I would go out to my deck, with or without drink in hand, and contemplate alternate scenarios. Sometimes a long hot shower would work magic, too.
JAKe Hatmacher – 13 April 2017
The Back Flap
SECRETS… We attempt to conceal our own but are frustrated by those concealed from us. That is the crux of Eryn’s story as she seeks answers to the questions−the secrets−that have troubled her since her youth. Perhaps if she wasn’t so smart these questions wouldn’t bother her, but she is. Eryn’s new job is a further challenge to her own secret as she strives to protect it. Not only that, but when challenged concerning her sexuality she must ultimately decide whether that secret is worth withholding forever. It’s not that no one is aware of Eryn’s secret. She has entrusted it to close family members and a few childhood acquaintances. When confronted by her grandfather, unhappy with the cause of the secrecy, Eryn’s defenses and his words put a barrier between them that she feels helpless to resolve. She desires his acceptance again. But how will she regain it? Perhaps if she could only find the answers to her troubling questions. But where would she even begin? By coincidence−or is it by divine intervention−she and her co-worker are given the task to research genealogies for a new display at their museum. Unbeknownst to Eryn, the path to her answers begins on her flight to New York as she embarks on her new assignment. What she experiences next is a remarkable and shocking series of events which leads to the truth she seeks, and to the discovery of who she was truly meant to be and who she was truly meant to love.
About the book
What is the book about?
It’s about a young woman who doesn’t want to reveal something about herself to more than a select few. While trying to protect her secret, she is attempting to do several things-one of which is to discover the answer to a secret hidden from her. Besides looking for the answer to that secret, she is also trying to succeed at her new job, perfect and become confident in her new persona, realize what her sexuality is, mend her grandfather’s dissatisfaction with her, and try to understand why she is drawn to the 19th and early 20th centuries.
When did you start writing the book?
I believe it was in the Spring of 2016
How long did it take you to write it?
Not counting the research and the days that I didn’t write, I suspect about 8 months.
Where did you get the idea from?
The idea started many years ago, and this book is the culmination of the idea. I wrote a first book that doesn’t necessarily have to be read first. There is a continuation of characters from that first book but they are no longer main characters. But the idea sprung out of my work, I believe. I’m an obstetrician and gynecologist. Things that I have experienced entered into my developing this/these stories.
Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?
Gosh. That is a hard question. If you mean writer’s block, I don’t think so. You see, I felt as though I was guided to write these stories. There were times that I had to redevelop how the story was going to progress, only because one avenue didn’t seem like it was going to work out or do the story justice. Therefore, there were many times when I had to sit back, and I mean literally sit back. I would go out to my deck, with or without drink in hand, and contemplate alternate scenarios. Sometimes a long hot shower would work magic, too.
What came easily?
Where the ending was going, but even with that I had to decide between two ultimate scenarios.
Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know?
I guarantee that all the characters are fictitious, although as I say in the foreword of the book, my research and interaction with people have helped to not only form the characters but also places described in the story.
We all know how important it is for writers to read. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you?
I’ve just recently answered this question elsewhere.
I’m not a voluminous reader. I read a lot of medical journals and articles, being that I’m an obstetrician and gynecologist. But, I would say that I believe I like the stories of authors such as Tom Robbins and Frederick Forsythe. Mr. Robbins is kind of out there-you don’t really know what’s going to happen on the next page. With Forsythe, I like his attention to detail and his intrigue. I think both of them have impacted my writing.
Do you have a target reader?
If you mean, who do I look to market my books to, I would have to say, sort of. I think my books could be read by any audience although I would be careful in having young children, and even early teens, read them. I say this because I want to be conservative here. There are segments in both books, especially the one pertaining to this interview (the first one probably should be read by young teens also) where there are some intimate descriptions. The scenes aren’t long but serve to build the main character. Overall though, I guess I’ve been targeting an audience with an open mind and leaning a bit more to the female audience.
Do you have a writing process? If so can you please describe it?
My writing process starts with thinking through how to begin the story and then the end. Everything in between is negotiable in my mind. If one path fails to achieve what I’m trying to say and portray, I will choose another path. Those are the times for the deck and the showers, as I mentioned before. A lot of my research is done before I write my first words, and that includes shoring up on topics that I want to explain to the reader in the course of the text of the story. In terms of creative parts, I often jot down things on paper, or scraps of paper, if they sound good in my head and I think I can use them in order to revise things I’ve already written or for possible things to be written in upcoming scenes.
Do you outline? If so, do you do so extensively or just chapter headings and a couple of sentences?
Most of my outlining is in my head. There are times that I am so infatuated with a plan that I have that I will put it down on paper. Invariably I need to change it though-refer to the deck and the showers again.
Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished?
I can’t help myself. I do a lot of it as I go, but I guarantee you that there is plenty left to edit in the end anyway.
Did you hire a professional editor?
I did for this one. I didn’t for the first
Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, what gets the fingers tapping?
I’ve had the television on at times. I can tell you that only serves to distract me. Once I have the idea of where I’m going, I don’t need any other motivation. I really have not tried writing with music.
Did you submit your work to Agents?
I did not submit this last work to any agents. My decision was to have it professionally edited and then see if I wanted to pursue a traditional publisher or publish again myself. I decided to publish myself under the name of my production company, Rocky Hollow Productions. Don’t try looking for that since it’s just a name I thought of. My wife and I named the property we live on Rocky Hollow. Since most promoting needs to be done by the author anyway, I decided to shore up on an action plan and do the promoting myself.
Did you get your book cover professionally done or did you do it yourself?
I did that myself, but with the help of software that assisted me.
Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it?
As I mentioned above, I’m doing it on my own. Besides writing the book, I had to get busy doing a lot of research on the promoting aspect and am trying many of the things I’ve read about or heard about.
Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors?
Be inspired! Let your writing come from your heart and write about things you know about. Of course, if you are writing fantasy and have a vivid imagination, knowing about everything may not be as important, but probably still helps to make it easier to let your mind soar. Also, be prepared to not only write, but do research as I have done in order to see how it is best for you to publish, whether traditional or self-publish. Whichever way you do it, know that you will have a big part to play in getting the word out, and that should start as soon into the project as you can if you know you will complete your project.
Where did you grow up?
In the Midwest U.S., a bit south of Chicago.
Where do you live now?
In Ohio. In the country.
What would you like readers to know about you?
I would have never guessed I would have written any novels. English, literature etc. were not my favorite subjects in school. It’s amazing how life experiences can grab your imagination and light a fire.
You might also want to know that you can end up having some conversations with people that you never thought you would in the process of writing. I actually ended up speaking to an ex-United States Ambassador to Russia. He now owns a publishing company. He was involved in setting up the “Kitchen Table Debate” between then Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev.
What are you working on now?
Right now I’m focusing on marketing this book. I have a couple of new ideas, but they’re on hold. I may have mentioned earlier, and if I didn’t-I need to feel inspired.
End of Interview: