“Writing a book is a thorough education that’s invaluable to anyone hoping to learn more about themselves.”
-Kate Winkler Dawson
A member of the Writers’ League since 2015, Kate Winkler Dawson lives in Austin. Her book Death in the Air is out this month from Hachette Book Group.
Kate Winkler Dawson: Historical narrative nonfiction and true crime.
Scribe: What author would you most like to have a drink with, and what’s the first question you would ask them?
KWD: Truman Capote, and I’d ask to see his notes from In Cold Blood.
Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?
KWD: Would it be odd to say Lord of the Flies?
Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?
KWD: There are so many wonderful writers out there and there are also quite a few people who want to be wonderful writers, which is just as important.
Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?
KWD: I don’t plan to specialize in one time period or even one genre, so I’m excited to learn about different eras, different cities, and even different countries. Writing a book is a quick, but thorough education that’s invaluable to anyone hoping to learn more about themselves. I’m grateful each time I’m able to explore a new world; with each project, I learn something new about myself.
Scribe: Here at the Writers’ League, we love sharing book recommendations. What’s one Texas-related book that has come out within the past year that you couldn’t put down?
KWD: I loved Skip Hollandsworth’s The Midnight Assassin.* He did a beautiful job with an incredibly difficult subject. Historical true crime is difficult because, many times, your sources are so limited. He really captured the spooky atmosphere of 19th century Austin.
Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion!
KWD: I think many readers will buy my book, Death in the Air, because one of the characters is a serial killer; there’s a massive audience for true crime (thank goodness). But at its heart, the book is about a ghostly fog that morphed into a deadly smog, fueled by pollution caused by coal, sold by a desperate British government. Air pollution is still deadly, still frightening, and still bolstered by callous governments. I ask readers to decide for themselves, which murderer was more fearsome–a killer who buried at least six people or a one that strangled to death thousands?
On October 28 at 6 pm, I’ll be signing my book and speaking with WLT Executive Director Becka Oliver at BookPeople.** Hope to see some of you there!
*Editor’s Note: We agree! The Midnight Assassin won in the nonfiction category of our 2016 Book Awards. Submissions are open now for the 2017 Book Awards – details here.
**Editor’s Note: Kate Winkler Dawson is one of WLT’s success stories. She met her agent at our Agents & Editors Conference and is an active member of our writing community. At her BookPeople event, she’ll be in conversation with WLT Executive Director Becka Oliver about her new book Death in the Air. Find the Facebook event here. We hope you can join us!
If you’re a Writers’ League member and you’d be interested in being interviewed for our Meet the Members feature, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. It’s a great way for other members to get to know you and for you to share a bit about what you’re working on! Please also email us, at the same address, if you’d like to learn more about WLT board service.