J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the tag “interview”

My Author Interview Featured on Renee’s Author Spotlight

IMG_0196

Today I am the featured author on Renee’s Author Spotlight. Renee asked me some interesting questions, and highlighted my new three-book email package, the Renegade Series.

My interview with Renee is as follows.

Why did you decide to be a writer?

I’ve been a writer ever since I can remember, and have written everything from songs to poetry to short stories and novels.

What genres do you write?

Primarily historical fiction, but I have also written children’s books and a nonfiction book.

Do you have a daily word or page count goal?

Five hundred words is a basic goal. When I’m writing a book, though, I shoot for a page a day.

If you could be one of your characters for a day, who would it be and why?

I would be Anna. She is strong and strong-willed, and although she has experienced personal loss, she has big goals and dreams.

What is the most difficult thing you’ve ever researched?

Battle scenes were the toughest. It gave me nightmares! I startled awake one time after I dreamt a bullet whizzed by my head. I drew a lot of description from actual journals and diaries, so the descriptions are real.

What are your goals as an author?

I would like to be an international best seller. I would also like to write three or four more books.

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

Show don’t tell. I fall into this trap frequently, which is easy to do when writing historical fiction. It helps to have a great editor to point these issues out.

How many books do you have on your “to read” list?

I’m really behind on reading some of the best sellers. I’d like to read The Girl on the Train and A Broken Kind of Beautiful.

Do you write in first or third person, past or present tense, and why?

Mostly I write in third person, but one of my books is in first person. They are all in past tense. I thought that would be the most effective way to tell the story.

How do you come up with the titles for your books?

I don’t have a problem with coming up with titles. The first book in the Renegade Series, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, was taken from a quote a Confederate soldier wrote in regard to the Civil War, stating that it was “all a glittering lie.”

Have you ever gotten an idea for a story from something really bizarre?

I wrote a book about my great aunt and uncle, who ran a hotel in my hometown, Sioux City, during the Depression. Supposedly, there was gangster activity going on there, and money was hidden behind the wallpaper!

What inspired your current work?

Seeing the Gettysburg battlefield was awe inspiring, because I had never seen a Civil War battlefield before. It inspired me to write the first book, which turned into a series.

What was the hardest part about writing your latest book?

It was nonfiction, which I hadn’t done before on that large of a scale. There was so much research involved. It was exhausting!

Do you have any advice for other authors?

Write what you love and feel passionate about, and never give up!

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

I decided to write from the Southern perspective because it has nearly become lost to history. Slavery was an issue but it wasn’t the cause of the Civil War. I didn’t understand that because I grew up in Iowa and wasn’t told about the Southern side. So I researched it myself and discovered the truth.

Check out my entire interview here:

https://reneesauthorspotlight.blogspot.com/2017/12/the-renegade-series-beautiful.html

Advertisements

Live Radio Interview

radioad1

Last week, I was featured on ArtistFirst, a radio program that spotlights artists and authors. It’s a bit ironic that my discussion with the interviewer included the destruction and/or removal of Confederate monuments. Since then, several events have taken place in the assault against Confederate monuments. Here is a link to the interview:

http://www.artistfirst2.com/Authors-First_2017-08-08_JDR_Hawkins.mp3

 

Horses in Gray Cover

Our discussion focused on my new book, Horses in Gray. This is my first non-fiction book, and highlights Confederate warhorses. Here is the purchase link for the book:

https://www.amazon.com/Horses-Gray-Famous-Confederate-Warhorses/dp/145562327X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1503026776&sr=8-1&keywords=horses+in+gray

patreon

Please support me on Patreon. It is very similar to Kickstarter, but it is an ongoing sponsorship. I would be eternally grateful for your support! Anything you give will be rewarded with fun gifts! You can commit to as little as $1 a month. Here is the link:

https://www.patreon.com/jdrhawkins

Interview With Author Russ Colchamiro

For fans of Douglas Adams, Christopher Moore, Tom Robins, Third Rock from the Sun, Groundhog Day, Hot Tub Time Machine, and Harold & Kumar go to White Castle.

Finders Keepers (Finders Keepers #1) by Russ Colchamiro

51jp4rxg3QL._SY346_

Traversing Europe, New Zealand, and the backbone of Eternity, Finders Keepers is a raunchy, sci-fi backpacking comedy that not only tackles friendship, sex, commitment, and desire, but also God, reincarnation–and what really happened to the dinosaurs!

