Analyzing the Prescotts by Dawn Reno Langley: Blog Tour & Giveaway

Monday, February 05, 2024

Analyzing the Prescotts by Dawn Reno Langley

We're excited to announce the blog tour for Analyzing the Prescotts by Dawn Reno Langley. This novel is perfect for readers unafraid of tough topics and broken characters. Reviewer Cam Torrens, author of Stable and False Summit says, "Analyzing the Prescotts is like The Prince of Tides meets Mad Honey! The novel is a deftly-woven slow build with a dramatic ending I never predicted! Great read!"

Before we interview the author, here's a bit more about the book:

Analyzing the Prescotts is the story of a therapist who has been leveled by a client’s suicide and is struggling to resume her practice. She begins working with the Prescotts, a family fractured when the father comes out as transgender and begins transitioning. They relate their stories in their chosen voices, each family member’s narrative in a different format. Journals, social media, and other nontraditional narratives challenge Dr. Cotton Barnes’ therapeutic skills. While Cotton treats each member of the Prescotts, and they all dodge land mines behind the closed doors of her therapy office, the Raleigh, North Carolina area is rocked by a series of LGBTQ+ hate crimes. As Cotton finds herself stalking the family, worried that she might not be able to “save them,” her husband slips away, and Cotton is forced to make a decision that will determine whether she saves her own marriage or the Prescotts.

PUBLISHER: Black Rose Writing
ASIN: 1685133495
ISBN-10: 1685133495
ISBN-13: ‎ 978-1685133498
Print Length: 308 pages

You can purchase a copy of the book on AmazonBarnes and Noble, and Be sure to add it to your GoodReads reading list.

About the Author, Dawn Reno Langley

Dawn Reno Langley writes extensively for newspapers and magazines, has published more than 30 books (nonfiction, children’s books, and novels such as The Mourning Parade (Amberjack, 2017)), dozens of award-winning short stories, essays, and poems in journals such as Missouri Review, Hunger Mountain and Superstition Review, as well as hundreds of articles, theater reviews, and blogs. A Fulbright scholar and TedX speaker with an MFA in Fiction from Vermont College and a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies (concentrations in gender studies and creativity) from The Union Institute and University, she lives on the North Carolina coast. She offers writing retreats for other women and teaches for Southern New Hampshire University’s MFA program. Her book, You Are Divine: A Search for the Goddess in All of Us (Llewellyn) was released nationally and internationally in January 2022.

You can find her online at:

--- Interview by Nicole Pyles

WOW: Congratulations on your book! What a profound read. What inspired this novel?

Dawn: Thank you! This book was inspired by the transgender authors I researched during my PhD program at the Union Institute and University. My subject area was trans authors who wrote pre and post-transition, and as I read their work and memoirs, I knew there were a lot of stories behind the stories. Several of them spoke about the therapy they underwent, and I wondered what would happen if their therapist could not quite meet the challenge of working with the whole family unit.

WOW: How interesting. You have managed to take on a topic that can be hard to approach at times in writing. What inspired you to include a transgender character in your book?

Dawn: I wanted to give all of the family members a voice, but the transgender character was the one I connected with most. Hayden/Hailey was originally the narrator of the story, but I was concerned about not appropriating that voice, so during the writing process, the therapist was the character who could show what the others were going through, so she became the central point narrator.

WOW: I found the therapist's perspective so interesting.  How did you go about researching and understanding the experiences of transgender individuals while writing this character?

Dawn: I spent several years reading the work of more than 30 transgender writers who created work both pre- and post-transition. Their work spanned the gamut of nonfiction biographies to full-blown otherworldly fantasies, and most of them wrote some memoir pieces. Throughout the time I read their works, I studied the way those authors used their words, their written patterns, and their chosen subject areas. 

Not only did I read works by transgender authors, but I also studied critical race theory, family therapy, gender identity, and linguistics. By the time I graduated, I had written more than 700 pages of research and almost 400 pages of creative work (that eventually became the novel, Analyzing the Prescotts). My final dissertation was more than 700 pages long.

WOW: That is incredible! You portrayed such fascinating family dynamics in this book. How did you do that so well?

Dawn: In my life, I've been through family therapy and individual therapy, so that was my jumping off point--personal experience. But that was augmented by the many textbooks I read/studied on family therapy. I believe my bibliography was more than thirty pages long!

WOW: I can only imagine. How did the book change from first draft to final draft?

Dawn: The book began as a first-person journal written from Hailey's point of view, and while that helped me get to know her intimately, I found that the other family members also wanted to express their feelings. 

I've always wanted to play with point of view the way Barbara Kingsolver did in Poisonwood Bible, and while I have no notion that I came close to that master work, I do believe that I encouraged each member of the family to be themselves, individuals. So, I wrote each of their stories separately.

Finally, I wanted the therapist to be the cog in the wheel, and originally, she was simply the person who introduced the Prescotts, but when I realized that the story ended up with no really clear protagonist, I gave her a stronger role. Then it became clear that her own life was impacted by the Prescotts, so the subplot of her marital issues grew in strength. 

The final chapters of the story were a total surprise to me, and I hope they are to readers, as well.

WOW: I imagine they will be! What editing techniques did you use to transform your novel?

