Thursday, September 19, 2013

New Website

Hi all,

I'm moving!

Check out my new website for my blog, book news and such at:

See you over there!

Monday, April 29, 2013


We are only five months away from the release of my YA thriller debut, THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR. And today, I'm happy to show you the beautiful cover! But first, here's the official synopsis:

Life in the Heights has never been easy for seventeen-year-old Riley Frost, but when she's publicly dumped and outed at the same time, she becomes an immediate social outcast at her high school. So Riley swears off romance and throws herself into solving the shocking murder of her favorite teacher, Ms. Dunn.

Riley turns to her best friend, budding filmmaker Desmond Brandt, for help. What she doesn't know is that Dez has been secretly directing her life, blackmailing her friends, and hoping his manipulations will make her love him. When his schemes go too far, Dez's web of lies threatens to destroy both of their lives.
Creepy, right?

So are you ready to see the cover? The team at Flux did an amazing job and I adore it.

Take a look and let me know what you think!

Add it to your TBR list on Goodreads here:
The CUTTING ROOM FLOOR is also available for pre-order at:

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Happy Anniversary to MNYAWriters!

This month marks the one-year anniversary for my writing critique group, MNYAWriters. And it’s been an amazing year. Looking back, joining this group was probably the single most important decision I’ve made for my writing career.  

I’ve had wonderful critique partners in the past (winking at you Sara Biren and Tanya Byrne), but there is something special that happens in a group of writers I can’t quite explain. We generally meet once a month to critique the work of two brave souls and occasionally split off for writing dates when we can find the time. The energy that radiates from this group is powerful—so much that we’ve been kicked out of one library for our enthusiasm (and volume) and have been warned at our current location. Sometimes things get a little heated; sometimes we laugh and visit so much we run over on time; sometimes we focus more on the negatives of a piece than the positive. We are still learning. Always, however, we inspire, support, and encourage each other to be better.

I think it’s working. In the last year, we’ve watched our members win contest after contest, get agents, switch agents, sign publishing deals, publish books, and OMG—make the NYT Best Sellers List. And most importantly, we’ve produced some incredible writing.

After I got a book deal, I wondered if I would slow down my participation with the group. Once I had the support of a publisher, I thought maybe I wouldn’t need my new friends as much. That is laughable to me now. Though working with a publishing team is incredible, I’m finding I rely on MNYAWriters more than ever. I need a sounding board, resources, and a place where I can feel safe to talk about ideas and share my dreadful first drafts. Who are we kidding? I need people to help make me look good in front of my editor. Thankfully, this group is only too happy to oblige.

So happy anniversary Liz, Ryann, Sara, Kari, Jonathan, Kitty and Nikki! I can’t wait to see what we’ll be celebrating next year!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Why I Heart Nora Roberts

On this bright and snowy Valentine’s Day morning, I’m thinking about romance—books in particular, and why I’ve come to love them so.

As a teen, I remember reading my mom’s Danielle Steel novels while on vacation but that was really the only time I indulged and there would be a huge gap in time before I picked up a romance again. Once I went to college, and for some time after, I was too serious to appreciate the joys of a good Happy Ever After story. I was a Ms. Magazine-toting, Alice Walker-reading, young feminist for crying out loud.
Over the past few years, however, I’ve grown to love romance novels. It is a pure indulgence and I absolutely love it. Nora Roberts is my go to when the mood strikes. I can always count on Nora to bring incredibly hot men, funny dogs, cool careers, strong women, and great food to my world for an afternoon. It’s a world where the women don’t have to try too hard to make their men fall at their feet; where life is ripe with opportunity and new beginnings; and let’s face it, a world with great sex at every turn.
The contemporary romance scene today is really fun and the options are vast—from the tried-and-true publishers and their big-name authors, to new players (like one of my favorites, Entangled), to some great self-published titles. There is something out there to meet virtually all tastes and heat levels.
I’ve been on quite a romance-reading kick since the holidays. Here are a few that may make your day a little brighter:
·         The Inn Boonsboro Trilogy by Nora Roberts

·         On Dublin Street by Samantha Young

·         The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen

·         Losing It by Cora Carmack

·         Game for Marriage by Karen Erickson

·         Operation Cinderella by Hope Tarr

·         Seducing Cinderella by Gina Maxwell

And for those who like a higher heat level:

·         Hard to Love by my friend, Kendall Ryan

·         The Original Sinners Series by Tiffany Reisz

Enjoy and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Flux to Publish My Debut YA Novel!!

It happened. It really happened.

