Interview with author Hawk MacKinney

Today’s special guest is author Hawk MacKinney. He’s chatting with me
about his new mystery/suspense novel, Hidden
Chamber of Death.

During his virtual book tour, Hawk will be awarding a $20 Amazon or
Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner.
To be entered for a chance to win, use
the form below.
To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops and enter there, too!
Internationally acclaimed
author and public speaker, Hawk MacKinney began writing mysteries for his
school newspapers. Following graduation, he served in the US Navy for over 20
years. While serving as a Navy Commander, he also had a career as a full-time
faculty member at several major state medical facilities. He earned two
postgraduate degrees with studies in languages and history. He has taught
postgraduate courses in both the United States and Jerusalem, Israel.
In addition to professional
articles and texts on fetal and adult anatomy, Hawk has authored several novels
that have received national and international recognition. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel, was nominated for the
prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the
Writers Notes Book Award. This was followed by the Craige Ingram Mystery
Series. In a change of direction, October of 2012 saw the release of Hawk’s
first science fiction novel, The
Bleikovat Event
, in The Cairns of Sainctuarie series. Volume II in The
Cairns of Sainctuarie series, The Missing
, was released in 2014 with Volume III in the works.
Hawk’s latest project
focuses on The Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series. Book 1 in the series, Hidden Chamber of Death, was just
released, and Book 2 in the series, Westobou
, will be released in the fall.
What comes
first: the plot or the characters?
Depends on how/when an idea strikes me. Title-plot-setting-character(s)…I
carry a notepad with me night or day. Never know when resolution to a plot or
an idea will hit.
What genre do you
write and why?
The Moccasin
Hollow Mystery Series
The Cairns of
Sainctuarie Series
– sci-fi
Historical romance
A reader identifies with the tale and the characters…sci-fi, thrillers, and
the special lure of romance, which motivates the whole churn of it. Genre doesn’t exist. It’s a gimmick established
in ancient Greek literature…so ancient it’s modern and meaningless. Genres are
for bookstores & websites. In reality, each book combines all of these
tell us a little bit about Hidden Chamber
of Death.
Hidden Chamber of Death is a compelling tale of intrigue, murder, deception and
suspense that leads retired Navy SEAL/part-time private investigator Craige
Ingram in search of the connection between seemingly random murders and a
banking conspiracy. Working with the local homicide investigator, who just
happens to be a former Navy buddy, Craige Ingram’s attempts to protect a lonely
widow and solve the case before another person dies are only thwarted by a
psychotic killer whose motivation is based on pure depraved pleasure. In this
first book of the MOCCASIN HOLLOW MYSTERY SERIES, the instincts and skills
Ingram and his buddy acquired as Navy SEALS are tested to their limits.
Excerpt from Hidden Chamber of Death:
battered, green side door with its peeling, leprosy paint framed one small
window with smudged shattered wire-glass. The door cracked just enough for a
pair of bright blue eyes to peek out at him.
A voice said, “That you, Mister
Craige?” The grey head was hardly visible.
Craige said. “Sallie Mae, that you?” Got no answer, and she didn’t come out.
door left ajar; rusty hinges squeaked as Craige pushed against it and stepped
into a vacuous, black void, the air heavy with a peculiar, stale warmth. He was
more than queasy. It had the makings of a perfect ambush layout. Talk about the
perfect setup. If Zeb hadn’t OKed the time and place, he would’ve been out of
there. Except for jumbled, grimy clutter and vague outlines in a trashed
yawning interior, he could make out no details. As his eyes adjusted, Craige
found himself facing two frail figures who’d been standing there the whole
“Sallie Mae?”
a fragile movement Sallie Mae said, “Right here. A’gatha Ruth here’s not too
pleased about Zeb tellin’ you where to find us.”
like this a darn tootin’,” Agatha said. “Nobody’s bizness.” She was testy.
“Plenty robbin ‘n ‘killin’ to be took care of ‘stead of cops pokin’ in folk’s
private matters. Botherin’ folks what druthers be left alone.”
“I don’t work for the police,”
Craige said.
continued, “Fiddle-de-dee, who you think you’re foolin’? Tain’t a mite of
difference twixt you and MacGerald ‘cept he calls it what it be—cop.” She had
wizened, bottomless eyes. “Claimin’ we make corn squeezin’s.” Her ire rose.
“Don’t try puttin’ no lyin’ to me. I know what the likes of you is after. Them
bunch of scallywags wants you to help take away Sallie Mae’s croup potions.”
Wiped her mouth with her hand. “That’s what, you’re after Sallie’s makin’s.”
She didn’t care for him one bit.
been run out from lots’a places,” Sallie Mae said. “Lord knows, these old bones
don’t take up much room, and these empty buildings ain’t no use fer nothin’
Craige interrupted, “Zeb told me you
saw the killing in the bank’s garage.”
of us seen it,” Agatha said. “What you want to know for anyhow? We ain’t
talkin’ to no cops. Might as well git that out on the table right now. They
throw us in jail, say we the ones what did it till we tell where our still
“You see who did it?” Craige asked.
we seen the man who done it,” Sallie Mae said. “Didn’t see no face, saw his big
black car, the kind what rich folks drive.” She shook her head. “Lordy mercy,
that poor woman didn’t have no chance.”
nodded, “Skeer a body plumb to death. Gives me chill blains jus’ thinkin’ on
it. Like some animal, like he wadn’t mad. Jes took o’nry mean pleasure beating
Craige asked, “You know it was a
my all!” Agatha Ruth spit snuff juice into a paper stuffed big peach can. “You
ain’t much good at detecting if you cain’t tell whether a body be man or woman.
Maybe you need readin’ glasses. Gettin’ a mite blurry myself, but I don’t have
to see a body close-up to tell it was a man, and sure didn’t want that one
close-up no how. Tell by the way he hit. He was hefty enough he didn’t have to
put much swing to it. Kept whackin’n’whackin’, blood everywhere. Even after she
mostly quit moving, he kept hittin’n’hittin’, her legs just’a jerkin’.”
made a mental note to check with Fred if any clothing, gloves, anything showed
DNA different from any of the victims.
Sallie Mae shivered. “We hunkered down so he wouldn’t see us.” The filtered
light framed Sallie Mae’s dignified, wrinkled face, ancient beyond years with a
proud reserve.
Agatha said, “Even after the police
got there, we never told them what we seen.”

