J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the tag “writing”

Guest Post Article

The following is a guest post written by Melissa Chan of Literary Book Gifts.

man writing a contract

Pen and Pad or Laptop? Why the Platform You Write On Matters

It is undeniable that much of writing takes place brainstorming, jotting down ideas on fragments of paper, or just working through plots and characters in one’s mind. But when it comes down to getting the words on paper and into a cohesive draft, there are plenty of different ways in which this task can be accomplished. In recent years smartphones and other writing software have the ability to replace even the classic blank page document. Digital computers and the technology within them has come a long way and really made an impact on the ways it is possible to write.

It can be easy to say, “well this doesn’t matter, writing is simply one’s ideas and the way in which you get them out of your head into a book is not of any consequence.” But I’m not entirely sure this is true. Here are a few reasons why I think the platform you write on matters, perhaps they will help you consider how you write and how it might affect your finished work.

The interface

I am personally a fan of paper over the laptop. I’ve not written anything of substance just yet, but on the occasions that I have tried it to do so, I have had much more success with pen to paper. With ink and unlined paper I am seemingly able to get my ideas out faster. Although this may appear counterintuitive since like most people I can type at a much faster rate than I can write with a pen, it is something that works for me. The digital interface doesn’t allow for arrows, scribbling out parts of sentences while leave traces of what was left behind, or doodles on the edges. New writing programs may have advanced features such as notes in the margins, and embedded in-line notes but none compare to the simple ease of pen to paper.

How you write dictates where you write

There are definitely advantages of the laptop or other digital forms of writing. As I mentioned before, typing speed is a given. The computer can check your spelling and grammar as you write. It can also store thousands of pages of research and writings that you can quickly search through on demand. Instead of an entire library of notes, the laptop’s database can be accessed from a coffee shop, on vacation, or even miles above the ground on an airplane. Writing on paper can be portable. Notebooks of course can be carried everywhere and don’t require electricity to work. This I suppose depends on the need of an individual writer. Sitting on a park bench writing in a notebook is a much more different experience than a laptop, even on that same park bench. For those who write on a monitor with full keyboard and mouse at home, a notebook is perhaps the only way that they will be able to write out of the house.

In Conclusion

Before the rise of technology, authors had limited options for writing platforms. I wouldn’t be surprised if many contemporary authors elect to write directly on the computer because of it’s many benefits which include speed and efficiency. The platform in which an author writes is by no means as important as the writing itself, but as I am always interested in craft, and the human experience of creating art, it’s a question I have contemplated over the years. My conclusion is that the means of art creation does have an impact on the final outcome of any work of art, and that certainly includes literature.

I hope that some of my thoughts on writing platforms help you consider the way in which you write and how that influences your work as an author. Thank you so much for listening.

Melissa Chan is an occasional writer and the founder of Literary Book Gifts, a virtual gift shop for book lovers, readers, and writers. The store features authors and titles from classic books for all to appreciate.

How do you get your ideas into a finished book? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

(Special thanks to Melissa Chan for this article.)

 

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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!

Books On Tour

My books are officially on tour! I have pasted the post below, and will be sharing blog posts with you for the next few weeks. Please like and share. I would really appreciate it!

Thursday, 1 December 2016

#TourKickOff :: A Rebel Among Us (Renegade #3) by J.D.R.Hawkins

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?

Buy Links:
Goodreads * Amazon

Excerpt:

Chapter One

“Anna!”

She dropped the darning in her lap. Her sister called her name again, this time with more urgency. Springing from the rocker, Anna ran from the room and scurried down the wooden staircase.

Maggie clung to the newel post. “There’s someone in the barn!”

“Who is it?” Anna asked, but her younger sister was already racing from the house with a lantern in her hand.

Anna followed her out the back door, lifted her ankle-length skirt, and hurried across the dark barnyard. She entered the warm, musty building.

The lantern’s glow illuminated the barn’s interior. A saddled, spotted steed stood nearby, its eyes an eerie, glowing, brownish-green. The horse snorted and stomped. Something in the corner moaned.

Anna’s heart skipped a beat. Stifling a scream, she clamped her hand over her mouth to suffocate the sound.

“He’s over there,” Maggie said and pointed at a heap in the corner.

Anna squinted in the dim, flickering light. She cautiously made her way over. Her sisters and Claudia, the little girl they were in charge of, followed so closely behind they all seemed to be attached.

“Stay back, Abigail,” Anna commanded. “You too, Claudia.”

“Who is he, Anna?” Abigail asked.

“I don’t know,” she replied. “But he’s bleeding.” Anna drew closer.

The stranger’s horse snorted threateningly, but allowed her to advance.

The interloper moaned. He opened his eyes and gazed around at them, either confused, delirious, or both. “Please,” he groaned, nearly in a whisper, “please, can y’all help me?”

The girls stood frozen, looking down at their quandary.

Anna came to her senses. “Come on, Maggie,” She kneeled down beside the young man. “Help me get him inside.”

Maggie failed to react. “I don’t think we should touch him.”

Anna glared at her, forcing Maggie to give in under her stare and pull him up. Anna reached around his other side. The soldier cried out in pain. Balancing the young man between them, they made their way out of the barn and past the sentry steed.

“Girls,” Anna called out over her shoulder, “give that horse some hay, lock him in, and bring the lantern.”

Staggering toward the house in the dark, Anna and Maggie dragged the weak man across the barnyard toward the house. Two dogs, one a black-and-white sheepdog, the other a sable collie, approached to sniff at the stranger.