I am thrilled to announce my debut novel, a Young Adult mystery titled THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR, will be published by Flux in Fall 2013.
Here’s the official Publishers Marketplace announcement:

Dawn Klehr's THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR, about a girl questioning her sexual orientation while she tries to solve her beloved high school teacher's murder, and her best friend who, when not directing the high school film, attempts to direct the lives of the girl and everyone else around him --until he goes too far, to Brian Farrey at Flux, in a two-book deal, for publication in Fall 2013, by Jessica Sinsheimer at the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency (World English).
This is a dream come true and I couldn’t be more excited. Huge thanks to my agent, Jessica Sinsheimer, who loves this story and the characters as much as I do. She’s been with me since the very beginning and I’m so lucky to have her! And a big thank you to my new editor, Brian Farrey, at Flux. He is such a talent, both as an editor and author, and I can only hope some of it will rub off on me.

The path to publication is never easy and I have so many people in my life who have been there for me. My husband and son (Lance and Leo) are my rocks and both have the amazing skill of knowing when to let me write and when to bring me back into the real world. My mom, sisters, and in-laws have also been incredibly supportive and my friends are still hanging with me, even though I tend to drop off the planet for weeks – or months – at a time.
And, of course, my writing pals have kept me sane through it all – especially the incredibly gifted Sara Biren and Tanya Byrne, and all my new friends from MNYA Writers.

My heart is so full. I can’t wait to bring THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR into the world so you all can read it!    

Friday, September 21, 2012

How Do You Take Your Horror?

Today is Stephen King’s birthday, and to honor the occasion I thought my blog topic this week should be horror.

So how do you take yours? Blood, guts, and chainsaws?

I like mine with a psychological element. No slasher films here. And really, that’s what most of King’s work is – psychological horror, especially my favorites like Carrie, IT, The Shining, and Bag of Bones. I get chills just thinking about them.

Horror, thriller, aestheticized violence. Whatever you call it, we can’t seem to get enough. It’s huge right now – in novels, TV, and the influx of movies ready to be released for Halloween. And for some, the more gruesome the better.  

Recently, a friend of mine was asking for book recommendations for her daughter.  I asked what she liked and the sixteen-year-old said, “Murder.” But when her mom gave her a look of concern and shock, the girl quickly amended her answer. “I mean mystery,” she said.

Yes, from Dexter to American Horror Story; I Hunt Killers to Anna Dressed in Blood; even, Revenge and Pretty Little Liars. We love to be scared. So at the kickoff of the spookiest season of the year, I plan to get my creep on.  

On the nightstand:

 Lisey’s Story, Stephen King

The Diviners, Libba Bray

Carnival of Souls, Melissa Marr

Sharp Objects, Gillian Flynn

On the DVR:

666 Park Avenue

Walking Dead


I may even get out to a spooky movie or two. I’m intrigued by the House at the End of the Street. Yes, bring on the monsters and murderers… tis the season.  And Happy Birthday, Stephen King!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Don’t Be a Dream Squasher

About a year ago, my eighteen-year-old niece accused me of being a dream squasher. I still cringe thinking about it. See, one Sunday, I was sitting around talking to my sisters about my other niece’s rigorous dance practice. At the time, the poor little thing was only ten years old and she was practicing around the clock. I was worried about her studies and friends and, well, her quality of life.

I made the mistake of saying, “That’s the trouble, these activities are so all-consuming now that kids are missing out on being kids. Plus, the chances of them going on to a professional level is virtually nil.”

The eighteen-year-old looked at me in disgust and hissed, “Dream Squasher!” Then, she looked to our little dancer and said, “Don’t worry, I believe in you.”

My heart dropped.

“You’re right, you’re right,” I immediately told my niece. Typically, I’m not so quick to recognize my gaffes, but her words were like a smack across the face.

Though I might think that today’s sports and activities are out of control, who am I to say whether that time is well spent? Who am I to question a young person’s passion? Who am I to go around squashing dreams?

What’s even crazier is that I should know better. I am a grown woman still chasing mine. In fact, I have spent more time, tears, and effort on becoming a published author than I have on anything else in my life. Now, a dream squasher could easily look at that and give me the horrifying statistics on the number of writers who actually make it to publication. A dream squasher could point out all the time I’m taking away from my friends and family in this pursuit. A dream squasher could question, is it worth it?

If I’m being honest, I’d say, “Hell, yes!” It is worth it – even without a publishing contract, even though I sometimes spend more time in my head than I do in the real world, even though it is absolutely the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

It is worth it.

That’s what I plan to remember and I vow never be a dream squasher again.