Dawn Chandler was born in Coffeyville, Kansas but doesn’t remember much about it. Though she recently had the opportunity to visit there with her husband, and she very much enjoyed the Dalton Museum. She always thought she should have been born in the Wild West. She moved to Idaho when she was 6 and grew up on Murtaugh Lake, where her father was the dam keeper and the ditch rider. She spent her days in the lake, swimming, catching fish and tadpoles, from sunup to sundown most days. Not hard to imagine that her first full length novel was about a mermaid. At nights she would spend her time watching football with her dad or cooking with her mom. In 8th grade she had a teacher, Mrs. Smith, who wanted her to publish one of her short stories. Looking back on it she says she should have done so. If she had, she would have been an author before now, but she was not ready to be published back then. When she first started writing in class she hated it. She had to write their way and only their way—in the correct process, outline, rough draft, and so on. Chandler has learned in the progressing years that she is a seat-of-the-pants author, but in the beginning she just thought that writing was not for her. She could not, no matter how she tried, get the outline done. She could not sit and sketch out a whole story from beginning to end. She found quickly that if she just sat and wrote, she could get the first draft out without a problem, but the teachers didn't want her to do it that way. She really began to love writing when she met Mrs. Smith and she told Chandler that she could write it in whichever order she wanted. She understood her as a writer and didn't push her to be something she wasn't. She has been writing ever since.
She is grateful to have the support of her husband and children. Together they have 7, Charles, Cynthia, Kara, Mary, Tina, Pam, and Richie. She loves them all dearly and is happy to have them in her life. Now that her kids are all grown up, she likes to spend time on the semi-truck with my husband, Rod, seeing the country. She loves visiting all the small towns and is grateful to all the nice people she has met. She enjoys swimming, camping, four wheeling with her 4 X 4 group, spending time with family and friends, hiking, writing (of course), drawing, painting, reading (a vastly wide list of authors, her favorite though is Stephen King), and she loves taking pictures as she travels the countryside (if she is lucky and they are not in a big hurry and can even stop to take them). Today she is busily writing her novels, The Dark Lady, to be released in 2013, through Black Opal Books, The Infamous A.H. to follow shortly (fingers crossed), and about 50 more started in the computer that will be released as time and her muse allows.
Excerpt from The Dark Lady
Peter watched her walk away, head high and determined. He was about to go after her, despite her objections when she placed two fingers into her mouth. The deafening whistle that issued forth stopped him in his tracks.
He registered the answering scream of a horse from the stables and the crash of wood that could only have been the stall gate. Not looking back at the screams of the stable hands, he kept his eyes glued to the tall woman as she grasped the hole where he now knew her dagger was kept.
Vanessa grasped the material and pulled. Peter heard the long tear as the skirt fell open completely on the side, baring her leg from thigh to ankle. During it all, she never broke her stride.
Peter called out as her huge destrier thundered past him, screamed for her to watch out. Beast began to slow until Vanessa whistled again. He regained his speed, tearing straight for her. Peter’s breath caught in his throat as he knew he would not be able to save her.
She reached out a long arm, gripping the coarse waving mane as the animal thundered past, and smoothly swung herself onto his massive back.
Peter felt a jolt of fear as she wobbled slightly on the racing stallion, one creamy white leg glistening in the dim sunlight. Shadows played off the thick muscles as they rippled in her effort to stay on the unsaddled mount.
The men all stood with their mouths agape as their Lady rode toward the wall. For once Peter did not feel a twinge of jealousy. He fully understood their awe.
Vanessa leaned forward and ducked her head as if to avoid the wind. Her stallion rode straight for the wall. He did not slow or turn and then, to Peter’s horror, he was too close to change course.
“She would not.” Peter did not even realize he had spoken aloud until he felt a small hand on his. He looked down to see Amy’s smile.
“Milord, she would, but she will be all right.” She spoke with confidence.
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