Title: The Gifts of Our Mothers
Author: Hazel Black
Series: The Witches of Auburn #1
Publication date: October 2nd 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
In the dark woods I’m forbidden to go into, lying on top of the one person I swore I’d stay away from, and hiding from the men who chased him, I hold still as Ike Kennedy whispers in my ear, “Don’t leave me.”
The questions of why my mother packed up our lives and moved us to Auburn, New Jersey when she, herself, fled here twenty years ago, plague me every day. Her past and the people in this town loom over our family with a haunting understanding of the coven I was born into, but realize I know nothing about. The enemies I heard stories about as a child attack without warning or regard for human life, but I don’t know who they are.
I’m Ever Ayars. I can fly. I can disappear. I can move things with my mind, but my gifts are my only clarity. Lost within a new school, new friends, and a new life, there is only one thing I know for sure.
I’m not leaving Ike Kennedy.
1. What does your writing process look like? Do you know the whole story when you start? Or do you just start writing and go with it (seat of the pants writing)? If you plan it out, how do you do that? Outline, notecards, post-it-notes, etc.?
I’ve never been a planner, but after writing ten books I do see the wisdom of at least knowing the ending before I start. My process always begins with one conversation between the main characters. From there, it’s Why did they say that? What happened to them to bring them here? What’s going to happen next? The initial conversation could be from the beginning, middle, or end of the story. In my first novel, the conversation was a first meeting after months of the main characters being apart that ended up being preceded by 200,000 words. I never know…
2. How do you come up with your ideas for your stories?
All of my books are based off my own life. Even if only a sentence of the entire final work is true to my situation, the idea or spark comes from my everyday life experiences and the people I interact with. Many are set in the area I live in today or have resided in prior. I like to explore what I’m already a part of.
3. How long have you been writing?
I started my first novel in 2011, sold it in 2013, and have been writing ever since. Prior to that, I had no idea I’d be a writer. Writing was never an identified strength in my school years, and I never explored it further in college or grad school. It’s been an unexpected gift.
4. What tips do you have for aspiring writers?
Write a book that you love! Writing is like taking a piece of your soul, typing it up, and putting it on display for the world to see and judge it. You’ll be swallowed whole if you give up what you know about a character to follow a trend in the industry. Just write a book that makes you choke up at the good parts or want to throw it across the room in anger. If you love your book, it won’t matter what anyone else thinks.
5. What are your favorite:
Books/authors/genres – I love Stephen King, a love story—the more screwed up the better, and anything that surprises me which is not easy to do anymore. The older I get, the more predictable everything seems.
Movies/TV Shows – My husband can attest, I rarely watch television or movies. He loves both, so I’ve let him down in these areas. I’ll watch NFL football when I’m home on Sundays. I put the housewives on when I’m folding laundry which I only do twice a month, and I’ll hit up all the cable news cycles a few times a week to compare and contrast their delivery of the world’s news, but other than that, I don’t have much time. We did just watch the HBO documentary, The Defiant Ones, about Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine and it was excellent!
Music – I listen to everything and have music constantly playing through headphones when I write. I’m sitting in a coffee shop right now answering these questions with U2’s, The Joshua Tree playing, but I can do rap, hip hop, pop, country, reggae, classic rock. I like the music to match the vibe of the scene I’m writing.
Food/Writing snack – Wine. ahahah
Social Media Site - Instagram. It’s more streamlined and lacking the over-interaction of some of the others. I feel like I’m reading a magazine instead of a resume, but that is probably due to the accounts I follow on Instagram.
She settled into corporate America, learning systems and practices and the bureaucracy that slows them. Hazel quickly discovered her creativity and gift for story telling as a corporate trainer and spent years perfecting her presentation skills and studying diversity. It was during this time she became an avid observer of the characters she met and the heartaches they endured. Her years of study taught her that laughter, even the completely inappropriate kind, was the key to survival.
She currently lives in New Jersey with her family and a misbehaving beagle named Odin. As an avid swimmer, if Hazel is not with her family and friends, she’d rather be underwater. While she enjoys many genres, she is, and always has been, a sucker for a love story…the more screwed up the better.
Hazel Black writes contemporary romance as Eliza Freed. To keep up with all new releases and giveaways, sign up for her newsletter here.