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Interview with Wodke Hawkinson, authors of Zeke

Tell us about your latest book.

Our latest book is titled Zeke.

Zeke is a dark novel of sexual obsession, psychological manipulation, and looming peril.

Sue, a naive college student falls for an exciting new clerk at the local used bookstore. She soon capitulates to his will, leaving her wide open as Zeke begins to exert subtle control and entices her to leave town with him. As they travel, his behaviour grows increasingly deviant and volatile.

Sue’s parents immediately hire a small-town private investigator who begins his inquiry with two objectives. First, to verify that Sue’s departure is voluntary. And second, to provide her family with information on her whereabouts. A simple case. However, he soon finds himself locked into a chase to save Sue’s life. Will he find her in time or will she become another victim of a cunning sociopath?

Advisory: Zeke contains sexual situations and violence.

What genre is it?

The genre is Psychological Suspense.

What kind of readers will it appeal to?

Anyone who likes suspense will like Zeke. Although, we must warn the reader that there is some unconventional sex and graphic violence, and no one under the age of 18 should buy this book.

With 50 Shades of Grey breaking sales records across the world, is this a good time to write erotica?

It is hard for us to answer this question with any kind of authority as we do not write erotica.

How does it work between the two of you? Who does what? And is writing together tougher than writing alone?

Karen Wodke: We start with a general plan which is discussed thoroughly. Then one of us will get a start by writing a chapter or so. We pass this back and forth, make revisions, or add material. We keep moving from there.

I feel that writing as a team has huge advantages over writing solo. Ideas come from two minds instead of one. Sometimes one of us will see something the other missed, come up with a new angle, or chop out some parts that didn’t necessarily work. Plus, it helps to edit as a team.

PJ Hawkinson:  We try to share all parts of the writing experience. Usually, one of us will begin the story (after making an outline) and then send to the other to review and make comments and additions. This continues back and forth until the book is finalized.

It is my belief that it is better to write as a team because there are two sets of eyes looking at the material; thus, there are two people pitching ideas, editing, and finding and correcting errors.

Tell us a bit about yourselves.

K Wodke: For many years I was into music, performing in bands, writing and co-writing songs.  I’ve also worked at various jobs throughout my life. I began writing full-time in recent years, publishing a book for young readers entitled James Willis Makes a Million. Then, in 2009 PJ and I began collaborating.  We’ve written several volumes of short stories along with three novels, so far. I look forward to more writing, both on my own and with my co-author.

PJ Hawkinson: I live in the Midwest where I grew up. I graduated from Hutchinson Community College. I published one novel on my own to date: Half Bitten. Currently I am writing novels under the pen name of Wodke Hawkinson along with co-author, Karen Wodke. I like sightseeing off the beaten path, fishing, and reading.

Tell us about your collections of short stories. 

We have three short story collections: Catch Her in the Rye, Blue, and Alone.

Catch Her in the Rye contains thirty stories including the tragic love story under the book’s title name,  short stories in a wide variety of themes, from the surrealistic “I Wish” to the heart-warming “Homeless Thanksgiving”. In addition to the eerie “Ain’t No Lights”, the collection features a cast of engaging characters from a lovable stray dog in “Belle” to a mute Appalachian girl with a unique musical talent in “Callie’s Fiddle”, and even an online villain in “Bingo Killer”.

Blue contains three novelettes along with eleven shorter works that run the gamut from bawdy humor in “The Erotic Adventure of Dick Speed” to the contemplative surrealism of “Death Hates His Job”. Blue is a bit darker overall than Catch Her in the Rye, but does contain a few light-hearted pieces.

Each of the novelettes in Blue introduces the reader to three different and compelling stories. In “Back to the Past”, a young man recalls meeting his bride years before when they were children, and reminisces about their childhood friendship. “The Deconstruction of Dennis” is a tragedy that illustrates the lonely sorrow of mental illness. The title piece, “Blue”, tells the harrowing story of a young girl who is thrust into the custody of her father’s unsavory family upon the death of her mother.

Alone includes eighteen tales that cover a range of genres: drama, humor, speculative fiction, and oddity. With stories like “Troll”, “Diary of a Psycho”, and “Sins”, there is something for almost any reader in this collection.

Do you have a favourite genre to write in?

K Wodke: Whatever one we are working with at the time seems to be my favorite. But it’s just temporary. So, the best answer to this question is no. I enjoy all genres we have tried so far.

PJ Hawkinson: I do not have a favourite genre and hope I don’t get locked into one. I like to be able to explore all options and if a notion takes me, I want to write it, no matter what genre.

Have you got a site where readers can keep up with your work?

We have four sites where readers can find out what we’re up to and what we’ve already done.

wodke-hawkinson.comhttp://wodke-hawkinson.com/blog1/findagoodbooktoread.com and  http://findagoodbooktoread.com/wodke-hawkinsons-blog.php.

Where can people buy your books?

All our books are available at Amazon, Smashwords, Createspace, and Barnes and Noble.

Zeke  USA   UK
Betrayed  USA   UK
Betrayed-Alternate Ending  USA   UK
Tangerine (coming soon)
Ghost Writer  USA   UK
Acim  USA   UK

Short Story Volumes:
Catch Her in the Rye  USA   UK
Blue  USA   UK
Alone  USA   UK

What’s next?

Usually we’ve concentrated on one project at a time, but we’re trying something different now. We have two books going at once. They are quite different from each other, so I don’t think we’ll have to worry about any bleed-through between the storylines. One is a sequel to Zeke, and the other is a fantasy set on another world.

We’d also like to mention that we are having a Fall Giveaway now through October 31, 2012. Prizes include e-copies of our books and a $100 Amazon gift card. For entry information, please visit: http://wodke-hawkinson.com/fall_2012_giveaway

Thank you very much for the opportunity to visit with you about our writing.

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