Betty Sullivan La Pierre has created a unique private eye who wears an eye patch and keeps a hawk as a pet. He's known as Hawkman around Copco Lake in California, and he once was an agent with a highly secretive agency. When things got a little too dangerous—and he became a target—he left with a whole new identity and became a private investigator. So far, Ms. La Pierre has written twelve mysteries, ten of which feature Hawkman. Every time I read the next mystery in the series, I feel as if I'm returning to a familiar place with familiar characters that I've missed while awaiting the arrival of her next novel.
Betty grew up in Oklahoma. She says she was a tomboy, which prepared her for raising three sons. She loved the outdoors and spent most of her time running around with the guys, playing ball, roughhousing, and climbing trees. She still gets outside, but these days she prefers to fish from the dock at her cabin on Copco Lake (Hawkman territory). She's caught every type of fish the lake holds with the same bait and same pole, and she can't understand why men think they have to have all different kinds of rigs for each species of fish.
One of her funniest moments was when she and her mom were at a big convention hall and an elegant lady walked out of the restroom trailing a long sheet of toilet paper from the back of her dress. They still laugh about it to this day, and they always make sure they check for hitchhiking toilet paper before they leave a public restroom.
Some of her favorite things are a diamond tennis bracelet that her husband gave her (she never takes it off), trinkets her sons gave her while they were growing up, and a gold necklace that her grandchildren gave her, engraved with “#1 Grandma.” She collects autographed books, rarely dreams, and doesn't listen to music while writing (she says she heard enough music while her boys lived at home).
On Writing, in Ms. La Pierre's Own Words
What or who inspires you to write?
My love for writing a good, wholesome story is inspirational. I love to plot and watch my characters grow. There's just something inside me that keeps the stories flowing.
Why did you begin writing?
I had the flair, and many of my friends and family kept encouraging me to write a book. However, I don't think they knew it would be in the mystery/suspense genre.
Which author inspires you?
There's no one author, but there are several I enjoy reading and possibly get ideas on how to improve my own writing: Judith Parker, Sandra Brown, John Grisham, Sue Grafton, and James Patterson are just a few.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
When someone comes up to me or writes a fan letter telling me how much they loved the story then asks when my next book is coming out. Those are words an author loves to hear. We feel fulfilled when we've made our fans happy.
Have you experienced writer's block? And if so, how did you cure it?
I've really never had so-called “writer's block,” I might get stuck on a scene, but if I let my characters take over, then it flows again. I guess you might say I have a mental block against “writer's block.” ;-)
When is your next book due, and what's it about?
My next book will probably be out the end of the year. It's #11 of the Hawkman Series. My characters took me where I didn't want to go, but I reluctantly followed into the realms of witchcraft. I'm not delving into it deeply, as it's a place I don't like. I don't have a title yet, but I'm sure it will have something to do with witches or curses.
Ms. La Pierre's next novel certainly sounds intriguing, and I for one can't wait to read it. In the meantime, you can read my review of Cause for Murder. And check out a few of my favorite Hawkman Mysteries: The Silent Scream, Grave Web, and Blackout at Betty's Bookshelf
You can also get all available Hawkman mysteries on one CD for $39 at SynergEbooks. You can't beat a deal like that—and you just might fall in love with a brand new P.I.