Monday, June 6, 2011

Author Interview: Linda Hawley

Please give a warm welcome to the author of Dreams Unleashed, Linda Hawley!
Linda Hawley has been a storyteller her whole life. The Prophecies Trilogy is her first published works. Many of the plots and subplots came from her own life experiences.
3LB: Who or what inspired you to write?
I started writing poetry when I was five years old; I loved playing with words, and telling stories through poetry.  I’ve been a storyteller all my life (written and verbal).  I knew when I was little that I wanted to be an author, but it took me years to finally dive into the deep end. 
3LB: Who decided on the title of your novel?
My husband is my biggest fan; I bounce ideas off him regularly as I'm writing novels.  When it came time to name book one of The Prophecies trilogy, I had some ideas.  He and I sat down with a pen and paper and worked through names and titles.  When we came up with Dreams Unleashed, it fit the plot and it met my marketing/sales criteria.  In that moment, a new novel was born!
3LB: What made you want to create a futuristic world controlled by technology? What was your inspiration behind the novel?
The last chapter of Dreams Unleashed is based on an actual experience I had.  When I wrote it down in story format, the main character, Ann, came to life.
     I love to ground a story in something that is present or happening today, and then to project what it will become in the near future (5-10 years from now).  I think this gives the readers a way to understand the plot, and to extend belief to the story.  Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology was the perfect plot vehicle to use to reach an international audience.  The technology I write about in Dreams Unleashed is present today, and it's being used internationally. 

     On the print version of Dreams Unleashed (to be published about June 10th), the following statement headlines the back cover, “From debut author Linda Hawley comes a story that could be our future reality.”  Because I ground the novel in real technology today, it is entirely possible that my novel will be prophetic.  Only time will tell.
3LB: Do you share personality characteristics with any of your characters? Did you put part of yourself in them as you they were being created on paper and ink?
I think every author takes snippets from people they've interacted with throughout their life, and inserts them into fictional characters.  I will tell you that my husband (who is my soul mate) was a great source of inspiration for Ann's relationship with her husband in Dreams Unleashed.  There are some characteristics of my own life that are present in the protagonist, Ann.
3LB: Was there any scene or part in Dreams Unleashed that was difficult to write? If so, how did you get through writing it?
For me, writing is the easy part.  It's the editing that's very difficult.  I do want to say that I have an extremely gifted editor; she is the Special Forces of content editors.  However, the process is painful for me.  I lost about 20,000 words in the editing process. 
     There was one place in Dreams Unleashed, however, that I ran out of ideas in a particular place.  I was talking in bed with my husband (at 3:00 AM, after writing), and told him that I had no idea what would happen to this character next.  I said that my mind was a blank—nothing was happening.  The next day, from work, he sent me an email of some crazy ideas he had.  One really funny idea stuck, and you'll find it in chapter 22 of Dreams Unleashed; it has to do with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).  I wasn't sure it would make it through the editor's eye, but it did, which made both my husband and me happy.
3LB: What’s next for you? What other books have you written?
Besides The Prophecy trilogy (Dreams Unleashed is book one), I am also co-writing a biological thriller with another author.  All three books of The Prophecies trilogy will be published this year.  The biological thriller will be published later this year or early 2012.  Then early next year, I have 10 volumes of poetry that will be published.  Also coming in 2012 is a brand new dystopian trilogy; all three of those books will be published in 2012.
3LB: If you bring to life any book character in history, who would you chose?
Jamie in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series.  He is a multidimensional character who I would like to have a word or two with.
3LB: Tell us five interesting things about yourself.
  1. I've kayaked from one island to another in the Caribbean. 
  2. I’ve jumped out of a plane and had my parachute lines tangle, forcing me solve the emergency rather quickly. 
  3. I've attended a Christmas party at the White House and have been on Air Force One. 
  4. I've been to Europe many times. 
  5. I've sailed the San Juan Islands, which are featured in Dreams Unleashed
3LB: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
The main plot of Dreams Unleashed is certainly dystopian, but I have worked hard as the author to give readers well-rounded characters, some good humor, international adventure, and a heartfelt love story.  Early on in writing the trilogy, I made a decision that I would not include any profanity nor premarital sex in the book.  (Although Ann does know how to use a Taser, and does, in her defense.)  I did this because I wanted anyone of any age to be comfortable reading my trilogy.  I was overjoyed to see that teens have started reading Dreams Unleashed, and are talking about it--they love the technology, the dog Lulu, and the love story.  If you've never read a dystopian novel before, Dreams Unleashed might be the first one to try.
~~~
Thank you, Linda! For more information about Ms. Hawley and her books, visit:
Buy Dreams Unleashed, the print copy of which is due to be published June 10th! The eBook version is available now!

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