Dawn Kimberly Johnson – Button Down & Giveaway!

Thank you, Charlie for inviting me to guest post on your blog today. I greatly appreciate it, and I’d like to give your readers an opportunity to win an autographed print edition of my new novel, but that comes later.

Today I’m talking about family. In Button Down, family is important, both family by blood and family by construction. We all need people who have our backs whether we’re coming out or coming out as an author of gay romance, or both.

When I was first published, my mother was excited for me but wanted to know when I was going to write something she could brag about. I told her to brag about my gay love story, because that’s what I’d written. She didn’t. I can’t really fault her because I didn’t exactly rush to tell every member of my extended family about being published way back in 2009. However, I eagerly told my friends, both here in West Virginia and in Oregon.

But I feel sort of bad now for not giving my family the chance to cheer me on. One of my cousins found out a bit more than a year ago and was upset with me for not telling her sooner that I had been published. She belongs to a reading group, and she told me how proud and excited she felt for me. Another cousin asked where she could purchase my stories. She wanted something to read on the beach during her vacation. Both women admit the subject matter gives them pause or maybe some of the love scenes are a bit explicit for their tastes, but they read my work and enjoyed it. I don’t know that I could ask for more than that.

Then there are members of my family, like my siblings, who may never read my work, but still cheer me on when I sign another contract, and may even recommend my stories to friends they think might enjoy them, which I greatly appreciate.

Unfortunately, this is not the case for every author of gay romantic fiction. One reason some authors write under pen names is to avoid losing their jobs or being harassed or shunned by their friends and relatives. I considered a pen name, but I changed my mind at the last minute because I couldn’t stand the idea of not having my name—my full name—on a novel I had written. I wanted to shout, “Mine!”

Five years later, it just looks obnoxious, but what’s done is done.


Now for my giveaway. Please leave a comment below this post between today and January 21, and be entered into a drawing to win an autographed paperback of Button Down as well as a bookmark featuring my original artwork. The winner will be notified no later than Wednesday January 22.



Blurb: When he finds himself captivated by a movie-star handsome stranger he meets in a bar, lawyer Ford Reilly watches a simple one-night stand develop into a taste of what living honestly might bring him.

Out and proud Gus Hansen has built a small architectural firm from nothing, but could lose it all as he tries to break a contract he signed before knowing about the project’s antigay ties.

After Ford discovers he spent a passionate night with the man on the other side of the dispute he’s handling, he finds himself in more than one quandary. He can either maintain the status quo, enforcing the contract to the letter, or he can defy his overbearing father and break free of the closeted life he’s built for himself in order to be with Gus.

Gus has his own choices to make. He knows the sting of loving a man who hides himself, but the longer he lingers in Ford’s presence, the more difficult it becomes to deny their attraction.


Buy links:

Dreamspinner Presshttp://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=button+down&osCsid=hutje2tmpkrvpsgipbteus3gc2&x=-1047&y=-329


Barnes & Noblehttp://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/button-down-dawn-kimberly-johnson/1117792680?ean=2940148925958



A native of West Virginia, Dawn earned a BA from the Marshall University W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications and worked as a copy editor at The Charleston Daily Mail for eight years.

Social Media Links:

Blog: http://kimswritingagain.wordpress.com/
Twitter: @Dawn_KJ | https://twitter.com/Dawn_KJ
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DawnKimberlyJohnson
Google+ : https://plus.google.com/u/0/113841211608777893259/posts
E-mail: KimsWritingAgain@yahoo.com



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  1. Hi Dawn! I know there are many authors out there who aren’t able to share what they do, so I consider myself lucky to be in a position where not only my family and friends knows what I write, but that they support me. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your story with us.

  2. Sounds like a good read. Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. Thanks so much for the giveaway and for sharing a bit about yourself with us! Your book looks fantastic.

  4. I have wanted to read this book since I first read about it. Thanks for the chance to win it.

  5. I can’t wait to read Button Down. It sounds great! Congrats on your writing. Some of us love the genre, and we’ll keep encouraging you. :)


  6. I remember Susie Bright saying that anonymity is a burden, and I never really understood what she meant until I read your post. I’m eager to read BUTTON DOWN!


  7. I’m so happy that your family supports you! I wish this for everyone even if it is a foolish wish.

  8. Thanks so much for a chance at the giveaway!!

  9. Thanks for the great post, glad your family is behind you. I use a pen name because I wanted just one step between my author persona and myself. Mostly for my very straight, Christian family member. They support me and are proud of me, but they don’t understand why I write what I do. And that’s okay. I let them be true to themselves just as I am to myself.

    Thanks for the chance to win a copy, sounds great.


  10. Great post, Dawn!

    I thought I posted a comment when I read this the other day but apparently I didn’t. Thanks for the reminder Charlie or I would have missed my chance to win a copy.


  11. Wonderful post, Dawn. I think it’s great that you’ve used your name (your full name) on your writing, first because you made the decision to be yourself and embrace it, even if you weren’t telling all the family about it (which I totally look at as a personal decision for any writer, both the name and the telling). Secondly, I look at the full name part as just who you were at the time. I have a picture from grade school where I am wearing a field day ribbon. It wasn’t even that it happened at picture time. I was just so proud of myself that I thought it was cool. Now I look back and shake my head at it, but what’s done is done. I guess I could photoshop that picture, and you could always start going by a new name, but it doesn’t take away that it’s who we were at that moment.

    Thanks so much for sharing with us, and I’m so looking forward to reading Button Down, whether I win it or not.

    Thank you for hosting, Charlie. :)

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