Hi, Betty. Welcome to the Dames of Dialogue. Tell us about your latest book, “BROKEN SILENCE #15 OF THE HAWKMAN SERIES”
Annie and Babs Smith, along with their dog, Lucy, are being held hostage. Detective Chandler and his officers, along with Hawkman, trek through the wooded hills in search of the group to no avail. With the help of Hawkman’s new friend Harmon, and his helicopter, they are able to corner the group… but will that be enough to end the trauma?
When you’re writing, who’s in control, you or the characters?
I might have control for the first 3 or 4 chapters, but as soon as the characters are cast, they take over. There’s no way I can gain control unless I quit and start a new book. However, I thoroughly enjoy the take over as it’s always fun to see where they’re going to lead me.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve dabbled in writing most of my life, but didn’t get serious until the last thirty-five years. The first book of the ‘Hawkman Series’- “THE ENEMY STALKS” took me approximately seven years to complete and many rewrites before I submitted it to a small e-book publisher. This person gave me a fabulous critique; told me to go back to the computer, fix it, then resubmit.. Which I did and found myself a published author within a year. What a thrill. Before I found this publisher, I had a very bad experience with a fraudulent one. Along with several other writers, we were able to drum this bunch off the internet. I no more got settled with my new publisher and had written several more books for the ‘Hawkman Series’, when he announced he was going to have to quit because he needed to work a full time job to support his family and couldn’t do his authors justice. So I was off and running to find another publisher. It wasn’t easy, as I had a series fully developed and adding volumes. What publisher would want me? I lucked out and Deb Staples of SynergEbooks took me under her wing; lock, stock and barrel. I’ve been with her ever since, and stayed very happy.
What is your strongest and/or your weakest area in the creative process?
I find working on the first chapters and the end of my book are my strongest areas. The middle of my book, which should hold my readers with tension and suspense; I slow down and occasionally stumble. Knowing this I pay special attention to this section.
How many hours a day do you write, where, any specific circumstances help or hurt your process?
My hours of writing vary. There are days that I have other things on my agenda-like housework, or I may spend hours marketing. If I do settle in on writing I usually spend anywhere from 3 to 8 hours at the computer in my office. I like it quiet, no music and (if possible, no interruptions).
How do you classify yourself as a writer? Fiction or non-fiction? Specific genre such as mystery, short story, paranormal or more general such as women’s fiction, Appalachian, etc.
I’m a fiction writer of Mystery/Suspense. I love the challenge of plotting scenes.
Where do you get your ideas?
The ‘Hawkman Series’ was born at Copco Lake. This is a lake nestled in the hills of Northern California, We have a home located on the bank where the Klamath River dumps into this body of water. The surrounding area is covered in forest and sparsely populated. Many colorful characters live in the log cabins and shacks scattered through the woods. If you listen carefully the stories are bountiful. An active imagination can take bits and pieces and run with them. Many stories have evolved from this practice and I have many more developing in my mind.
Any family influences? Memoirs in the making?
My whole family has encouraged me from the very beginning not only to write a book, but once I did, they read them. Since I’m a mystery/suspense writer, I have no desire to write memoirs. I will pick out life experiences and use them in my stories, which are fun, especially with my grandma and grandpa who lived on a farm and were poor as church mice.
Have you bought an e-reader? What is your overall impression of electronic publishing?
Yes, I have a Kindle and love it. Electronic publishing is wonderful. I’ve always said that one day we’d be reading books on our cell phones, and we are. Great way to get younger kids into a reading habit. They were practically born with a reader in their hands. I think e-books are a boon for all of us.
How do your characters “come” to you? Are they based loosely or closely on people you know?
Hawkman, my protagonist in the ‘Hawkman Series’, was in my head for years before I finally put him on paper. Other characters were figments of my imagination, and I’m sure they have mannerisms I’ve observed in other people. I love doing the colorful personalities of the extras in my stories. Some were eccentric, others odd looking with idiosyncrasies.
Are you in a critique group? If so, how does it work and specifically how do the members help your writing?
Yes. The group is very diverse. I’m very weak in grammar and without the help of some of the members, I’d never get published. They are also excellent in catching typos and sequence problems.
12-What’s your attitude toward the standard advice: write what you know?
I have no problem with ‘write what you know’, as long as you’re willing to do research on things you don’t know. No one person can know everything, so regardless of whether you’re writing fiction or non-fiction, you’ll need to spend time looking things up. You want your information to be as accurate as possible.
HAWKMAN SERIES (urls for each book)
STAND ALONE THRILLERS