Reminder Assistant Editor
SPRINGFIELD -- Springfield native Dawn Gray is a stay-at-home mother of three with a wild imagination.
She's been writing ever since her hands could grasp a pencil and she hasn't stopped since. Her work of "paranormal romance," titled "The Vampire Legacy: The New Queen Rises," has won the author her first contract with Publish America.
"For me, this book is definitely a stepping stone," Gray explained during an interview with Reminder Publications, adding that her preview book, titled "Raven," was self-published. "It's been a dream [of mine] that a publishing company would pick up my book. You never expect to see your name in print."
Gray explained that she has always been intrigued by vampire mythology and therefore chose to write her characters with similar supernatural powers.
"I think it's the whole 'you can be young forever and live free' type of mentality [that attracted me to vampire lore]," she said. "But they have their limits such as sunrise they drink blood to survive but with each person's view on [the book, the characters] become more human."
Gray explained that her characters encapsulate various emotional experiences throughout her life. She noted that while she was pregnant with her eldest son, her fears of becoming a new mother manifested themselves in the pages of "The Vampire Legacy: The New Queen Rises."
"Authors place themselves in the book no matter what," Gray said.
The book centers around the emotional love triangle between an odd girl named Ashley and two supernatural brothers.
When asked if the recent "Twilight" phenomenon has inspired her work, Gray replied that she saw the movie but has not read the vampire series by Stephanie Meyer.
"When I write, it's not for fame or money -- it's just something that I like to do," she said.
"The Vampire Legacy: The New Queen Rises" is currently available via online retailers as well as Publish America s Web site, www.publishamerica.com.
Gray will be available to fans at book signings on March 14 from noon to 3 p.m. at Walden Books in the Eastfield Mall in Springfield.
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