Who’s That Indie Author? W. L. Hawkin

W. L. Hawkin

Author Name: W. L. Hawkin (Wendy)

Genre: blended mystery/suspense/fantasy/romance

Books: Hollystone Mysteries—To Charm a Killer, To Sleep with Stones, To Render a Raven, To Kill a King, and Lure River Romances—Lure: Jesse & Hawk

Bio: W. L. Hawkin writes mysterious romantic adventures from her home on Vancouver Island, Canada. Wendy graduated from Trent University with a BA in Indigenous Studies, then went on to study English literature at SFU in British Columbia, and teach high school. She found her voice publishing poetry and Native Rights articles in Canadian news magazines and is now an Indie author/publisher at Blue Haven Press.

What got you started as a writer? I started writing poetry as a teenager to make sense of my world: “It’s a maze. It’s a haze. It’s a crazy place.” But when I saw Romancing the Stone in the 1980s, I wanted to be a romance novelist. Shortly after that, I wrote the first draft of what has become my latest romantic suspense release (Lure: Jesse & Hawk).

What is your writing routine? I write when the muse is with me and then for as long as my body holds out—some days six hours if I’m on, and other days not at all.

What routes did you take to get your books published? When I first wrote To Charm a Killer, I sent it to a few agents and publishers. I had some interest, but no one wanted to commit to a first-time author who wrote blended genres. It’s hard to sell.  So, I took a chance and published it myself. By that time, I’d finished my fourth book in the Hollystone Mysteries, I’d learned the ropes.

What things do you do to promote your books? I created a solid website and keep it updated. I enter contests and do readings/sales in my local community. Last year, I started working with a publicist who booked me on all kinds of media (TV, radio, podcasts, magazines) so I became comfortable talking about myself and my work (again, not easy for an introvert). I’m now able to approach people like you, Barb, and ask.

What is your favorite genre to read and why? Mystery/suspense is my favourite, no matter what century it’s set, and that’s what I write as well. Sometimes I venture into fantasy and action/adventure. I’m a regular reviewer with the Ottawa Review of Books so receive excellent ARCs from Canadian publishers.

Do you prefer to write dialogue or description? I don’t have a preference and you need to balance both in a scene to make it dynamic.

Have any of your characters ever surprised you? Did this change the plot of your book? Absolutely, and often. Once I connect with my characters, I meditate to get into an almost trance-like space where I can see and hear what’s happening. I’ve had reviewers say my writer is “cinematic” and I think that’s why. In To Sleep with Stones, one of the characters died in a very dramatic scene and I had no idea that was going to happen. I wrote that sequence in tears, and I think that raw emotion comes through to the reader.

What is the most difficult thing you have accomplished in your life? I quit high school in grade ten. In my mid-thirties, I was compelled to finish. One of the courses was Native Ancestry 11, and I had such an epiphany with that content, I wanted to go on and take university courses in Indigenous Studies. Coincidentally, I wrote the first draft of Lure: Jesse & Hawk, my latest release during that time. My ex-husband didn’t support me, so I left my marriage and completed my B.A. as a single mother going part-time to university courses for years. That was a challenging time, but also a healing time for me.

What three events or people have most influenced how you live your life? One: reading The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell in 1990 blew open my world and taught me to follow my “bliss.” Two: leaving my marriage and taking my young daughter taught me many things about living in this world. Three: graduating from university and getting my first paying gig as a teacher gave me financial independence and a sense of moral/ethical living in a community.

What would you tell your younger self? Borrowing from my mentor, Joseph Campbell, I’d say follow your passion, your bliss, and doors will open for you. Bundle up your problems and leave them outside, then walk through that door carrying a sense of curiosity, wonder, and hope.

Have you ever met up with a bear on a hike? If so, what did you do? If not, are you looking up what to do right now? I sure have! I live in the Pacific Northwest on bear territory so regularly see them. Remember that you’re a guest on their land, back up slowly, and give them the right of way. Hawk meets up with a bear in Lure, and unfortunately, he’s unable to back up and walk away, but that’s another story.

You’re locked in your local library for the night with no dinner. Thank goodness you have water, but you only have enough change to buy one item from the vending machine. Choices are limited to: Fudge Pop Tarts, Snickers or Doritos. Which would you choose and why? Doritos by default, despite the crumbs. I can’t eat gluten or cow dairy so until they start making junk food gluten free, and chocolate out of water buffalo milk and/or pure cocoa butter, I’ll stick to my corn chips.

What’s the largest number of people you’ve had in your kitchen at one time? In my whole lifetime? Probably a dozen at my parent’s wedding anniversary.

Website and social media links:
Website: Blue Haven Press
Linktree: https://linktr.ee/wlhawkin

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22 thoughts on “Who’s That Indie Author? W. L. Hawkin

  1. Thank you for inviting me to share my story with you and your readers. If anyone has questions, please ask. I love to connect with other writers and readers.

    1. Thanks JP. I appreciate your support. Indies are stronger together. I love your books and can’t wait to read the your latest!

    1. Thanks for reading, Jill. I found Joseph Campbell in 1990, through The Power of Myth, and he’s remained my mentor. Such brilliance.

    2. Hi Jill – I’m glad you had a chance to meet Wendy and learn about her books. I appreciated her advice about bears! Thanks for the visit 🙂

    1. Hi Donna – it’s so great to connect with people through our blogs! I loved Wendy’s comments about bears 🙂 Thank you for reading and commenting!

  2. I enjoyed meeting you here, Wenday, and thanks to Barbara’s great questions, and your honesty, I feel like I learned a lot about you, your writing style, and your strength. Being a ‘functional introvert’ myself, I nodded my head as I read how you promote your books. It’s HARD to put ourselves out there. Like you, I believe in my stores, so I gulp and attend some library events for presentations, and some bookstores. But I most like attending book clubs, where the members read my book, and then I talk to them about my characters and the writing process. Now that’s fun!

    1. Hi Pam – thank you for stopping by to meet Wendy. I think a book club setting would be great for an author event. You’re so nice, I’m sure your audience loves you nomatter the format!

      1. Awww, thanks Barbara. I’ve met some really neat women in the book clubs I’ve talked at. (Sorry, ended with a preposition.) Turns out most readers think authors are “awesome” and they love getting their books autographed. It’s wonderful.

    2. Thanks so much. It’s great to meet you too. I’d love to do talks at book clubs. I have no idea how to get into that. Is there a magic procedure you can share? As for putting myself out there, I found it very difficult, and then I signed with a publicist so had to show up and talk to all kinds of media folks. After awhile, it became easier and now I’m comfortable. It does still take a considerable amount of energy, though, so I have to arrange it so I can rest afterwards. Blessings!

      1. That’s great that you signed with a publicist. Good for you! I didn’t sign for one, but a few years ago (after I published my latest children’s book) one found me and offered to interview me on her (very local) TV show. It was fun! I’d do that again. As far as book clubs, when someone talks to me about their book club, I subtly (or not so subtly) mention that I love to give ‘presentations’ about writing and about my book and characters, etc. I’ve received half a dozen invitations (since before the pandemic) from Sausalito to Boston and really loved each and every one. And, I acquired new reading fans. The readers love hearing about how a writer plots (or doesn’t plot) and creates characters.

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