play fetch with Midnight, my medium-haired black cat. He has this little green toy I call Mousy. You can see Mousy on my Facebook page.

Speaking of Facebook, I typically share my progress of my writing sessions by posting my word count for each session. It’s great to get rah-rah’s from friends. I have a competition with myself to beat the previous session’s word/page count. It drives me to the goal: completion of a draft!

Since I get up so early, I have to get to bed early. I’ve trained everyone not to call after 9:30 at night, especially if there is some type of drama going on in their lives. As it is, sleep is hard to come by and I’m guessing it’s from years of long hours and pushing myself and having an active imagination.

The only thing I would change is to retire from the day job and make my creative writing my full time work. 

About the author:

Dawn Greenfield Ireland has been writing stories since attending summer camp around the age of seven. To date she has five completed novels (science fiction and contemporary), 15 completed screenplays (one optioned in 2009) and as many scripts in various stages of completion. Dawn is the author of two award-winning self-published books: The Puppy Baby Book (hardcover) and Mastering Your Money (print and eBook). Many of her screenplays have won awards. She spends her days editing and formatting engineering documents as a senior technical writer.

Dawn's Website.


Teddy Rose said...

Thanks again for taking part in the tour!

Dawn Ireland said...

Hello Kari,

Thanks for showcasing my wickedly funny cozy mystery Hot Chocolate. I'm in the process of working on book 2, Bitter Chocolate.

Dawn Ireland