Interview with Wodke Hawkinson

Wodke Hawkinson

Interview Date: 9/21/2012


Wodke Hawkinson is the name under which writing duo PJ Hawkinson and K Wodke release their co-authored works. Wodke Hawkinson's multi-genre style gives the readers a rich and varied experience. Catch Her in the Rye is the first collaborated work by Wodke Hawkinson. This short story collection offers a variety of genres, something for every taste. There are two more books in this series of short fiction: Blue, Selected Short Stories Vol. 2 and Alone, Selected Short Stories, Vol. 4. In addition to their first novel, Betrayed, they have written Betrayed - Alternate Ending. Their newest release is Zeke, a dark novel of obsession.
They are in the process of final revisions on a futuristic tale entitled Tangerine that will be available in e-format soon. Upcoming projects include a variety of short story singles, a fourth volume/collection of short stories, and an epic fantasy novel.

When did you start writing, and was there a significant event that prompted you to do so?

PJ- I wrote Half Bitten in 2010 and began seriously writing with Karen shortly afterwards. 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 and another writer was born.
K- I have enjoyed writing since I was young, but what prompted me to get serious about it was the loss of my job in 2009. I wrote a book for young readers entitled James Willis Makes a Million. After that, PJ and I began collaborating. This change of career has been wonderful!

Kev's response: I find it interesting, authors working as a duo. The ability to work through odd problems in storyline must be phenomenal.

If you could have one superpower, what would it? (Assuming said power would be reasonably powerful.)

PJ- I would like to have the power of persuasion. I’d use my power to convince the people of the world that we are all in this life together and should work alongside each other to make the world better instead of trying to destroy it through conflicts and war.
K- I’m not as altruistic as PJ. I’d like the power to travel in time and make changes to the past.

Kev's response: Oh, so it's future Karen who went to the distant past, and just couldn't keep her hand off the red button, thus causing the end of the dinosaurs! Now we know!

Do you have a favorite superhero from novels, comics, or movies?

PJ- I guess I’d have to say Batman since he is just a human with a lot of gadgets to help him battle evil. I’ve enjoyed all the movies.
K- I always liked Superman.

Kev's response: The Superman/Batman combined comic was quite good when I collected it. That could make for an interesting movie.

Where do you get your inspiration for writing? What motivates you?

PJ- Inspiration can come from anything and anywhere: a quick glance of a man walking across a parking lot with a scowl on his face; a woman with a bruise on her cheek; a sad-eyed puppy in a pet store window. Inspiration is everywhere and it is also one of the things that motivate me. But, I have to admit to a very active imagination and that takes a novelist a long way on the journey of writing a book.
K- I agree with PJ. Inspiration comes in everyday events. The sights and sounds around us are ripe with insights and ideas. You just have to be aware.

Kev's response: I suppose I should stop wearing my horse blinders. I've been missing out on a lot!

Do you pre-plan your stories, or are you a by-the-seat-of-the-pants style writer?

PJ- I’d have to say we’re a little of both. We begin with a basic idea but never apply glue; thus, the story can flow as it sees fit, moving with our outline or deviating far from the original path.
K- There is some planning and then we flesh it out as we go. Sometimes our characters do not behave the way we originally intended. This may seem strange, but writers will relate.

Kev's response: Oh, how I know...

Do you write only when inspired, or do you have a set schedule where you sit down to write?

PJ- I plan everyday to set a schedule to sit down and write from such-and-such time until such-and-such time. It hasn’t happened yet and I am quite angry with myself. I am always inspired but tend to try to keep my ideas fresh in my mind so I can get them on paper before I forget. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.
K- Writing is most enjoyable when I’m inspired, but often I sit down to write and the inspiration comes as I go.

Do you have a favorite genre to write in? To read?

PJ- The answer to both questions is ‘no’. I enjoy all genres, both in writing and in reading. At this time, we are attempting to write two stories at the same time, one fantasy, one suspense.
K- I don’t have a favorite genre. So far, we’ve experimented with several genres in our novels and short story collections. I like them all. As for reading, I will read almost anything.

