New Release + Author Q&A : Midnight House by Ian Dawson

It isn’t often that I share a press release, but when Ian Dawson’s YA Action/Adventure books were brought to my attention by Smith Publicity I wanted to help spread the word. So I hope you enjoy reading about his new release Midnight House and the Q&A with the author that follows.

Midnight House
By Ian Dawson

YA THRILLER TACKLES TOUGH TOPICS AROUND RECOVERING FROM TRAUMA, BASED OFF OF AUTHOR’S OWN KIDNAPPING AS A TEEN

More than twenty-five years ago author Ian Dawson was kidnapped by two older teen boys in a field behind his home in Redding, California. They held him captive for several hours and assaulted him before finally setting him free. This traumatic experience became the inspiration behind his debut YA thriller novel,The Field, which went on to become a Readers’ Favorite Book Award Finalist. 

He is now continuing the story with his latest release,MidnightHouse(BookBaby, March 30, 2021, 978-1098354367) which picks up two years after the events of The Field, bringing readers on a thrilling new ride that also tackles themes of childhood trauma and recovery, friendship, peer pressure and deception. 

“WhileThe Fieldwas more inspired by my actual kidnapping, Midnight Houseis more fictionalized,” Dawson shares. “But I wanted to tackle the topic of recovering from and de-stigmatizing trauma for teens, and I hope Midnight Housewill do just that.” 

Midnight House follows sixteen-year-old Daniel Robinson. Haunted by the traumatic events of his abduction two years ago, Daniel has tried everything to make his escalating nightmares vanish. Failing to cope with it on his own, he knows it’s only a matter of time before his family, best friend, and his girlfriend notice the lingering effects of his insomnia. Will Daniel reach out for help, or allow the nightmares to consume his sanity?

Meanwhile, Daniel’s best friend, Kyle Hanson, has been invited by Enterprise’s Varsity basketball captain to take part in the Varsity team’s rituals at the mysterious Midnight House. Skeptical of their motives, Daniel takes matters into his own hands to find out what’s going on at the secretive hideaway. Is this Kyle’s chance to prove himself to the Varsity team, or is something more sinister at play?

As the boys navigate the complications of new friendships, jealousy, romance, and high school, their unbreakable bond and the strength of their friendship will be tested. Can they survive what’s waiting at Midnight House?

Midnight Housetouches on important topics for teens and adults. Dawson is also available for interview or commentary around these topics, including:

            •           The importance of being honest with your loved ones, no matter what it is you may be struggling with

            •           The dangers of hazing

            •           Healthy ways to deal with childhood trauma, and the healing process speaking with a counselor can have

            •           His own personal experience being kidnapped as teen, what it taught him, and what he wants other teens going through trauma to know

“You never know what someone is going through,” Dawson adds. “I hope that Midnight Housenot only serves as an entertaining, thrilling read but also reminds people to have a bit more compassion for others, because everyone has a past they are running from in one way or another.”

Ian Dawson is an author, playwright and screenwriter based in Los Angeles. He has a Bachelor of Arts in dramatic art from The University of California Davis and a master’s in screenwriting from Cal State Northridge. His first novel, The Field, was released in 2018 and went on to become a Readers’ Favorite Book Award Finalist. The Field was based on Ian’s own experience of being abducted and held captive when he was only 13 years old.

Learn more about Ian Dawson at http://www.thefieldya.com,and follow him on Twitter and Instagram @thefieldya.


Q&A with Ian Dawson

Question: Congratulations on your latest novel, Midnight House? Tell us what the book is about!

Ian Dawson:Thank you so much! I had a lot of fun writing Midnight House. It was a lot of hard work, but I’m thrilled with how the story turned out. This is the second novel in The Field series. It catches up with best friends Daniel and Kyle two years after the events of the first book, The Field. They’re sophomores in high school now, so many new experiences and adventures await them in this story. Daniel’s still dealing with the psychological aftermath of what happened to him when he was abducted; he’s having nightmares, insomnia, and trying to cope with them on his own. 

At the same time, his best friend Kyle, who’s on the JV basketball team, is invited to this mysterious place called Midnight House with the promise of potentially becoming Varsity Captain his junior year. Daniel is suspicious of this invite, which leads to some conflict between him and Kyle. Will Daniel get help for his nightmares? What happens with Kyle and Midnight House? You’ll have to read the book and find out.

Q: Midnight House is a sequel to your first release, The Field, which was based on true events. Can you tell us about that?

Dawson: So, in May of 1993, I was chased down and abducted by two older boys on bikes in the field behind my neighborhood in Redding, California. They held me captive in this clearing and terrorized and assaulted me for several hours before finally letting me go. Needless to say, this was a very traumatic experience and one that has always stuck with me.

Ten years after it happened, I wrote a first-person recollection of what I remembered happening in the field that day. And that story evolved and expanded into a fictional story that changed many times over fifteen years. But I’m glad I took my time with it to get it right, and The Fieldwas published in 2018.

Q: Is Midnight Housealso inspired by true events?

Dawson: There are a few little stories and references to things that happened when I was a kid, but the bulk of Midnight House is fictional. 

Q: What made you want to write about such a traumatic experience you went through?

Dawson: Initially, it was a way to just get the story out on paper. It really wasn’t something I wanted to deal with or talk about after it happened, but it was always there. Writing about it was a way to take control over a situation I had no control over. That’s one of the great things about writing: you control everyone’s destinies and outcomes on the page.

The two older boys who abducted me were never caught. There were no consequences for them. The Fieldallowed me to rewrite history on my terms, so it was a way to empower myself and deliver an outcome I felt was just for these two older boys.

Q: What do you want other teens to know who have walked through a traumatic event?

Dawson: It’s okay to ask for help. As teens, we want to be more independent and not ask for help when things get tough. But sometimes, especially if it’s a traumatic event, a loss, or an issue that seems impossible to resolve, reaching out for help from a trusted family member, teacher, or other responsible adults like a counselor can be a big step in finding a resolution. Not all problems have easy solutions, and that’s why working with others and finding support can help you take the steps needed to find peace and move forward.

It might take months or years to finally get the resolution you need, but don’t give up on yourself or give up on hope for a brighter future.


Q: You also write for the stage and the screen. Will The Field and Midnight House ever be adapted into a movie or play?


Dawson:
I would love to see these books be adapted into a Young Adult film series or broken down into multiple episodes. It would be really cool and fun to watch these stories and characters come to life on the big or small screen. That would be an opportunity I would definitely like to see.

Q: What do you hope your readers take away from Midnight House?

Dawson: My main goal is for readers to be entertained. At the same time, Midnight House explores some serious topics that I hope both teen and adult readers can learn from, get a new perspective on, and hopefully help them empathize with those dealing with issues discussed in the book.

Q: What is next for you?

Dawson: I am currently working on the third book in The Field series, which I hope to have out late next year. I’m also developing ideas for a new novel series, and I have a couple screenplay ideas I’m working on in my head.  

I also write a couple of blog posts a week about creative writing and the writing process on The Field series’ official site, www.thefieldya.com.

Ian Dawson is an author, playwright and screenwriter based in Los Angeles. He has a Bachelor of Arts in dramatic art from The University of California Davis and a master’s in screenwriting from Cal State Northridge. His first novel, The Field, was released in 2018 and went on to become a Readers’ Favorite Book Award Finalist. The Field was based on Ian’s own experience of being abducted and held captive when he was only 13 years old.

Learn more about Ian Dawson at www.thefieldya.com,and follow him on Twitter and Instagram @thefieldya.

For reviews and media interviews, contact:

Katie Schnack | katie.schnack@smithpublicity.com

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