Friday, April 27, 2012

CHRW Meet The Member

Dawn Marie Hamilton 

How long have you been a member of Celtic Hearts?
I joined Celtic Hearts in January of 2007 and Celtic Critters—CHRW's critique group—at its inception in May of 2007 and currently serve as Critique Chair for CHRW.

Do you belong to any other RWA chapters or writing groups?
Since it is too far to drive to meetings for local chapters, I belong to a couple online chapters. In addition to Celtic Hearts, I'm a member of Futuristic, Fantasy and Paranormal RWA (FF&P) and From the Heart Romance Writers (FTHRW), where I serve as VP-Communications.

In what genre do you prefer to write and why?
I write Scottish inspired fantasy and paranormal romance. I've always been fascinated by time travel and all things fantastical and out of the ordinary. Mix that with hot Scottish hunks and I'm there.

When you are not writing, what are your hobbies, passions, etc?
I enjoy cycling and you can often find my husband and me on weekends tooling along the C&O Canal trail in MD on our tandem bicycle. We also like to camp and hike so when not cycling we're hanging out at Shenandoah National Park. I love to garden, both indoors and out. I was a Master Gardener with the Rutgers Cooperative Extension in Sussex, NJ before relocating to Maryland. Now, I garden on my balcony, hoping to have a real cottage garden again soon. I also have a passion for food and cooking, and sometimes contribute recipes to fellow Celtic Hearts member Pat McDermott's Kitchen Excursions blog.

What place inspires you the most?
The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. The first time I visited was to attend the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games and Gathering of Scottish Clans. I felt like I'd come home. Enchanted by the area, I used it as a backdrop to my Scottish time travel series that I hope someday will find its way onto bookshelves and e-readers. I'm trying to convince my husband we should retire to the beautiful mountains. Maybe I could have a cottage garden there as one of my characters does.

If you could be transported back in time for a day, when and where would you want to go?
One day wouldn't be enough. There are so many places and times I'd like to observe. For starters: Scotland and France during any historical period. Russia pre-revolution. The American west when it was still the frontier. Maybe Jamaica during pirate times.

26 comments:

Renee Vincent / Gracie Lee Rose said...

I love the mountains too, Dawn, though I can't say I've been to North Carolina. Guess I have to make a trip there someday.

Great to meet you (and sorry I didn't get this up til now) :-(

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Hi, Renee! If you have the chance, definitely check out the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games and visit the breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains. I promise you won't be dissapointed.

Victoria Roberts said...

Hi Dawn! My dh is originally from MD and used to frequent the horseback riding trails of Gambrill Mountain. I can relate to your love of the outdoors and everything Scottish. What's not to love? ;-)

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Victoria, thanks for stopping by. Maryland has a lot to offer between the mountains and the bay and the ocean. We're enjoying our sojourn here.

Sarah Hoss said...

Hi Dawn! It was so nice to get to meet you and learn a little more about you.

I love your ideas of "if you could be transported back in time" I think I would have to agree with you wholeheartedly.

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Hi, Sarah! Of course, I would go to early 16th century Scotland first. :) That's where and when my Garden Gate time-travel series is set. Thanks for stopping by and saying, "Hi."

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Very nice interview Dawn Marie. You sounds so brave being on a tandem bike. Sounds like fun, though.

I admire you for your gardening. I have two black thumbs and my gardner hubby won't let me near the plants except to admire them - to touch. He's just planted a lot of veggies in two huge boxes he built. First time for him to try potatoes, artichokes and asparagus. He has all sorts of things to keep the deer out of the trenches. :) Keeping our fingers crossed it all grows well. In the mountains it becomes a challenge against the critters and elements.

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Hi, Paisley. When you ride a tandem you need to really trust your partner. :) Wish your hubby much success with his garden. Thanks for dropping in.

derekd said...

Good morning, Dawn. I was pleased I knew most of that stuff about you already.

I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed your writing and how much I value you as a CP, along with the others on the loop. Thank so much for facilitating such a wonderful resouce.

