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Sunday, 27 January 2008
Getting to Know Susie Hawes
Topic: Author Interview
Susie Hawes the person:

1.  What three words do you think describe you as a human being?

Optimistic, intense, moody.

2.  How do you think others would describe you?

Cheerful, enthusiastic. I've been told this repeatedly.

3.   Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.

My family; home schooling. I love the freedom home schooling affords us. I have a great family and love spending time with them, and the school system in my home town sucks. By downloading state and federal goals and basic guidelines I can provide the kids with a serious education and still give them the freedom to explore.

4.  Do you have any pets?  If so, introduce us to them.

We have three dogs and a cat. Meet Blaze, the resident feline. The male, a small tom with a big cat attitude. He's scarred and sassy; with all the fights he's been in, we were forced to keep him indoors for quite a time. He finally learned to avoid fights, but it took a while.

Next is Melissa. She's mostly Labrador retriever; a big, lovable lady. Very playful, too. She is the queen of the house, and a big favorite with the other two girls. 

Then we have Tilly. Blind in one eye, she is a special lady. Tilly is a small dog built along the lines of a whippet or greyhound. She's shy and loving, but a bit temperamental. She needs a gentle touch and a lot of love to shine. My husband loves her like a child.

My baby girl is Pudge. She's got the look of a mix breed, part pit bull, part lab, and is a small thing. Her dad was small; her mom was a pit. She's perpetually curious and playful, very hyper at times and always loving and ornery. She's my little chow hound and it's a challenge to keep her at a healthy weight. I have to keep the food bowl up or she'll make herself sick. One ear is permanently cocked up and one is down, and she's always got a startled look, except when she's chewing on you.

Pudge and Tilly look at Melissa as a mother figure and love the cat, who ignores them with feline distaste, but sleeps cuddled up to them often.

5.  What is your most precious memory?

I know it's cliché, but the first time I saw my kids' eyes open.

Right up there is the wedding. My husband and I were married by a Justice of the Peace in his office. Rick has a bad stutter, and massacred the vows. The Judge kept looking over at me nervously, but I had known for a long time how Rick's speech patterns were. I just told him to take his time and encouraged him, then smiled at the Judge.

I guess the Judge expected me to get angry, because he looked relieved. I knew the stuttering meant Rick took the vows seriously; they meant something very important to him, or his stutter wouldn't have been so bad.

The Judge wouldn't take any money from us after the wedding. He said he was glad to have been the one to marry us.

6.  What is your most embarrassing memory?

Oh, god, I have a lot of them. I'm mildly dyslexic, and make mistakes a lot. I guess it would have to be the time I misjudged the distance and walked right into a chip rack, almost knocking it over. I wasn't drunk, but it happened early on a Saturday morning, about the time the bars let out, in a convenience store. Right in front of the check out counter. The clerk made a drunk joke and I just blushed and made one back, rather than explain.

I do that a lot. If someone misunderstands a minor incident and lets me know with a joke or a comment, then instead of going into a long, boring explanation, I just let them think what they want to and joke about it. 

7.  If you weren't a writer, what would you be doing with your life?

I'd probably be a teacher. Not around here, though. I'd get fired for refusing to dumb down the curriculum.

I'd probably do both. Most writers do. ;) My sister, a professor of English at Houston University out of Del Mar in Corpus Christie, is also a published author and the horror editor at

She has more energy than I do ... and a lot more patience. I'd never get along with local school systems long enough to get my degree in teaching. I hate rules.

8.   In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

Born in Ohio, Mrs. Hawes lived most of her life in Texas. She had two great kids and a fantastic, fun life. Disabled at thirty-one, Mrs. Hawes ignored her dyslexia to author a series of fantasy novels, "The Dragon Thing To Do. She continued to parent and write, working from home. Editor of the "for the love of e zine", CrossRoads Magic, Mrs. Hawes worked for a short time as an associate editor for Surreal Magazine before her health limited her activity online. She was still active in Whispering Spirits e zine and on message boards, and broke into print publication with the series in 2008.

Her ashes have been scattered by the roadside in Wichita Falls to enable her to haunt her beloved Texas.

Susie Hawes the writer:

9.  Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a "real" writer?

When I was ten, and the teacher hounded me to write a short story then insisted that the rest of the class create their own characters to inhabit the world I'd outlined. She used it as a wall display for our classroom.

I used fiction to get through some of the most boring projects in school. Instead of reports, science projects and the like, I wrote stories based on the subject. Teachers, bored with the same papers, loved it, and I had to include enough research and enough acts to cover the assigned material.

10.  What is going on with your writing these days?

I'm working on book number seven of the Dragon Thing series, researching a comedy/horror series and doing book reviews and articles for Whispering Spirits e zine.

11.  What are your future goals for your writing?

Continue along this course for a decade then try new genres. I'd also like to re-open my CrossRoads Magic e zine.

12.  Can you describe a typical writing day for you?

I work at night, when the kids are down. First I medicate for pain, and take a piping hot shower. Then I do my e mail and any follow up. Then I promote the writing already out there. Then I do a non fiction piece, or promote another writer's work.

Next I write about 1,000 words or edit 1,500.

13.  Why do you write?

I can't not write. If I do the creative juices build up and drown me.

14.  What writer most inspires you? 

I'm inspired by history, myth, daily events, ect. Sensorial or emotional input, rather than fictional example, gets my juices flowing.

15.  How do you define your writing?

It's chaotic, covering several different genres. Basically I think of it as speculative literature; the land of what if.

16.  In one sentence-what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?

It was a fun read.

Susie Hawes the details:

17.  Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website?  Blog?; Live Journal

featured author page,

forum at

18.  Is there a place where readers can reach you?

You can e mail me at Be sure to put Contacting Author Susie Hawes as the subject in your e mail. That'll clear the spam filter.

19.  Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?

You can find my work in one easy location; at least for now.

in e book format

When I go to print later this year, I'll have a new link at

20.  For new readers-what can they expect when they read your book(s)?

I put a lot of comedy in many of my fantasies. My darker work features strong-willed characters in difficult situations. I usually have social commentary and strong character development in my work.

In conclusion:

21. Take as much space as necessary to speak to our readers-what would you like them to know about you and your writing?

I'm in a transition stage of my writing. Before my fiction was shorter, mostly confined to the electronic media for the longer works. I have always put out short stories in the electronic and print format. I'm going to concentrate more on print versions now, for my novels, producing higher word count and spending a longer time in my worlds, exploring the characters and their impact on the world around them.

The dragon series was designed to do this, but put out in short novels that inter-connected, so that in order to get the whole story arc readers had to get more than one book. The pacing is fast in a Hawes novel, and the story flows so that each book in the serial is a quick read. I'm combining two of each consecutive novel into a longer one so that the reader will have a longer experience in the characters' world.

This may make the read a bit exhausting, as a lot goes on in a Hawes novel, but I feel most readers can chose their own pace rather than have it dictated to them by the author or the format of the novel. A long e book is a difficult read for many people, so by going to a print format I feel it is easier on the reader to be caught up in the experience without the distraction of soreness computer work can cause.

I guess I think of this more than some because of my disability. I am troubled by fibromyalgia and poor eyesight, which limits my time at work.

Many of the readers and authors I know have the same difficulties I experience, and I do keep it in mind when designing a novel or story arc.

Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 27 January 2008 2:32 AM EST
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