Interview with Wodke Hawkinson

What's the story behind your latest book?
Karen & PJ: Our latest release, Dark Longings, deals with the subject of vampirism without having any “real” vampires in it. Our main character, Ruby Hayes, is trying to solve the disappearance of her ex-boyfriend. Each clue she uncovers leads her closer to danger.
What is your writing process?
Karen & PJ: Our writing process has evolved over the last few years. We discuss our story idea, figure out the basics, and then write an outline. Each of us is assigned certain parts. Once these parts are completed, we trade sections and add our own suggestions or material. In this way, as we write the book, the scenes are fleshed out, tweaked, and polished. The manuscript then undergoes numerous edits before the book is ready for release.
How do you approach cover design?
Karen & PJ: We generally search through many examples of cover art and/or photos before we choose the one we both feel best represents the story or some critical element of the story. The title, author name, and back cover blurb are added later.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Karen & PJ: We spent a year pitching our first novel to publishers before we decided to try self-publishing. To begin with, we released our short story collections. As this turned out to be successful, we did the same with our novels. We like the independence, the control over our material, and the freedom. The downside, of course, is not having the market access traditional publishers enjoy. Still, it’s working out very well for us.
How do you develop your characters?
Karen & PJ: Since we are co-authors we have to share the same vision. After we decide the age and sex, we search for pictures online that might fit our characters physical profile. Then, we build a character worksheet for each character as well as letting the characters evolve along with the story.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Karen & PJ: Word of mouth and social media: websites, blogs Twitter, Facebook, Linked-In, Goodreads, and more.
Who are your favorite authors?
Karen: JRR Tolkien, Dean Koontz, Isaac Asimov, Whitley Strieber, Jenefer Schute, Stephen King, along with indie authors too numerous to mention.

PJ: Like Karen my favorite authors include JRR Tolkien and Steven King. I would include in my list Douglas Adams, Piers Anthony (The Xanth Series), Jana DeLeon, and Agatha Christie. The list is actually quite long and includes many talented writers.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Karen: I find a lot of the ebooks I read by following authors on Twitter, especially indie authors.

PJ: Like Karen I also find many ebooks from indie authors off of Twitter. I will often search for mysteries set in Alaska or New Orleans as well as simply scrolling through Amazon until something catches my eye.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Karen & PJ: Smashwords offers ebooks in various formats, which is a benefit. Also, Smashwords allows authors a great deal of freedom in pricing, options for promotion, and a venue people trust.
What are you working on next?
Karen & PJ: Having just released Dark Longings, we have not decided on our next work together. We have several ideas floating around. While waiting for one of them to settle, we are working on some individual projects. But we hope to decide within the month as to what our next novel will be.
Published 2014-01-29.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Tangerine
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 103,510. Language: English. Published: March 12, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General, Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American
Dr. Ava Majestic, an interstellar biologist, travels through space with her small companion, Pisk, testing planets for potential habitation. When her travels take her to the planet Tangerine, she discovers she is heir to a time-travel device. She is pursued by a handsome rogue, ruthless abductors, and a sinister collector determined to possess her treasure.
Dark Longings
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 83,890. Language: English. Published: January 8, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
After a mysterious phone call, Ruby's ex-boyfriend Kenny goes missing and she is determined to find out what happened to him. Although the police are looking into his disappearance, Ruby decides to pursue her own investigation. Each clue brings Ruby closer to the truth...and nearer to danger. Will she find Kenny? Or will she herself become prey? Contains adult themes.
Sue
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 80,900. Language: English. Published: February 10, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General, Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American
(5.00)
In ZEKE, Sue Cox had been lured into a bizarre relationship with a man whose stunning looks hid a demented mind, and had nearly lost her life in the process. In this sequel to Zeke, Sue begins her long recovery. With the help of her psychiatrist and support of her parents, she works through her tangled emotions so she can rebuild her life. But Zeke is still out there...
Misery Loves Company, a short story
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,690. Language: English. Published: November 2, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American, Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American
Giovanni's charming little Italian bistro undergoes a radical change when his wife leaves him. He turns the cafe into a dismal place and changes the name. At its grand opening, he informs the crowd that happiness is no longer allowed in his establishment. Instead of dining on savory dishes, customers now crowded in to unload their burdens of misery on stage before the open mic.
Troll, A Short Story
Price: Free! Words: 9,740. Language: English. Published: October 24, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
(5.00)
This free download features “Troll”, a short story of approximately 3,221 words, along with excerpts from Wodke Hawkinson novels. Description of “Troll”: The Macksburg County Sheriff’s Office receives a report of a “troll” under the William Frank Bridge. Officers arrest the culprit and bring him in. Then things get interesting. A earlier version of “Troll” was first included in the book, Alone
Acim, a short story
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,500. Language: English. Published: August 4, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Mica is just a boy when a small grizzled man enters his bedroom one night from a miniature door in the wall. His name is Acim and it seems his whole purpose is to torment Mica. Mica must figure out a way to deal with the nasty little imp. Acim is a short story for grownups, approximately 6,173 words in length. Written by the authors of popular novels, Betrayed and Zeke.
Zeke
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 107,860. Language: English. Published: July 9, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
(5.00)
ZEKE is a dark novel of sexual obsession, psychological manipulation, and looming peril. Sue is a naive college student who falls for Zeke, the new clerk at the local bookstore. Zeke exerts control over Sue and entices her to leave town with him. As they travel, his behavior grows more deviant and volatile. Her parents hire a private investigator. Will he find her in time? Sequel to Zeke: SUE
Ghost Writer - A Short Story
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,410. Language: English. Published: April 29, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Ghost, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
A short story about a pair of co-authors who notice strange things happening to their writing project: missing or altered text, changes neither of them made. Approximately 3,975 words
Betrayed - Alternate Ending
Price: Free! Words: 23,720. Language: English. Published: February 7, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
Betrayed - Alternate Ending gives Brook the chance to retaliate against her antagonists from the popular novel Betrayed. This is not a stand-alone publication, but starts at Chapter 49 of the novel Betrayed and then takes the tale in a new direction, with an entirely different ending.
Alone, Selected Short Stories Vol. Three
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 73,870. Language: English. Published: November 14, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
Alone contains 18 short stories by multi-genre author, Wodke Hawkinson. From the dramatic to the humorous, these tales cover a range of styles. Alone is the third collection of short stories by this author and offers something for everyone.
Betrayed
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 96,800. Language: English. Published: August 12, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
(5.00)
Brook, a Denver socialite, is abducted during a botched carjacking and violently abused. She escapes her captors only to end up barefoot, nearly naked, and hopelessly lost in the Colorado wilderness at the onset of a harsh winter. At the end of her endurance, she stumbles across Lance, a wild-looking recluse who has shunned society. Brook fears she has traded one form of captivity for another.
Blue, Selected Short Stories Vol. Two
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 72,020. Language: English. Published: June 29, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
(5.00)
Collection of short stories in various genres, from wholesome to edgy to macabre.
Catch Her in the Rye, Selected Short Stories Vol. One
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 62,470. Language: English. Published: June 29, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » Anthologies, Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
(4.67)
A collection of short stories in various genres.Catch Her in the Rye contains the tragic love story by that name plus thirty other short stories in a wide variety of themes, from the surrealistic "I Wish" to the heartwarming "Homeless Thanksgiving". A multi-genre reading experience. Sometimes a short story is just the right size.