By Jake Hatmacher
Interview with the author
Tell us about your genre. How did you come to choose it? Why does it appeal to you?
My genre? You know, it took me awhile trying to figure that out. I even had to ask for some help, not only from my editor, but my wife and perhaps a couple of others. The reason for the difficulty in choosing where it would fit is that it spills over into several defined genres. In the end, I decided to list it as a romance, but with some reluctance. It does explore the main character’s love, but only after, or should I say, during her struggle to decide where her sexuality lie. So, the whole story is not filled with romantic overtones. The main character is introspective, but she dramatically interacts with others. So, you could also place it as a new adult novel of self-exploration and in the end she does discover much about herself, including why she is who she is and also who she ultimately was meant to love.
I believe I described above how I came to choose the genre, but I’m not certain whether the next part of the question speaks of why the genre appeals to me or my story appeals to me. I know the story appeals to me, or else I wouldn’t have spent so much effort pouring over it. If it’s the genre that I need to speak of, then I guess the genre emanated from the story content-I didn’t start with a genre in mind. I guess that’s why it took me so much effort to try to think of the genre it would fit into.
What do you find most challenging about the writing process, and how do you deal with it?
I need to tell you a bit about myself before I answer this. I never saw myself as an author. In all my years of schooling, English and literature were not at the top of the charts for my likes. I’ve been a physician for over thirty years and I excelled in math and sciences. It’s not that I didn’t like some of the arts. I have my tastes in music and I do have a talent for drawing and painting. In fact, I’m currently painting a scene with Blackbeard the pirate. I also love nature and I’m very introspective.
Now, you may get the impression that I have never written much of anything before, at least from what I’ve said above. But, actually, I have written letters and opinions to legislators, newspapers and medical magazines in which I have expounded my various thoughts. To get to how I came to write novels, I need to tell you that the ideas materialized during the many years that I treated women in my medical practice-that would be providing prenatal care, delivering babies and alleviating female related maladies. Yet, I didn’t feel I had the capability to write a novel, although I wished very much to tell the story that was forming in my mind. I first attempted to find a ghostwriter. I found a wonderful writer, at least I thought he was. Unfortunately, he was very busy still trying to earn a degree and he didn’t have the time. So, why do I mention all this? Because, for me, the most challenging part of the writing process was to get over the hump to convince myself to try it myself, especially when I had all these negative thoughts of my not being able to do it. I believe one of my saving graces was that I had learned over the years that having a semblance of organization was going to be very important. Therefore, I thought everything through, and since I had been formulating the stories over many years in my mind, I knew where the stories were going to go, for the most part. But that’s making it too simple, and although it was a challenge, I wouldn’t call all the research and thought involved in making the plot work a major challenge-it was fun for the most part, and yes, sometimes frustrating. But the knowledge that I picked up in the process more than outweighed any of the frustration. There were times when my original ideas for progressing the plot didn’t seem to work. I found that either a long hot shower or a drink on my deck helped me to put the characters next moves into the correct ultimate direction-at least those two activities worked for me.
Sorry it took so long to get to the answer, but I think I finally did answer it.
When and where do you do your writing?
I’ve done my writing in many places, but mostly at home or on the road. Most of the research and keyboarding happens on my laptop which most of the time sits on my kitchen counter. My wife works at home one floor above on our loft. Since we have a wide-open floor plan, I can have her make comments as to my sentence structure by reading my lines loudly to her and I can quickly change the lines if I need to. It’s always nice to have another person give you constructive criticism. I’ve written in other places in the house or outside on my front and back porches, but most of the writing is done on the kitchen counter. If you recall the answer to my last question, some of the thinking on how the stories should proceed happens either in the shower or with drink in hand, outside. Other places that I have written have been hotel rooms. The last several years of my obstetrics and gynecology career have been on the road helping physicians that need coverage while they are out of town. I’ve written while occasionally staring out of windows watching grazing bison in the state of Illinois as well as overlooking many a state highway.
What have you learned about promoting your books?
This could be a very long answer, but I will try to make it short. It will depend on whether you are able to work with a traditional publisher or not. I have done my own publishing, otherwise known as independent or indie publishing. With this I have had to do all the promoting myself. I do not mean to make you think that going with a traditional publisher would lessen the promotion that you would need to do since all traditional publishers are not the same, at least from what I have garnered.
I have found that there are plenty of promotion companies that are willing to help you, but they want their money up-front. What I mean by that is they, for the most part, don’t wish to do a contingency deal such as taking a percentage of your profits from the sale of your book as payment for their efforts. So, I did my own promotion. In order to learn, I searched the internet, listened to webinars, went to a writer’s conference, sought out friends that had published, etc. In the process, I discarded things that I either didn’t understand how to do or didn’t make sense to me. I ended up trusting my instincts after I contemplated all my potential options, finally deciding to go with social media posts and occasional social media ads, and hiring a company to do an online book blog tour. Time will tell if I made the right choices. Of course, I suspect that the book, my book, must be worthy, too.
What are you most proud of as a writer?
I would say my persistence when I felt I wasn’t understanding how to get through the promotion process. The writing may have had some challenges, but I knew I had stories to tell, plus I truly felt guided during my writing process-not by anyone, but-and you may not understand this, but it was spiritual to me.
If you could have dinner with any writer, living or dead, who would it be and what would you talk about?
I first wonder who would start off the conversation. Would there be a major pregnant pause? What would we talk about? I’m guessing if I started the conversation it may be anything, but eventually get to some questions concerning writing.
Two writers come first to mind-Frederick Forsythe and Tom Robbins. I enjoy both of their styles and they are nothing alike, either in style or genre.
I would most likely get around to asking Forsythe where he gets all his information for his novels. Does he delve into files, books, etc, or is he blessed to know certain people that fill him in on the intricate descriptions he provides in his writing.
As for Mr. Robbins, I would probably ask him how many pounds of mushrooms it takes for him to complete one of his novels or if he only needs them for certain segments of his stories. Please don’t take this the wrong way. I in no way have any knowledge of his use of these fungi in regard to his writing, but I believe he spent most, if not all, his writing career in the fertile northwest section of the continental USA, plus he mentions these filamentous morsels in some of his books.
About the Book
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.
BLOG TOUR SPECIAL: Pre-order A Secret Lies Deep by April 5th and receive a FREE copy of the author’s previous release: The Unintended: R u sure?? Order here: http://amzn.to/2nTTNqD
As you already know, I am a professional writer. But I'm also a physician. I spent many years practicing, and practicing means working, as an obstetrician and gynecologist. I still maintain three state licenses but I spend my time now writing.
The fictional stories that I have written have sprung out of time spent treating patients. The stories are unique in that although they are fictional, they have much in the way of historical fact and medical fact. They also include humor, although mostly subtle and are flavored with a touch of fantasy.
I grew up in a city of near thirty-five thousand in the north-central part of Illinois. My higher education was at Loyola University of Chicago, followed by medical school at Loyola-Stritch School of Medicine. I treated patients for 25 years in Illinois before moving to Ohio, where I now reside.
Besides writing, my time is filled taking care of my home, gardening, hiking, and simply enjoying the fresh air outdoors and the beautiful plants and animals that nature provides. I am always trying to introduce new plants that are not invasive, conserve water and attract butterflies. The reason for wanting to attract butterflies has a story, but let me just say here, it mostly has to do with their variety of color and the way they appear to float on the air as they fly-they are calming.
a Rafflecopter giveaway