Interview with Wodke Hawkinson.

23 11 2012

Hello, Readers!

This week the dynamic writing duo: Karen Wodke and PJ Hawkinson,  have met with me to discuss their books Zeke and Tangerine. You can read more about these books in my promotional post:

How did the collaboration known as Wodke Hawkinson start?

K & P– We have known each other for years. In high school we wrote some silly stories, but that’s about it. In 2009, we were each laid off from our jobs. It was then we began writing together in a serious way. We decided to put our last names together for our pen name. Since we live in different towns, we do a lot of our collaboration via phone and email.

How does your collaborative writing work? Does each of you have separate tasks in bringing a book to fruition?

K &P– We start off with a plan and then one of us writes the first chapter or so. Then we send it to the other for review and revision. Then we move on to the next chapter. Sometimes we do assign certain parts of the plot, but we both add to what the other has written. We don’t always agree either, which leads to compromise. Sometimes one of us will take a revision we may not especially like in return for getting a revision or element in another part of the book. It works out pretty well most of the time.

In your book, Zeke, the main character, Zeke is dangerous and disturbing was he as difficult to write as he is to read?

K &P– The book started out as an entirely different story and then we chose to make a genre change. Even so, he was very difficult to write, so much so that we often procrastinated and put off working on the book because we disliked him so much. He is truly despicable and maddening. Fortunately, once we finally got going, the writing went much easier and we finished in good time.

 What motivates Zeke to be evil and does he have any redeeming qualities?

K & P– Zeke is purely a sociopath. He has no redeeming qualities. Anything good that he might do is only to advance his own best interests.

 Why does Susan stay in a relationship with Zeke?

K & P– Sue is lacking in self-esteem and Zeke is well aware of the fact. He plays her along slowly, fulfills many of her needs, and gets her hooked before he shows his true colors. She deludes herself a lot, at least until it’s not possible anymore. By that time, she feels she has no choice but to remain with him. It’s a question all people ask about anyone who stays with an abuser. The answers probably vary a bit from one person to the next, but we think at the heart of it is the victim’s continual hope that things will get better. Or they convince themselves that if they leave they’ll be tracked down and killed. Though in a lot of the cases, if they stay they will also be killed. It’s often a no-win situation.

Do you look up to any psychological thriller writers ?

K &P– We appreciate the work of all good writers. Our reading interests stretch across genres.

Your most recent work, Tangerine came out last month! Tell us about it.

K &P– Ava Majestic is a biologist with advanced degrees in the sciences. When her parents are killed, she takes a job analyzing planets for possible habitation. Around the same time, she inherits a mysterious device and in doing so, gains an adversary, a wealthy collector (Agnotico) who intends to get the device from her, one way or another. Since Ava’s job puts her in space, the collector hires someone to tail her, a finder named Needle. The story is about Ava’s struggles with grief, her growing feelings for Needle and the sense of betrayal when she discovers he’s been working for her enemy. She also must learn to use the device she’s inherited, all the while being pursued by Agnotico’s men. Along the way, her job takes her to intriguing places. The fun of writing Tangerine was deciding what the future would look like, coming up with interesting aliens and worlds, and outlining the rules of using the device she inherited.

 What makes Dr. Ava Majestic such a powerful and compelling heroine?

K &P– Ava is pretty much a regular woman to begin with (although she does have an unusual heritage), but life forces her to undergo the transition to a stronger self after having to deal with tragedies in her life and the relentless pursuit of the sinister collector who is determined to obtain her treasure.

Why do you classify Tangerine as light Science Fiction? Is there another genre that you see it as being?

K &P- Tangerine is mainly a character-based story. It doesn’t have the techno-edge of hard sci-fi. It’s a tale that just happens to be set in the future where space travel is an ordinary part of society.

Even though Tangerine is set in a future, fantasy world are there elements of the story that are based on things in your present lives?

K &P–  Maybe a few. For one thing, we love cats. So we made Ava’s companion, Pisk, a small feline-like character. The other elements are the questions we probably all have about how we might change our past, if we could, and speculating on the “butterfly effect” and similar dilemmas inherent in time travel.

Your collection of short stories, Blue was my favorite book I read by Wodke Hawkinson because of the hauntingly beautiful setting. Out of all the books you have written together can you tell me which one you each like best and why?

K– I’ve enjoyed writing each one, with the possible exception of Zeke’s character because he’s so twisted. But I would have to say Betrayed is still my favorite. I really like the characters of Lance and Brooklyn.

P– My favorite short story would be Callie’s Fiddle in Catch Her in the Rye. It is a touching story of a family that is being forced from their home in order to create a lake. The family is so believable you feel you are there with them, and the little girl and her fiddle are entrancing.

My favorite novel would have to be Tangerine. All the characters were fun to develop and building a world was awesome.

Can you tell us about any upcoming works from Wodke Hawkinson?

K &P– We are currently writing two books: a fantasy set on another planet and a sequel to Zeke. Many readers have expressed their desire to see Zeke come to a bad end. He certainly deserves it, but as the story is still unwinding, we don’t even know how Zeke will fare.

 Both of you also write solo projects can you tell the readers about recent or upcoming titles?

K– I wrote a book for young readers entitled James Willis Makes a Million. It’s a story for all ages really, about a boy in the 70’s who is tired of being poor and takes matters into his own hands. I have a few other projects started, but none of them are really ready for any kind of reveal just yet. It’s so much better working with a co-author that I tend to concentrate more on the books PJ and I are writing. Someday I’ll get around to finishing my solo projects.

P – Teenager Trudy Purdy, a self-described plain Jane, is ecstatic when football player Tray Farquar asks her to be his girl. Not only is Tray handsome, but his father is the most distinguished man in town. Trudy realizes she’s made a terrible mistake when Tray lures her to a deserted beach where he and three buddies rape and beat her.

When she awakes uninjured in her home, she initially remembers nothing of the horrifying assault. But as days pass , her mind flashes back to the night on the beach, and she begins to feel a new power within herself. Trudy uses her new-found strength-gained by drinking the blood of others-to plot the “accidental” deaths of the boys who brutalized her.

As Trudy exacts revenge, she realizes she is changing in a big way and seeks answers to the unsettling questions about her new powers. She wonders what she is changing into and how it will affect the rest of her life.

I am actually in the process of rewriting this novel and hope to release the new version early in 2013.

 You have a website, a blog, and another website called ‘Find a Good Book to Read’ can you tell the readers what they can expect to find at each website?

K- is a place to showcase not only our books and writing, but those of other indie authors as well. This blog features Our Books, Short Stories, an Online Store, Fiction and Nonfiction Book lists, Poetry Book List,  and Flash Fiction., is strictly for our books and writing and has a link to This blog features Our Books, Flash Fiction and Poetry, Stories and Articles, Rumination on Words, and Fake Phony News.

 Where can my readers buy your books?

K &P– Our books are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and other ebook outlets.

If you want to  learn more about Wodke Hawkinson go to their website: or check out their blog:

To read their writing and connect with other indie writers go to:

Find A Good Book To Read:


To buy one of their fabulous books, go to:


Barnes & Noble:




Barnes & Noble

(Coming soon to Amazon & paperback)

Connect with Wodke Hawkinson:

Twitter ID is @WodkeHawkinson:


Many thanks to Karen and PJ for doing this author interview! If you are interested in being interviewed please visit the ‘Other Services’ tab of this blog to learn more about giving an author interview and then email Carolyn Elias at Please note the earliest available week to do an interview is Friday, December 28th.




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