Dawn Newton wanted to be a writer when she was younger and aimed during elementary school days to write a book about asthma. During summers, her mother drove her to the branch library in Waterford every two weeks and waited an eternity in the car without ever complaining, smoking Tareytons while Dawn filled out library slips inside for a stack of books.
In middle school, Dawn had two strong women science teachers, and in high school she fell in love with biology and chemistry. For a brief time, she wanted to be a doctor. But the books, the words, the paper, and the pens won out. Her father, LaVern, told her the writing thing was all a big mistake, and sometimes she has imaginary conversations in her head with him about his foresight. Yet a first-generation college student must find her own way.
To pay student loans and bills over the years, Dawn has been a lumber yard cashier, a library assistant, a Kelly Girl, a Manpower worker, a stock broker, a policy advisor, a grant writer, a tutor, a teacher, an academic advisor, and a college professor (but not the kind who has a PhD or tenure). Working with students of any age has always been her favorite job, but it’s also the one that wipes her out.
She decided when she got her babysitting certificate in the seventh grade and started working in the neighborhood that she wanted and needed to have children, and she never wavered from that conviction. Now she has three. Big ones. Rachel. Connor. Nathaniel. Each is the favorite.
Along the way, Dawn earned a few degrees and published some short stories, poems, and essays here and there. She excels at paying bills just in time, and she makes a mean Dutch apple pie, a skill she learned from her mother, Esther.
Dawn is currently working on a Certificate in Medical Insurance Billing and Coding to see if she can reinvent herself one more time. She lives in East Lansing, Michigan, with her husband, Tim; their dog, Clover; scads of dog hair; and cancer.