Monday, February 15, 2016

Dawn V. Cahill's Sapphire Secrets & When Lyric Met Limerick

Dawn V. Cahill pens "Stories of Victorious Faith for the 21st Century," nearly always with a crossword puzzle, sudoku, or dark chocolate nearby. "The characters in my stories face situations that would have been unthinkable even 20 years ago. We live in a vastly different world than our parents did, and that's the world I write about."
Seeing an unfilled niche in the Christian market for edgier fiction, Ms Cahill birthed Hot Topic Fiction (HTF) at an intensive four-day writers conference. HTF isn't afraid to explore the question, how does God want us Christians to live out our faith in this not-so-brave new world? Without insulting the reader by offering pat or easy answers--because there aren't any--HTF tells stories of ordinary Christians following hard after Christ in a world of terror and violence, of upside-down morality, of hostility to Judeo-Christian values.
HTF's first book is due for launch in June 2016. However, if you prefer something a little more mysterious, you might enjoy her new series, Seattle Trilogy. Be watching for Book 1 in January 2016!
Subscribe to her blog at, to stay up to date. Or find her on Facebook and at

 Why did you choose to write this book?
This book began in an online writing course by Jerry Jenkins. My first assignment was to think of six story ideas, then pick one. I’d always wanted to write a book about twins, and a book that takes place in a dance studio. So, voila, Sapphire Secrets was born.

What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of, writing-related or not?
Actually three things: my three fine sons; choreographing a church musical for people who’d never danced, with surprisingly good results; completing my master’s degree.

What are your favorite writing conferences and why?
I absolutely love the Oregon Christian Writers summer conference. I never fail to learn something earth-shaking. At the 2014 conference, an agent encouraged me to “forge a new niche” in the Christian fiction market. That’s how Hot Topic Fiction came to be…books about ordinary Christians following hard after Christ in a world of terror and violence, of upside-down morality, of hostility to Judeo-Christian values.  
And then last year, in Susan May Warren’s workshop, I “found” my brand…Stories of Victorious Faith for the 21st Century. Because my books are true to life as it really is, not as we wish it to be. Don’t you enjoy stories that reflect characters and scenes that you recognize from your daily life? That 13-year-old whose parents split, and who’s turned into a complaining diva…do you recognize her? And the goth couple in the coffee shop…have you seen them in your own neighborhood?

Why do you write?
Like the character in my short story said, when asked why he writes songs…”Because I have to.” [Howard in When Lyric Met Limerick] I’ve dreamed of writing the perfect novel from childhood, but I put the dream on hold while I raised my kids. [Not saying Sapphire Secrets is perfect; but with all the hard work and sweat I put into it, it better be at least excellent!]

What's next for you?
My next major project is to release Sapphire Secrets as a paperback…a far less simple process than uploading it to Kindle. I expect it to be ready in a few months.

What would you be doing if you weren’t writing?
I would have to have some sort of creative outlet. I also sing and dance, so if I didn’t write, I’d focus more energy on those two things.

Tell us a little more about yourself, with three things not many people know about you.
I write under a pseudonym. My dad was in the ministry, which is why I write and blog under a pen name…I can write about sensitive family history without embarrassing anyone! J I’ve found God can use anyone’s history, whether sordid or squeaky-clean, to encourage others.
I crunch numbers all day, putting the lie to Marilyn Vos Savant’s claim that people are usually either numbers-oriented, or word-oriented, not usually both. But then I must have a weirdly-wired brain.
My taste in music makes me feel like an oddball around some of my Christian friends. I like edgy, ethnic music, classic rock, and Southern Gospel. (Odd combo, I know.) Like I tell people when they try to pigeonhole my taste in music…if it makes me want to sing or dance, I like it.

Do you listen to music when you write and if so, what kind of music – or do you find it distracts you?
Speaking of music…normally, I don’t. It’s too distracting. Especially if it makes me want to stop what I’m doing and sing or dance. J Yet I can have a sporting event on in the background without distraction. Go figure!

Tell us about your latest release and what you think readers will enjoy about it.
Sapphire Secrets is a very contemporary, modern-day novel, and the characters are the type of folks most city dwellers encounter every day. I think readers will enjoy the Seattle scenery, the characters’ quirky personalities, and the surprising plot twist at the end. J

How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website),,


  1. A great post thank you. I find music can be distracting, especially if I am trying to read. "Sapphire Secrets" sounds wonderful.


  2. Fascinating interview.I am interested in this new series. Would love to win either e-book for my Kindle, also. PeopleI can get the Kindle app for their conputers, smartphones, and tablets, so they can read your ebooks from those devices, too. Thank you for entering me!
    Janice jsmithg(at)hotmail(dot)com

  3. I will subscribe you both to my blog. Thank you!

    1. Sorry, Wordpress won't let me add your enter the giveaway, just hop over to and subscribe. I'll announce the winner next week. Thanks!