Welcome to YA Books Central’s “Indie Superstars” column. This monthly event will spotlight the best and brightest of the indie community.
You don’t want to miss out on these talented authors!
This week we’re interviewing Dawn Brazil, Author of Shadows of Secrets and Lies.
Caitlin Haines: Can you tell us a little about Shadows of Secrets and Lies?
Dawn Brazil: This is a story about finding family and love in the most unexpected places. The MC learns that the things she’s been longing for (family/friends) were right in front of her all along. She learns she must find her own way to happiness. She can’t let anyone else dictate that for her. She is emotionally crippled and can’t form meaningful relationships because of her mother’s death and her father’s lies.
Caitlin: Where did the inspiration come from?
Dawn: I read lots of Dystopian novels. I finally thought, hey, I can do that! So, I started from a writing prompt I saw on Pinterest: what if your MC had a number thrust in her head to signal a person’s character level. My MC hears a number in her head that represents a person’s character level. It was a start and I ran with it. The number draws the key characters together in the most unlikely way.
Caitlin: What is it about dystopian that draws you in so much?
Dawn: Dystopian novels draw me in because they generally start with an intriguing question. That question sets the stage for new technology and fantastical worlds. It’s so exciting to try and peek into the future. Personally, I think it’s all about the world building and characters. This story, as many Dystopian novels do that I love, has a sweet, unexpected, romance. There is a bit of steam but no sex.
Caitlin: Who is your favorite character in this book and why?
Dawn: I adore the MC, Mandalyn. She starts as a pain. She’s judgmental, a bit snobbish but clearly has a good heart. She’s just been misguided. Her character arch was beautiful to me. The friendship between her and another of the characters is the sweetest. They are absolutely friendship goals!
Caitlin: If you were thrown into this dystopian world, what role would you like to play? Would you be a hero, side character, etc.?
Dawn: If I were thrown into this world, I would love to have been one of the parents. The MC’s parents were important to the story. I know I went a tad against tradition with some of the story. If you read both books, you’ll be surprised to learn the parent’s roles. I can’t say if the parents are villains or heroes without giving away the story.
Caitlin: What’s one thing you have to have while writing (music, quiet, snacks, coffee, etc.)?
Dawn: I need complete silence while I write the first draft. Other than that, I might need tea or coffee and my cell. That’s it…I’m not too high maintenance. When I edit, I can listen to music but usually just instrumental. I love movie scores for this.
Caitlin: Can you give us a hint at what’s to come next? What are you working on now?
Dawn: I wrote book 2 in this duet and I’m working on a secret project related to the duet. I completed a Upper YA Paranormal Romance- something completely different for me. It’s about vampires! I’m planning a release at the beginning of next year.
Meet Dawn Brazil
Since the world is not comprised of dreamy book boyfriends, Dawn creates them for everyone to fawn over. She writes Young Adult fantasy and science fiction with romance – always with romance.
When not writing, she can be found with her nose in a book. She also loves to recreate an array of dishes she pulls from Pinterest. Dawn lives in South Texas with her sports-obsessed husband and they have three technology-infatuated young adults.
Eighteen-year-old Mandalyn Johnson’s mother tried to kill her. She knows because her father told her.
The one thing she knows about her father – he’s a master manipulator.
On the cusp of adulthood, Mandalyn is ready to shed all thoughts of her mentally unstable mother and take her rightful place among the greatest minds her society possesses.
But when she learns the character level of her rival for top-in-class crests at 10, she knows she must confront him. Tens are the most dangerous level imaginable. When he confesses that her character level is also a 10, her mind is blown.
With the help of two other students with deadly character levels, they attempt to piece together what they know while they start to exhibit extraordinary abilities. With their newfound abilities, they’re able to see the future. In one potential future, they die and in the other, they kill everyone.
They must untangle the lies to determine which future will belong to them. And find out why the organizations tasked with bringing order to the world don’t want them to exist in the perfect world they’re trying to create.
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