Update on my current work in progress

A few readers have asked for more stories about the pastors’ wives in the First Ladies Club of Bannoch, Oregon, so my new work will be the fourth book in that popular series.

This book focuses on a new member of the club, Hope Masterson. Hope, in her mid-thirties, was introduced to my readers in the first of the Tillamook Tillie series, Mrs. Thistlethwaite and the Magpie. She played an important role in the second book, as well, while teaching a senior citizen’s self-defense class in Mrs. Thistlethwaite and the Whippersnapper. In the most recent Tillamook Tillie mystery, Mrs Thistlethwaite and a Shadow of Doubt, Hope shares her excitement when telling Tillie about her engagement to Gideon Hopkins, a pastor in Bannoch (also introduced in “Whippersnapper”).

My new book begins a few months after the wedding and highlights Hope’s struggles to become what she considers to be a “proper pastor’s wife.”  As an independent-minded ex-Marine, Hope fails to see how she will fit in as the First Lady of Mt. Zion Tabernacle, a one-time AME church which has only recently become a non-denominational community church. She faces adjustments to her new life, as well as peril when she runs afoul of local drug dealers.

I’m still considering what to call the book, but the current working title is Finding Hope.  I welcome your thoughts and suggestions.

Reader Feedback is Priceless

I am about a third of the way through my current work in progress, The First Ladies’ Club.

At this stage of a novel, I sometimes hit a dry patch where I wonder how to proceed, or if I should even bother writing another word.

I felt myself slipping down into just such a slump this week, but then one of my local readers dropped by my office to let me know she’d just finished “…and Something Blue,” and was eager for my next book.

I thanked her for the kind words and assured her I was hard at work on the next. It was a simple exchange, but her words sparked the fires of my imagination and rekindled my enthusiasm for my work in progress.

Whether you are a writer or a reader, never underestimate the power of reader feedback.

To encourage feedback, writers need to be accessible to their readers.

I make my Facebook page [https://www.facebook.com/jbhawker2012] open to public comment, my author email address [j.b.hawker2012@gmail.com] is posted on my site and my Amazon author page [http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B009I3H95Y] is part of my email signature. This blog links to my author page and posts on my Twitter account [@HawkerJB].

I’m trying to make it easy for my readers to contact me.

Of course, I frequently check out the reviews of my books for sale on Amazon. The reader who takes the time to post a review deserves to have those comments considered, be they encouragement or helpful criticism.

As a reader too, now I understand how important it is to the author, I try to offer encouraging reviews of the books I read.  My words just may be helping a fellow author out of a slump.

Words are powerful; words of encouragement are priceless.

 

Work in Progress

I am currently in the outline and characterization stage of my next J.B.Hawker novel.

Naidenne Grinager and Rev. Scott Davidson (introduced in the Bunny Elder series) have been married for about a year when the story opens. They are living in the Bannoch Community Fellowship church parsonage.

Other characters introduced in the Bunny Elder series who will reappear in the new book (working title “Bannoch-by-the-Sea”) are Naidenne’s friend, Shirley; Scott’s sister, Rosamund; and her now-widowed nemesis, Maureen Oldham.

New characters being developed are bank manager, Len Spurgeon; Miss Dot, the ancient quilting lady living near Cannon Beach; escaped convict from Pelican Bay, Carver Schramm; Eskaletha Evans, wife of the pastor of the AME church; Judith Falls, Olivette Vernon and Elizabeth Gilbert, other pastor’s wives in the Bannoch community and friends of Naidenne.

I will be trying to give a more in-depth look into the life of a typical pastor’s wife while at the same time weaving a thrilling adventure story.

The Bunny Elder series books were published at the rate of one every six months. Rather than attempt to keep up that pace, I have set a target publication date for “Bannoch” for late Spring 2015.