Jaq D. Hawkins

What’s your pen name? Jaq D Hawkins

Tell me about your most recent story you’re writing and the title.

I’m currently working on a novel that started as a short story in the anthology, Dreamtime Damsels & Fatal Femmes. The theme was strong women protagonists, so I wrote The Wizard’s Quandary, about a female Alchemist who works in a tower with a miniature dragon for company. Her world gets disrupted when the king takes too much interest in her work and she sets out on an adventure. The book will have a different title than the short story, but I’m not ready to release that yet.

Copy/paste the best review from your recent published work.

Penny Blake

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and unusual fantasy trilogy

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 3 December 2020

Verified Purchase

This series sucks you straight in from the first page and I simply couldn’t put my kindle down – I think it took me two weeks to read all three books and I don’t get much time for reading right now! The characters capture you from the start and I loved the idea of the Goblin anarcho-communist society preserving the old ways underground while the humans blunder about above but hope coming in the form of the dance which connects all life and so human to goblin as well. I like the rawness and realism of the dystopic retro-future it is set in – the writer doesn’t pull any punches regarding the ‘medieval mindset’ of many of the humans and the ‘primal mindset’ of the goblins and this makes some scenes uncomfortable (think maybe the darker bits of Margaret Weiss or Mercedes Lackey or more recently R A Salvatore has ventured down that road) but I love that – I hate it when fantasy writing paints everything with a golden sheen of utopic perfection and ignores the awkward truths and moral grey areas that exist in any society. There are strong and lovable characters here and they exist in context within a very real world, I had my heart in my mouth a few times but there was nothing that made me want to put the books down and I do have a fair few triggers so hopefully that gives you a flavour without any spoilers. Other reviewers have said it’s not a children’s series -but I think that’s obvious from the cover! (Which is beautiful, I love the artwork almost as much as the books!) My only down-point was that I wanted the story to go on after the last book so I hope there will be more goblin tales in the pipe line!

Do you ever read bad reviews? Why or why not?

I read all reviews. I think most authors do, though some claim they don’t read their reviews at all. It’s feedback. One that was actually written as a hate review pointed out that I had overused pronouns in my first book, so I corrected that. The genuine reviews, which is most of them, tell me how well I’m connecting with my target audience, the old school Fantasy fans.

Where do you live?

In the UK Midlands, just far enough away from London.

Would your most recent protagonist pick:

Dog or cat?

I’d say a cat. She actually has a dragon, but close enough personality-wise.

Banana or pizza?

There are no pizzas where she lives.

Water or soda?

No soda either.

Jungle or ocean?

Oh definitely ocean, considering one features as part of her quest.

Sword or gun?

Lesana’s weapon is magic.

Night owl or early bird?

Being a disgusting morning person myself, I think she follows suit.

Rock music or symphony?

Both. All music is magic.

Books or movies?

She’s an Alchemist. Books are essential to her life.

Write a descriptive sentence about where you are currently sitting to see if the reader can imagine it.

A traditional desktop computer sits atop an old wooden desk, cluttered with the flotsam of daily post, pieces of projects and Halloween decorations who haven’t yet noticed it’s November. A fluffy tortoiseshell cats purrs just in front of the screen, only partially obscuring the writer’s view of the page.

What is something you hope to achieve decades from now in your writing career?

Finishing all the stories currently in ideas files on my computer. They all want to be told at once and it gets noisy inside my head.

Do you write stand-alones or series? Why?

I prefer stand alone books. Sometimes they evolve into a series, like my Goblin Trilogy. There I was writing a stand alone book and halfway through, things that had to happen in the next generation intruded, then the one after that. Luckily it stopped at three. I don’t really like to read long series so why would I write them? Most don’t hold up in later books, though I can think of a couple of exceptions.

Where is your favorite location to write and why?

I’ve got a small office in my home and apart from taking notes on my phone at odd moments, this is my writing domain. I have an actually shift of consciousness when I sit down at my desk.

Which was your favorite book you read this year?

In 2021, I think the one I liked most was Joyland by Stephen King.

Do you have a pet who supports your writing? Who is it?

I have seven cats, but two of them, generally referred to as the fuzzies because they are fluffy part-Ragdoll cats, are my desk cats.

Tell me three things about your favorite protagonist.

That would be Haghuf from The Goblin Trilogy. He’s a librarian and collects books from the human world. He’s not as gruff as he seems and actually has a lot of respect for Count Anton. He doesn’t eat cats, no matter how he teases the humans.

What is a mistake you made early in writing that you’d advise other authors to avoid?

Sending something to a publisher without putting it aside for a while and reading it with fresh eyes.  This not only makes it easier to see typos, but it’s amazing how a revisitation allows for improving phrases and even adding new material.

How many books have you written?

5 Fantasy and 10 non-fiction.

What’s your writing goals for 2022?

I’m being pulled between Lesana’s story and a non-fiction to follow-up my last publication. Hopefully I can make time to do both. Film editing has kept me from my writing far too much.

Tell me about a book you’d like to advertise here and why?

My Goblin Trilogy is in a single volume now and I would like to see it in the hands of more Fantasy readers. After all, my next fiction release will appeal to the same audience.

Published by CassieSwindon

Fiction author

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