J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Archive for the tag “historical romance”

New Author Interview

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Last week, I was featured on a blog called Arvenig.it. Here is the interview.

Hi everyone!
This is the eighteenth post of my featuring authors series. Today I’m going to feature J.D.R. Hawkins that has written A Beautiful, Glittering Lie (I love this title so much!), A Beckoning Hellfire: A Novel of the Civil War and A Rebel Among Us! In this post there will be a bio about the author and one of her books, an interview and a giveaway!

1238370About J.D.R. Hawkins:

J.D.R. Hawkins is an award-winning author who has written for newspapers, magazines, newsletters, e-zines, and blogs. She is one of only a few female Civil War authors, and uniquely describes the front lines from a Confederate perspective. Her Renegade Series includes A Beautiful Glittering Lie, winner of the John Esten Cooke Fiction Award and the B.R.A.G. Medallion, A Beckoning Hellfire, which is also an award winner, and A Rebel Among Us, which has just been published. These books tell the story of a family from north Alabama who experience immeasurable pain when their lives are dramatically changed by the war. Ms. Hawkins is a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the International Women’s Writing Guild, Pikes Peak Writers, and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. She is also an artist and singer/songwriter. She is currently working on a nonfiction book about the War Between the States, as well as another sequel for the Renegade Series.

website | goodreads | Patreon | twitter | facebook

 

32046971About the book A Rebel Among Us:

After David Summers enlists with the Confederate cavalry, his delusion of chivalry is soon crushed when he witnesses the horrors of battle. Shot by a Union picket, he winds up at a stranger’s farm. Four girls compassionately nurse him back to health. David learns his comrades have deserted him in Pennsylvania following the Battle of Gettysburg, but his dilemma becomes much worse. He falls in love with the older sister, Anna, who entices him with a proposition. To his dismay, he must make a decision. Should he stay and help Anna with her underhanded plan, or return to the army and risk capture?

goodreads | amazon

Interview

Arvenig: Tell us a little about yourself and your background!
J.D.R. Hawkins: I am an award-winning author, and have written for various publications. My series about the Civil War, the Renegade Series, includes A Beautiful Glittering Lie, winner of the John Esten Cooke Fiction Award and the B.R.A.G. Medallion, A Beckoning Hellfire, slated for re-publication this fall, and A Rebel Among Us, recipient of the 2017 John Esten Cooke Fiction Award. I am a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the International Women’s Writing Guild, Pikes Peak Writers, and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. I am also a singer and songwriter. My nonfiction book, Horses in Gray: Famous Confederate Warhorses, will be released this July.

A.: When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?
J.: 
 I have been writing since I was little, and started out with songs and poetry. From there, I graduated to short stories, children’s books, young adult novels, and finally, full-length books. Being a writer wasn’t a realization in my case. I just evolved into one.

A.: Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
J.: Primarily that love conquers all, even when things couldn’t be any worse.

A.: What are you working on at the moment?
J.: I am working on the fourth novel in the Renegade Series as well as a young adult novel about Prohibition.

A.: Any last thoughts for our readers?
J.: I would love to hear from your readers! I am always looking for people interested in reviewing my books (I will provide free e-books). Please feel free to contact me about any questions you might have via my website. Also, please follow my blog, and my Patreon page.

Click on the link below to enter the giveaway and win a free ebook of A Rebel Among Us!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d10d23f924/

To read the entire interview, click on the following link:

http://www.arvenig.it/blog/fa-18/

A Rebel Among Us Wins John Esten Cooke Fiction Award

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I am so honored to announce that my novel, A Rebel Among Us, is the 2017 recipient of the John Esten Cooke Fiction Award. This award is given by the Military Order of the Stars and Bars. The MOSB was founded in 1938 to honor works of military literature concentrating on the Confederate perspective.

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This is the second time I have won the prestigious award. From what I was told, I am the only person to have received the award twice. My novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, won the award in 2013.

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Thank you so much for the honor, MOSB. I can’t tell you how humbled I am to have received this award twice.

Author Interview With Foundations Books, LLC

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I was very honored to be the guest author this week in my publisher’s newsletter. Foundations Books, LLC is a small publisher that has grown substantially over the past year. They have a remarkable team of very talented people who edit, create and promote each book they publish. My interview is as follows:

Author Spotlight
J.D.R. Hawkins
The Renegade Series

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Historical Fiction Author J.D.R. Hawkins

J.D.R. Hawkins is an award-winning author who has written for newspapers, magazines, newsletters, e-zines, and blogs. She is a member of the International Women’s Writing Guild, the Mississippi Writers Guild, Rocky Mountain Writers, and Pikes Peak Writers. She is also an artist and a singer/songwriter. Her two previous novels, A Beautiful Glittering Lie and A Beckoning Hellfire, have received numerous honors and awards. 

