Author Spotlight Interview: A.L. Hawke
Today’s interview is with internationally bestselling author of fantasy and romance, A.L. Hawke. Hawke shared with us their writing process, publication journey and so much more. It was an honor to hear about Hawke’s current and upcoming projects.
HG: How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet?
ALH: I write fantasy and romance. My characters are witches, goddesses, nymphs, ghosts, and genius geneticists. My main themes involve friendship and love, culture versus ferality, sanity, and mortality.
HG: What inspires your stories and why is that important to you?
ALH: Life experiences, of course. I enjoyed writing my witch series because it was a way to relive my college years (sans the magic). Other books, like my epic myth series, were pure escapist fantasy. Music inspired that.
I’m influenced by many contemporary novelists: the skill of Stephanie Meyer and Stephen King; the daring of Bret Easton Ellis; the sensuality of E.L. James; and even by the imagination of J.K. Rowling’s young witchery in her Harry Potter series. I also love gothic classics from the nineteenth century like Dracula and The Phantom of the Opera, and fantasy classics like Alice in Wonderland.
HG: That’s awesome. So, what feeling do you hope readers are left with when they finish one of your novels?
ALH: I think justice is an underlying theme in all my books: if my characters find love and reciprocate it, they’re saved; If they’re nasty and cold, they achieve the darkness they deserve. Love is an essential ingredient, and romantic love is arguably its strongest manifestation. That’s why romance is pervasive in all my works. For I think we all need relationships—or the love found from friendship or family—to find happiness.
HG: Ah, that’s wonderful. Thank you for sharing that. Switching gears, tell us a bit about your publishing journey. Has being an author always been your dream job?
ALH: No. I always wanted to be a storyteller, but I didn’t know it. It’s my dream job now—a dream come true.
My publishing journey? My first two books were science fiction dystopian novels about genius geneticists published in 2019. Imagine a dystopian futuristic world devoid of men: that’s Candy Savant. After that, I switched to paranormal. I dabbled in an urban fantasy romance about a Greek goddess living in the 21st century: CORA. Then I switched gears in my second year with a paranormal witch romance: Broomstick. Largely due to Broomstick’s success, I completed a trilogy, along with my new release last month, Alondra. I never thought of myself as a “witch” novelist, but it seems that many of my readers do. Around this time, I also wrote a ghost romance loosely based on Phantom of the Opera: Phantom Masquerade. In between all of this, I released an epic Greek mythological fantasy trilogy, The Azure Series about Cora, the goddess Persephone, four thousand years ago (yes, the same character as in my second publication, CORA). Phew… that’s been my last four years. Twelve novels and counting.
HG: Wow! You’ve been busy. What have been the challenges you’ve faced in your publishing career?
ALH: The greatest challenge is figuring out what to write next. How do I balance what my fans enjoy while offering something new? I try to push boundaries. It’s a challenge for me to write in genres, but I recognize the importance of meeting my readers’ expectations. I research these things, but at the end of the day, I hope I’m also creating something unique and fresh for my readers.
HG: Great answer. Is there anything you’d do differently? Advice to aspiring authors?
ALH: When I began, I thought I could just write a couple of books and be done with it. The writing business doesn’t work that way. Authors these days are expected to produce multiple books. My advice to aspiring authors is to not rush the launch of your first book. Take time to develop your voice and skill. Expect to fail. When you fall, pick yourself back up and write your next book. Then be in awe at the success that will seemingly come from out of nowhere. Writing is a roller coaster worthy of the ride.
HG: Fantastic. Please tell us a little bit about your actual writing process. When and where do you write?
ALH: Well, I don’t outline. I write multiple full-manuscript revisions. Here’s how I do it. My first draft focuses on dialog. After all, it’s my characters that breathe life into my books. Next revisions detail world-building: like writing about characters reclining on the floor without chairs in ancient Greece, or witches making dollies celebrating Lammas. I research this stuff. All the while, grammar and writing style flow in between, including descriptive choices, pacing, word repetition, etc. I create several drafts after the first one, chiseling the story like a sculptor over and over again.
As far as when and where, I write at home or in coffee houses, late at night or early in the morning.
HG: Awesome! Thank you for sharing those details. What can you tell us about any other projects you have in the works?
ALH: My next project is a romantic urban fantasy. I’m returning to the world of my second published book, CORA. This new release will involve another Greek mythological character living in our modern-day who’s best friends with Cora (Persephone). I’m bringing the old with the new. It’s going to be different, written in first person present, like my witch books. I’m super excited about it.
HG: Oh, exciting! For fun, if The Hawthorne University Witch Series was turned into a movie or limited television series who would you cast as the main characters?
ALH: I don’t know. I love this question… Zendaya Coleman comes to mind for the MC as Cadence. Hell, we could even go with Tom Holland as Bryce while we’re at it ☺HG: Love it. One of my favorite questions, if you could ask your author idol one question, what would it be?
ALH: I think artists have less control over what’s successful than we think. The Greeks spoke of inspirational muse goddesses. Great inspiration seems to be discovered, not planned. Nevertheless, I’d love to talk to famous authors about their thoughts on what made their best works great. Basically, I’d love to ask them what you asked me: what inspired their best work? How did they find their inner muse?
HG: That’s fantastic. For fun, before we wrap up, let’s do a fast five! First one…coffee or tea?
ALH: Coffee, nitro brew.
HG: Bonfire or fireplace?
HG: Are you a morning bird or night owl?
ALH: Both, as of late. I don’t sleep enough.
HG: eBook or paperback?
HG: Tropical beach or rustic mountains?
ALH: Mountains. And tropical beaches. I mean, really…
HG: For readers that want to find out more about your stories and keep up with you, where should they go to connect or learn more?
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