Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed author LW Hawksby about her career, what inspires her writing, and her latest book, The Forgivers Club.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
I am a mum of three sheepishly venturing into my forties! Who loves to cook, garden, draw, write & decorate my traditional Glasgow tenement as a crazy jungle party house!
When did you first WANT to write a book?
As a child books were my quiet peaceful place. I remember hiding in our “cat shed” (we had 14 cats at our hotel!) or behind a sofa in the bar or lounge, simply devouring book after book. Probably 1 a week. I started writing little stories before I was ten & performing in scripted pantomimes & shows from 13. I love thriller drama excitement storytelling.
When did you take a step to start writing?
I first took writing seriously aged 36. I had just exited a period of horrendous relationships & trauma. I was unemployable & mentally very unwell. Writing kinda became my place to hide in again. A place to express myself. A place to tell my truth & feel heard.
How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?
My 1st book “Dangerous Normal People. Understanding Casanova Psychopaths & The Narcissistic Virus” took me 3 yrs with lots gaps for me to try & get well again or simply edit it. It was huge!
How long did it take you to complete your latest book from the first idea to release?
MY 2nd book “The Notch” was a lot quicker. It just flowed. I am a pantser and adored bringing all 4 main characters to life in sinister first person narrative. I think I wrote it in 6 months but editing took forever!
Focusing on your latest release. What made you want to write The Forgivers Club?
My latest book (May 2021) was/is “The Forgivers Club”. I wanted to write something dark and sticky & triggering. Something other authors are not brave enough to tackle. Female on female stalking, promiscuity and a female one-time sex offender. It felt important. It reads with honesty and yet hope. And we cannot stop abuse of any type without learning that steep slide a criminal takes into offending and TFG certainly exposes that.
What were your biggest challenges with writing The Forgivers Club?
Fear of it being removed from Amazon! It is pretty dark! And fear of trolling & bullying….but I have had far worse and the book is worth it.
What is the main conflict of The Forgivers Club?
In The Forgivers Club, Lola is her own conflict! She is her own worst enemy but I don’t think readers blame her.
She has fake friends and a history of domestic violence. She just keeps messing it up! Trying to find “love” in all the crappy corners of life.
However, Carolanne, Lola’s ex friend now stalker is a huge issue. She wants Lola dead. And Lola has to fight for her life.
Who or what inspired you when creating your Protagonist and Antagonist?
In all my books my MCs (antagonists & protagonists) are flawed, deep thinkers with issues. They have many layers and dark humour & alcohol seem a thing! I write what I know. That’s all I can say! Wink wink!
What is the inciting incident of The Forgivers Club?
Of TFG? Probably when Lola’s heart literally breaks. She thinks she is worthless and unwanted & unnattractive. She simply does the most awful selfish dangerous thing to try feel better. It is the mistake of her life.
Did you plot The Forgivers Club in advance, or fly by the seat of your pants and write freely?
I have story then title ideas, and if I fall in lust with them, I just go for it. I have 3x 50,000 WIPs sitting just now!
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did The Forgivers Club need?
I edited my first 2 books alone. Big mistake! I now have a proofreader & editor who I trust implicitly! I highly recommend it. Writing is lovely now!
What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a story?
Not everyone can write a good book. I’m sorry. Please listen to feedback. Please read others books. And give up if its not working! I would love to be a super model but I am 5ft 4. Hah!
Accept what is not yours to have. Maybe you can be a reviewer or publisher or editor or consultant or researcher. Writing is not the only booky heaven there is!
Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?
I am beyond excited about “Pretty Girls Gone”. It is a very dark supernatural thriller exposing “Triangulation”. This is where 1 person manipulates someone to be a scapegoat so they can control or win a situation. For example in a love triangle. So a horrid infidelity trap! The cover is done. The 1st edit is done. We are ready tp push go on it next Summer 2022. It was inspired by 2 toxic couples I know enjoy cheating on each other then stalking the innocent “side chick” into suicidal thoughts. Sad but common
And, finally, are your proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
It is worth the effort but people dont realise writing a book is easy. Getting it edited. Covered. Sold. Reviewed is a 24/7 job! I only recently broke even on income with my books so the only way is up but I am self funding #TheCreteRetreat for victims of crime & also new authors to help them where no one helped me. Maybe 1 day my books will buy me a 2nd one!
Social media links
Youtube channel (educational videos) https://youtube.com/channel/UCmxcnq3YqhasaWEJSm9G4Xw
Amazon books Just put L.W Hawksby in the search bar!!
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