Ms. Hawkins is currently working on a nonfiction book about the Civil War, as well as another novel in the Renegade Series.

Learn more about her here 

 

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.

 

Look for her upcoming novel, A Beckoning Hellfire, due out later this year.

Interview with Author – J.D.R. Hawkins

By Book Goodies Leave a Comment

J.D.R. Hawkins
About J.D.R. Hawkins:
J.D.R. Hawkins is an award-winning author who has written for newspapers, magazines, newsletters, e-zines, and blogs. She is one of only a few female Civil War authors, and uniquely describes the front lines from a Confederate perspective. Her Renegade Series includes A Beautiful Glittering Lie, winner of the John Esten Cooke Fiction Award and the B.R.A.G. Medallion, A Beckoning Hellfire, which is also an award winner, and A Rebel Among Us, recipient of the 2017 John Esten Cooke Fiction Award. These books tell the story of a family from north Alabama who experience immeasurable pain when their lives are dramatically changed by the war. Ms. Hawkins is a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the International Women’s Writing Guild, Pikes Peak Writers, and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. She is also an artist and singer/songwriter. Her nonfiction book about the War Between the States is slated for publication in June. She is also working on another sequel for the Renegade Series.

What inspires you to write?
I’m inspired by many things, but most specifically, by the people I meet, personal experiences, and things that interest me.

Tell us about your writing process.
On average, each novel takes about six months to research and six months to write. Once I have the basic storyline figured out, I draw up an outline of the overall book and break it down by chapters.

For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
All the time! My characters all have minds of their own. They have changed the story line many times, as well as what I imagined their dialogue to be. I don’t really talk to them, but they sure do talk to me!

What advice would you give other writers?
Always strive to improve your craft and never give up. It’s easy to get discouraged when you receive reject letters. One author I know said he wallpapered his bathroom with them. Keep a good sense of humor and don’t let negative criticism get to you.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
I originally self-published my first two books because it gave me the opportunity to learn more about the industry, and I had more control over the books’ content and covers. But then I found an online publisher that provided free editing services. Unfortunately, they folded, so I went with an upstart small publisher, Foundations, LLC. They are publishing all of the books in the Renegade Series. My nonfiction book is being published by Pelican Publishing. I don’t currently have an agent but I would be open to the idea.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I believe e-books are very convenient and economical, but I know a lot of people who prefer physical books as well. With the advent of self-publishing, I think many more talented authors will have the opportunity to see their efforts come to fruition.

What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers

What genres do you write?: historical fiction, historical romance, suspense, military/war, drama

What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print

Website(s)
J.D.R. Hawkins Home Page Link
Link To J.D.R. Hawkins Page On Amazon
Link to Author Page on other site

Your Social Media Links
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn
Instagram

To see the entire interview visit https://bookgoodies.com/interview-with-author-j-d-r-hawkins-2/

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Also, A Rebel Among Us was featured on Book Goodies as well. Here is the link: https://bookgoodies.com/a-rebel-among-us-by-j-d-r-hawkins/

Thanks for your support! Please feel free to contact me and voice your comments!

My Interview Is Featured on Renee’s Author Spotlight

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This is a quick update as to what I’ve been up to during the past few days. My new interview is featured on Renee’s Author Spotlight. Here is the link:

http://reneesauthorspotlight.blogspot.com/2017/05/a-rebel-among-us-by-jdr-hawkins.html

Also, for this week only, A Beautiful Glittering Lie (the first book in the Renegade Series), is only 99 cents for e-books. This is super cheap, so take advantage of the sale price before it goes up next week!

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-beautiful-glittering-lie-j-d-r-hawkins/1106031641?ean=2940154129395

Thanks again for your support! I really appreciate your patronage! A Beautiful Glittering Lie will be re-released next Monday, so pre-order your copy today!

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/717436

A Rebel Among Us Wins Top Award

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I’m thrilled to announce that my latest novel, A Rebel Among Us, has been chosen as this year’s recipient of the John Esten Cooke Fiction Award. This prestigious award is given by the Military Order of the Stars and Bars. The MOSB was founded in 1938 “to honor the Confederate Officer Corps and the government officials of the Confederacy.” You can read more about the organization here:

http://www.militaryorderofthestarsandbars.org/

This award is so exclusive that it isn’t given out every year, but only if the MOSB deems a novel worthy of winning. I was fortunate to have received the award in 2013 for my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie. You can check out the award ceremony here:

http://www.militaryorderofthestarsandbars.org/john-esten-cooke-fiction-award-2012/

I would like to humbly thank the MOSB for bestowing this honor upon me. And thank you for your ongoing support!