When did you start writing?

As a kid sitting on the back stoops with Grannie, counting lightnin’
bugs, lis’nin’ to her create bogdacious (bodacious) tales of haints and stars
and worlds…it was endless.
Do you listen to music when you
write and if so, what kind of music?
The great classics, Chopin,
Beethoven, Sibelius, Smetana’s
Má vlast, the great Russian composers, from the romantic
period/The Beach Boys/ABBA. If it
distracts…my man-cave is silenced.
What is your next project?
The Cairnes of Sainctuarie Series sci-fi…Vol 3
The Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series…Book 3
What helps overcome writer’s block?
Give the manuscript a rest. Give your brain/fantasy/imagination a rest.
Put the working draft away. Work on something else AND let the ‘bother’ sit on
the shelf WITH a notepad forever handy. Stuff your mind/imagination/characters
& plot with another work you’re puzzling together…let the bother become dust-ware. You’ll go back
with a fresh view of it.
Your books are set in many places. Have you ever been
Set in South Carolina and Georgia, Colorado,
other states of the lower 48, Scotland, England, Israel…vacationed/lived in
most all. Most of the settings still exist…& most of those living
thereabouts know nothing of the secrets lurking so close.
Thanks for being here today, Hawk!

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10 thoughts on “Interview with author Hawk MacKinney

  1. Mai T. says:

    Some writers describe themselves as planners, while others plunge right in to the writing. Would you consider yourself a planner or a plunger? Do you work from any kind of a plan?

  2. Hawk MacKinney says:

    Lisa HASELTON’s Reviews & Interviews – Thank you for hosting Hidden Chamber of Death, Book 1 in the Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series. Book 2 galley of Westobou Gold is currently in cover design as well as a sci-fi title also in galley/cover design. An earlier historical romance Moccasin Trace, establishes the bloodline(s) of Craige Ingram in the Moccasin Hollow Series. Your time & courtesy are much appreciated…

    Hawk MacKinney

  3. Hawk MacKinney says:

    Mai T – Planner or Plunger? It’s a good question that many writers are uncertain about AND get hung up on. How ‘bout both? Or to back one’s perspective off a bit & lay th semantic circus…how ‘bout impulse or/& inspiration? It’s the same question. This writer is both. A scene/character/conflict/resolution/plot twist or downside up can come bits & pieces OR all at once. Let your fantasy roam. Thank U for stopping by again…

    Hawk MacK

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