What do you enjoy the most about writing?

PJ- I like to write dialog, it seems to come easier to me than trying to describe a setting. But, I am trying to be more descriptive when it comes to the surroundings I am writing about and feel I am making some progress.
K- I love the interaction between our characters. To me, that’s the most enjoyable part, figuring out how they will respond to each other. The part of writing I don’t particularly enjoy is editing. However, I’ve found that once I get started on it, it gets better as I go.

Can you tell me something odd about yourself?

PJ- While I love to fish, I hate to touch fish. So, I use a glove to hold the fish while I unhook it and then let it go.
K- I don’t know that this is odd, but it’s maybe a bit unusual. Before I started writing books, I wrote and co-wrote songs and performed in a band.

Kev's response: Now, if you said a band of jesters, that would be odd, but performing in a band just makes you interesting. As to fishing, I can't say as I enjoy the sport. Too much sitting in one place without enough activity going on.

Do you write one story at a time, or do you have several novels in the works at one time?

PJ- As I mentioned above, at this time, we are attempting to write two stories at the same time, 1 fantasy, and 1 suspense.
K- Usually we’ve concentrated on one at a time, but as PJ said, we’re trying something different now. We have two books going at once. They are quite different from each other, so I don’t think we’ll have to worry about any bleed-through between the storylines.

I'm looking to advertise for evil minions for my plot to take over the world, any suggestions?

PJ- You want evil minions? Try asking your Twitter followers. I’ll bet you’ll get some unusual responses.
K- There are so many evil minions out there, but some of them have authority issues. I’d be careful if I were you.

Kev's response: Twitter. Why didn't I think about that, and Facebook.

Where do you see the future as far as paper books versus digital e-books?

PJ- Paper books will always hold the hearts of readers and some people just enjoy the feel of a book in their hands. I prefer my Kindle and believe that before long more people will be utilizing digital e-books over paper books. There is also the cost to consider; e-books are generally lower in price than paper books.
K- Though I use my Kindle a lot, I still love the feel and smell of a regular book. I believe there are a lot of readers who feel the same.

What are your current projects?

PJ & K- We can’t give away our plots, but we are writing a sci-fi/fantasy that we think all readers will enjoy. We are also writing the sequel to our novel Zeke.

Do you have any advice for others about self-publishing?

PJ- Watch your grammar, edit, and edit again. We edit our own works and we will read the book several times before printing, finding errors and making last minute suggestions. I find reading aloud gives clarity to the words. Oftentimes, after doing so, I ask myself what I was thinking; this makes no sense. Then I correct the wording and continue editing. After printing, we order a proof and read through the entire book once again. Still, errors sneak in and make it to the final cut. Luckily, as an Indie author, we can go in and edit the books at any time. I have to say we find mistakes in traditionally published books also, so it’s not just us.
K- I am very appreciative of the mechanisms now in place for self-publishing such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. I’d also like to point out that self-published authors retain full control over their work, and that’s important to us. I would encourage any author to believe in his or her work and care enough about it to present it in the best possible form. I agree with what PJ said and would also stress careful editing. Even with meticulous proofing and editing, mistakes do slip through. Sometimes it’s like there is truly a ghost in the machine. My advice to other authors would be to perform multiple rechecks of your work, even after it’s published. PJ and I are fortunate since there are two of us to look things over. For solo authors, it might be beneficial to utilize beta-readers, swap proofing with another author, and/or hire an editor.
P & K- You can also have a give-away. We are having one right now that lasts until the end of October 2012. For details, visit OR

Do you have any online sites where readers can find out more about you (and your books)?

Wodke Hawkinson books, websites, and blogs:
Betrayed-Alternate Ending
Tangerine (coming soon)
Ghost Writer

Short Story Volumes:
Catch Her in the Rye

Kev's response: PJ & Karen, thank you so much for joining me, especially with the combined interview, to give readers a glimpse into your multi-headed author beastie!

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