13 Questions shine Operation Awesome's Spotlight on this 2022 Debut Author
Knight Rise by DL Hammons
1- #WRiTECLUB2021 is coming along. What can you tell us about it, and what tips would you give to aspiring writers hoping to enter WRiTECLUB next time?
It’s really a simple concept. Contestants submit a 500-word sample of their writing under a pen name. Nobody knows who they really are (except my wife – who administrates everything). A group of volunteers I call Slushpile readers then help me pick the top 30 and that’s who get matched up against one another in bouts. Readers vote on their favorite and leave brief critiques, and the bout winners continue advancing until only two remain. The champion is then selected by a panel of celebrity judges. There are awesome prizes involved, but that’s not what most people take part for. It’s the feedback.
As far as advice goes — treat your submission as if you were sending it to an agent. PROOFREAD!
2- Would you please, in 160 characters or less, give a #WriteTip ?
For a first novel, think LEAN. Less is more when it comes to description and motivations driving your characters trump any sort of plot trick you might have.
3- What emotions do you hope your book will evoke for the reader?
When they turn that last page, I hope they have a smile on their face and a longing in their heart — a longing for my next book! ☺
4- "Lee turns to his blog as an outlet." Did your years of blogging and blog-hop experience inspire and help in writing part of your book?
It’s funny actually. I started blogging as research for the book, so the book inspired me to blog. I knew my main character would be heavily involved in blogging, so I started Cruising Altitude (my blogs title – the same as it is in the book) to explore the experience. I had no idea when I did that it would lead to such a rewarding experience being a part of the blogosphere.
5- Would you share a picture with us of your book with your dog?
6- How do you support your fellow debut authors and have any of them supported you?
I’ve been at this for a dozen years so I’ve seen a lot of my fellow writers become debut authors, and I do anything and everything I can to help spread “the love”. I used to utilize my blog for this, but my activity level for blogging has fallen off as I pushed towards publication, so I rely on other social media outlets.
7- Time to double-down on social media! What's your Twitter handle, and do you have two or three writer friends on there to shout-out to for #WriterWednesday ?
My Twitter handle is @DL_H and I’d like to give a shout out to @MarieKorman @Sierragodfrey @Sierraisleyy @Author_ErinRose
8- What is your favorite creative non-writing activity to do?
Playing with my dogs. Cool weather camping. Video Games. Movies. Music.
9- In what ways are the main characters in your book diverse? diversebooks.org #WeNeedDiverseBooks
One of my characters in KNIGHT RISE is gay and I use that persons sexual orientation to subtly illustrate the on- going societal bias.
10- What's the biggest writing goal you hope to accomplish in your lifetime? #WriteGoal #BucketList #WriterBucketList
A goal I have that I believe is achievable is to be able to publish at least 10 Knight books.
11- What was the query process like for you?
Again, after being at this for over a dozen of years, I’ve had A LOT of experience with the query process. Ultimately, I landed my agent (I’ve actually had two) and a publishing deal from attending a writers conference. Querying kills the dreams of a lot of aspiring writers and my only advice would be to BE STUBBORN. Don’t give up easily.
12- Would you please ask our audience an intriguing question to answer in the comments?
Hmmmm. What about this – how does everyone feel about an author killing off key characters in a series? The nobody is safe approach? Like it? Hate it? Indifferent to it?
13- Anything else you would care to share about your book and yourself?
KNIGHT RISE was the first book I wrote a dozen years ago, and I written five books since then, but I decided to dust off KR and make it my first published book because the story and the characters resonated with me so much. Hopefully it will do the same for your audience. Thank you for having me!
Twitter - @DL_H
Facebook - https://facebook.com/DLHammonsauthor
Instagram - dl_1956
Linkedin - https://linkedin.com/in/dl-hammons-abb33015/
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Knight Rise by DL Hammons