Good morning, Dorothy and welcome to Coffee Time Romance. Please grab a seat in our cozy recliner, and be sure to get some delicious baked Christmas treats off the table. They are all calorie free. Karenne made sure to take all the fattening stuff out. Oh, and don’t forget to slip on the relaxing fuzzy pink slippers. The readers are very eager to learn more about Dorothy Cox.
Dorothy, why not tell us what a day is like in the life of Dorothy once she wakes and starts her busy schedule?
Typically I wake up at 6:30am and go to work (I work in a dental lab from 8-5 m-f). During breaks and lunch I check my emails, and try to respond to what I can while I have a little time. At 5 I come home. On days I have class I usually have about 10 min to scarf down dinner, and go to class. Class is usually from 6-9:30, and then I come home. On days I don't have class I come home at 5, and make my husband dinner (he's usually at work those days) then I start working on homework, and book stuff until it's time for bed. Saturdays I had class from 8-5, so Sundays were really my only time to just relax.
The readers are anxious to hear about your latest book, Watcher. Can you please enlighten us about this story?
I created a group of people who exist to watch you live your life. They document all the good and bad that you do with your life, kind of like a cosmic tattletale. These people blend in with every crowd, and are never noticed by normal people. They have no feelings. Simon is the exception. He feels little pangs at times, and one day is noticed by a girl who shouldn't notice him. He befriends the girl, and starts shirking his responsibilities. Simon soon realizes that it's more than a friendship he's after, but what's a man who doesn't really exist to do about love?
Where did you get the premise to write this story?
It started as a game of "what if?" What if there were people who watched you, and tattled on everything you did? These people couldn't have feelings. That's not their job. But what if one of them did? And what if he fell in love?
What would you say intrigues you about developing your characters?
Simon was incredibly hard to develop and the challenge was incredibly intriguing. In the beginning he has no feelings. So I couldn't say "I feel," or "I'm sad," or any other feelings that people would normally have. On top of that Simon is a boy. Writing as a boy is different than writing as a girl. In Simon's case if something bad happened as a girl people would probably cry, as a boy he'd probably get angry. I think having a husband with two brothers helped me model Simon as a boy. I could look at them and think "ok, how would they react to this?" then give him reactions more appropriate for him.
Did it take you long to compose the book?
In terms of writing it, not so much. I would work 3+ nights a week depending on my schedule. But because I didn’t have a lot of time per week it took about 4 months. Then I took off a couple of weeks when semester started, and finished it about 5 months after I started it.
Would you like to share an insight to anything else that you might be working on at the time?
My good friend told me that I would be good at writing thrillers, so I thought I’d take a stab at something a little more heart pounding this time.
What would you say is important to you, characters, plot, or intimacy?
All three. I feel like you need a good combination of all of them to get a good story. If your characters are underdeveloped your reader doesn’t feel emotionally tied to them. If your plot is lacking, the reader doesn’t know what the point to the book is. And if there’s no intimacy there’s no connection between the characters.
What does your writing place look like?
I wrote Watcher in my office at home. It has a computer, a bookshelf full of books, a nice little balcony to look out on, and an exercise ball for when I get writers block lol
Do you write on a schedule or as inspiration hits?
I’m so busy I really have to stick to a strict schedule. If I’m home, and my husband isn’t I should be writing. If I’m not, I’m wasting time.
Growing up, did you ever keep a journal and write notes about the stories you would love to write?
I did!! I had a huge binder full of half done books. I would start them with no idea of where I wanted them to go, so they usually ended up being a couple of pages. I still do that some times, but it’s just for fun, and they are usually funny stories.
Name three things you look for in a companion or friend.
First of all is a great sense of humor. If you can’t crack jokes with us, it’s not going to work. Second is loyalty. Most of my friends I’ve had for years. If it wasn’t for our loyalty, and love for each other I don’t know what I would have done. Third is being there when you need them. I have a very close circle of friends, and we are always there for each other. My first week of this semester my best friend was moving back here from Reno, and two of us hopped in the car and drove up there to help her pack, and drive her car home. I didn’t even think twice about it, because I know she would have done it for me.
If you could travel anywhere in the world for a week and vacation, where would you go?
Hawaii. I’ve always wanted to go, and man could I use a week on the beach with my husband.
You have just won a day to spend with any writer of your dreams. Who would you choose and how would you spend your day?
Stephenie Meyer. I admire her so much. I read one of her books, cried my eyes out for two days, and still came out thinking it was amazing. I’d love to just sit with her and talk about character development and inspiration.
It is the end of the year for holiday activities and planning. Why not share with us how you plan and spend your festivities?
I just spent the weekend with my in-laws. We rented a 7 passenger van, and my husband drove everyone up to Vallejo to visit his grandparents. They are such amazing people. We sat there the whole day just listening to their stories, and talking. I really only had my grandfather growing up, and he recently passed away. It’s nice to have my husband’s grandparents around to fill that void.
You are trapped inside an elevator with a woman with a screaming baby, a toddler who wants to try to push every button and a teenager who is complaining because he can’t get a tattoo, not to mention he is bored out of his wits; do you scream, and lose your patience, or find a way to handle the situation?
Definitely find a way to handle it. It’s way better to make the best of a situation than to lose your mind over it. I can laugh at pretty much anything, and I think it’s a still everyone should have. Once when I was a teenager a friend’s mom was driving three of us teenagers, and two small kids somewhere. The car broke down in the middle of nowhere. Instead of bugging my friend’s mom about what was happening we opened up the emergency kit, and found an SOS sign, and an emergency vest. We started taking pictures and laughing while she got the car fixed. It was way better than crying about it.
Thank you Dorothy for being with us today. I look forward to reading all your wonderful stories.