- Anna P.
Indie Support Sunday: Erin Hawkins
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the indie community on Instagram is such an incredible way to connect with fellow authors. It’s also an amazing way to discover new books! While Erin Hawkins published her debut, Best Laid Plans in 2020, it was her 2022 release Reluctantly Yours that got my attention. I picked it up while I was travelling with family and read it in one sitting because it is that good. And if you don’t believe me, there’s over 3,000 reviews on Goodreads that will change your mind.
It might have taken Erin eight years to write her first book, but now she’s writing full time while also being a mom. Speaking of being a mom, Erin might even dabble in some middle grade or young adult stories that her kids can read, even if she says it might be difficult to leave the steamy scenes behind.
Currently working on Unexpectedly Mine, which doesn’t have a release date, but is a standalone connected to Reluctantly Yours, Erin’s got one more book in the series that will follow soon after. I, for one, am super stoked to read more of Erin’s books and will definitely be diving into her backlist to cover all my bases.
All of Erin’s books are currently available in Kindle Unlimited!
What inspired you to write—was it another author or books you read as you grew up?
As a child, I always found myself wanting more after a book I truly enjoyed was finished. I wanted to continue the stories I loved, so I’d write additional scenes for my favorite books. It was early reader fanfic!
Why did you choose romance as the genre to write in?
The guaranteed happily-ever-after. I love the journey a couple goes on to fall in love. Sometimes it’s a bit rocky, but I’m okay going through all of that knowing there is an HEA on the other side. While I’ve been married to the love of my life for twelve years, it’s so much fun to experience that new exciting love through my characters.
Why did you choose to self-publish instead of going the traditional route?
I wanted my book out in the world immediately. After taking eight years on and off to write my first book, the long months of editing, and everything else that went into it I just couldn’t stomach querying, trying to find an agent, etc. It wasn’t perfect. It still isn’t, but I wouldn’t change my decision.
What’s the best and worst part about being an indie author?
Best: I GET to make all the decisions. Worst: I HAVE to make all the decisions HA! Being an indie author truly is a double edged sword, but no matter how frustrating and challenging it can be to learn all the things that are involved (marketing…ugh), I love that I have control over what I write and how it is presented to readers.
Do you write full time or is this something you do on the side?
Now that my kids are in school full time, I am able to write full time. Sometimes I think it’s trickier writing full time…there seems to be more time to procrastinate or scroll through social media. Oops!
Other than writing, what is something you enjoy and are really good at?
I’m a runner. I used to do marathons (my body can’t handle those long miles anymore) but when I did, I qualified for and ran the Boston Marathon in 2018.
If not romance/subgenres of romance, what genre would you like to write in?
My kids are always asking if I’ll write something they can read…they know my books are for adults…so a middle grade or YA could be fun to explore, but I think I’d have a hard time leaving out the spicy bits so I’m going to stick with my steamy romcoms.
What are some of your all time favourite books—ones that you recommend to people or can reread multiple times?
I love Christina Lauren’s Wild Seasons series (Sweet Filthy Boy and Dirty Rowdy Thing are my faves).
What are your top 5 tips or pieces of advice for aspiring authors?
Read in your genre—my writing has significantly improved by reading more books
Network with other authors, to support each other and make the business of being an author less lonely.
I love Nora Roberts’s quote, You can’t edit a blank page. Write–even if you think it’s crap–you can’t edit what you haven’t written.
Everyone starts somewhere. It’s easy to look on social media, to see the success of others and feel like you’re not doing enough. Be patient with yourself.
Take care of your mental health. Do you need to stay off social media? Do you need to take a break from writing to recharge? The creative well isn’t always full and that’s okay, but how you handle those moments/days/weeks/months is what keeps you going and keeps writing fun.
Can you briefly tell me about your books?
Unexpectedly Mine is my current WIP and the second book in an interconnected stand alone series, following Reluctantly Yours (released in June 2022). Prior to these two books, I wrote a two book series of interconnected standalones (Best Laid Plans and Not in the Plans) set in Denver where I live. All of my books have humor and lots of spice!
Of your books, who is your favourite character?
I love Brooke from Best Laid Plans because she was so fun to write. Very different from how I operate and approach the world, so it was fun to make her do and say things I would never.
What inspired your published stories? How and when did you come up with these stories and plots?
Most of the time a story starts with a particular scene in my head. A ‘what if this happened’ scenario. And then I build the characters and world around it. For example, in Reluctantly Yours, I had the bachelorette party scene with Chloe at her boss’s apartment and Barrett walking in on her throwing the party in my head, then set it up for that being the catalyst that puts them in a fake relationship.
How much of yourself do you put into these characters?
Most of the heroines have a little bit of me, but then I’ll think about different ways of looking at situations, like how would a friend react or what would a family member do and tweak the character that way.
When you write these stories, what are you hoping your readers will feel?
I LOVE romantic comedies. I’m a huge Sandra Bullock fan. I want readers to laugh at the situations the characters find themselves in, but also enjoy those moments where the MCs are quietly falling in love.
What is a story/stories that you really want to tell?
This isn’t a specific story, but I would like to write an interconnected series with strong female friendships.
What’s next on the bookshelf for you? Anything you can tell us about a future project?
Unexpectedly Mine will be followed up by the third book in the Unexpectedly in Love Series, Accidentally Ours. Any guesses on the trope in that one? (wink)
What are your most and least favourite tropes?
MOST: enemies to lovers, fake dating, grumpy/sunshine, forced proximity (bonus for one bed). LEAST: love triangle, on the rocks (couple already together and experiencing troubles)
What are some tropes you want to write in the future?
Friends to lovers, second chance romance, fish out of water—I’ve got book ideas for all of these!
What is your favourite thing about the romance genre?
That it has something for everyone! There are so many tropes/niches/subgenres… and it’s fun to be able to read so many different types of books while still getting that love story I crave.
THIS OR THAT
Ebooks or audiobooks
Historical romance or romantic suspense - romantic comedy
Single or Dual POV
Standalones or series
Music or silence while writing - sometimes I play one song on repeat if its setting the tone I want to convey
Plotter - with room to revise, pantser or plantser
Tea or coffee
Cold or warm weather
Morning person or night owl
Illustrated cover or photo cover - I’ve done both, but I enjoy not having to sift through stock photos so I’ll say illustrated
Follow Erin on Instagram and join her Facebook group. And if you want to stay updated on all things about her books, sign up for her newsletter as well!