Saturday, April 9, 2016

Unpublished/Self-Published Author Profile: GWEN DANDRIDGE

This post is fourth in a series of profiles featuring currently unpublished and self-published authors. These interviews focus on three areas where both those writers who are looking to find success in traditional publishing and those who are taking the self-publishing path must develop strength: pitching their work, pitching themselves, and creating quality, well-edited work.  None of what is shared in these posts is intended to be prescriptive. Also, a profile is not to be viewed as an endorsement of the author or her/his work. If you'd like to be featured, email your responses to the following prompts to

Gwen Dandridge


I was born in the deep South, but I lived on Long Island most of my first years. It was after I moved to Berkeley, dragging along three small children, that I started to think about creating something more... 

For awhile I managed to bury my after-work creativity into dance. I flitted from Scandinavian to Irish, to English step dancing, to Morris dance and sword. Having a short (or sometimes long) fling with each until finally settling on Morris and English short sword (Rapper) as my favorites. 

After moving to Central California and marrying my love, my creativity has evolved even more, into more tangible forms: mosaics, stained glass, and finally, writing.

100 words or fewer, describe your book or story. This is your pitch. Make it enticing!

The dragons came from beyond, demanding a virgin sacrifice. When Princess Genevieve is handed a golden token, she accepts her fate. She must, in order to save her kingdom. But the journey to her final destiny is complicated by the arrival of a 1970s Berkeley co-ed. To Chris, the whole scenario reeks. Where she comes from, corsets are for burning and virgins hard to find. She's sure the dragons are out for more than innocent blood, but the only way to find out is to accompany Genevieve. 

Genevieve is duty-bound–unless Chris is right. Then her sacrifice would mean nothing.

Describe your editing (not writing) process. What steps have you taken to polish your story?

Painfully slow. I write slowly, I edit faster, but slowly. I rewrite for the second and third and fourth times--slowly. My writing group pokes, prods and generally encourages me to cut out redundancies, to step up to the plate with my plotting and stop whining. 

I make sure that I have a professional copy-editor do a final, Hail Mary, over the whole thing before I send it off with its little wings still wet.

What steps have you taken/are you considering taking to build a social platform to promote your work?

I live on Facebook, I barely Twitter, I have a website and an unloved blog. 

I'm very funny sometimes, but not always. Mostly in "The Dragons' Chosen" not so much in "The Stone Lions".