More about me...

I'm not comfortable with revealing myself. As an abuse survivor, the less known about the real me, the safer I was, because the things I cared about were convenient weapons to use against me. This is my attempt to be more open, more vulnerable.

Healthy boundaries are a vital part of healthy living. I'm endeavoring to be healthier, in every aspect of my life.

Laurel Hawkes was created as a persona, several years ago. She started out as Ladyhawk and started writing almost ten years ago. One thing led to another, and one of my fan fiction readers suggested I write an inspirational historical romance. After giving it a few minutes thought, I agreed. Next thing I knew, I'd completed the novel and been rejected. The good thing about the rejection letter is I then qualified as a PRO in Romance Writers of America, which I joined. I joined Desert Rose, the local RWA chapter, in 2007. Finances required cutting where I could. I miss this amazing group of women.

It's been an incredible journey, and hopefully, it's far from over.

I can be contacted at: laurelhawkeswrites [at] gmail [dot] com

Laurel Hawkes Author on FaceBook

Posts About Me:

This is the first in a series of posts about me. I hope these help you decide my books are worth the read. I also hope they help save time for those who have no interest in my books. I know there's nothing more disappointing than expecting one kind of book and discovering what I'm reading isn't something I'm interested in reading. Not all books in a single genre are the same. Authors in the same genre are as different as football players on the same team and cupcake bakers. A lot of similarities but no two are alike.

1. I'll start with the type of books I write: Christian Romance.

Jesus is my Savior and influences my life and thus my writing. Faith in God is a central element in all my stories. Some characters come from a place of unbelief but most are simply struggling with their faith, like a lot of people.

I write about relationships, how I've seen them and how I wish they were. I've made plenty of mistakes. Like Clay, in Old Fashioned, I have a lot of theories. My stories give me an opportunity to explore those theories.

Questions I have, problems I'm struggling with, "what ifs" are worked out in my stories.

2. I write clean romances. No swear words. No explicit anything, which does not mean I sanitize. I'm an abuse survivor, so many of my characters are abuse survivors. The resultant problems do not magically disappear. Several of my characters deal with PTSD. Curing them isn't part of the story. I share methods of coping, from prayer and counseling to coloring books and therapy dogs. I endeavor to offer hope. In several of my books I touch on human trafficking. It's ugly. It's dehumanizing. I handle it as gently as possible.

I don't believe in anyone going it alone. Building a support system is part of every journey to becoming healthy, which may include a pastor and his wife, friends, and family. Sometimes family is the problem, and my characters choose to walk away. There is no fairy dust to make the family all better when the family chooses dysfunction over healing.

I write less "sweet" and more "blush." Sweet is holding hands and quick kisses and focusing on the emotional aspect not the physical. I find it difficult to relate to sweet books. Blush adds more of the physical responses, in addition to the emotional side. My heroes have "typical male" responses.

Even before seeing the movie Old Fashioned, I endeavored to have my characters lean more toward courting. Some of my heroes have been playboys, others have made mistakes, a few made the chastity vow early and held to it. My heroines are more likely to be the sexual abuse survivors but not exclusively. My teen nieces have read my books.

I write in third person, not first, and only from the point of view of the hero and heroine.

3. The length of my books: If you like fat books, my books are probably not for you.

If you like what I would call super long books, anything over 100,000 words, I'm not for you. My books run 60,000+, the longest being 82,000, unless you look at my Anthologies, 4 books in 1 paperback. I'm putting out my second one, this month. Each of my novellas run between 20,000-25,000 words.

Perhaps you could look at my books as a tasty appetizer or a midnight snack.

My novellas would qualify as yummy hors d'oeuvres

4. I use a lot of long words and less used vocabulary. In my Regency books, I enjoy peppering my stories with words and phrases more commonly used in the early 1800s. I even check to make sure the word was invented before I use it. The etymology dictionary on line is helpful. My contemporary stories also lean toward more variety in my word usage.

There is a reason behind both of these choices. I'm dyslexic.

Big books intimidate me. It isn't to say I don't read them. I do, but I have to really love the author, i.e., the writing. I know if I'm going to read a long book, I'm making a major time commitment. This is why I write shorter books. When I thumb through my Kindle books, I always choose the shorter books to read first.

Short paragraphs are another plus for me. I'm less likely to become lost. I'm endeavoring to use more long paragraphs of description occasionally, for those who prefer it.

On the other end, short easy words are the ones I'm most likely to misread. Oddly enough, I discovered it's easier to read long words, hence the use of big words and a wide variety in vocabulary. Really. It's easier to read the longer words and the less than familiar words. I don't know why. I only know it works for me.