Dawn Pisturino's Blog

My Writing Journey

My First Author Interview

on October 10, 2021

My Very First Author Interview was with Underneath the Juniper Tree on March 9, 2012. I wrote poems, limericks, and short stories for their publication until the online ezine finally folded due to internal conflicts.

The Interview:

Dawn Pisturino has been a staple in our dark little pages since before I can remember. We had a chance to dig through her delightfully warped mind and find out more about her fantastic writing. Please, meet Dawn Pisturino.

1. Stephen King once said, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” Which books do you find yourself always going back and reading over again?

I’ve read Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights fifteen times. I love its Gothic elements. Most recently, I’ve been reading Mary Downing Hahn’s middle-grade books. She writes creepy ghost stories and historical fiction for children.

2. How do you start a story? Do you start at the beginning, or do you dive right in the middle?

I start with a vision in my head and try to capture it on paper. Cutting out the fluff and getting right into the story engages the reader. Since I get bored easily, it keeps my interest, too.

3. Do you have any rituals before you start writing? Do you need to warm up? Or do you go right into it?

I must have my morning cup of tea before I do anything! If I want to establish a particular mood, I play music, read poetry, watch a movie or TV program, and read passages from Lovecraft or Poe.

4. What is your dream project?

My dream project is to finish the adult literary horror novel that I started, make it a best-seller, and sell the movie rights. Isn’t that every author’s dream?

And for all you budding writers out there, here’s some advice from Dawn:

Read, read, read. Not just popular fiction, but classic fiction and nonfiction. Everything you read stimulates your imagination and expands your point of view.

Check out Dawn’s interpretation of darling little Lizzie Borden in our February 2012 issue of Underneath the Juniper Tree.

Excerpt from “Miss Lizzie’s Tea Party,” by Dawn Pisturino.

Miss Lizzie tackled me to the ground and held me there while the cook bound her bloody hand with a towel and telephoned the police. My chest heaved with great, gulping sobs as Miss Lizzie’s face drew closer and closer until her lips brushed against my ear.

“You see how easy it is,” she whispered.

Dawn Pisturino


Copyright 2012-2021 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

21 responses to “My First Author Interview

  1. Sister Dawn! Delayed congratulations to you as I had no idea about this Dawn! Well done in all regards and I also had no certainty in my mind that you were a Horror fan which from my childhood up into adulthood was my favorite genre of reading material and especially motion pictures. But then I shifted as an adult to a typical sort of thing that I admit is more a guy thing to War Films and also Epic Adventures but something with meat and potatoes from a real historical place in human history; like Brave Heart!

    I know you’re right about read, read and read as advice to anyone wanting to be a writer which is exactly what a college professor told me years ago in a prose writing course and then another said the same when I was engaged in a professional screenwriting course as well. Also interesting you brought up Steven King who is someone I met many years back and the first thing I thought was this guy is tall; tells tall tales too! So the consensus of opinion by people that know what they are talking about is in!

    God bless!

    Brother in Christ Jesus

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, that interview was several years ago, and the world has changed since then, but some things never change! Horror addresses people’s basic fears and the struggle between good and evil and light and dark. The book “The Exorcist” is much more spiritual than the movie, but then, William Peter Blatty is a Catholic. This is also October, and I’m a big Halloween fan. I have fond childhood memories of this holiday.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome Dawn! Even though several years ago that all applies now Dawn; just good information and food for thought! This may be the very impetus a certain person is in need of to say OK I’m doing this! Or at the very least to be a continued avid reader with zeal!

        I love what you just said here about Horror addressing those inner fears of Good versus Evil and the conflict of Light overcoming the Darkness! This was the crux for me actually growing up and I was very interested in the mechanics of evil and my Catholic upbringing did inspire me to understand what’s going on in people to have all this temptation and sin like a gorilla on their backs!

        I remember as a boy having some fear but nothing too worrisome but enough to as kids will do enjoy getting freaked out by a real scary movie or story I read; thus I read Poe’s works a lot! Then with the films I liked learning how they made scenes that worked organically with the surroundings and characters, while using limited techniques to make the scene frightening; not all the CGI they depend on now, some of the oldest classic horror films are spooky enough and they hardly used anything but strong composition and fabulous performing with eerie background music to get a person psyched out; like Hitchcock’s Psycho!!

