Dawn Brotherton, author of Trish’s Team and four other books, is a colonel in the Air Force serving at the Pentagon. Her first book, The Obsession, is based on real-life drama that she experienced as a young lieutenant missilier. Although the stalker and break-ins are true, the murders she added to the storyline thankfully did not happen. After receiving encouragement from her readers, Dawn wrote a sequel, Wind the Clock, and created the Jackie Austin Mysteries. The third in the series, Truth Has No Agenda, is in the works now. Dawn has spent 27 years in the Air Force, traveling around the world serving her country. She is finally ready to hang up her uniform later this year and will spend more time with her husband and two teenage daughters. That will also give her more time to complete the ten-book Lady Tigers’ Series that Trish’s Team introduces.
Book description: The Lady Tigers’ Series is about learning that being a part of a team is about more than what happens on the softball field. In Trish’s Team, Trish has a tough decision to make—tough for a 12-year old at least. She can continue to play in the orchestra as her parents want, or she can play for the highly competitive travel softball team, the Lady Tigers. She learns the hard way that lying to her parents isn’t the way to go. When they find out, she isn’t the only one that suffers the consequences. Her teammates also pay the price. This book offers thoughtful questions to open up discussion with Book Clubs or parents.
Do you have another job besides writing?
I’m a Colonel in the United States Air Force. I work for the Secretary of the Air Force as a Legislative Liaison to Congress.
Were you an avid reader as a child? What type of books did you enjoy reading?
Definitely an avid reader, in first grade I used to get in trouble for hiding a book under my desk and reading while the teacher was talking. But in the end, my teacher fed my habit by passing me books that her children had already read. I read a lot of fiction books. In high school I read Stephen King, but when I moved out on my own, I couldn’t read those anymore.
Trish’s Team is the first in a ten-part series about the Lady Tigers Travel Fastpitch Organization. Trish and her friends learn that there’s more to being on a team than what happens on the field. In this first book, Trish learns to lying to her parents to get what she wants comes with consequences…and not just for her. I’ve played fastpitch softball since I was nine, coached, and umpired, and now my daughters play. There’s a lot of lessons to be learned that involve teamwork.
How would you describe your creative process while writing this book? Was it stream-of-consciousness writing, or did you first write an outline?
I knew what the theme was going to be, but besides that, I just started writing and let my characters take me where they wanted to go. It’s amazing where you end up.
Who is your target audience?
When I was growing up, I read a lot of Matt Christopher books, but they were about boys’ sports. The Lady Tigers’ Series is for third and fourth grade readers. Everyone will enjoy it, but it is specifically written with female athletes as the main characters.
Agatha Christie got her best ideas while eating green apples in the bathtub. Steven Spielberg says he gets his best ideas while driving on the highway. When do you get your best ideas and why do you think this is?
When my oldest daughter was ten, she wrote the first chapter of a story about a girls’ softball team, and it was so good that I thought that this would be a great project for us to work on together. Of course now she’s a teenager and isn’t interested in writing with her mother. So I’ve gone on without her. It’s easier to get ideas for this age-level. They have the whole world to explore and many lessons to learn.
From the moment you conceived the idea for the story, to the published book, how long did it take?
Because I was writing after my day job, it took about a year. The editing process was the longest part.
What types of scenes give you the most trouble to write?
I have to be reminded to describe how the characters are feeling. I’m so much into my characters that I forget that others don’t know what they are feeling unless I write it down.
Do you write non-stop until you have a first draft, or do you edit as you move along?
I don’t have time to write non-stop, so if I’ve been away from it for a while, I have to go back to the beginning and read everything I’ve written so far, so I tend to edit as I go.
They say authors have immensely fragile egos… How would you handle negative criticism or a negative review?
I have worked with fighter pilots for most of my career, so I’ve developed a pretty thick skin. Pilots don’t hold anything back when it comes to telling you what they’re thinking. With my writing it’s been a little harder because it’s so personal. When I’m working with an editor, sometimes I have to review the comments and then walk away for a few days before responding or fixing them.
When it comes to writing, are you an early bird, or a night owl?
Night owl. Sometimes when I’m on a roll I have to force myself to stop and go to sleep.
Do you have a website/blog where readers may learn more about you and your work?
Do you have another book on the works? Would you like to tell readers about your current or future projects?
Margie Makes a Difference, is the second of the Lady Tigers series. It’s coming out just before Christmas. In this story, Margie’s dad is deployed with the Air Force. Margie and the team work together to help the younger children in the squadron cope with the separation. I’m working on the third book, which is about a new girl that tries out for the team and although the Lady Tigers welcome her, she secretly plots to steal the third base positions by constantly making the current player look bad in front of the coaches.
Anything else you’d like to say about yourself or your work?
I’ve learned so much over the past 6 years; it’s been a great experience. I’ve never stopped growing and improving. I picked up my first book and re-read it. I was so embarrassed by some of the rookie mistakes that I’ve pulled it from the shelves until I have a chance to rewrite it. I still think it’s a good story, but my writing has improved and I want to put my best foot forward. Thanks to my readers that have put up with my mistakes and love me anyway.