Dawn: This story has gone through MAJOR editing. I've taken it from first person to third person, for the most part. I've moved scenes, added characters and deleted others, changed journal entries to narrative sections, and pushed my characters out of their already uncomfortable roles into even more tenuous situations. On top of the character changes, I knew I had to include some background story and the subplot of hate crimes in the Raleigh area worked to highlight the problems the Prescotts were experiencing. {This book changed a LOT.}

WOW: What an endeavor! The themes of identity are very strong in this book, and it's revealed through every character. Why was that theme so important to the novel?

Dawn: Whenever a parent reveals that they are not the person everyone in the family believed them to be, it makes each family member wonder what their own role in the family dynamic is. What I realized as I wrote is that every single person undergoes some sort of gender identity during their life, and I wanted to show that the family fabric is woven upon that theme. To me, that's the most important thread in a family's life -- we all depend on each other to create our identity.

WOW: Absolutely. I love how you are not afraid to write books that take societal problems head on. What leads you to write about these types of stories?

Dawn: When I wrote my first article about nuclear war, I realized that I wanted to show how a child felt about the decisions adults were making--and that just because we were young didn't mean that we were blind to the immensity of such issues. Throughout my life, I've found myself returning to certain social-justice issues and beating my drum--for example, gun control, animal abuse, women's rights, and hate crimes. I believe that if these issues show up in a work of fiction, readers will find themselves learning about the topic without getting it forced down their throats. Those who read my novel The Mourning Parade have commented to me many times that they now know more about elephant abuse than they would have if they'd watched Nat Geo specials. That means a lot to me. Whatever little differences I can make in a person's mindset is powerful and makes me believe that my work has been worthwhile.

WOW: How moving that is to hear from a reader. Thank you so much for your time today. Best of luck on the tour!

Analyzing the Prescotts by Dawn Reno Langley Blog Tour and Book Giveaway

--- Blog Tour Calendar

February 5th @ The Muffin
Join us at WOW as we celebrate the launch of Dawn Reno Langley's novel Analyzing the Prescotts. Read an interview with the author and enter for a chance to win a copy of the book.

February 6th @ The Mommies Review
Visit with The Mommies Review for a review of Analyzing the Prescotts.
February 8th @ Knotty Needle
Stop by Judy's blog for a review of Dawn Reno Langley's Analyzing the Prescotts.

February 9th @ Boys' Mom Reads!
Find out Karen's take on Analyzing the Prescotts in today's review.

February 10th @ Boots, Shoes, and Fashion
Visit Linda's blog for her interview with author Dawn Reno Langley about her novel Analyzing the Prescotts.

February 11th @  A Wonderful World of Books
Visit Joy's blog for a guest post by Dawn Reno Langley on the challenges of writing using multiple points of view. You can also read an excerpt of Langley's novel Analyzing the Prescotts.

February 12th @  Lisa Haselton's Book Reviews & Interviews
Visit Lisa's blog for an interview with Dawn Reno Langley, author of Analyzing the Prescotts.

February 13th @ Nikki's Book Reviews
Read Nikki's take on Dawn Reno Langley's Analyzing the Prescotts.

February 15th @ Debra-Zenha Adams
Visit Debra's blog for a guest post by Dawn Reno Langley exploring transgender authors: PhD Dissertation and the novel.

February 18th @ Così faccio io
Don't miss Cecelia's review of Analyzing the Prescotts today.

February 20th @ Writer Advice
Visit Lynn's blog for a guest post by author Dawn Reno Langley that gives us a peek at The Writer Life.

February 22nd @ The Faerie Review
Visit Lily's blog for her review of Analyzing the Prescotts by Dawn Reno Langley. 

February 25th @ Choices
Visit Madeline's blog for a guest post by Dawn Reno Langley about writing about sensitive sociological issues.

February 28th @ Author Anthony Avina's Blog
Stop by Anthony's blog for a review of Analyzing the Prescotts by Dawn Reno Langley.

March 4th @ Author Anthony Avina's Blog
Read a guest post about Violence in the LGBT++ Community by Dawn Reno Langley, author of Analyzing the Prescotts.

March 5th @ Così faccio io
Author Dawn Reno Langley shares how to deal with broken characters at Cecelia's blog. 

March 7 @ Michelle Cornish Blog
Read Michelle Cornish's review of Analyzing the Prescotts by Dawn Reno Langley.

March 10 @ Coffee and Ink
Stop by Coffee and Ink for a review of Analyzing the Prescotts by Dawn Reno Langley.

***** BOOK GIVEAWAY *****

Enter to win a copy of the novel Analyzing the Prescotts by Dawn Reno Langley. Fill out the Rafflecopter form for a chance to win. The giveaway ends February 18th at 11:59 pm CT. We will choose a winner the next day and announce in the widget and also follow up via email. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Angela Mackintosh said...

Wonderful interview! It's interesting to hear about the research that went into this book, and I appreciated the conversation about POV. My current WIP is in first person, but I'm considering taking it to third person. I know it's a lot of work to switch! I'm also using multiple character POV chapters, so I think third might be better. Thanks for sharing your process, Dawn, and I'm excited to read your book. Best of luck on your tour! :)

Doreen Lamoureux said...

I am definitely looking forward to this read. I know many who are therapists/counsellors, etc.

Heather Swanson said...

On my reading list.

Ashley S said...

Will definitely be reading this.

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