I wish you much success with your writing.

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Hi, Derek. So good of you to stop by. Working with our crit group is a highlight in my writing journey. Thanks for sharing your wonderful stories with us. :)

Jan Romes said...

Dawn, this might sound corny, but I think we're long-lost twins :D! I love Scottish romance, love the mountains, love to garden, love to cook (but if I'm rushed for time, I hate it). What to tell you that you serve your organizations well by participating in the leadership!! You're awesome!!

Jan

Alexa said...

Great to get to know you more, Dawn (or do you prefer Dawn Marie?)! I've been fortunate enough to travel through the Blue Ridge Mountains and I was amazed with how beautiful they were and how much they reminded me of Scotland.

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

I knew we had a lot in common, Jan. :) Thanks for your kind words and for stopping by.

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Hi, Alexa. Thanks for dropping in. I'm hoping to get to Scotland again soon. Last I was there was '77. Way too long ago.

Vonda Sinclair said...

Wonderful interview! I'm glad you like the Blue Ridge Mountains, Dawn. That's where I've lived all my life and it is a very inspiring place. I also love the GM Highland Games and gardening. :)

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Hi, Vonda. I've had a blast everytime I've gone to the GM games. We usually camp on-site and have met some wonderful friends there. Not sure if we'll make it this year, maybe next. Thanks for stopping by.

Ana Morgan said...

Great post!
I love timetravel romances AND gardening. I don't know if I could garden on a patio, though. I think too big. Same with my timetravel--epic.

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Hi, Ana. I truly get the correlation between the size of a story and the size of a garden. Hmmm. I think I have an idea for a future blog post. Thanks for the inspiration and thanks for visiting. :)

Chicks of Characterization said...

It's great getting to know you BETTER Dawn! I was born and raised in Maryland. My parents and brothers still live there.

I love gardens but don't have a very green thumb. Actually I kill everything.

I love the Shenandoah as well, we took our kids there for vacation last year.

Thanks so much for sharing!!

Andrea

Cate Parke said...

I'm screaming with joy, Dawn. As Vonda said, she'll be a "neighbor". So will I. I live just down the mountain on the Tennessee side. Such an incredibly beautiful area! It's easy to see what attracted the Scots to the area. My mind's eye sees this area the way it must have looked to the first settler. Beth Trissel describes it in her wonderful historicals--vast oceans made up of nothing but hardwood trees. I love the history of this place. It calls my Celtic heart.

By the way, thank you for being a GREAT CP. I can't tell you how much I appreciate you.

~Donna

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Hey, Andrea. The Shenandoah is a great place to take the kids. Fresh air--nothing better. Gets them away from the electronics. :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Hi, Donna/Cate. :)

Thanks for the kind words and for popping by.

DH has mentioned the Tennessee side too. He wants to go sailing first then house in mountains. Maybe near Asheville. We still have a few years before we can do anything.

Janet said...

Very nice! I live in Maryland too. Cool!

When I read your interview, it reminded me of the Scottish bus tour my mother and I went on a couple years ago. It was quite nice. When you spoke of the hot Scottish hunks it also reminded me a funny story. Our tour guide wore his kilt everyday and had a seat at the front of the bus, next to the driver. One day (while riding on the bus), some gals in a bus in front of us saw our tour guide in his kilt, legs on view, and smiled and gave him thumbs up. It was quite funny and those of us at the front who saw it enjoyed teasing our guide about it. :-)

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Janet, your bus tour sounds like a fun trip. Thanks for visiting!

Pat McDermott said...

I'm late, but wanted to stop by and say how happy I've been to know you, Dawn, from our early days in Celtic Critters to your yummy contributions to my cooking blog. I hope you convince your husband to get you that cottage in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Just think of the stories a location like that would inspire!

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Hi, Pat! Naught wrong with late. :) Thanks for your kind words. You are so sweet. I've also enjoyed our acquaintance. I hope someday we have an opportunity to meet in person.