Dawn Kurtagich – Q&A

Dawn Kurtagich Q&A

Discover insights into how Dawn Kurtagich, author of The Dead House and The Creeper Man (And The Trees Crept In in the US), writes and gets into the mind of her characters and what it’s like to be a full time writer.

Dawn KWhat do you to get yourself in the mindset of your characters?

I usually keep a diary as my main character for a little while. It helps me to get into their heads. I collect little piece of information about them, the way a schoolgirl might collect snippets about her best friend for later use, so that I know them when crunch time begins. I sketch a lot too, since the way a character looks to me makes them so much more real and visceral, and finally, I think about the words and scents that I associate with them. It helps me to create a full picture.


Do you have a playlist for The Creeper Man? If so what are your go to songs?

I do indeed! It’s less specific than the one I had for The Dead House, because so much of The Creeper Man is so surreal. I would play lyric-less songs often. But here are some of the ones I went to:

With lyrics:

Hermitage Green’s Massive Attack (Teardrop) cover.

CHVRCHES – The Mother We Share

Of Monsters and Men – King And Lionheart

PVRIS – Mirrors

Lorde – Yellow Flicker Beat

Lorde – Everybody Wants to Rule the World

Eisley – Go Away

Lana Del Rey – Once Upon a Dream

Soley – I’ll Drown

Eisely – Smarter

José Gonzáles – Stay Alive

The Cinematic Orchestra – To Build a Home

Imogen Heap – Hide and Seek


Without Lyrics

The Best of Yann Tiersen on Piano

Erik Satie – The Essential Collection

Hungry Ghosts – I Don’t Think About You Anymore, But I Don’t Think About you Any Less

Lucia Micarelli – Bohemian Rhapsody

Bolero For Violin And Orchestra – Vanessa Mae

How do you feel you’ve grown as a writer since The Dead House?

I’ve (mostly) outgrown my need to rush things (and thereby burn myself out). I know that I don’t need to crack out a book in a month or two or three (of course… it would be nice if I did…), and that books take as long as they take. As long as I’m working step by step, loving my craft and my art every single day, then I’m okay. 🙂

The Dead HouseThe Creeper Man

It’s always said that the second book is the hardest to write, did you find this to be true with The Creeper Man?

Yes. This book was definitely a challenge. There’s some kind of psychological block that happens, I think, where a new author thinks: This is a fluke. Someone’s going to catch me out! That, for me, is a big part of second book syndrome. You want to write another great book, you have readers that you now want to please, and you have an editor aware of what you’re doing—so getting used to writing something that isn’t just yours, that isn’t your secret takes some getting used to. Writing with the world looking, as it were, is an adjustment. And there’s a weird moment after book one where you think: I FORGOT HOW TO WRITE A BOOK OH DEAR GOD NOOOOOO.

What has been the most exciting thing you’ve done since becoming a published author?

Going to conferences and festivals and book events both here in the UK and over in the states and meeting readers who love the book and are so welcoming! Making friends with book lovers is the most amazing feeling in the world. For me, the moment that readers started to say: I love your writing. What’s next? I can’t wait for your next book! Is what has impacted me most.

Another absolutely amazing and mind-boggling thing is when TV rights to The Dead House sold. Walking through a live production studio, seeing episodes being filmed, seeing the sets—was incredible!

I’m dying to know, what are you working on next?

Aaaaaah. A big, giant secret! (I can promise it is awesome and big), but that’s all. 😉


Finally, what are you reading at the moment?


Right at this very moment, I am reading:

The Lie Tree by Francis Hardinge

The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart

The Queen’s Conjurer

And My own novel for revisions. 🙂


Thanks so much for having me, Emma! <3


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