Posted by: Thomas Drinkard | September 22, 2012

Coauthors Karen Wodke and PJ Hawkinson

Today, we’re meeting coauthors Karen Wodke and PJ Hawkinson. They are long-time friends and now work together in their writing.  I’ll let them tell the rest of the story. Responses will be indicated by initials. Special note: Read all the way through. There’s a big giveaway coming soon.

 T. Hello, welcome to Pinnacle Writing. Tell us a bit about yourselves. I haven’t hosted very many co-authors.

 K–   Before turning to writing, I worked as a legal secretary. I also used to write and co-write music, and performed in several bands over the years. The Midwest is my home and I enjoy home improvement projects, gardening, reading, and fishing. In fact, PJ and I have been known to discuss story ideas while casting our lines at a quiet lake.

PJ-I grew up and still live in the Midwest. My other interests include sightseeing off the beaten path, fishing, and reading. I admit to no favorite writer but enjoy the works of Stephen King, JRR Tolkien, JA Konrath, and Douglas Adams. Currently I am writing novels under the pen name of Wodke Hawkinson along with co-author, Karen Wodke. I envision a life of writing both alone and with my long-time friend and co-author. To date, I have published 1 book solo, Half Bitten, and 8 books (including novelettes) with co-author, Karen.

T. When did you start writing?

K– I wrote my first story when I was pretty young, and always enjoyed English assignments in grade school. PJ and I wrote some silly stories in high school. Then, for years, I did little in the way of writing. In 2009, I wrote a book for young readers entitled James Willis Makes a Million. After that, PJ and I began collaborating.

PJ– After reading Twilight by Stephenie Meyer and The Sookie Stackhouse Series by Charlaine Harris, I decided to try my hand at a different kind of vampire novel; thus, Half Bitten came to life and another writer was born. Half Bitten was published in 2010 and I began seriously writing with Karen shortly after.

 T. Was there a favorite writing teacher or mentor? Tell us about him/her.

PJ– To tell the truth, I wasn’t much of a student in school. While I did excel in college, I did not have a favorite teacher or mentor.

K- My eighth grade English teacher, Mrs. Huey, was a perfectionist. She was so hard to please and I thought she was mean at the time. But, now I count myself lucky to have been in her class. Later, in high school, I had a wonderful teacher, Miss Helmann. She encouraged all her students to keep journals and was very supportive. Both of those teachers had a huge impact on me with regard to my writing.

 T. Please tell us about your current book. What is the genre?  Give us a thumbnail sketch.

K & PJ- The answer to the genre is easy. We are actually writing two books at this time, one sci-fi/fantasy and one suspense. At this time we are not giving any information about the material contained within the pages.

 T. Do you have a sequel or prequel in mind or works in progress?

K & PJ- The suspense is actually a sequel to Zeke. Zeke is a psychological suspense book and is available at this time on Smashwords, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

T. What are your writing habits? Are you an outliner or do you write “by the seat of your pants?”

 PJ- I’d have to say we use both techniques. We begin with a basic idea but never apply glue; thus, the story can flow as it sees fit, moving with the outline or without.

K- I would say we start out more with a general plan and then proceed from there. Sometimes, as PJ said, our characters don’t follow the plan so we have to be flexible.

 T. What are your thoughts about the future of digital publishing?

PJ- Paper books will always hold the hearts of older readers. Many people just enjoy the feel of a book in their hands. I prefer my Kindle and believe that before long more people will be utilizing digital e-books over paper books. There is also the cost to consider and the space to store the books; e-books are generally lower in price than paper books and fit nicely into one handheld device.

 K- E-readers allow us to carry hundreds of books wherever we go, an impossible task with paper books. However, I still enjoy the feel and even the smell of a paperback book. That said, I do believe digital publishing has a promising future. It’s a boon to authors. It’s easier on the environment, saves space, and my Kindle will even read to me. I’ve never had a paper book do that!

 T. Great responses. Anything else to share?

 P & K- We are having a giveaway now that lasts until the end of October. Besides free ecopies of our books, we are also giving away a $100 Amazon gift card. For entry details, please visit OR

T. Check the following for information on Wodke Hawkinson’s books and presence on the web.

Wodke Hawkinson books, websites, and blogs:


Betrayed-Alternate Ending
Tangerine (coming soon)

Ghost Writer


Short Story Volumes:


Catch Her in the Rye


Zeke is a dark novel of obsession. Sue Cox is a naive co-ed who falls for the new clerk at the local bookstore. Captivated by Zeke’s brooding good looks and menacing but irresistible charisma, she agrees to leave town with him. As they travel, his behavior grows increasingly deviant and volatile.

The police dismiss her parents’ concerns since it appears she left willingly so they immediately hire William Falstaff, a small-town private investigator. Soon he’s locked into a life-or-death chase. Will he prevail or will Sue become another victim of a cunning sociopath?

Advisory: Zeke contains adult situations and violence.

 T. Thank you for visiting with us.

 PJ & K– Thank you for giving us this opportunity.


  1. Thank you very much for the interview! Very enjoyable.

  2. Hi Thomas, thanks for interviewing Karen and PJ. I enjoyed catching up with them and reading their responses. Good job all! 🙂

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