On a backpacking trip through Europe, Jason Medley and Theo Barnes stumble through hash bars and hangovers; religious zealots and stalkers; food poisoning and thunderstorms; cute girls; overnight trains; fever-pitch hallucinations–and the spectre of adult responsibility!

But when a jar containing the Universe’s DNA falls from Eternity, these new friends find their loyalties put to the test . . . unaware that a motley crew from another realm is chasing them across the globe, with the fate of the Milky Way hanging in the balance.

For fans of Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, Christopher Moore, Tom Robins, Third Rock from the Sun, Groundhog Day, Hot Tub Time Machine, and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

Finders Keepers is the first book in author Russ Cochamiro’s scifi comedy trilogy.

Check out the Character Illustrations

Goodreads * Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Genius de Milo (Finders Keepers #2) by Russ Colchamiro

51tbdLyKLaL._SY346_

Milo — the Universe’s Great Disruptor and ultimate gremlin — is creating havoc in the galaxy, with the Earth fluxing in and out of Existence. Which, of course, means no rest for best pals Jason Medley and Theo Barnes!

After a backpacking trip through Europe and New Zealand that — thanks to a jar of Cosmic Building Material they found — almost wiped out the galaxy once before, Theo now finds that his twin girls are teleporting, and Jason can’t tell which version of his life is real.

Joined by the mysterious Jamie — a down-and-out hotel clerk from Eternity — Jason and Theo reunite on a frantic, cross-country chase across America, praying they can retrieve that radioactive jar, circumvent Milo, and save the Earth from irrevocable disaster.

In author Russ Colchamiro’s uproarious sequel to Finders Keepers, he finally confirms what we’ve long suspected … that there’s just no de Milo quite like a Genius de Milo.

Check out the Character Illustrations

Goodreads * Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Astropalooza (Finders Keepers 3) by Russ Colchamiro

51IA03HkMQL._SY346_

Astropalooza, the greatest celebration in the Universe, is just days away. And it’ll be a party like no other — namely, the last one ever!

Backpacking pals Jason Medley and Theo Barnes have already saved the Earth — twice! — nearly obliterating themselves in the process, thanks to a missing jar of the Universe’s DNA. But things are about to get a whole lot … worse.

Because thanks to our bumbling heroes, the next Big Bang is imminent, with two massive energy waves barreling through space towards one another. When they collide, it’ll be the end of Existence as we know it.

Can Jason and Theo finally return their radioactive jar before those waves crash, wiping away the Cosmos? Can they save the Universe … again?

With Astropalooza, author Russ Colchamiro brings you the epic conclusion of his hilarious Finders Keepers trilogy. So join the party. You’ll never have so much fun going out with a Bang!

Check out the Character Illustrations

Goodreads * Amazon

About the Author

unnamed (1)

Russ Colchamiro is the author of the rollicking space adventure, Crossline, the hilarious sci-fi backpacking comedy series, Finders Keepers, Genius de Milo, and Astropalooza, and is editor of the new anthology, Love, Murder & Mayhem, all with Crazy 8 Press.

Russ lives in New Jersey with his wife, two children, and crazy dog, Simon, who may in fact be an alien himself. Russ has also contributed to several other anthologies, including Tales of the Crimson Keep, Pangaea, and Altered States of the Union, and TV Gods 2. He is now at work on a top-secret project, and a Finders Keepers spin-off.

As a matter of full disclosure, readers should not be surprised if Russ spontaneously teleports in a blast of white light followed by screaming fluorescent color and the feeling of being sucked through a tornado. It’s just how he gets around — windier than the bus, for sure, but much quicker.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

Q: What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?

A: “When you do the things you need to do when you need to do them, the day will come and you can do the things you want to do when you want to do them.” – Zig Ziglar. Zig is one of my heroes. This quote epitomizes both a practicality that applies to every walk of life, but also speaks to a trust in the greater Universe- that things will work out … if you take care of what you need to. It means being proactive in your own success. Things don’t just ‘happen.’ You have to participate.

Q: What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?

A: My wife and children. I have 7-year-old twins. A boy and a girl. My little ninjas. That we have a home filled with love, support, stability and laughter is immeasurable to me. My life isn’t perfect—far from it—and I’m not a perfect dad—far from it, but my family is my everything. That sentiment used to seem like a cliché to me. Now … it’s what matters most, by a mile.

Q: What inspires you to write and why?

A: Writing is what I do; being a writer is who I am. I simply have to write. Not writing simply isn’t an option for me.

Q: What genre are you most comfortable writing?

