Dawn Winter has written one of the most funny and sexy books in recent memory. The Essex-based writer studied literature at University and Sedating Elaine is her first novel.
The book is a sharply dressed novel filled with humor as it follows a woman who wants to sedate her girlfriend in a hair-brained scheme that rivals Weekend and Bernie’s. Debutiful asked Dawn Winter to answer the recurring A Life of Books questionnaire so readers can get to know her better.
Is there a book or series that, when you think back, helped define your childhood?
When I was nine, our class was read Rebecca’s World by Terry Nation, and I was enthralled. It’s like ‘Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland’ meets the movie ‘Labyrinth’. I loved the excitement of the adventure, but also the quirkiness of the characters. If an insecure little man in ill-fitting tights could be a hero, anyone could.
Would you want any children in your life (yours or relatives’) to read those too? Or what’s your philosophy on what children read?
I’d love all children to read Rebecca’s World because it reinforces the message that no-one is perfect, and that we need to look after our planet, but it is also a simply brilliant, hilarious, funfair of a story.
Moving to your school years: what book did you read in high school and hated (or skipped reading at all) that you learned you loved later in life?
Anything by Jane Austen would have me gazing out of the classroom window, dreaming of freedom. Whilst I wouldn’t say I love Austen now, I certainly admire and appreciate her work in a way my lazy brain couldn’t be bothered with back then.
What about the opposite way? One you loved in your teens, but realized you didn’t love it so much later on?
I thought Romeo and Juliet was wonderfully romantic until I realized how ridiculous and creepy it was.
Are there any books that you read while writing your debut that helped shape the direction you took your own book?
I have books by Jean Rhys and Bill Bryson dotted around the house in constant readiness. I tend to sway back and forth between the stark, heavy novels of Rhys and, as an antidote, the exuberant jollity of Bryson. I have gone from heavy to light, in this way, for years. I think it has created an amalgamation in me, which has directly impacted the tone, if not the direction, of my writing.
What is a book you’ve read that you thought, Damn, I wish that was mine?
There are so many! I do remember reading the line about ‘the heart of an adoring artichoke,’ in The Beautiful and Damned, wanting to throw the book away from me because it was so good, I almost hated it.
What have you been reading / do you plan to read during your debut book tour?
I have been on a reading break for a very long time now, and have reached the stage where the sheer volume of choice is overwhelming! So, who knows?!
And, finally, I have to ask… I’m sorry. What’s next? But wait! Only use three words.
Wait and see!
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