Join us as we peek behind the scenes of our upcoming anthology, ON TIME. Learn more about Victor Hawk in his featured interview.
ABOUT THE STORY
What inspired “The Hot Season”?
I wrote a story in my first workshop in 2006. It was called “Valentine’s Moody Henderson.” It had a lot of problems as a story, but the characters wouldn’t let me go. Especially Moody and his buddy, Buddy. I kept thinking about these two, and one day I sat down and wrote the first few paragraphs of “The Hot Season.” Once I had that mood, the rest worked itself out.
Can you tell us a little bit about your protagonist?
Moody was originally my man, but Buddy gradually took over this story. This story evolved under my fingertips as I went. I really had no idea what the two of them were doing there in the diner until … well, I think you will know the point I realized what was happening.
What is the most interesting thing about the world you’ve created?
May Anne keeps writing these shapes on her hand – a triangle, a star – and it makes me wonder what secrets she holds about the people of this town of Valentine, Texas. She has shown up in every story I have written in that setting.
What genre or mix of genres does your story fit into?
Wild West showdown? Western noir? “Cowboys and Indians,” says Moody, but I think it’s probably more than that.
What would you like readers to take away from your story?
I hope they wonder about these people of Valentine like I do.
What was your favorite part of the story to write and why?
The memories that Moody and Buddy shared. And the hints of wider connections that May Anne gives us.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
When did you write your first story, how old were you, and what was it about?
I wrote my first story in 1981 for an undergraduate workshop. I was twenty-one. The next spring, that professor ran into me and suggested in passing that I submit my stuff to the literary contest. So I submitted that story, “The Fugue and Barbra,” along with a collection of poetry. It was awarded first place, which was a huge surprise to me. The story was about the fugue states that a guy claims he has, and how his girlfriend turns the tables on him.
What is your writing survival checklist? (Aka, what helps your write the best: music, snacks, coffee, complete silence, a stress ball, a cat, or an outline, etc.)
This has changed. I used to need a quiet room. Now, it helps if there are people around. A coffee shop is a good place to write.
What has influenced you most as a writer?
Hope. I think I fell in love with Ray Bradbury’s love for his characters when I was a teenager. I have to have hope for people and believe in them. Without that, man, why write?
What font do you prefer to write in?
I use Times New Roman out of habit. Doesn’t really matter. I’d write in crayon if I had to.
What is your favorite and least favorite word, and why?
“Needless to say” grinds my gears, needless to say. I like it when a writer challenges me with tasty language, like John McPhee, particularly in his Annals of the Former World. That book is like hard liquor. I can only handle a few pages at a time.
Victor Hawk is a Georgia native but has lived most of his life in Oklahoma. His original career path was in Manufacturing Engineering, with degrees from Davidson College (BS, Physics) and Purdue University (MS, Industrial Engineering). His career pivoted to teaching and writing in 2008 at the University of Central Oklahoma (MA, Creative Writing). He lives in Yukon, Oklahoma, where he continues to write. And to travel! His most recent journey was to Thailand, which included a ten-day instruction in vipassana meditation observing noble silence.
Victor writes, “I am pretty active on the socials, with a YouTube channel, a poetry blog, and a genealogy website, but I keep all those endeavors separate from my writing endeavor. I’m a compartmentalizer.”