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CW Hawes is a fiction writer and award-winning poet. His interests are wide ranging and this is reflected in both the genres and the contents of his books. He writes in the post-apocalyptic, mystery, alternative history, and horror genres at present. His love of fine food, interesting locations, philosophy, music, art, books, and history can be seen in each of his tales.
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, CW spent 49 years in the Land of 10,000 Lakes (aka Minnesota), and now proudly hails from the Lone Star State (aka Texas).
He hasn’t met a pizza he doesn’t like (okay, he detests pineapple), is something of a tea snob, and rocks out to Handel and Vaughan Williams.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? What/who inspired you to publish your first book?
Since I cannot remember a time when I didn’t want to be a writer, I don’t know where my interest in writing originated. Although, I suspect it came from the books my mother read to me when I was very young.
I’d have to say my own desire to see my work in print was what inspired me to publish, starting with the production in high school of a play I wrote.
How much of your books are realistic? Are the experiences based on someone you know, or are they events in your real life?
Everything is real, yet not real. Perhaps we could say my books are a composite of reality, blended with a lot of imagination. Anthony Trollope wrote that our characters are not real people, but composites of the real people that we know. I think he was spot on.
What is your current project? Will you share a little of it with us – kind of a sneak peek?
At present, I have 2 projects I’m working on: the final edits for the 8th book in the Pierce Mostyn Paranormal Investigations series, which I plan on publishing the end of March; and writing the 8th and 9th books in the Justinia Wright Private Investigators Mystery series.
In his latest adventure, Mostyn and his team go to Antarctica where they encounter all manner of monsters. There is a surprise ending, but I won’t say any more.
Tina and Harry, as usual, find themselves involved in murder and mayhem, and Tina has to do a lot of thinking to find out who the culprits are. All for a hefty fee, of course.
What do you do in the ‘real world’ when you’re not writing?
Wait. Real world? Aren’t our books the real world, and we live in a dream?
In the so called real world, I’m a retired guy who likes to cook and eat good food, play chess and other board games, read, listen to classical music, and spend time in silence and solitude.
What are the challenges in writing your books? (Ex: logistical, research, literary, psychological, etc)
The only challenge I have in writing my books is in dealing with interruptions. Murphy and his law have a nasty habit of showing up at the most inopportune times. But that is life. And I just deal with it and continue on.
Are there any quotes or verses you find inspiring? What are they and why?
I have a quote and a saying that provide comfort and a measure of inspiration.
The Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius wrote, “Life is opinion.” Or in a more expanded translation: Life is whatever you think it is.
Practically speaking, that means good and bad is in our minds. They are constructs we make of reality. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade is another way to think about it. Or Paul’s verse in Romans: All things work together for the good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose.
The saying I find very helpful is: The only constant is change. This works 2 ways: when “good” things happen, enjoy them now — because they are not permanent, they will go away; and when “bad” things happen — understand that they won’t last forever.
Tell us a little about yourself. Perhaps something that a lot of people do not know?
I’m enjoying retirement like a kid enjoys an all day lollipop. It’s the greatest invention ever. I love the freedom to do what I want, when I want.
Yet, I’m pretty much a creature of habit. I like my routines.
As for what a lot of people don’t know about me, most don’t know I write my books longhand, using a fountain pen, dip pen, or pencil. They also probably don’t know I was once a Baptist minister.
Are you a planner or a pantser when it comes to writing? (Planner – outline; Pantser – sit down and write)
I’m definitely a pantser. I have no fear of the blank page and generally have little problem writing the story. If I do get stuck, I just switch to a different story.
Contrary to what many believe about pantsers, that they have to go through numerous rewrites to create the story out of all of their scribbles, I’m a very linear writer. I do not have deleted scenes or any excess writing. The “final” draft is virtually no different from the first.
If there was anything you could change regarding your publishing experience, what would it be and why? Also, do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
In November 2014, I published 4 books in 4 widely different genres. That was a mistake. It made marketing and writing much more difficult. There was no way to tie all the genres together. It was as if I was 4 different authors, which in a sense I was.
In retrospect, what I should’ve done was have 4 books in one series ready to go and then release them one each month for 4 months. That would have given me rapid release traction to get sales and assist in marketing. Then, while the first series was releasing, start work on a second series in a closely related genre — which would have allowed me to send readers from one series to the other. Thus potentially reaching more readers.
I also wish I would have started building my mailing list early in 2014, along with setting up my website and building a social media presence. That way, I would have had a reader base ready for when the books started coming out.
I always encourage anyone thinking about writing to read Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke. Particularly the first letter. That first letter is the best lesson in self-examination I’ve found. It gets to the root of whether or not writing is for you.
I also advise the aspiring writer to not get suckered in by all the people promising success if you buy this course or that training. Because they’ll take your money and you’ll most likely find the promises empty. There are no magic wands. There’s no fast way to earn a living by writing. Sure some get lucky. But they are 1 among many thousands. And actually many of the people who make a living at writing, don’t. They make their money selling courses and being affiliates selling other people’s courses. That is particularly true of non-fiction writers.
Lastly, I tell aspiring writers that writing is easy — but writing well is not. There is no substitute for learning how to write well except by writing lots of stories. Ray Bradbury urged the neophyte to write one short story a week. By the end of the year, he said, you should have a few good stories.
A potter doesn’t learn how to throw pots, except by doing so over and over again. A musician doesn’t learn an instrument except by putting in many thousands of hours of practice. It’s the same with writing.
And by writing, I don’t mean write one story or book and then rewrite it until perfect. That doesn’t work. It’s writing lots and lots of new stories. Each one building on what was learned in the previous one. That is how you learn to write well.