A: I’ve been a professional writer for more than 20 years, including as a journalist and an author, so I’m comfortable across various genres. Lately I’ve been focusing more on science fiction and fantasy, but everything I write has humor in it. I’m moving more now into crime fiction and mysteries, but the humor will always be there.

Q: What inspired you to write your first book?

A: During my early 20s I backpacked through Europe at a time when that wasn’t nearly as common as today. We’re talking 1994, so pre-Internet! I had one of those trips that in a real way changed the fabric of my life. Later, I took a two-week trip to New Zealand. I also had this wild scifi comedy concept that I was dying to explore. The two ideas—the backpacking and the scifi—fit together so well that I turned it into a 3-book series – Finders Keepers, Genius de Milo, and Astropalooza.

Q: Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it?

A: I’m now convinced of just how important it is to do ‘pre-writing’ and create outlines, like storyboarding a movie. The more I plan out the plot and sequencing of my books in advance of clacking the keys, the smoother and faster the writing process goes.  

Q: What is your greatest strength as a writer?

A: Other people tell me that I have an easily accessible style, which is intentional. My approach is to welcome readers into my worlds, help them feel comfortable, and then take them on a wild ride.

Q: Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

A: Of course! It used to frustrate me to no end. Banging desks, yelling at the Gods, etc. But now I find that motion—walking my dog, working out … and talking it out loud … usually snaps me out of it fairly quick. I find that getting stuck is a result of impatience. Sometimes the best way to speed up is to slow down. And get away from your desk.

Q: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

A: I can’t, actually! I’m working on a top secret project, but once that’s done I’ll be staring my first full-length Angela Hardwicke book. She’s a private eye in that classic Sam Spade mold. She’s appeared in three of my books so far, but it’s time for her to take center stage. It’ll be in a scifi world, but the scifi isn’t the story. It’s Hardwicke being Hardwicke, doing that private eye thing. I love this genre. My plan is stick with it for the foreseeable future.

Q: How did you come up with the titles?

A: I spend a lot of time on the titles. Sometimes they come straight from the book itself, but I always a title that grabs you and doesn’t let go. Finders Keepers, Genius de Milo, Astropalooza, Crossline, and Love, Murder & Mayhem.

Q: Who designed the covers?

A: Rich Koslowski is a good friend of mine and an award-winning comic book creator. He did the cover for Finders Keepers. My pal Roy Mauritsen has done my last three covers, and, if I’m lucky enough to keep working with him, will be doing my covers going forward.  

Q: Who is your publisher?

A: Crazy 8 Press. We’re an author’s collective. I’m a member. We have about 60 or so titles between us all, mostly scifi, fantasy, and humor. http://www.crazy8press.com

Q: What books have most influenced your life?

A: Farenheit 451, The Sirens of Titan, Lamb, Jitterbug Perfume, The Catcher in the Rye, The Great Bridge, Truman, Watchmen, Body of a Girl.

Q: What contributes to making a writer successful?

A: Each writer needs to decide for him or herself how they define ‘success.’ I can’t do that for them. For some it’s being a best seller, for others it’s simply completing a story. For others it’s somewhere in between. It’s a personal journey.  

Q: Do you have any advice for writers?

A: Write every day. Don’t worry about whether you think it’s ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ Just write. If you stick with it, you’ll start to improve, and, hopefully, improve a lot. Also … ask only a few trusted readers to review your work and provide honest feedback, with notes that you can apply. Doesn’t mean you’ll agree with that they say, or want to hear it, but if you don’t share your work with anyone, or only give it to readers who tell you what you want to hear, chances are you won’t get very far.

Q: Do you have any specific last thoughts that you want to say to your readers?

A: My books are loads of fun. If you want to have a great time, you might want to check mine out!

New Author Interview

cropped-cropped-SLogo_1000x291

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/

New Author Interview

Show-07-12-17

Recently, I was interviewed by Lorana Hoopes with Lorana Writes the World. Here is the intro to the interview:

Lorana Writes the World with Guest Author, J.D.R. Hawkins

WATCH SHOW BELOW INTRO ARTICLE

By TLBTV Show Host: Lorana Hoopes

Today’s guest Julie Hawkins, who writes as JDR Hawkins, has a fascination with the Civil War. She’s been writing since she was a little girl and she wrote the level her kids were reading while they were growing up. Once she moved to Colorado, she became fascinated with the history, but it was a contest that actually set her life on the trajectory it followed.

