Spotlight on Wodke Hawkinson – Interview with Author duo of ‘Zeke’ and other stories

 

Today I’ll have not only one, but two talented authors under my spotlight.

Together or alone, they wrote many popular books. Their stories are greatly reviewed.

They are also really funny and friendly people, who support Indie Authors all the time, specially with their popular website, Find a Good book to read. It’s my absolute pleasure to have you two here, girls!

So, let’s learn more about them!

Please, tell us a little about yourselves.

K- For many years I was into music, performing in bands, writing and co-writing songs.  Performing music is no longer a part of my life, but I enjoyed it immensely. I’ve worked at various jobs throughout my life, but began writing full-time just recently. I published a book for young readers entitled James Willis Makes a Million. Then, in 2009 PJ and I began collaborating.  Our pen name for those works is the combination of our last names: Wodke Hawkinson.  We’ve written several volumes of short stories along with three novels, so far. I look forward to more writing, both on my own and with my co-author, PJ. We have many ideas for future projects. We’ve self-published all our books, but one has since been signed by a publisher. 

PJ- I grew up and still live in the Midwest. I graduated from Hutchinson Community College. I have one published novel of my own; Half Bitten. Currently I am writing novels under the pen name of Wodke Hawkinson along with co-author, Karen Wodke. My other interests include sightseeing off the beaten path, fishing, and reading. I admit to no favorite writer but enjoy the works of Stephen King, JRR Tolkien, JA Konrath, and Douglas Adams. I envision a life of writing both alone and with my long-time friend and co-author. To date, I have published 1 book solo and 8 books (including novelettes) with my coauthor, Karen.

How long have you been writing?

K- Writing is something I’ve always enjoyed, but I didn’t make a determined effort until a few years ago.  Even as a child when I had to write sentences for English class, I liked the challenge of making my sentences as complex as possible.  I’m intrigued by words.

PJ- I wrote Half Bitten in 2010 and began seriously writing with Karen shortly after.
 

Do you remember the first story you wrote?

 K- In junior high school I wrote a story about a woman who killed her husband and buried him under her flower garden. Kind of morbid for a youngster. In high school, I wrote a ghost story. And then PJ and I used to write humorous stories just for laughs in high school.

PJ- The first story I wrote would have been co-written with Karen when we were in high school. It was silly and fun. We wrote a series of stories that centered around 3 or 4 characters. I still have them and actually put together a spiral bound copy for myself, Karen, and my family several years ago. They were lots of fun and produced giggles galore.

Can you tell us two eccentricities about yourselves?

 K- I don’t know how eccentric this is but if I eat something sweet, I always like to follow that with something salty. I’m sure there are other eccentricities about me, but I can’t identify them because they seem normal to me. LOL

PJ- First, I like certain things in threes: kisses and sips of soda (yes, I know that is borderline OCD, but hey, it’s only a couple of things). Second, I get out of bed in stages: stage 1-make the bed and get out my clothes for the day, stage 2- lay back down and read or get caught up on facebook and words with friends, stage 3- brush teeth, wash face, get dressed and lay back on bed for a few more minutes, stage 4- get up and stay up (sometimes).

What was the best thing you’ve ever heard (or read) from a reader?

K- Recently a reader told me our new novel, Zeke, is so realistic she couldn’t finish it because it tripped too many triggers for her. Now, I’m not glad about causing any distress to our reader, but it was gratifying to know we had managed to capture the personality of a character like Zeke.

PJ- One of the best things I’ve ever heard from a reader was the praise of my family when I finished Half Bitten (my first novel). Nothing can be better.

Do you have a good Indie author to recommend?

K- I could recommend quite a few. If I have to just pick one, I would say Ruby Barnes. His novel, Peril, is very well written and twisty.

PJ-An extremely hard question as I read so many books. I went out to Amazon and looked through my past digital orders and have chosen to recommend Casino Shuffle, by J. Fields Jr. This book is about Antonio Cruz, the head butler at the Native Sun Casino and the challenges he faces to keep the guests happy. My husband and I both read this book and enjoyed it immensely.

Who inspired and/or supported you to become a writer?

K- When PJ wrote Half Bitten, it reminded me of my love for writing and inspired me to make a serious effort. I wrote James Willis and enjoyed the process very much. Soon after, PJ & I began collaborating.