Another Five-Star Review for A Rebel Among Us!

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I am so excited to announce that my new novel, A Rebel Among Us, has received another five-star review! Here it is in its entirety:

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers’ Favorite

A Rebel Among Us by J.D.R. Hawkins is a Civil War novel with a powerful setting, great and compelling characters, and a plot that leaves readers no chance to put down the story, even for a moment. After the bloody battle of Gettysburg, the Confederates are badly beaten. Hit by a Union picket, David Summers is carried away on a horse to a Pennsylvania farmhouse where he is received and treated by a teenage girl, Anna Brady, and her three sisters. To his great dismay, David learns that his comrades have deserted, but what is more painful is what is happening to him — he is falling in love very fast with Anna. Anna has an unusual proposition for him and he finds himself in a dilemma: should he return to the army or follow through with her plan?

J.D.R. Hawkins has written a story that is as intriguing as it is gripping and there is just no way for the reader not to fall for the well-developed and interesting characters. The setting is wonderful, the Civil War period with many historical references. The plot is well-imagined and expertly executed and the reader feels as though the action is taking place before their eyes. The reader is hooked from the very beginning of the story. When Maggie calls her sister with urgency, telling her someone is in the barn, the reader becomes very curious to know who it is, what he wants, and… yes, there are many questions. The writing is stellar, laced with beautiful, vivid, and compelling descriptions. I love writers who don’t waste words and Hawkins happens to be one of those. She handles the conflict expertly and the different themes, including love, war, and humanity, are beautifully woven into the fabric of the tale. There is a lot that readers will love about this novel, from the gripping plot to the masterful writing, from the conflict to the satisfying finish; they will find A Rebel Among Us to be highly entertaining. One of the best books I have read this year.

An Interview With My Character

I was recently interviewed with The Librarian Talks. This time, I opted to do something I haven’t done before – give an interview as one of my characters. So I chose the main character of the Renegade Series, David Summers. Part of the interview is as follows.

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David, tell us about yourself.

Well, I’m from Morgan County, Alabama, which ain’t too far from Huntsville. I grew up on my kinfolk’s farm with my ma, pa, and two younger sisters. My pa died at the Battle of Fredericksburg last December. So I decided to jine up last spring with General J.E.B. Stuart’s cavalry. My best friend, Jake, jined up with me, but he got killed at the Battle of Chancellorsville. My regiment was chosen to come up here to Pennsylvania. We fought at Gettysburg, and I lost a few friends. Reckon I’m mighty tired of war now, but I still want to see the South win so’s I can go back home.

How old are you?

Eighteen.

What happened after the Battle of Gettysburg?

Somethin’ right strange. I was on picket duty when I came across a Yankee sentry. We shot at each other. I won. But he got a bead on me. My horse, Renegade, bolted and ran for miles. I couldn’t hold him because a rein was severed and I’d lost my footing out of the stirrup. He finally came across a farm and went inside the barn. By then, I was gettin’ dizzy and I fell out of the saddle. It wasn’t long before I heard voices comin’ from the farmhouse.

Then what happened?

I recall some girls comin’ to my aid. They carried me into the house. I’d been shot in the shoulder and stabbed in the leg, so they stitched me up. Before I blacked out, I heard them talkin’ ‘bout whether or not they should turn me in or let me die and feed me to the hogs.

How terrible! I’m glad to see that didn’t happen!

Me, too.

To read the full interview, please go to:

https://thelibrariantalks.wordpress.com/2017/03/06/an-interview-with-private-david-summers-protagonist-of-j-d-r-hawkins-the-renegade-series/

My Patreon community is growing! Please check it out! I will post a video explaining the concept later this week on my Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/jdrhawkins/

In the meantime, you can check it out here:

https://www.patreon.com/jdrhawkins

I’m in need of donors and would really appreciate your patronage, so please consider sponsoring me. Thank you all for your support!

I Have New Patrons!

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I’m so excited to announce the launch of my brand new Patreon page. And I already have some new patrons! Thanks to everyone who has supported me so far. Here’s a video that explains more about what Patreon does.