This contest sent her to a Civil War re-enactment field and her love for the Civil War grew and led to her series of books. Her books have even won awards from a distinguished Civil War group.

In addition to her Civil War series, she also has written a non-fiction book about Civil War horses. Her love of horses has been a part of her life for a while and led her to write a book about the horses in the Civil War. She even has some great stories about a camel, and her knowledge of History is amazing.

Even more interesting is how everything in her books just kind of fell into place for her. You’ll have to watch the discussion to find out how, and of course, check out her books, especially if you are a history buff.

To watch the podcast, check out the link below:

http://www.thelibertybeacon.com/tlbtv-lorana-writes-the-world-with-guest-author-j-d-r-hawkins/

About the Author/Host: Lorana Hoopes is  a The Liberty Beacon Project (TLB) Contributing Author and TLBTV Host. Lorana brings a solid background in education, teaching our children, as a published author, and many other talents into this project.

Read more TLB articles and see archived TLBTV shows by Lorana HERE

You can find Lorana’s Heartbeats series, newly redone to fit snugly in the Christian Romance section at The Heartbeat Collection. Her new children’s early chapter book, This Wishing Stone can be found there as well. And if you’d like a free novella, you can sign up for Lorana’s newsletter at Lorana Hoopes’s author page.

A special thanks to Lorana Hoopes for this interview.

 

 

A Beautiful Glittering Lie Featured on Podcast

ABGL B.R.A.G. Medallion

Recently, I was asked to be a guest on The Author Inside You podcast. I had a great time talking to hosts Leah and Matt Rafferty. We discussed everything from what inspired me to write my books to what my next projects are. Here is the link:

http://www.theauthorinsideyou.com/

My interview took place on June 21. The podcast is live on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play as well.

Featured in Author Interview

I was recently featured in an interview with Stephanie Hopkins of Indiebrag and Layered Pages. My novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, is the recipient of the B.R.A.G. Medallion. Here is the interview:

ABGL B.R.A.G. Medallion

Writing a story is an art in itself. Creating the right setting, the perfect characters, plot, believable dialogue and conflict. With those blended ingredients are what makes a story impact the reader’s imagination, mind and heart. The most important aspect of story-telling is to draw the reader in your character’s world. How are the stories written to do this and how does one make it work? Today, award winning B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree J.D.R. Hawkins shares with us her expertise on this.

Stephanie: What are the steps in creating a setting for your story?

J.D.R. Hawkins: Since I write about the Civil War, the settings are historically accurate. In my first book of the Renegade Series, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, the setting starts in Montgomery, Alabama, the first capital of the Confederacy, and moves with the story to various battlefields. I also chose an area in north Alabama as my protagonist’s hometown, so the story goes back and forth between north Alabama and Virginia battlefields.

Stephanie: There is a fine line between creating a visible backstory and a hidden backstory of your characters. What are the steps in balancing it out? What should you not do?

J.D.R. Hawkins: Because I have written a series, backstories become very complicated and intricately woven. Small details later resurface. One example is a buckeye that is given to the main character, David Summers, by his best friend’s father for good luck. This happens in the second book of the Renegade Series. Later on, the buckeye reappears, but this doesn’t occur until the fourth book. Another example is a peach pit that is introduced in the third book, and resurfaces in book four of the series. Visible backstories include David’s running from the law and how he deals with it after the war ends. I would avoid using too many backstories, because then it gets confusing. Some of my backstories are so subtle that it doesn’t matter if the reader doesn’t see them the first time through. They might see the backstories later on, which adds to the complexity of the story-line.

Stephanie: How much is too much conflict? And what do you do about it when it’s not working in the plot?

J.D. R. Hawkins: I think there is too much conflict when it muddies the plot and creates too much of a distraction from the story-line. I have read numerous books that get bogged down with too much conflict, and after a while, I just lose interest. Conflict is good, but it has to augment the story, not detract from it.

Stephanie: What are the steps in creating believable characters and dialogue?

J.D.R. Hawkins: For me, living in the South gave me the opportunity to learn the dialect and metaphors. I’m originally from Iowa, and lived most of my life in Colorado, so there was definitely a learning curve! I also studied speech patterns used during the 1860’s. Generally speaking, people back then spoke more eloquently than we do today.

Stephanie: What is the advice you would give to a writer when they get stuck on a specific scene or comes across a road block in their plot? 

J.D.R. Hawkins: Leave it up to your characters! If you give them a chance, they will take on personalities and assist with the plot. On numerous occasions, my characters rewrote the story to fit their personas. I also try to envision different scenarios for the plot, and usually come up with three or four different ideas. Then I chose the one that fits the story most accurately, and also complies with historical accuracy.

