Interview with Pauline L. Hawkins, author of 'Ashes Ashes the Twins Fall Down'

Pauline L. Hawkins was born in Munson Army Hospital at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas on Easter Sunday. Pauline has been in the health insurance industry for almost thirty years, working her way up from the mailroom to corporate management and claims payment. In 2002, Pauline received her Instructional Design certification, which allows her to create instructor-led and learner-paced training curricula, along with computer-based learning activities and website creation. Pauline has enjoyed writing since she was in high school, and has decided to start sharing her stories.

 Ashes Ashes the Twins Fall Down is her debut book. You can visit Pauline L. Hawkins’ website at http://paulinelhawkins.com.

Follow Pauline at Twitter at www.twitter.com/paulinehawkins3.

Pick up your paperback copy of Ashes Ashes the Twins Fall Down at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0578105306


Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

The initial inspiration for the book was of course the attacks on 9/11. But what initially caused me to sit down and start writing this story was my own need to deal with my grief of 9/11. When I sat down in 2002, my expectation was simply to put a few words down on paper to work through my own grieving process. I truly never set out to write a book. I found out that the more I wrote, the more I had to let things out. Once I started writing, it was as though the emotional floodgates opened, and all the memories came back – memories that beckoned to be put on paper.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

I wrote from my heart and in doing that it was very difficult to write this book. The feelings provoked were very emotional. I found myself crying, angry and disillusioned. Every American lost something that day, some lost much more than others, but we were all affected. I don’t know that there is anything that a writer can do to make the journey or writing such a book easier if they are writing from their heart.   

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I am self-published as a collaboration between Anole Publishing and Outskirts Press. If a writer chooses to self-publish I would tell them to do a lot of research on their options and choices before selecting their self-publishing entity. While Outskirts Press was a good choice for me it may not be a good choice for everyone.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

The amount of work and decisions that have to be made. I had no idea that decisions had to be made right down to the page layouts as far as how the page numbers are done, whether you list the book title at the top of each page or the chapter title or whatever. I don’t know what I thought was going to happen but it was a real eye opener.

Q: Can you describe the feeling you had when you saw your published book for the first time?

Wow, exciting, scary; at one point I wanted to stand on top of the house and shout to the world that my book was published. But the work doesn’t stop with publishing you have to get the word out there that your book is available. Publishing my first book has certainly caused me to step out of my comfort zone but I’m enjoying it and loving it.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

 My next book is about marrying my high school sweetheart after 28 years and having it all blow up in my face in less than a week. It will chronicle our relationship in high school and what happened to be between high school and our reconnecting 28 years later. I’m leaning toward the title of, Always & Forever.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

We can either let the attacks of 9/11 define us or we can allow them to strengthen us as a nation.

Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

This is my debut book, however, I have many more stories to share based upon my personal experiences. I believe most people will find them entertaining, inspiring, thought-provoking and educational. In this book I have shared my memories of where I was when I first heard the news of the attacks on 9/11. I also reminisce about the news footage I watched that day and my personal experiences of the days, weeks and years following 9/11.
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