Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hello. Thank you for visiting my blog today. I am Rebecca Scarberry (Scarberryfields on Twitter).  I have now interviewed authors, PJ Hawkinson and Karen Wodke (Wodkehawkinson on Twitter). I have wanted to interview this writing duo for a long time. Not only am impressed by their writing talents, but I consider them both friends of mine. I’m certain you will enjoy getting to know them a little better, as much as I have.

Scarberryfields: Please tell us about everything you have written (published and unpublished).
PJ and Karen: Catch Her in the Rye, Selected Short Stories, Volume One---Blue, Selected Short Stories, Volume Two---Alone, Selected Short Stories, Volume Three
Betrayed and Betrayed-Alternate Ending
Zeke, our latest novel, just released
And Tangerine, which is coming soon
Scarberryfields: Once you finish writing fiction, do you miss the characters in the books?
PJ and Karen: We missed Brook and Lance, from Betrayed; that’s why we enjoyed writing Betrayed-Alternate Ending because it was like being with old friends. There are also a number of characters in our short story volumes that hold a special place in our hearts, but they’re too numerous to mention.
Scarberryfields: While writing, if you need help with punctuation, grammar, etc., where do you turn?
PJ and Karen: We often turn to The Bedford Handbook for the majority of our issues and make visits online for those we are still unsure about.
Scarberryfields: With the number of hours spent writing, do family members support you or complain about the time spent away from them?
PJ: My husband is extremely supportive; he even steals my proof copies when I finish with them. The rest of my family are involved with their own activities and my writing doesn’t affect them much.
Karen: My husband is not much of a reader, so he doesn’t get too involved with my writing. However, he is glad I can work from home now because he knows I’m much happier this way. And he does attend our book signings.
Scarberryfields: Does writing benefit you in any way and if so, how?
PJ: I dream. Vivid, wild, and crazy dreams. Writing is a way for me to turn my dreams into tales that others can enjoy. Working with Karen is the most beneficial thing that has happened for me. The two of us round off each other’s works and make the finished project much better than what I could produce alone.
Karen: PJ’s right. We work well together and there is a huge advantage to having input from two people. For me, writing is not only enjoyable, but it’s definitely an outlet. In addition to that, it’s a great way to make a living. I think the biggest benefit for me personally is the freedom, freedom to be in control of my own schedule and to do the kind of work that is gratifying.
Scarberryfields: When you’re writing, do you shut-off all social networks?
PJ and Karen: Absolutely not, because we need to let our readers know what’s coming next and attend to the promotion of our completed books. Plus, we like to stay informed on current works of other writers. It can be a bit of a distraction to network while we are working on a project, but one we feel is worth it. Connecting with readers and with other authors is something we really enjoy.
Scarberryfields: Did you use any family members as Beta readers for your debut novel?
PJ and Karen: At this time, we have not used Beta readers and have no plans of doing so in the future.
Scarberryfields: Do you read ebooks? If you do, and write reviews, do you have any special process you use to write a review?
PJ: I read mostly ebooks since I got my Kindle. I haven’t done many reviews; although, I have read several books that I need to post reviews on. I don’t have a special process, but I need to develop one.
Karen: I love my Kindle, but I do enjoy the feel of a “real” book in my hands. So, I read both. I try to leave reviews for most books I read. In reviews, I try to cover the technical aspect of the author’s work (skill level of the writing, lack of typos, good editing, etc.), along with the delivery of the plot, whether a story is interesting, the author’s voice, etc. Most important to me is whether I enjoyed the book and believe that other readers will also like it. I don’t focus a lot on plausibility because all fiction is just that, fiction, but I do like the implausible to be presented in a way that is consistent with the story and believable in the context of the tale. In my reviews, I look for the positive aspects of the work, even if I don’t agree with the content, unless something is just so outrageous or preachy that it stands out in a negative way.
I find that writing a lot takes time away from my reading, though.
Scarberryfields: What is the last book called that you completed and published? Also, where can we find this book?

PJ and Karen: Our new release is Zeke, a dark novel of sexual obsession, psychological manipulation, and looming peril. It’s about Sue Cox, a naive college student who falls for the exciting new clerk at the local used bookstore. Captivated by Zeke’s brooding good looks and menacing but irresistible charisma, Sue capitulates to his will, leaving her wide open for exploitation. Zeke begins to exert subtle control and entices her to leave town with him. As they travel, his behavior grows more deviant and increasingly volatile.

After Sue’s car is found deserted in an outlying cemetery, the police dismiss her parents’ concerns since it appears Sue left willingly. The Coxes immediately hire William Falstaff, a small-town private investigator. He begins his inquiry with only two objectives: first, to verify that Sue’s departure is voluntary; and second, to provide her family with information on her whereabouts. A simple case. However, he soon finds himself locked into a chase to save Sue’s life. The driving question in Zeke is will the investigator find her in time or will she become another victim of this cunning sociopath?

An interesting point about Zeke is the fact that we set the novel aside more than once, due to our dislike of our title character. For a while, we allowed our personal feelings about him to interfere with our writing. We found excuses to work on anything other than Zeke. But as we expanded on the part played by the hero of the tale, William Falstaff, PI, it seemed to give some positive counter-balance to the despicable behavior of Zeke. At first, we didn’t plan on the investigator playing a very big role because it’s not a detective story, but fleshing out Will’s character renewed our interest in finishing the manuscript. Probably no one will like the character, Zeke; but we hope readers enjoy the book, Zeke. 

Zeke is available at
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008J9DH2M

It will also be available in paperback soon.
Scarberryfields: What can you tell us about your next writing project?
PJ and Karen: We are currently revising Tangerine, our futuristic novel, for re-publication, hopefully by the end of July, 2012 in e-format.
We are going to begin our fantasy novel. PJ has a world already built inside her head, and we and plan to bring it to life on the pages of our next book.
Scarberryfields: Where can readers go to find your books?
PJ and Karen:
On Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/wodke-hawkinson
And they can visit our website: http://wodke-hawkinson.com/
Or our reader/authors site: http://findagoodbooktoread.com/
We’d love to connect with more readers and fellow authors on twitter also: @WodkeHawkinson
Or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wodke.hawkinson

PJ and Karen: Thank you, Becky for this opportunity to be interviewed on your site.
Scarberryfields: This has been great getting to know both of you a little better. I wish the both of you, continued success with your writing.


  1. Always interesting to take a look 'behind the scenes'. Thanks to authors and interviewer! :) My tbr-list is pretty daunting already, but I guess I need to add more.

  2. good interview you two- i wish you great continued uccess even though you seem to be well on your way! best of luck to you guys(gals).

    pamela scholes

  3. Love your interview as well, I am looking forward to read more about you in the future and good luck:) Dianna