About Author: 

J.D.R. Hawkins is an award-winning author who has written for newspapers, magazines, newsletters, e-zines, and blogs. She is one of a few female Civil War authors, uniquely describing 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, and A Beckoning Hellfire, which is also an award winner. Both 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, the Mississippi Writers Guild, Pikes Peak Writers, and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. She is also an artist and singer/songwriter. Recently, she completed a nonfiction book about the War Between the States, as well as two more sequels for the Renegade Series. Learn more about her at www.jdrhawkins.com.

indiebrag-sunny-banner-1

New Author Interview

Last week I was interviewed by IndieBrag about my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, as well as my writing process. The interview is as follows:

ABGL Medium

Ingredients In Story-Telling That Impact A Reader’s Imagination

SUBSCRIBE

Stephanie Hopkins

May 26, 2017

Writing a story is an art in itself. Creating the right setting, the perfect characters, plot, believable dialogue and conflict. With those blended ingredients are what makes a story impact the reader’s imagination, mind and heart. The most important aspect of story-telling is to draw the reader in your character’s world. How are the stories written to do this and how does one make it work? Today, award winning B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree J.D.R. Hawkins shares with us her expertise on this.

Stephanie: What are the steps in creating a setting for your story?

J.D.R. Hawkins: Since I write about the Civil War, the settings are historically accurate. In my first book of the Renegade Series, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, the setting starts in Montgomery, Alabama, the first capital of the Confederacy, and moves with the story to various battlefields. I also chose an area in north Alabama as my protagonist’s hometown, so the story goes back and forth between north Alabama and Virginia battlefields.

Stephanie: There is a fine line between creating a visible backstory and a hidden backstory of your characters. What are the steps in balancing it out? What should you not do?

J.D.R. Hawkins: Because I have written a series, backstories become very complicated and intricately woven. Small details later resurface. One example is a buckeye that is given to the main character, David Summers, by his best friend’s father for good luck. This happens in the second book of the Renegade Series. Later on, the buckeye reappears, but this doesn’t occur until the fourth book. Another example is a peach pit that is introduced in the third book, and resurfaces in book four of the series. Visible backstories include David’s running from the law and how he deals with it after the war ends. I would avoid using too many backstories, because then it gets confusing. Some of my backstories are so subtle that it doesn’t matter if the reader doesn’t see them the first time through. They might see the backstories later on, which adds to the complexity of the story-line.

Stephanie: How much is too much conflict? And what do you do about it when it’s not working in the plot?

J.D. R. Hawkins: I think there is too much conflict when it muddies the plot and creates too much of a distraction from the story-line. I have read numerous books that get bogged down with too much conflict, and after a while, I just lose interest. Conflict is good, but it has to augment the story, not detract from it.

Stephanie: What are the steps in creating believable characters and dialogue?

J.D.R. Hawkins: For me, living in the South gave me the opportunity to learn the dialect and metaphors. I’m originally from Iowa, and lived most of my life in Colorado, so there was definitely a learning curve! I also studied speech patterns used during the 1860’s. Generally speaking, people back then spoke more eloquently than we do today.

Stephanie: What is the advice you would give to a writer when they get stuck on a specific scene or comes across a road block in their plot? 

J.D.R. Hawkins: Leave it up to your characters! If you give them a chance, they will take on personalities and assist with the plot. On numerous occasions, my characters rewrote the story to fit their personas. I also try to envision different scenarios for the plot, and usually come up with three or four different ideas. Then I chose the one that fits the story most accurately, and also complies with historical accuracy.

J.D.R. Hawkins

About Author: 

J.D.R. Hawkins is an award-winning author who has written for newspapers, magazines, newsletters, e-zines, and blogs. She is one of a few female Civil War authors, uniquely describing 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, and A Beckoning Hellfire, which is also an award winner. Both 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, the Mississippi Writers Guild, Pikes Peak Writers, and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. She is also an artist and singer/songwriter. Recently, she completed a nonfiction book about the War Between the States, as well as two more sequels for the Renegade Series. Learn more about her at www.jdrhawkins.com

https://www.bragmedallion.com/blog/ingredients-story-telling-impact-readers-imagination/

 

Author Interview With Foundations Books, LLC

51363666 - books, key to knowledge

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

ABGL Medium

ARAU Large

 

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/

ARAU Large

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!

Post Navigation