        When the first Alien episode came out I love it because it was horror and sci-fi another of my favorite genres, combined making for a fantastic and spooky movie! I did love “The Thing” with Kurt Russell which in that film the remoteness and isolation really intrigued me and the rugged-

        -terrain with frigid temperatures along with my favorite dog huskies, any wolf like original dogs as dogs go; they having a good part of the spotlight in the opening scene on through, especially viewed from an aerial establishing shot with that tremendous musical score by Ennio Morricone another of my most favorite composers; I get shivers and tears listening to that opening sequence/ musical composition right now as I write picturing the lone husky running through the snow covered wilderness! I actually feel like a kid and get all excited wishing I could go back and see it all again starting fresh and being so overjoyed by these simple great works for the first time again; which I actually am in a sense, right now deep inside!

        As a kid I got to see the Exorcist and was so amazed but I actually thought what you said how it propels a person to seek a better faith in God and love Him because evil does exist and is something to be aware of while we navigate through our lives here; especially now with the way the world is being bombarded with demonic influences all around in the open!

        John Carpenters Halloween is another of my all-time favorites too! To me all of these works are genius and I’m so glad the individuals that used their God given talent to produce them were so inclined and inspired to leave a legacy for generations to contemplate and learn from while just enjoying a bit of escape from the humdrum of the world!

        WOW! You got me propelled here into the music and now wanting to sit down later and watch one of these movies which I have sitting in my collection!

        Good work Dawn!
        Thank you again!
        God bless you!
        Brother in Christ Jesus,

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, some of the best movies didn’t have all the sophisticated special effects that we have now. “Legend of Hell House,” “The Haunting,” “House on Haunted Hill,” “Halloween,” “The Thing,” etc., and some of them were very low budget productions. And that’s just what I’m going to do today – watch a good scary movie! God Bless You, Brother Lawrence!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hahahahaaaa! All good Sister Dawn… and I’m going to do the same very shortly as I’m wrapping things up for the day!
        I agree 100% and all of those are some of my top favorites too! I actually get bored watching the too High Tech stuff because I know it’s all so fake and how it’s done which is a turn off! Lots of fake things can be a turn off! And in acting the coined film acting phrase going back to some of those top classics was, less is more; don’t over do it and simple subtle work helps build suspense the way Hitchcock would pull you in slowly and gently then surprise you to death!

        Well if you aren’t already have a fun time at the movies!
        God bless you Sister Dawn!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Just an added note that hammers home what my emotions are saying here!
        This gentleman said this in regard to the Thing Theme a few years ago!

        Francis Porretto
        “It is amazing how a simple theme, instrumented equally simply, can so effectively induce that ominous “it’s coming and there’s nowhere to run” sense that underpins true terror. Ennio Morricone is an underappreciated giant.”

        Liked by 2 people

      • Oh, yes, so true!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Got to love it Dawn!
        Good clean fun and great imagination is King!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. katelon says:

    Great interview.

    Thanks for following my blog! I appreciate it.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Iowa Life says:

    “Wuthering Heights fifteen times.” I think I read it once in the 9th grade. It went right over my head and out the window. Kind a liked the movie, did they do it justice?

    Liked by 4 people

    • The movie leaves out the second part of the book and concentrates on the relationship between Catherine and Heathcliff. It’s an unusual book for that time period, full of passion and unrestrained emotion. Love and hate are equally strong emotions which destroy people’s lives.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I should clarify my other reply that I was referring to the original movie with Lawrence Olivier and Merle Oberon. The book is about the English class system and how the characters are molded by that system. Defying the system brings unhappy results.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. short, sweet and straight. Congrats Dear Dawn.

    Narayan x

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Beautiful interview, Dawn.

    I think that Wuthering Heights was one of my first books that I adored too 🙂

    Oh, that is a chilling extract and I do rememeber it sending chills down my spine the first time I read it!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Jaya Avendel says:

    Loved reading about your writing process and the way you ease into it with little rituals, like reading poetry and listening to music. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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