PJ-Karen was my original inspiration but it took me many years to act on the idea. After reading Twilight by Stephenie Meyer and The Sookie Stackhouse Series by Charlaine Harris, I decided to try my hand at a different kind of vampire novel; thus, Half Bitten came to life.

My biggest supporter is my husband. He is the reason I have become who I am today and the reason I continue to be.

Do you have a WIP (Working in progress)? If so, can you tell us a little about it?

K- I have a couple of projects started on my own, and PJ and I are writing two books. It’s the first time we’ve ever tried working on two novels at a time.

PJ- We actually have two books in the works but I’m afraid you’ll have to wait a while to learn anything about them. I can tell you one is a suspense and the other is fantasy.

What is your favorite of your books? Why?

K- I’m a little torn between Betrayed and Tangerine. Betrayed is our most popular novel so far and I loved the main characters, Lance and Brooklyn. But Tangerine is the very first novel we wrote together and it was so enjoyable creating the other worlds, the characters, and the aliens that I still have a fondness for that book. We originally self-published Tangerine, but have pulled it from all venues because it’s been picked up by a publisher. It should be re-released very soon.

PJ- I guess I’d choose Betrayed. {{Spoiler Alert}} Brook goes through one of the most horrendous ordeals a woman can ever face and manages to deal with her demons and move forward with life. Lance is a steadfast, easy-going recluse whom Brook manages to bring out of his shell. We also decided to let Brook have her revenge and wrote Betrayed-Alternate Ending that takes the reader along a new path from Chapter 49 forward.

What is your favorite of your characters? Why?

 K- I like Lance the best from our novel Betrayed. He’s a strong, kind man who steps forward to do the right thing, but he also is subject to very human emotions.

PJ- Oh, wow! That’s a tough question. I would have to say Lance from the book Betrayed.  Honestly, his temperament and personality remind me of my husband.

Do you like to interact online? What’s your favorite social media?

K- I enjoy keeping up with the work of fellow authors, interacting with readers, learning others’ perspectives on writing, and finding new books to add to my collection. Facebook is great, but I have to admit my favorite is Twitter. We’ve made so many great friends there, including readers and other writers.

PJ- Interacting online is sometimes the only interaction I get since I am no longer working outside the home. My personal Facebook is probably my favorite way to interact and that is due mainly to the fact that I know, personally, everyone. I also enjoy Twitter because of the interaction between possible new friends.

How do you feel about marketing your books?

 K- Marketing is very important to the success of any author. Writing is our livelihood. Therefore, it is a business. When I look at it that way, it makes marketing easier. A lot of writers are reticent about promoting their own work, and I understand that. Many authors are introverts or shy about self-promotion. But in the process of learning how to market our books, we’ve met some really generous and fantastic people, authors and others who are willing to help each other get the word out. These relationships and those with readers have really enriched our online experience. An important key to marketing, we believe, is to support and cooperate with others. We enjoy promoting the work of other authors along with our own books.

PJ- Marketing our books is one of the hardest things we’ve faced. Karen had done an excellent job of getting authors and others to follow us on Twitter. She spends hours promoting our works and I can’t thank her enough (recently I took over the retweets and have more appreciation of the time she spent). Karen has set up and maintains our website; Find a Good Book to Read and I maintain our original author website; wodke-hawkinson.com.

We also look for other means of promotion; such as, this interview with you, Renata, and both thank you for the opportunity.

Please, give us all your links – where can your readers find you and your books?

Wodke Hawkinson books, websites, and blogs:

Zeke
Betrayed

Betrayed-Alternate Ending
Tangerine (coming soon)

Ghost Writer

Acim

Short Story Volumes:

Alone

Catch Her in the Rye

Blue

 

wodke-hawkinson.com

http://wodke-hawkinson.com/blog1/

findagoodbooktoread.com

http://findagoodbooktoread.com/wodke-hawkinsons-blog.php

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, girls! Loved having you here, and reciprocate my (hilarious) Wacky interview on your website.

Oh! And I have to say that I also need to eat something salty after something sweet! I thought I was the only one. 🙂

And readers, don’t go anywhere! Stay tuned for next interview on Friday.

  • If you’re an author and want to be in my spotlight, contact me!

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