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KC Writes Interview-Dawn Downey

Posted on Jun 13, 2016 in Interview, KC Writes
Dawn Downey Author

Dawn Downey, Author

I launched my KC Writes interview series this month, and Dawn Downey was brave enough to be my first interviewee.

The series evolved from the Missouri Writers Guild conference and a conversation I had with another Kansas City based writer. She said she had a hard time meeting writers around town, which was crazy to me because it feels like everyone I know is a writer. After a few days ruminating I came up with the idea to interview KC based writers who have had a positive effect on my writing career. I decided it would be a great way to let people know about KC writers, and it would let me pick their brains about how to do my job even better.

Dawn is actually the first person I ever interviewed, but that was in 2015 at her launch for From Dawn to Daylight: Essays. I interviewed her in front of a live audience, and I was not smart enough to record the fantastic affair. Luckily, Dawn agreed to let me have a second interview, which we captured on my podcast.

We talked all about:

  • The differences between writing her first book, Stumbling Towards the Buddha, and her second.
  • How Anne Morrow Lindbergh + 50-word Facebook posts led to an entire collection of short essays.
  • Recording her first audiobook and coming out of the room feeling like Beyoncé.
  • Weird opportunities that fall at author’s feet, like keeping authors hours 1-3 every Saturday at the new Pete N Repeat Repurposed. And the fears that go with those weird opportunities.
  • Tricks Dawn uses to get herself to write every day.
  • What to look for in a critique group, and a great place to start is the Kansas City Writers Group.
  • Dawn’s unique way of coping with stage freight.
  • And so much more, including my favorite the part where I put Dawn on the spot in the speed questions round.

Check out the full interview at:

I round out this interview (and plan to round out every interview) by asking Dawn to name three KC Creatives we need to keep our eye on. Dawn’s picks are: Teresa Mandala– artist, Victor James Dougherty-musician, and Rochelle Wisoff-Fields—author of Please Say Kaddish For Me.

Learn more about Dawn’s work at






  1. Victor dougherty
    June 14, 2016

    Great job you two! Thanks for including me in your picks Dawn!

    • Jessica
      June 14, 2016

      Dawn knows talent when she sees it, Victor!