“Colby,” Maggie hollered in annoyance. “Floyd! Go lay down.”

The dogs scurried off into the dark.

Entering through the back door, Maggie asked, “Where are we going with him?”

“Upstairs to Father’s bedchamber,” Anna replied.

Maggie’s eyes widened, but she complied.

The sisters made their way through the kitchen and struggled to hoist the man up the long wooden flight of stairs. Abigail and Claudia ran into the kitchen and followed the others upstairs. At the top, Anna opened a bedroom door. Its hinges squeaked loudly. They led the wounded stranger over to the four-poster bed. Carefully, they eased him down, lifted his legs, and gently swung him up onto it. The young man moaned in agony.

“He’s too long for the bed,” Claudia commented.

Anna noticed his feet hung over the end. She quickly turned to light a kerosene lamp on the bedside table while Maggie pulled the windows open to let out the hot, stale air. Flickering lamplight illuminated the soldier’s condition. The front of his shirt and his right trouser leg were soaked with blood. Anna’s heart clenched.

“Oh,” Claudia exclaimed at the sight. “He’s all leaky.”

Abigail pulled her long, blonde hair back from her face and drew closer to him. “Eew!” She pinched her nose shut with her thumb and forefinger. “He smells like a horse!”

Claudia giggled at the sound of her friend’s voice.

“Abigail,” Anna said. “Go downstairs and boil some water. Claudia, please fill that pitcher on the dresser and bring it back up with the prongs, a long knife, and some clean towels. Go quickly!”

The two girls scampered off downstairs. Their feet thumped like sticks on a snare drum.

“Maggie, help me remove these filthy clothes from him,” Anna said.

“Do we have to?”

“Yes.” Anna was reminded of how she had tended to their ailing father not so very long ago. The recollection made her shudder.

Both sisters gingerly lifted him. They pulled off his shirt, boots, socks, and belt. Anna noticed the letters “CSA” embossed on his belt buckle.

“Anna.” Maggie’s voice caught on her breath. “He’s a…Rebel soldier.”

Pursing her lips, Anna nodded. “He must have come from the battle at Gettysburg. “But that’s over ten miles away. How could he have made it this far in his condition?”

The girls exchanged cautionary glances. They carefully set his gun and holster on the floor and removed his trousers, but left him with his drawers for modesty’s sake. Anna passed the limp, frail soldier to her sister, and thought he felt like an oblong sack of potatoes. He fell back onto the bed and moaned again.

Anna’s heart ached at the sound of his agony. Stifling a sob, she covered him with a sheet. “Fetch two large needles and some heavy thread.”

Maggie winced but did as she was told.

Looking down at the failing soldier, Anna summoned her strength. It was all too sudden and overwhelming, but she had to be strong—for herself and her sisters. “You’re going to be all right, sir,” she comforted him.

The soldier opened his eyes and tried to speak. She understood he was asking for water.

Claudia returned with the supplies. Anna took them from her and laid them on top of the dresser. She poured the pitcher’s cold well-water into the glass and porcelain bowl. After dipping a towel into the bowl, she placed it across the suffering soldier’s brow and helped him take a sip of water. He faintly smiled at her.

About the 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, A Beckoning Hellfire, and A Rebel Among Us. All three novels are award winners, and 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, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, and Pikes Peak Writers. She is also an artist and singer/songwriter. Ms. Hawkins is currently working on a nonfiction book about the War Between the States, as well as another sequel to her series.
Contact the Author: 
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest * Goodreads * Amazon

Other Books in the Series:

 
(Click on the Cover for more details)
 
Tour Hosts:
(Submissions close in 22d 3h 2m)

Thursday, 24 November 2016

#TourAnnouncement :: A Rebel Among Us (Renegade #3) by J.D.R.Hawkins

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?

Buy Links:
Goodreads * Amazon

About the 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, A Beckoning Hellfire, and A Rebel Among Us. All three novels are award winners, and 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, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, and Pikes Peak Writers. She is also an artist and singer/songwriter. Ms. Hawkins is currently working on a nonfiction book about the War Between the States, as well as another sequel to her series.
Contact the Author: 
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest * Goodreads * Amazon

Other Books in the Series:

(Click on the Cover for more details)
Sign Up HERE!
 

Life Gets in the Way

 

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It seems my life as an author has been dealt more challenges than most. The latest episode was having to move the week after my new novel, A Rebel Among Us, was published. It wasn’t a simple move, either. My husband and I left South Dakota to return to our beloved Colorado, and we are so happy we did.

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This move has postponed my marketing efforts to a degree, but still, good things keep happening. Just last week, I received a five-star review, and today, I got my first royalty check!

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To me, persistence is the key. Although this big transition has slowed me down temporarily, I am still writing and formulating decisive efforts in order to get my book out there. Please feel free to contact me about my move, my novel, or just writing in general. I’m looking for reviews, so if you’re interested, let me know! Thanks again for your continued support.

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https://www.amazon.com/Rebel-Among-Us-J-D-R-Hawkins/dp/1537167871/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1476224050&sr=8-1&keywords=a+rebel+among+us

More Cool Videos!

Hi y’all. Since I’m still working on a submission for my writing class, I will entertain you with a couple more videos that I took while at the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg reenactment. I hope you like them!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQC8_RHc30g

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJOTMxM9EDk

Exciting Videos!

Hi everyone,

Since I’m in a writing class this week, I’m going to cheat on my blog by posting some more videos of the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg reenactment. Hope you enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-WhmxQ2-sE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8i8cdM2sw_I

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vjnMdX7GGU

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