Elsha Hawk and Eddie-Joe Young have never met in person. This writing duo met online on a microfiction website where they found they worked well together.
Both answered the questionnaire individually.
Q1 – What other authors are you friends with? and how do they help you become a better writer?
We are friends with many writers, most of which are unpublished.
Eddie-Joe – We are ficlet survivors. That was a flash fiction site “The Great Kevin Lawver” developed for AOL. We were the two most featured writers out of the thousands on the site so we have a gaggle of writing friends. Al Rozon, Nadya Bengougam, Drew Klopfer, to name a few.
Elsha– I stalk a couple authors.. I follow K.M. Weiland, who helps writers become better authors, and am very proud of Tricia Heighway, who started writing on a website like me and went on to publish her book. I could list names forever of all the writers we used to write flash fiction with…
Q2 – If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?
Eddie-Joe – Do even crazier stuff, don’t be scared to jump off that cliff or ask Jo Anna Fullilove to dance in the fourth grade. The worst decision in the world is the one you don’t make.
Elsha – Push yourself past your fear. Try new things.
Q3 – When was that moment when you realised that language had power?
Elsha – I was in the 4th grade when I wrote my first stories. We were allowed to type them up in the ‘computer lab’ at school on very old computers and I remember typing and crying because my main character, who was a dog, died in my story. My teacher asked me what was wrong, and I said, “Nothing, it was just a sad story”.
Eddie-Joe – I wrote a story in the fourth grade and had to read it out loud. People laughed so loud the teacher had to restore order to the class. (It was a comedy, this anecdote would mean something completely different if it was a tragedy.) I knew then that the power of comedy was on loan from the Gods. Laughter could light up the darkness.
Q4 – Who is your favourite author and why?
Elsha – The first author I ever admired was/is Lois Lowry. The Giver was the first book that took me to a new place so different from my world. I also love The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. From there, I branched into fantasy. I’m a YA reader by far.
Eddie-Joe – Kurt Vonnegut. Now I have hundreds of books from Terry Pratchett’s Nation to Anne Mcaffrey’s Ship who Sang that I would die for, and let me not overlook the Count Of Monte Cristo that I reread every year because it is so amazing. However, I love Vonnegut because he never has a villain. It’s that internal conflict in his characters that makes us see we are the villains and the heroes in our stories.
Q5 – How do you select names for your characters?
Elsha – I have used baby name websites before, but I found slogging through a list of names I definitely did not like was time consuming. So, I made my own list of names I DID like in a composition notebook, one page for each letter divided into male, female, and last names.
Eddie-Joe – I love making up the names that is why Elsha lets me do it so much. I use a form of reverse engineering. I picture the character, her mannerisms, his appearance, their attitude then I just say the name. If you have ever met someone and said, “That guy doesn’t look like a Charlie, he looks like a Eugene,” well then you used my method of character naming.
Q6 – If you didn’t write, what would you do?
Elsha – I already have a main job. I hold 3 teaching licenses and teach Severe/Moderate Special Education.
Eddie-Joe – Listen, as a true artistic master of swordplay once said, “I just work for Viscini to pay the bills.” Well, I wasn't as fortunate to become the dread pirate Roberts, but I do work on a boat.
Q7 – What accomplishments do you want at the end of the year?
Elsha – My goal is to finish typing up Eddie-Joe’s million page manuscript! That would be a nice Christmas present, wouldn’t it, E-J?
Eddie-Joe – Little does she know I haven’t written the last five chapters so that would be a good goal for me.
Q8 – Why did you contact me to do this questionnaire?
Hawk and Young are a new writing duo already getting rave reviews on their website and from beta readers on Critique Circle. We want to build our audience and grow some fans. If you like Sci-Fi/Fantasy and underdog heroes, you should check us out.