We are thrilled to welcome popular Gay Romance Author Jordan L Hawk to the BL Xpress.
Jordan L. Hawk is a trans author from North Carolina. His best-selling novels include paranormal historicals like Whyborne & Griffin series and SPECTR series. Join us as we strike a conversation with the popular writer about the thought process involved in the making of these novels and their imaginative universes!
1) Your novels mostly have a central character that are undeniably weak but with the passage of time, they grow to be strong characters. It could be Whyborne from Whyborne and Griffin Series, Sebastian Rath from Rath and Rune Series, or Sam from Blind Tiger? How did you conceptualize these characters?
The idea of a character discovering they are more than what they’ve been told is interesting to me. Whyborne and Sam in particular come from very unsupportive families, and have some pretty serious self esteem issues. It’s rewarding to watch them come into their own under the right circumstances.
2) Whyborne & Griffin is one of your longest running series. Avid readers followed the main character’s journey. Did you always plan on writing such an elongated version or did Whyborne’s story demand such a dedication?
I had not originally planned it to be long, but I had more I wanted to say, and more stories I wanted to tell, in order to give Whyborne especially his full character arc.
3) In Whyborne & Griffin, you have created the fictional town of Widdershins which seems to have a character of its own. The sense of finding home is a theme that carries throughout the series. What was in your mind when you envisioned this universe?
I try to make the setting of any book feel real, because the world the characters move through influences them. Widdershins needed to be a bit creepy and spooky to set the mood, but at the same time it’s the place these characters call home and interact with every day. In Griffin’s case, it’s the first home he’s had in a long time, and part of his journey is integrating into this very weird town and finding his place there.
4) Although Whyborne and Griffin’s romantic entanglements are the focal point of this series, I really enjoyed watching his sister Persephone fall in love with Maggie Parkhurst. Would you be interested in writing a lesbian romance with strong female characters?
I’m sure I’ll write a book length F/F at some point.
5) Your spin-off to the Widdershins universe “Rath and Rune Series” was equally impressive. What made you shift your attention to the librarian army? It’s been two years now, when can we expect the next book in this series?
The librarians were a fan favorite, especially after Maelstrom. Here you have this secretive society within the larger society of Widdershins—what are they up to? Plus I couldn’t resist the idea of having a group of librarians fighting evil books. I’m currently working on book two, and hope to have it out by late summer.
6) SPECTR is another of your longest running novel series? Writing one series itself is a herculean task, how do you manage to extend your vivid imagination to such lengths?
SPECTR is a great deal of fun to write. Each “series” of SPECTR is structured similar to a television season, with the individual books each focusing on a different “monster of the week,” alongside a larger story arc that builds as the series goes on. So writing an installment is largely a matter of figuring out the setting, the monster, and how to advance the overall plot.
7) Setting a paranormal universe is time-consuming task. What attracts you to this genre? Also do you have any plans to write novels in an other genre as well? If you do, what is your personal preference?
I’ve always been a big fan of fantasy, science fiction, and horror—anything that takes place outside of the bounds of the ordinary world. It’s fun to put together a set of rules for how magic works, then play with how those rules affect the story and characters.
8) I was really surprised while reading your “Hexworld Series”. Normally hexes are associated with evil and dark magic. Why did you decide to use hexes as the base concept for this series? Where did you get the inspiration for the same?
My family is from a region of the Appalachian mountains where “hex signs” are to this day regularly painted on barns, shops, and churches to ward off lightning/fires/general misfortune. They tend to be fairly basic geometric shapes with bright colors. That was the inspiration for Hexworld; I wanted to create a world where hex signs did more than just ward off misfortune but had all sorts of other magical effects as well.
9) Your recent release Blind Tiger is your foray into the “Urban Fantasy” genre, which combines the world of hexes with paranormal mythology. How different is this book from your previous works?
It takes place in the same universe as the Hexworld series, but is otherwise unrelated. The setting is 1920s Chicago, which is an era I haven’t written about before. I’d say the biggest thing was figuring out how this little family of criminals running a speakeasy fit into, and survive in, the larger world of gangs under Prohibition.
10) Being transgender yourself, what is your opinion about the current status of LGBTQ representation in books?
There are a lot of indie authors, such as EE Ottoman and Kris Ripper, writing fantastic books with fantastic rep. The rise of independent publishing has allowed minority authors of many kinds to get their work out without the gatekeeping of traditional publishing, so I encourage readers to look for their work!
11) What are you working on? Talk to us about your future books?
I’m currently working on Unseen (Rath & Rune Book 2). After that, I’ll likely be moving on to the next SPECTR.
The BL Xpress would like to thank Jordan L Hawk for taking the time from his busy schedule to answer our questions!