I am really excited to welcome Hawk to the Flight Deck once more and thrilled that he has agreed to share some more about himself and his books.
Good morning, Hawk - get the service drone to bring you something cool and refreshing while you relax and tell us a little more about yourself, with three things not many
Hawk: OR maybe they do.
Ego and confidence make
a matched team BUT in no way shies away from giving credit for the help I’ve
been fortunate to receive.
Getting a genuine
thrill out seeing a mind with dreams supported by those they love & love
them; watching them train/work/fail/learn/grow & finally blossom into
gifted creative artist(s) or trained creative professional(s) in the
unbelievable grandeur-architecture of living things…plant or animal to me are the
same. Kind’a makes artist & healer the same.
3 Having had the good
fortune to have an expanded education that gave me many doors to use/choose.
Great answer Hawk, Now ... what do you do for fun when not writing?
Hawk: Read historical non-fiction or the latest scientific quantum
revelations out of CERN…some outstanding quantum physics authorities that have
a writers-gift few ‘scientist-researchers’ possess…they express their work in
terms the person in the street.
HL: So when did you start writing?
HAWK: the sixth grade for my class weekly
news sheet…a serial mystery.
HL: Ah, I suspect many of us started writing that way. I'm curious - what comes first for you: the plot
or the characters?
HAWK: Depends on how the idea strikes me. Title
& plot…I carry a notepad with me constantly, or during the night when
resolution to a plot slams me wide awake…I luv it.
Oh yes, when inspiration calls she (or he) doesn't worry about the time!
Tell us about your
latest release and what you think readers will enjoy
are 2 latest release, an Ingram thriller, Walking
the Pet & Vol-II in the Cairns sci-fi(s), The Missing Planets. Enjoy? Like in any told tale or play or film
it’s the identity with the character interplay that’s the interplay of the
tale. All else is tasty whipped cream & fresh strawberries.
HL: Love the analogy! If someone were to play one
of your characters in a movie, which
character and what actor would it be and why?
HAWK: Probably Travis van Winkle…he started young in castings I’ve never heard of, but I’ll watch R&R action films to
get my mind off edits and manuscripts. Character(s) developed during the
film(s), as in any of the creative arts, he brings confidence and experience and crafted tools added to screen presence that makes his role(s)
living-real. In my sci fi series The
Cairns of Sainctuarie, for the Murian protagonist…Keanu Reeves…eyes, facial
and physical expression, he can become a poker-faced stoic in a crisis. Same
with books. My Since women characters are some my favorites…I’d have to think
on that...they’re very special.
Aw, it's not always easy casting for your books is it! Have you a favorite actress?
HAWK: Ingrid Bergman, Katherine Hepburn, Olivia de Havilland…I’m
dating myself, but these actresses don’t need paparazzi or media blitz to be
so-called stars. These actresses let their craft speak for them…most certainly
not available to cast as young widow of a SEAL.
HL: They were certainly amazing actors. What have you learned about
writing since you were published that surprised you the most?
HAWK: Characters that step off the pages can hold any plot…example sci-fi
OR any tale well-spun.
HL: Oh I couldn't agree more Hawk, I love it when characters become so real they 'step off the pages' as you say. So what’s you’re writing process? Has
it changed since writing your first book?
HAWK: Yes and no.
Editing is the key. Honesty, sometimes brutal honesty with the figure in the
mirror is essential. I don’t think there is “a” single process. One does what
is comfortable; writing is so very private. My man-cave solitude is my world
when I’m interweaving characters with each other, the plots and within
HL: I certainly agree with you about the editing, and the honesty! Do you listen to music when you
write and if so, what kind of music – or do you find it distracts you?
HAWK:…the great classics, Chopin, Beethoven, Sibelius, Smetana’s Má vlast
HL: I rather enjoy listening to the classics myself when I write. Now, do you have a
support system? Do you have a writing community? What valuable lessons have you
learned from them?
HAWK: A support system - yes. A writing
community - yes. The most valuable lesson in constructive editing (not
criticism but learning) only from individuals with goals/examples I respect…in
Southron-speak civilized. I take very hard looks at any decision (including my
own) about altering/changing a manuscript/cover/title.
HL: You are so right. Sometimes you have to think really hard about prospective changes. Enquiring minds want to know - what is your
personal definition of success?
HAWK: Listen to your heart/Learn from those that want to help/Turn mistakes into learning opportunities.
HL: That is actually great advice! What is your favorite source of inspiration?
HAWK: A lifetime of respected smart
common-sense individuals, most of them gone, some who helped from a sense of,
as you expressed, “…helping to promote [fellow authors] others who work hard to
dream/live their dreams.”
HL: And is there any
advice, as a new writer, that you were either given, or wish you had been given?
HAWK: Not advice but examples set by those
I respect: Believe
in your dreams; never say NO to yourself & never quit.
