Friday, June 27, 2014

Interview with Jean Hackensmith, author of Identity Crisis


Identity CrisisTitle: Identity Crisis
Genre: Detective
Author: Jean Hackensmith
Publisher: Inkwater Press
Language: English
Pages: 260

When rumors of how Dan Hamilton actually died reach the Cheyenne Chief of Police, Brian Koski is forced to resign his position as captain of the Sixth Precinct and go into business for himself as a private detective. His partner? A mahogany colored Belgian Malinois named Sinbad. A former NYPD police dog, Sinbad is vicious when need be and reliable to a fault–unless a train goes by or there’s a thunderstorm, then chances are he will turn tail and run. Brian’s first clients are Jeff and Melody Patten. He’s an explosives expert for a local demolitions company, she’s a stay-at-home Mom. Both are devoted parents to their young daughter, Angela. The problem comes in the form of one Collin Lanaski, an unstable ex-Air Force lieutenant and Angela’s second grade teacher, who suddenly starts insisting that Angela is his daughter—the same daughter who died in a tragic car accident four years earlier.  What does Collin base this incredible revelation on?  Dog tags and car seats.  Brian is convinced the man has suffered a psychotic break. He’s delusional and dangerous, and it becomes the P.I.’s job to protect Angela from a madman.

How have you been able to use social media (Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, etc.) to help market your book? 

I’m totally new to Twitter, so haven’t quite figured that one out yet.  I do have an active Facebook account, however, (both personal and an author page) and am constantly posting new information on my books.  Release dates, pricing, availability, etc.  I have also run several ads on Facebook, with great success.

Do you have any advice for new authors looking to promote themselves on these sites? 

I tend to try and keep updates on my writing restricted to my author page on Facebook. There, I know my followers are interested. I hate to bombard my regular “friends” with constant talk about my writing. I will announce a new release, post a trailer, or post a link to my website when warranted, but I try to keep it to a minimum.

What type of writing routine do you have? Any tips you can share about it? 

As strange as it may sound, my normal writing time is from like 10 p.m. to around 2 or 3 in the morning.  I got into this habit when my children were small.  The only time the house was quite, which is essential for me when I write, was at night.  It kind of stuck.  I try to be very diligent.  I treat my writing time as a regular job and tend to be very protective of it.  I won’t answer the phone, have the TV on, or even listen to the radio.  For me, distractions easily make me lose my train of thought.

How has it been trying to balance your writing with your day job and/or family life?  Is there anything you would change?

I’m lucky in the fact that I don’t have to work outside the home and can devote as much time as necessary to my writing.  I’m also a widow and live alone so, again, I have a much easier time balancing my family life with my writing than most authors do.  When my kids and grandkids come for a visit, I set the book aside and spend that precious time with them.

Setting is an extremely important aspect in grabbing your reader’s attention.  What made you choose to set your book in Cheyenne, WY?

I was fortunate enough to visit the Cheyenne area years ago when my sister and I took a trip west.  I absolutely fell in love with the area and felt it would be an ideal setting for a book.  Well, in this case, it will be the setting for many books.  It was especially ideal for Identity Crisis, since some of my characters needed a place to hide out.  What better place to do that than in the mountains?

What types of books do you read?  How do you think they have influenced your writing?   

I got hooked on Kathleen Woodiwiss books years ago.  I absolutely loved her writing style and, in fact, kind of patterned my first books after hers.  As time went on and I developed my own style, that changed somewhat.  I added action and adventure to my romance novels, and then a touch of sci fi when I began the Passage Time Travel Romance series.  After a while, I felt that I needed to challenge myself more.  Never wanting to known for writing in just one genre, I moved on to romantic suspense with Checkmate and then pretty much abandoned the romance all together in Identity Crisis.  My taste in reading has also changed.  I’ve become a huge Dean Koontz fan and have read virtually everything he’s written.  Maybe that’s part of the reason that I’ve found myself flip-flopping genres in my own writing.  You never know what to expect from Dean, and I want my reader’s to experience that same excitement when following my writing.  So far, it seems to work—or at least they haven’t abandoned me yet!


I have been writing since the age of twenty.  (That’s 37 years and, yes, I’m disclosing my age.)  I am the proud mother of three, stepmother of two, and grandmother to twelve wonderful children.  I lost the love of my life, my husband Ron, in November of 2011 when he died in an accident at work.  He took my heart with him and, for a time, my desire to write.  Time, as they say, heals all wounds, and I have again discovered my passion for the written word.  In fact, I find it strangely comforting to delve into the intricate webs that are my character’s lives and immerse myself in their existence instead of dwelling on my own. Next to writing, my second passion is live theater.  I founded a local community theater group back in 1992 and directed upwards of 40 shows, including three that I authored.  I also appeared on stage a few times, portraying Anna in The King and I and Miss Hannigan in Annie.  I am sad to say that the theater group closed its final curtain in 2008, but those 16 years will always hold some of my fondest memories. My husband and I moved from Superior five years ago, seeking the serenity of country living.  We also wanted to get away from the natural air conditioning provided by Lake Superior.  We moved only 50 miles south, but the temperature can vary by 20-30 degrees.  I guess I’m a country girl at heart.  I simply love this area, even though I must now enjoy its beauty alone.  I love the solitude, the picturesque beauty of the sun rising over the water, the strangely calming effect of watching a deer graze outside your kitchen window.  Never again, will I live in the city.  I am an author, after all, and what better place to be inspired than in God’s own back yard.


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