Hawkshadow Publishing Company, Incorporated was created in 1998 to publish my adult historical fiction novels and any other novels of merit that I came across.
My debut novel, The Bend in the River, was published in 2001 to much acclaim by both professional book reviewers and readers. It is the story of Emma Jorden, and young woman who marries a half-breed Cheyenne Dog Solider, Shea Hawkshadow. Sixteen years on, it remains in print as a book and an electronic book.
My second novel, The Widow of Port Seaton (2012) had readers praising the novel's wonderful love story and the fascinating historical details, in particular, how lighthouses used to run before automation. The novel is available through this Web site and as an electronic book.
Now, I'm so very proud to release my third novel, The Coachman (2017), set in Victorian Era England. It is about the relationship between a royal coachman and a young woman raised in Bethnal Green workhouse. The electronic book has been released on Amazon. For the time being the book is available exclusively through this Web site, from me to you.
I'm often asked why we created Hawkshadow Publishing Company, why I just didn't hand over my novels to a large publisher. Certainly, I might've enjoyed higher sales. My best answer is simple: I didn't want a large publisher's rep telling me to change aspects or themes of my novels. Additionally, I didn't want to make mere pennies on each book sold, which is often the best case for most all unknown authors after expenses have been deducted from any profit that may have been earned. Some authors aligned with large publishing houses make nothing at all for their efforts. A publisher rep might've convinced an author to allow them to manufacture and market their work, but there are no guarantees of ever making money. I wanted to be an independent in the industry. I wanted my stories to entertain, elevate, and, hopefully educate (meaning, learning something about a particular era, not preaching or harping on a pet issue; that's not my style). Finally, I didn't want anyone telling me what to write. Oftentimes, large publisher reps want writers to capitalize on current trends: Scotland (the Outlander book series), vampires, zombies, or particular types of heroines, usually the "damsel in distress" who needs rescuing every five minutes, the kind of woman who can't run without falling and cannot get up until the hero arrives to save her. Blech! Nothing puts me to sleep faster than a story about a helpless female. I enjoy creating worlds for my characters to inhabit.
Regarding The Bend in the River, accurately portraying the American West, which most Americans would term a relatively easy task, was far more difficult than I had imagined! Researching everything from how people lived, where they lived, the Native peoples, the railroad, the logging industry, etc., proved a challenge. I strived to make the history of our country interesting and thought-provoking and well as making all my heroines strong but very different in temperament. The Bend in the River's Emma endured deep suffering after being orphaned. While she healed well after physical injuries, recovering from her mental collapse was far more arduous.
Gael, of The Widow of Port Seaton, proved to be a very challenging woman to portray. I'll admit it was frustrating to my modern sensibilities to portray how women had to act in the 1840's. If they did not submit in the male-dominated society, they could lose their livelihoods, their home, and their children. In the end, I did have fun finding ways for Gael to step out of those harsh behavioral strictures, which colored women's limited freedoms until the early 20th century. Food for thought, surely?
Thus far, Lauren Birkacre, the heroine of The Coachman, has proved to be my most complex heroine. Raised in the emotional deprivation of a London workhouse, she is a closed person, someone who keeps everything inside. This trait is a blessing and a curse for a writer, but I was very careful in the way she opens her life to Gregory.
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