|1 – Your novels are specific to the civil war and the time period they occurred in. Can you please share a bit how you go about your research?
I conduct extensive research to incorporate realism into my novels. By this, I mean that I search out anything I can find. This includes reading old books and articles, studying photographs and artworks, reading information online, and visiting museums. I also love talking to people, because many have stories about their ancestors. I try to incorporate all these elements into my books. I also study about the places in my novels, including landmarks, local dialect, period dialogue, clothing, music, etc.
2 – The detail in your books are amazing! Have you visited these places you write about so eloquently?
Strangely enough, I wrote the books before I visited their settings. I envisioned the books before I ever saw any of the battlefields, and then I decided to visit these places, just to make sure I was getting it right. Lucky for me, I was!
3 – If you could write about another period, which would it be? Would it still be historical fiction or something completely different?
I have written a young adult novel about the Great Depression. The novel takes place in my hometown, Sioux City, Iowa, and is based on my great aunt and uncle. They owned a hotel downtown, and rumor has it they were in cahoots with several gangsters, including Al Capone. I would also like to write a memoir about my dad, who passed away five years ago. He always wanted to visit Ireland. My husband and I went there for our anniversary a few months after Dad died. I felt like part of me was taking the trip for Dad as well, because he never got the chance to go.
4 – What are some of the other genre’s you are interested in writing about?
I’m an Agatha Christie fan, so I would love to write a mystery/thriller. I would also like to write something fun in the chick lit genre, or possibly something about animals, like Marley and Me or Dewey.
5 – Finally, what’s next for J.D.R. Hawkins? Can we look forward to more books from you in the Renegade Series?
In June, I am publishing a nonfiction book titled Horses in Gray: Famous Confederate Warhorses. It will be published by Pelican Publishing, and is my first attempt at nonfiction. I also plan to re-release the second book in the Renegade Series, titled A Beckoning Hellfire. This book begins where A Beautiful Glittering Lie left off, and ends where the third book in the series, A Rebel Among Us, takes up. I have written the fourth book in the series, so I’m hoping to have it published next year. And then I intend to write a fifth book in the series.