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, 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
What inspires you to write?
I have always been interested in the Victorian Era and the Civil War. When I grew up in Iowa, I wondered why every Southern soldier would fight to preserve slavery, because that’s what I was taught. Come to find out, that wasn’t the case. I decided to tell a story from the Southern perspective. One book grew into two, which grew into a series. I’m inspired to write about things I never knew before, because I love to learn.
Tell us about your writing process.
I primarily write from an outline, although I have written by the seat of my pants before. I outline my books the old fashioned way without using software. It’s easier for me to look at a physical paper outline and then turn to the computer to write than it is to switch from one screen to another. I create character sketches the same way.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I primarily interact with my characters when it’s quiet and there are no distractions, like right before I get up in the morning. The characters definitely take on personalities of their own, and have been known to change the plot from time to time.
What advice would you give other writers?
Persevere and write about what you love. After enough rejections, it’s easy to think you’re not talented and throw in the towel, but keep going! Never give up! And write about what interests you, because if you don’t, you might end up getting bored and not finishing the project.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
My first two books were self published. I felt this was the best way for me to learn about the book publishing industry. Now I am with an up-and-coming small press. I also have a nonfiction book that is being published next year by a medium sized press. My advice is to go with your heart. Self publishing allows you more freedom as far as content and design, but marketing is up to you. A traditional press will edit your book and possibly delete things you want to keep, but they will also help with marketing. They have to accept your manuscript or proposal first, though.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think paper books will always be around. A few years ago, everyone thought e-books would replace them, but things have changed around. I also think it will become easier to self publish, but the competition will be stiffer as a result.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Historical fiction, historical nonfiction
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.