What books have most influenced your life? Black Beauty, Gone With the Wind, Heaven Is For Real, and Cold Mountain. I love reading inspirational stories, classics, stories featuring strong character arcs, and books that affect my psyche.
Can we expect any more books from you in the future? Yes. I have written two more sequels to this series, which I am calling the “Renegade Series,” and I am currently working on a nonfiction book about the Civil War.
Have you started another book yet? I have started several. Some are ready for publication, and some are still in the works.
Where do you see yourself in five years? I see myself as a more experienced author with several more titles under my belt. My goal is to find an agent and a traditional publisher to help me advance my career.
What are your current writing projects now? I am working on a nonfiction book about the Civil War, and I plan to start a memoir later this year.
Are you reading any interesting books at the moment? What the Cat Saw by Carolyn Hart, and Killing Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly
What contributes to making a writer successful? In my opinion, perseverance, marketing, getting out and meeting people, blogging, and attending conferences.
Do you have any advice for writers? Take criticism with a grain of salt. Most reviews are just opinions. Expect to receive both good and bad reviews, and use constructive criticism to improve your writing skills.
Do you have any specific last thoughts that you want to say to your readers? You won’t succeed unless you never give up.
What do you do to unwind and relax? I swim, walk, sing, play guitar, and garden.
What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing? I’ve met some wonderful people that have become lifelong friends, and I have advanced my writing career by winning several prestigious awards.
Do you have any upcoming appearances that you would like to share with us? I will be attending the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on July 4-7. Please check out my website at http://jdrhawkins.com for updates.
If you could leave your readers with one bit of wisdom, what would you want it to be? Always strive to become a better writer. Attend classes. Seek professional advice. Read other authors who write in your genre. And keep going!
When you wish to end your career, stop writing, and look back on your life, what thoughts would you like to have? I don’t think I will ever stop writing, but I hope that my works will make an impression on people. I’d like to leave a legacy behind, something that my kids and grandkids can be proud of, and something that I can be proud of as well.
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Genre – Historical Fiction
Rating – PG13