Dawn Kurtagich is a writer of creepy, spooky and psychologically sinister YA fiction, where girls may descend into madness, boys may see monsters in men, and grown-ups may have something to hide. Her debut YA novel, The Dead House, is forthcoming from Orion/Indigo (UK) and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (US) in 2015.
By the time she was eighteen, she had been to fifteen schools across two continents. The daughter of a British globe-trotter and single mother, she grew up all over the place, but her formative years were spent in Africa—on a mission, in the bush, in the city and in the desert.
She has been lucky enough to see an elephant stampede at close range, a giraffe tongue at very close range, and she once witnessed the stealing of her (and her friends’) underwear by very large, angry baboons. (This will most definitely end up in a book . . . ) While she has quite a few tales to tell about the jumping African baboon spider, she tends to save these for Halloween!
When she was sixteen, she thought she'd be an astronomer and writer at the same time, and did a month-long internship at Cambridge's prestigious Cavendish Laboratories.
Her life reads like a YA novel.
a mishmash of things
The first teen book I ever read was Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkhaban. The first MG book I ever read was Animorphs (the Animorphs series is amazing—go read it!)
I love cold weather and I adore the rain. I'd rather traipse through the mud on a hill than walk down the street. I'd rather get lost in the woods than lost in London.
I love colours with a blinding passion, but mostly I only wear black.
Things I find fascinating: mirrors, corridors, oddly shaped doors, balconies, forests, the weather, siblings, stickers, post-its, outsider art, art of the insane, Henry Darger, cellos, gum-wrapper chains (I make them), dolls, heavy ornamentation, extremisms, body modification, life, death.
The Dead House is my debut novel, but not my first novel. It is the book I wrote to explore the issues that came up for me when I was dying. The main character, Kaitlyn, isn't sure she exists. I wasn't sure I did, then, either.