This year I made one of my best adult friends, and lucky for me– she’s a writer! And lucky for all of you, she agreed to let me interview her. She has scored three book deals with two different publishers over the last nine months without an agent (yes you heard me right). It takes talent and dedication to the craft to pull that rabbit out of a hat. And when I tell you this girl is going to be a #romance powerhouse, I mean it with my whole heart. Move over Nora Roberts!
Without further ado, let me introduce you to my #superstar friend, Dana Hawkins.
Dana, can you tell us a little about yourself?
Thanks for interviewing me today! Well, a little about me… I am a highly-caffeinated queer mom of three kids and one Saint Bernard. Originally from Minnesota, I resided in Seattle for the past twenty years, although we recently decided to move back to my hometown. I’m not gonna lie, I’m a little nervous about the snow!
So, what type of material do you usually write?
Romance! I write anything from sweet Hallmark-style to steamy queer and everything in between. I love LOVE. I try to make all my books sparkly and warm, where readers walk away feeling good.
Give us a fly on the wall view– what does your writing and revision process look like?
Oh boy. This process has evolved. I used to sit and write with a rough idea. Now, I am a bit more methodical. I develop the outline and make sure I really understand the characters goals and obstacles. But for every one of my books, I never know how they will end. Of course, I write romance so they will always have a happy-ever-after, but I don’t know until I get there how it will happen. Also, when I write, I don’t hold back. I word vomit on the page, often in a conscience-streaming style, which makes my editing a nightmare sometimes!
What is the hardest part about writing, in your opinion?
The middle. The darn saggy middle is so tough. It’s hard for me to write when the characters are happy and in love. Conflict is so much easier!
What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
Writing is extremely therapeutic for me. It is my time to put away whatever stress I may be experiencing and dive into a fictional world I can control.
What advice do you have for new/debut authors?
A few things. Read a lot, especially in the genre you want to write in. Also, find a supportive critique partner who will tell you what works and what does not in your manuscript. Also, read craft books or listen to writing podcasts. It is amazing how much I learn daily from doing those things.
Lastly, because I know you are a master of your craft and listen to a lot of podcasts and read books about writing, can you share some of your favorites?
The Shit No One Tells You About Writing Podcast is amazing! And I am biased towards the “Authorish” Podcast since I am a co-host. A few of my favorite craft books are Method Acting for Writers by Lisa Hall-Wilson and The Emotional Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi.
Dana, where can everyone find you to follow your bookish adventures?
You can find me here: https://danahawkins.com/
Listen to me as a co-host on the Authorish Podcast
Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DHawkinsAuthor
Trailer for: Love and Rainbow Lattes
Trailer for: Serving Love
Make sure to follow my friend Dana for more about her upcoming books, her on-point writing advice, and general romance author antics. WHAT?! Romance authors can get kind of feisty.