Reading is also essential for a writer. I’m amazed at all the writers who say they don’t have time to read. That’s like a musician saying he doesn’t have time to listen to music. Or a chef saying he doesn’t have time to eat. Does that even make sense? Read the work of the greats. Read the work of your peers. Then take the things you like and put them into your own work. And take out of your work the things you don’t like in what you read. That’s how you hone your craft.
Is there anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Yes, there is. It’s Thank You! Thank you for reading my books and letting me be a part of your life. Thank you for letting me bring a bit of joy to your world. I appreciate you and value you. Thank you for letting me serve you.
Murder, mystery, and mayhem, with a lot of wisecracking humor on the side.
Justinia (“Tina”) Wright is no ordinary gumshoe. A former CIA spy, the six-foot tall redhead smokes cigars, drinks madeira, plays the piano, and forges art. She also knows a think or two about bad guys. And she pulls out all the stops to make them pay.
Along with her brother, Harry, Tina solves the unsolvable crimes and puts the nice back into Minnesota Nice.
These are puzzle mysteries, classic whodunits, drawing inspiration from Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe; and to a lesser degree, Christie’s Poirot, and Wentworth’s Miss Silver.
If you enjoy a more relaxed pace, but with plenty of action, especially near the climax of the story, then these mysteries are for you.
- Link to the Amazon series page, which does not include Book 0 or the novella: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07F7PBHY8
- Vampire House and Other Early Cases of Justinia Wright, PI (Book 0): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M30WIOM
- The Nine Deadly Dolls (Justinia Wright novella): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08K52SLB4
Lovecraft meets The X-Files.
Pierce Mostyn is the top agent of the Office of Unidentified Phenomena. A Federal agency so secret even the President is unaware of its existence.
Mostyn’s mission is to investigate the truth behind what goes bump in the night, and the list of things that make those bumps is very long. Everything from abhumans to Gorgons, to shoggoths and Cthulhu himself.
This series, based squarely in Lovecraft’s world of the Cthulhu Mythos, is a creature-feature extravaganza, a wonderland of palpable terror.
If you love monsters, if you thrill to action and high adventure, if you enjoy humor and sitting on the edge of your chair, biting your nails — then you’ll love Pierce Mostyn.
Link to the Amazon series page: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07B6T7HMZ
**Coming Soon: In the Shadow of the Mountains of Madness**
What would you do if you woke up one morning and found virtually everyone dead?
What would you do a week later when the power grid failed and there was no more electricity?
What would you do if every person you met was a potential threat to your life?
What would you do?
That’s what Bill Arthur had to face one morning in September — death everywhere. With very few survivors.
The Rocheport Saga is Bill Arthur’s story: the story of his attempt to not only survive after the apocalypse, but to try to build a better world on the ashes of the old.
There are no zombies; no aliens; no monsters, except for the human kind. This is a very human story of, ultimately, hope. Can Bill Arthur bring together enough people to build a community and preserve technology, in order to accomplish his dream?
It’s 1938 and Rand Hart is about to change history. Although he doesn’t know it.
Flying back to the United States on the Hindenburg after a very profitable winter touring the gambling casinos of Europe, Hart’s plans are for a bit of rest and relaxation. But when a wealthy German industrialist offers him a deal he can’t refuse, Hart is off on another adventure.
With the promise of easy money, he finds himself in possession of a mysterious box that needs to be delivered to Rio de Janeiro in 6 days. Nothing, though, is ever as simple as it seems. There are others who have an interest in the little box and are determined to stop him from making his delivery. Even if it means killing him.
Hart has unwittingly entered a high stakes political game and too late realizes he may have unknowingly gambled away his life.
Rand Hart and the Pajama Putsch is a decopunk alternative history tale that takes place in the world of espionage and revolution leading up to World War II. Its a tale of high adventure and romance, with a little science fiction thrown in for spice.
There are many things we take for granted. Breathing and memory being two. That is, until illness makes breathing difficult and our memories begin to falter.
George, at eighty-two, is consumed by grief for his dead wife and struggles to come to grips with the onset of dementia and his failing memory. Until he meets the mysterious Beth, who promises to give George what he wants. But the question he wrestles with is she real or just a figment of his senility?
Do One Thing For Me is a quasi-symbolic and surrealistic dark fantasy of an old man drowning in grief, his dawning awareness of his descent into senility, and a final attempt to find meaning in life. And for some, it just might be a tale of terror.
Devon Michaels has a problem. His high blood pressure is out of control and that means he’s a stroke victim waiting to happen.
But Devon also has a solution: become a vampire and gain eternal life, along with perfect health.
The problem is, how do you find a vampire? But, as Devon discovers, an even bigger problem arises when you do.
“Metamorphosis” is a 5000 word short story exploring an unusual solution to a common problem and when being dead just might mean you stay alive.
What price a meal? Murder?
For starving artist Franz Holtmann that is not an academic question. Unable to sell his art in the worst winter the city has seen in years, Holtmann is slowly starving and freezing to death in his garret apartment.
Then a savior appears, who will take care of all his needs. All Holtmann has to do is kill his former employer. At first the idea fills him with revulsion. Hunger, however, as Holtmann learns, is a powerful motivator.
When he agrees, his mysterious savior showers him with money and promises of more. For Franz Holtmann, it appears the good life is before him. That is until the night he becomes aware of a deadly reality unleashed by unholy rites.
Two brothers. Estranged for years. An attempted reconciliation. And a ghost hellbent on giving everyone a taste of its own private hell.
Ancient History is a story of what can happen when nursing a grudge becomes more important than caring for those who should be closest to you.