I really hope you’ll find it in your heart to support me. It takes a lot to get published, let alone market, sell and promote books, so I hope you will check out my Patreon page. Any little bit helps. Thanks so much!

https://www.patreon.com/jdrhawkins

Author Spotlight by Yours Truly

My novel, A Rebel Among Us, was featured yesterday on Renee’s Author Spotlight. Here is the post.

A Rebel Among Us by J.D.R. Hawkins

J.D.R. Hawkins is an award-winning author who has written for newspapers, magazines, newsletters, e-zines, and blogs. She is one of only a few female Civil War authors, and uniquely describes the front lines from a Confederate perspective.

Her Renegade Series includes A Beautiful Glittering Lie, winner of the John Esten Cooke Fiction Award and the B.R.A.G. Medallion, A Beckoning Hellfire, which is also an award winner, and A Rebel Among Us, which has just been published. These books tell the story of a family from north Alabama who experience immeasurable pain when their lives are dramatically changed by the war.

Ms. Hawkins is a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the International Women’s Writing Guild, Pikes Peak Writers, and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. She is also an artist and singer/songwriter. She is currently working on a nonfiction book about the War Between the States, as well as another sequel for the Renegade Series. Learn more about her at http://jdrhawkins.com.

Connect with the Author

About the Book

After David Summers enlists with the Confederate cavalry, his delusion of chivalry is soon crushed when he witnesses the horrors of battle. Shot by a Union picket, he winds up at a stranger’s farm. Four girls compassionately nurse him back to health. David learns his comrades have deserted him in Pennsylvania following the Battle of Gettysburg, but his dilemma becomes much worse. He falls in love with the older sister, Anna, who entices him with a proposition. To his dismay, he must make a decision. Should he stay and help Anna with her underhanded plan, or return to the army and risk capture?

Get it today on Amazon and Smashwords!

Keep reading for an interview with the author:
When did you start writing?

I began writing when I was very young, and started out with songs and poems. From there, I advanced to children’s picture books (I did my own artwork) and novels. I developed an interest in the Civil War when I took a trip to Gettysburg. That trip made a profound impression on me and gave me the inspiration to write the Renegade Series.

What is the biggest obstacle you face as an author and what do you do to overcome it?

Finding time to write. It’s difficult because my latest novel, A Rebel Among Us, just came out, so I’m spending a lot of time promoting it.

Does your family support you in your writing, or are you on your own?

My family supports me 100 percent. My oldest son has read all my manuscripts and edited them, my mom has read my books and helped me research them, and my husband has accompanied me to many book signings and events.

What is the best compliment you’ve ever received as an author?

That my books are very well written.

Have you ever had a particularly harsh critique? How did you handle it?

I had one guy give me grief at a book signing because I didn’t know that much about the Navy during the Civil War. I tried to explain that I hadn’t researched that part of it because the Navy isn’t in any of my stories, but he got mad anyway and huffed off. All I could do was shrug.

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t take criticism personally.

What do you enjoy doing aside from writing?

I am also a singer/songwriter, so I enjoy playing and performing. I also like to travel and spend time in the mountains.

If you were stranded on a deserted island, and you could only have five books with you, what would they be?

The Bible, Gone With the Wind, and my three books so I could continue writing the series and not forget any details!

How many books do you have on your “to read” list? What are some of them?

The Girl on the Train, Harry Potter books (I haven’t read any), and a book a friend asked me to read for a review, titled Henry’s Pride.

What is your writing process?

Each book takes me, on average, six months to research and six months to write. I like to listen to Civil War music when I write, because it helps put me in that time period.

Do you write about real life experiences, or does everything come from your imagination?

I combine both. In A Rebel Among Us, there is a scene where the main character, David Summers, cups his hands and whistles to make it sound like a mourning dove. My dad taught me how to do that when I was a little girl.

Do you ever base your characters on people you know?

Yes. I based the main character, David Summers, and his best friend, Jake, on my son and his best friend. I also combine characters with real people in my life, and take certain aspects of people’s personalities to create a character.

Have you ever gotten an idea for a story from something really bizarre? Tell us about it.

In A Rebel Among Us, the main character, David Summers, looks up at the night sky and watches the clouds morph into what he perceives to be the devil. This actually happened to me one night.

What was the hardest part about writing your latest book?

Describing the prison camp scenes. These were all taken from actual accounts and journals the prisoners wrote. To understand that these terrible atrocities really happened is heartbreaking.

Do you have anything specific you’d like to say to your readers?

I chose to write about the Civil War because this era is so fascinating to me. The country was mixed up on its views. It wasn’t just black and white, or north and south. I hope that, by reading my novels, my readers will learn something about the war they didn’t know before, and hopefully feel compassion for the characters.

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