Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Book Tour: Interview - Hot Chocolate by Dawn Greenfield Ireland

Welcome to the second day of my participation in the Book Tour for Hot Chocolate by Dawn Greenfield Ireland.  

Today you're in for a treat, because I have an interview with the author, Dawn Greenfield Ireland, and she is even funnier than her book!

Dawn Ireland is the author of two self-published award-winning books: The Puppy Baby Book (a fill-in-the-blanks baby book for anyone who adopts a puppy), and Mastering Your Money which she hopes to get into every high school and college across the country.

She’s been writing stories since attending summer camp around the age of seven. To date she has written five novels (one contemporary mystery and four science fiction), 15 screenplays (comedies, dramas, one horror, action adventure and science fiction) three short scripts and five reality TV concepts.

I caught up with Dawn and despite her busy schedule, she answered some questions for me.  Let's find out more about her:

     Most of your main characters are middle-aged.  In a time where younger heroes and heroines abound, what made you decide to go with older characters and were you worried it might affect the success of your book?

I’m a Baby Boomer… we Boomers are getting to the point of retiring from the day job, or have already retired so we need something to do, or someone to follow.  One of my favorite TV shows was Golden Girls staring Bea Arthur.  That’s what I see in my head when I think of my characters: quirky middle-aged women who are set in their ways, opinionated and sassy. I had test readers for my first draft and the majority of them were 20-30 years younger than me and they LOVED the characters.  Everyone seems to identify with them and enjoy them so I don’t think there’s going to be a problem with finding my audience or success with the series.  Once you open the cover, you get sucked into the story and the ages don’t seem to matter.

     Who are your favorite authors to read?  Have any inspired your writing?

I read a wide variety of genres, from science fiction to horror to mystery to romance, paranormal, history, research and scientific books – I swing from a wide pendulum.  Some of my favorite contemporary authors are: Ann Brashares, Sandra Brown, Patricia Cornwell, Terry Goodkind, Janet Fitch, Dick Francis, Colson Whitehead, Leon Uris, John Updike, John Steinbeck, Neal Stephenson, Anne Rice, Janet Evanovich, Thomas Harris, Stuart Woods, Frank Herbert, Dean Koontz, Rudy Rucker, Steig Larson, Lee Child, and of course Stephenie Meyer.  I just finished reading the two Lorien Legacies books (I am Number Four and the Power of Six) and I’m sad to hear that the two authors have had a dispute so I may not get to read the rest of the series.

Many have inspired me.  Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum inspired the Hot Chocolate gals.  Edgar Rice Burroughs and Arthur C Clarke were inspirations for some of my science fiction.

       Do you think being such a success at your technical writing helps or hinders your creative writing?

There’s no doubt about the role my years of technical writing have played in my creative authorship. Technical writers are methodical. Everything has an order and you can’t do something out of order without consequences. I’m also very practical in my approach to all projects. When I get an idea for a novel or screenplay, I jot it down, then I expand on it, move things around so that they follow an order, and fill in the gaps. Most of the times I have to have an outline to keep me on track, but the outline is only a suggested path. It changes as events take place.
      If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, when would you go and what would you say?

I would return to two different periods in my life where I would have pulled myself up by the bootstraps, had I the chance and a time machine.  The first time I would return to is my 16 years-old self.  I would have gripped my shoulders and told me to forget about boys, study hard, get good grades, graduate, go to college, pursue history and creative writing.  That did not happen.  I quit school and got a GED a decade later.  The second time I would choose would be to get a grip on my 30-yr old self and tell her to get to college regardless of the sacrifices.  That didn’t happen and should have.  One of these days I may complete that journey and get that degree.

      I read that you are working on the second book in the Hot Chocolate series.  I know there will be new characters along with the old favorites.  But let’s get to the important issue.  What new food and drinks will be presented?

Lalalalalala… I don’t hear you. Yes, I’m currently working on Bitter Chocolate where you will meet Benny, Chewy, Jingo and Carmichael, and Roger (I keep forgetting to mention Roger Bainsworth III). You’ll love them and the roller coaster ride of the plot. However, I’m not giving any hints on food or drinks. You’ll have to suffer through the waiting. (This is my cruel streak coming through.)

     Besides Hot Chocolate, name one or two books you think everyone should read at some point in their life.

Everyone has their own taste in reading.  What I love you may hate, so I have a difficult time narrowing this down to one or two books.  I think everyone should read the classics.  They should read Mark Twain, Jules Verne, Louisa Mae Alcott (most likely a distant cousin to Lila Mae Alcott) and Daniel Defoe.

     What other projects are you working on?

You may have read somewhere that I started my novel writing back in the late 70s with science fiction. There are currently three science fiction novels and one futuristic novel sitting on a shelf tapping their toes waiting for their turn to shine.

Prior to getting Hot Chocolate ready for publication I had been working on The Last Dog - my futuristic novel. I have invested a lot in that book with different types of editors and I am now to the point where I am working on the final draft from the last editor’s comments. Whether you are a dog lover or not, if you have a family and would do anything to protect and keep your family together, then you will want to read this book.

I am also preparing for my big webinar (online seminar) titled: Nuts and Bolts Guide to Publishing an Award-Winning Book. The maiden voyage is Feb. 28, 29 & March 1 (followed by March 6, 7, & 8) on your computer or smart phone (cocktails and fuzzy slippers optional), at 6:30 CST. Sign up at my website:

It will be 1-1/2 to 2 hours each night for three consecutive nights. If you have written a book, are planning to write one, or have one sitting in a drawer, this workshop is for you. My two award-winning books were not accidents. They are very well planned out books and participants will shorten their learning curve from my experience. Also, if a participant can’t make one of the nights, they will be able to go online and watch the presentation as many times as they want.

      What question have you wanted to be asked that no one has asked you?  Tell us the question and answer it, please.

No one has asked: Are you available for dinner Friday night? Oops… I guess you didn’t mean a dating question, huh?

I would say the question no one has asked is: How does your family feel about your writing?

Answer: They are very supportive and have been in my corner for decades waiting for my “big success” to arrive. I try to explain that every writer wants to be recognized. Not everyone wants the “big success”, and it doesn’t always happen. You have to just embrace your writing and write from the heart; satisfy yourself with your stories. Then, if by some quirk of fate the world of readers discovers you and embraces your books, you have found your place. 
1   Thank you, Dawn!


  1. Wow - this book has been everywhere lately. I'm gonna have to read it!

  2. Would love to win this book, anything to do with chocolate has got to be good!


  3. I love chocolate! I love books! I love books about chocolate!