Jean Hackensmith Blog Post
Inside The Mind Of The Author
I’ve come to realize over the years that, for me anyway, being an author is very much like being a mother. I came to this realization after finishing one of my books a few years back (I don’t remember exactly which one). It’s a habit of mine to keep a list of the day I started a book and the day I finished it. When I entered the completion date for that book, I saw that it took me just over nine months to write it—the first rough draft, anyway. I thought to myself at the time (I may even have said it aloud) “Hey, it’s just like having a baby!” In looking back, I then realized that was the case with most of my books, including Identity Crisis, which took eight months, twenty-two days from conception to “birth.”
The length of time it takes me to write a book is not the only thing that can be compared to motherhood. My characters very much become my “children” throughout the time I’m telling their story. I gave birth to them, too. I nurtured them, I helped them grow and, because of my input, they became the people you see at the end of the book. I also help them to solve dilemmas throughout the course of their lives (or, in this case, the course of the story.) My characters become very real to me. They also develop distinct personalities. I often find myself thinking, “No, he wouldn’t do that” or “She wouldn’t say that. It’s just not in her character.”
Most important of all, I guess, is the fact that I put a little of me into each book. My own thoughts, ideas, feelings, opinions are always mingled with those of my characters. They are, after all, a part of me. Each successive book is my newest baby and, like any mother, I feel an explosive pride when my child succeeds.
By Jean Hackensmith
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.
ABOUT JEAN HACKENSMITH
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.