Welcome back to Clockwork Conversations! Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Leta Hawk to the blog!
Let’s start with a little bit about today’s guest…
Leta Penelope Hawk is the pen name of Debra Lerew. She is a homemaker and freelance writer who has been interested in the paranormal since her first encounter with a ghost at four years of age. Her first novel, The Newbie: A Kyrie Carter Ghost Hunting Adventure, was self-published in the summer of 2014. A writer since high school, she has written in various genres, including poetry, children’s stories, puppet skits, and novels. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in English from Lock Haven University and a Master’s degree in Religion from Evangelical Seminary.
Leta currently lives in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania with her husband, two sons, and a dog (but no ghosts). When she isn’t writing, she stays busy by serving as a Scout leader; teaching Sunday school; volunteering with Bible Release Time as Coordinator, Song Leader, and Listener; and keeping up with her sons’ busy schedules.
Q1: Has there been any specific events that shaped the course of your life? That made you change direction and/or put you on the path to your dream of being a published author?
LH: I have always been a storyteller in one way or another, whether I was actually writing stories or just “creatively embellishing” what I did over the weekend to make it sound more exciting. My first love in high school and early college was poetry, and at one point it was my ambition to become the Poet Laureate of the United States. Eventually I began writing stories. True to my interests, many of them focused on ghosts or haunted houses, but I also wrote stories about knights and princesses, as I have been a fan of Arthurian Legends since I first heard the tales as a child. I never seemed to have the focus to actually complete a novel, though, and I have stacks of notebooks filled with partially-written novels.
It’s hard to say what acted as the catalyst to actually finish and publish my first novel, but I believe a lot of it had to do with contracting Lyme disease several years ago. I was quite ill for awhile, and it took almost a year for the doctors to figure out what I had. I spent an entire summer wondering if I would live to see Christmas, let alone my next birthday. Well, when you’re in that position, you really take a hard look at your life. I realized that I had some unrealized dreams, the main one being a published author.
I began playing with fan fiction while I was sick, mostly Ghost Hunters fan fiction, and that was the first story I wrote to completion. I spent some time reworking it, and that fan fiction became “The Newbie,” which I first published through CreateSpace, and which will be re-released through Booktrope later this year. The second book in the series, “School Spirits,” will follow as well.
Q2: What is it about the paranormal that fascinates you so much?
LH: One of the things that fascinates me in general is something that isn’t easily explained away. I don’t like finding the answer to a mystery nearly as much as I enjoy the process of exploring the possibilities. The paranormal—ghosts, UFOs, cryptids, etc.—fall into that category for me. I love the idea that there are things in this world that we as humans haven’t quite figured out yet, and that is what really draws me to the stories of people’s experiences with the unexplained. Ghost stories especially draw me in because there is always the question of who the ghost is, how he/she died, and why he/she haunts a particular location.
Q3: Besides writing, you also enjoy crochet and something you refer to on your website as ‘plastic canvas’. I am unfamiliar with the term, what is it exactly?
LH: Plastic canvas is kind of like a plastic grid that you can cut into different shapes and then sew designs into it with yarn. You can make all kind of things with plastic canvas, but most of what I make are tissue box covers and coasters.
Q4: If you had one dream for your children as they grow up, what would that dream be?
LH: Like a lot of other parents, I do secretly (or maybe not so secretly) hope that my kids will follow in my footsteps and pursue the things I’m interested in. But realistically, I hope that they discover early on what their passion is and that they always have the desire and the means to follow their passion in life.
Q5: *bonus question for everyone* Do you collect anything? If so, why?
LH: Obviously, one of the things I collect is books. I still have some of my textbooks from college, even if they were for classes not in my major. I just have a hard time getting rid of books.
Thank you so much for being my guest today, Leta. I wish you all the best with your book launches!
You can learn more about Leta and her writing by visiting her at: https://letaphawk.wordpress.com/
See you all on Monday, when Clockwork Conversations June Extravaganza continues!