Sunday, 1 March 2015

Women in Horror: APRIL HAWKS

When did you start writing horror?
2012. My friend, brother really, and mentor Peter N. Dudar has written horror for years. I was NEVER going to write it. Nor was I going to write short stories. However, my son was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) on August 31, 2012. I had just started writing a few months ago thanks to a workshop provided by Writers Guild of America and made available to me through the Wounded Warrior Project. One assignment was to write a personal essay. I wrote mine about Spencer's Diagnosis. (He is in full remission as of one month after diagnosis) Peter told me about a horror anthology with proceeds going to the National Children's Cancer Society. I wanted in...bad. so I sent my essay and began a short story. It was horrible, but I discovered that I really liked short stories AND horror. Who knew? Never say never. 2. Have you written in any other genre?
I have novels started in epic fantasy and urban fantasy/sci fi. I am currently working on a mystery/crime novel scheduled for release this year, which is both intimidating and exciting. 3. What makes you uncomfortable? 
LOTs. LOL. I have anxiety, diagnosed. New things do, for certain. Also, I have a hard time talking about sex. 4. Does your family read your work?
Well, when my kids are older, yes. I don't allow them to now. They are 18 (he is excluded from this rule) 11, 9 and 5. My husband is a huge support. Mostly, I try not to ask. MY Grandmother is a bit concerned about what goes on in my head. Whether they read it or not, they support me. 5. Does your writing make you uneasy?
I have been facing down my own demons in my horror work, so yes. And I think that is good. I learn so much about myself through my work. Things I hadn't connected together consciously get connected when I write. And then I learn. 6. Who would you say you write like?
Me. I try not to follow others. I do see other styles sneak in, but I think I do a fairly good job of writing in my own way. Or I am dense. Or both. 7. Who are your favourite authors?
That is such a difficult list. Too many to mention. So I will say that the author tat has been most influential to me was my great grandfather, Hants A. White. He self published back in the 60s, when it wasn't a "thing" because he felt so strongly that he needed to get his work out. Then he sold his books out of the trunk of his car. That is an incredible drive. And I remember that he came to my English and History classes, at the age of 90 and spoke. HE then donated copies, autographed, to my High School. His books are very UN Pc, an example of the timeframe. He wrote about the great depression in northern Maine. He published six books and I am honored to have spent time with him. I miss him very much. But all my publications are next to his books, on the shelf. 8. Who influences you as a writer?
Whoops. I apparently answered this question up there. Lol. My writer's group, certainly. TUESDAY MAYHEM SOCIETY has very talented writers, and I appreciate their feedback and I love the opportunity to hear their own work. 9. Do you remember what your first horror book was that you read?
I don't know that it was horror, but it was a Dean Koontz book about a serial killer and it kept me awake at night. The Stand was the next. I saw the movie and had to read the book. Been a fan of King ever after. 10. How old were you?
16.And I STILL can't hang my foot off the bed. 11. Is there any subject you will not touch as an author?
I've not come across any. My husband is a combat veteran, so I've seen what combat PTSD can do. I'm an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse, so I'm sure that will make its way in. I can't think of anything, really. Even sex, which is difficult for me, is not out of the question. I push myself to write the difficult stuff. It helps me grow as a.person. 12. What was the best advice you were given as a writer?
"You need to write". Seriously. That's it. Butt glue, determination, whatever. I felt so miserable when I was not writing that I knew I had come home when I started to write again. 13. If you had to start all over again, what would you do different? 

Write earlier. I take that back. I would hide my writing better during a particularly abusive relationship. Or you know, not get into that relationship. He stole all my writing and got rid of it. And it was mostly journals. It took me a long time to trust and to write.again after that. 14. How many books do you read a year?

Hundreds. But I don't count. I read several books a week. 
15. Do you write every day?
I try to. Last year I challenged myself to write a story every week. I succeeded. It's hard to carve out time with all that my life entails, but now that Spencer is in school full time, that helps.

Twitter @aprilhawks

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