HL: I think that should be in large letters above every writer or artist's desk! What sort of
research do you do for your books and what’s your favorite source of
HAWK: Depends a lot on the settings/characters/plots I’ve visited BUT not grown up in and around. Example: being born and raised in the SoWest (Tex/Ark/Ok) gave me little firsthand touch and feel for the history of The Late Great Unpleasantness…i.e. The War Between the States. Placing ancestors of the serial protagonist in the Ingram mystery series into/against dealing with such a background, and especially in So.Carolina, demanded not stumbling over relevant facts. Being a history nerd was a plus; knowing the details of that upheaval as a background for Moccasin Trace was De rigueur in the French meaning…in strictness. Southron <Scottish origin which you might well be familiar] families in the deep heart of Dixie know their history cold…most of it from family ties. The same for creating a world/language/race/DNA of a species foreign to our spaceship Earth…one can stumble all too easy in such artificial, yet not quite artificial, worlds. Research—digging where the dust-trails take BUT digging in detail. “Ain’t it fun!”
HL: Absolutely, I love research! Now, just for fun, if you were
an animal, which one do you think you would be, and why?
HAWK: Probably a German shepherd…they’re elegant animals, smart,
alert, easily trained & just enough wolf to be loyal to the pack, giving way
more than we give them. I miss mine terribly.
HL: Aw, I've never had a German shepherd, although I've had dogs (and horses) all my adult life. Shepherds, as you say, are so smart and elegant. Beautiful animals. Getting back to books, many authors relate their characters to people they know. Is this the case with your characters and do you see yourself in any of them?
HAWK: Absolutely…characters related to other people are usually victims
in my mystery-thriller series. To write from the heart is the only write. To
paraphrase Mark Twain, “If you want to know about me, read my books.”
HL: Who is your favorite character in
your book and why?
The Ingram Mystery-Thriller Series
Craige Howelle Graeme Roynane Ingram – Craige Ingram serial protagonist
The Cairns of Sainctuarie
Vol – I The Bleikovat Event *
Klarvkaa Etkaa Celovaa Bremanovaa – The Dowager Empress Klarvkaa
Herklo Korvo Celo – Korvion Elder/Korvon clan
Vol – II The Missing Planets
Eklam a’Qoc – Teratoan apprentice Outpost Terato/from the hamlet of a’Qoc
Herklo Korvo Celo – (same clan name/descendent) Chief Oligarch/Grand Duke
Vol – III [untitled]
Eklam a’Qoc – League Judikarr/Commander Terminus Terato
Herklo Korvo Celo – (same clan name) Chief Oligarch/Grand Duke
Vol – IV [untitled]
[characters not assigned]
HL: Who is your most favorite character
of all time from any book?
HAWK: Bernadine Eugénie Désirée Clary, one-time fiancé of Napoléon
Bonapart. Discarded in favor of Josephine; she married General and
Marshall of France Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte. She became Dowager
Queen of Sweden and Norway, founder of the Bernadotte Dynasty on the
throne of Sweden to this day. Ahhh…a tale worthy of Walt Disney…a lesson
in history…if we care to look. Even better…if we read.
there a question you really, really wish someone would ask, but they never
If so what would be your reply?
the connection(s) that stretch from the romance of Moccasin Trace straight thru the descendant(s) of that bloodline
& the traditions/duties that shaped the serial protagonist Craige Ingram.
Ditto for the dual protagonists in the Cairns series…Eklam a’Qoc & Korvo.
HL: Hawk, that is probably the most interesting answer I've ever had to that question! :) Thank you so much for taking time to visit my blog, it’s
been a thrill having you here and learning more about you and your writing. I
wish you much success both now and in the future.
and finally, here is a summary of Hawk's books.
postgraduate degrees and faculty appointments in several medical universities,
Hawk MacKinney has taught graduate courses in both the United States and
Jerusalem. In addition to professional articles and texts on chordate
neuroembryology, Hawk has authored several works of fiction.
writing mysteries for his school newspaper. His works of fiction, historical
love stories, science fiction and mystery-thrillers are not genre-centered, but
plot-character driven, and reflect his southwest upbringing in Arkansas, Texas
and Oklahoma. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel nominated for the prestigious
Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes
Book Award, details the family bloodlines of his serial protagonist in the
Craige Ingram Mystery Series. Vault of Secrets, the first book in the Ingram
series, was followed by Nymrod Resurrection, Blood and Gold, and The Lady of
Corpsewood Manor. All have received national attention. Walking the Pet is Hawk’s latest release in
the Ingram series. The first book in another mystery-thriller series is
scheduled for release in 2015. The Bleikovat Event, the first volume in The
Cairns of Sainctuarie science fiction series, was released in 2012. Its sequel,
The Missing Planets, has just been released. Readers can connect with Hawk at