I had a chance to read your profile on Twitter, I see that you are a nurse, is that where you came up with the stories for your new book, or do you really like flowers? I, personally happen to have a green thumb!
Corlet Dawn: I am a nurse! I work in the emergency department so though I have a multitude of stories I probably could tell, they are too crazy to believe! I also like to keep confidentiality with the situations I have seen. I do have one scene in the book where a trauma is activated at the emergency room and it is something I see firsthand pretty often.
My grandma, mom, and sister all have green thumbs. I grew up admiring my grandmother’s garden and now get to admire the landscape work my mother and sister do. My sister is actually the woman on the book cover holding flowers that she arranged herself. She has her own company, Mountain Roots, in the mountains of Colorado and she does amazing stuff. I do dabble in the garden but it is nothing compared to what they do.
TH: The subjects in the book seem pretty deep. How did you figure out that this would make a good book??
CD: It is a book that has been in my head for over a decade. I don’t remember how it first came to be an idea but I actually started it over 10 years ago with the flower shop owner being an older woman. It never took off. I am pretty sure that I had it based in another state or something and found that I was spending so much of my time doing research that I just quit writing it.
I started writing this around December and it just kept flowing! I based the book in Colorado, which is where I live, and it made it a lot easier. I also feel like I had 10 more years of life experiences that helped me relate to the different characters.
TH: Are any of your friend’s authors? If so, what advice did they give you?
CD: My dad is an author. My mom and he always read to us and encouraged the written word in all forms. They both read the book for me and helped edit which has been great! My dad once told me that, “authors write books. All you have to do is write a book.”
I have a lot of authors I fangirl, Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher. I feel like once I learned that self-published authors could be successful it made me want to try it for myself.
TH: As you now know from that writing your first book it can be an emotionally draining and stressful pursuit. Any tips for aspiring writers?
CD: Write a little bit every day. Write for yourself. Write what you want to write and then read it again and again and again and revise until it makes sense to the reader.
TH: What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?
CD: I feel like I have read so many books in my life and have so many that I can’t choose just one. I do the majority of reading these days on audiobook so I can be running, cleaning my house, or driving to work while listening. I have a book list I write out every year but to be honest I feel like it is a variety of authors. I like to try to emulate them all!
TH: What is your favourite quote?
CD: This is not really specific to writing, just life in general, “don’t sweat the small stuff!” I see people at their worst and most vulnerable and it really puts life into perspective. Don’t sweat the small stuff, live every day like it could be your last! Travel, drink wine, eat cake, run, laugh, love, ENJOY!
TH: Writing is a real talent. It takes practice, skill, and a lot of advice. If you could ask one successful author one question about their writing, what would it be?
CD: I would love to ask any successful writer how they find that writing/life balance. I would love to ask them where they get their motivation. I would love to ask them how they turn their brains off!
TH: Now you have one book published, and you might have seen the ups and downs of it, what was your favourite part, and your least favourite part, of the publishing journey?
CD: My favorite part has been writing and sharing it with others. I had a coworker who told me she needed a book like this in her life and it was such a compliment! I decided to go the self-publishing route and the worst part has been the extra time it has taken to edit and format, though because I did it myself I was able to use pictures of my sister’s flowers and I think that has been really cool!
TH: Can you please tell the people what your book is exactly about?
CD: The book centers around a flower shop. You are introduced to four main characters: Rachel, Stacia, Scarlett, and Eleanor. Rachel and Stacia are sisters whose grandmother initially opened the flower shop. Rachel has a deployed husband, Chad, and is currently caring for her twin daughters while also dealing with his absence. Stacia is the younger sister who is sarcastic, loves coffee, and is recovering from a painful break-up; she may have a little crush on the flower delivery man, Marco. Scarlett, who is caring for her spunky daughter, Molly, who has been dealing with leukemia for two years and is wanting a normal life with Molly and her husband, Tevin. Eleanor, whose fiance Kai buys her flowers every few weeks; she is currently receiving flowers as an apology and questioning why she can’t leave and start a new life.
I tried to put in a lot of humor, a lot of flowers, and a lot of dance parties to counteract the serious themes in the book, not to make light of the serious situations, but to show that even when there is sadness, there is also hope and happiness.
TH: This is book one. I’m going to assume it’s a series. How many other books are coming out? Will you tie them all together, or will they be separate topics?
CD: I already have a list going! I have a couple of tiny novella type books I want to do and some full-length ones based on the characters from the book.
TH: Where did you come up with the characters in the book?
CD: They just came to me! I found when writing that they all have characteristics of many people I know, including myself.
TH: The novel is written from four points of view. Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?
CD: I feel like I connect with them all but for different reasons. I connect with Rachel because she is a mother and kind of sensible, Eleanor because she is a nurse, Scarlett because she is taking care of someone ill, and Stacia because she can be slightly impulsive and sarcastic.
TH: If you had a chance to pick the actresses to play the characters in the novel, who would you choose each one of them?
CD: Rachel would be Rachel McAdams , Stacia would be Jennifer Lawrence, Eleanor would be Vanessa Morgan and Scarlett would be Jessica Alba.
TH: Can you share a snippet that isn’t in the blurb or excerpt?
CD: Here is the excerpt that I referenced earlier about the emergency room trauma:
Scarlett and Tevin walked over to Rachel and Chad, exchanging casual greeting hugs. “How is your leg?” Scarlett asked. Chad and Rachel looked at each other and laughed.
“I should have known, given my combat training, that any injury to the thigh is a big deal. I just didn’t know how big of a deal they would make of it until we walked into the emergency room triage area,” Chad said with a smirk.
Rachel continued telling the story, “They saw that the injury was to his thigh and swooped him into a wheelchair. We heard a full trauma announcement overhead, and as we were walking back, I commented on how we were fine and could wait in the lobby while they dealt with the trauma.”
Chad and Rachel both started laughing. Between chortles, Chad managed to finish the story, “The nurse looked at us like we were crazy and said, ‘You are the full trauma.’ We thought she was joking with us until she wheeled us into a trauma bay and about thirty people came into the room. Thankfully, they quickly determined that there was no arterial bleed, and then it was just us and a few nurses and doctors. But, for a few minutes, I thought I may actually have almost bled out given the amount of attention I was getting.”
“It has kind of been our inside joke for the past month,” Rachel said, trying to calm the laughter. In succession, she and Chad looked at each other and said, “You are the full trauma!”
TH: With spending so much time writing, and rewriting your novel, what was the highlight of writing this book?
CD: I had a really rough year last year with some family trauma. I had a lot of hate and a lot of toxic feelings running through me. It was changing me and I needed somewhere to channel it all. I think writing helped me put all of my feelings somewhere productive. I realized that it was okay to feel but I needed to change the way I was doing it. This book helped me get the story out of my head and helped me deal with my feelings all at the same time, a win/win in my book.
TH: Is there anything else you would like to share with your readers?
CD: My name is pronounced Cor-lay. I have gotten called Corlet my whole life and though most of the time I don’t notice anymore, it is the correct pronunciation. Dawn is my middle name but I was given it as an homage to my grandfathers so I thought it fitting that I use that as my pen name.
TH: Well, there you have it folks, Corlet Dawn and her book Bee’s Flowers. Don’t be shy! Pick up your copy of her masterpiece on Amazon!! Also, you can find her on twitter, @CorletDawn! Make sure you go say hello to her!