Monday, August 19, 2013

A conversation with Linda Katmarian, author of 'Dreaming of Laughing Hawk'

Thank you for stopping by today to meet author Linda Katmarian. Please feel free to leave her comments and questions below, after checking out what she has to say about her new book 'Dreaming of Laughing Hawk.'

What was the inspiration behind 'Dreaming of Laughing Hawk'?
It’s difficult for me to identify the inspiration for Dreaming of Laughing Hawk. Hawk turned up as a strong character that helped define the story, but perhaps what I was hoping to capture was the need of all us to define our lives in some important way by power, love or higher purpose.
How much do you have in common with the main character, Elizabeth Leigh?
I probably have a lot in common with Elizabeth in terms of the earlier part of my life. I like to pretend I don’t, but I think a little of myself creeps in. But then I also think parts of myself are in all of my characters—the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Which scene was your favorite to write?
I like the bar scene with Hawk and his uncle Killer. It was fun and it revealed a lot about the character of Hawk. I also like the dance scene between Elizabeth and Hawk.
What message do you hope readers will take away from this book?
My message is that everyone who wants something bad enough will pull out all the stops.
Please tell us about some of your other published works.
Dreaming of Laughing Hawk is my debut novel.
On what other projects are you currently working?
I’m slowly poking around and trying to get my bearings on a second novel whose working title for the moment is Blinders.
You have been fortunate enough to have worked with many mentors. Other than the common advice to write every day or to write what you know, what is some of the best writing advice you have ever received?
I think that some of the best advice I’ve received was regarding dialogue—that dialogue is the illusion of conversation and that it should never record the way conversation occurs in everyday life. Dialog needs to create tension, be revealing of character, and not sound like the conversation you hear at the super market.
You love to read, but do not consider yourself to be well-read. What is your definition of a well-read person?
My definition of a well-read person is someone who has carefully read all the classics and keeps up with everything on the best seller list. They are well versed in plot and characters and authors. When I’m in reading mode, I tend to consume what I’m reading like a starving person.
What is one of your all-time favorite books? What is on your TBR pile?
It’s hard to have a favorite, but I guess I like Janet Fitch’s White Oleander best of all. There is nothing specific on my TBR list, but I’m always looking for something along the lines of action/adventure and historical.
If a reader were planning a trip to California, where would you recommend they visit?
If a reader were planning a trip to California, I would of course recommend San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego for all the cultural things that are available. But there are so many places to see in California. Santa Barbara. Napa Valley. Laguna Beach. Palm Springs. Mammoth. There is something here for everyone—mountains, beaches, cities, desert, farms. Drive 30 miles in any direction and you will find yourself in a completely different place.
What is something readers may be surprised to learn about you?
Readers would probably be surprised to learn that my daughters refer to me as “Martha” because I’m into gardening, cooking, art, sewing, home redesign and who knows what.
Thank you so much for your time!

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Author Linda Katmarian grew up in the Midwest and graduated with a Master’s Degree in French literature from Illinois State University. She has studied under Sol Stein, prolific author and former owner of Stein & Day publishing company in New York, and Louella Nelson, an experienced romance writer and teacher of fiction writing. In 2012, after a long career as a technical writer, Linda committed herself to writing fiction full time. She lives in Southern California. DREAMING OF LAUGHING HAWK is her debut novel.

Author page: 





Dreaming of Laughing Hawk

In 1964 Elizabeth Leigh is looking forward to college, escape from her unhappy home, and the fulfillment of her dreams. Adventure. Love. Her place in the sun. On a restless afternoon, she leaves school early and discovers her mother is packing to run off with a lover, abandoning Elizabeth and her stepfather. Worse, she learns her mother has squandered the college money her grandfather left her.

A fortuitous invitation from her cousin Melina to come to Los Angeles rescues her from an uncertain future. In Los Angeles, Elizabeth finds security in the embrace of her aunt’s family and is introduced to the man who soon becomes her fianc├ę, Collin Greenslade, an ambitious, upand-coming real estate developer. Life could not be more perfect.

When her cousin’s boyfriend, a civil rights activist, has his Thunderbird vandalized in Mississippi, he enlists his roommate, Mark Laughing Hawk, to tow his car back home. Melina insists that she and Elizabeth should come along for the ride, but what starts as a fun romp across the country becomes a journey of the soul that complicates love and endangers lives.

Dreaming of Laughing Hawk explores the desire for love, power, and sense of purpose and the lengths we will go to attain them.

Read an excerpt:
"Fear's a good thing," Hawk said, rubbing his head with a towel. "If you believe that nonviolence stuff Thaddeus preaches, you better learn when to stand still and when to zigzag like a rabbit." Hawk had eaves-dropped enough to know that Jake had his work cut out for him. Mississippi blacks weren’t eager to entrust themselves to strangers, especially white ones. From what Hawk could deduce, they didn’t even seem to agree amongst themselves on a course of action.

Available on Amazon

Linda will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Follow the tour for more chances to win!


  1. I enjoyed the interview thank you. You must be so thrilled at your debut.


  2. I really enjoyed all your comments. I love the honest of the answers. It really helps to know the author better.

  3. lol! Interesting idea of what's "Well-Read". I guess I'm not that,because I typically hate what's on the best seller lists. Most of them are too boring for me.'ve read a few. Enjoyed even less. I think if you can hold an intelligent discussion with anyone about more than 5 books, you can consider yourself at least a little "well read"...

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

  4. Great excerpt, love the sound of this book!

    lucy at lucyfelthouse dot co dot uk

  5. Thanks for the great interview. I guess by your definition I am not well read either since I tend to be all over the place and read what catches my interest rather than just what is consider a classic or a best seller.

    fencingromein at hotmail dot com

  6. Thanks for the interesting interview today. Everyone always asks an author about where they get their inspiration. So what came first, the idea for the plot line or the characters?

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

    1. For me the character comes first. I cannot contrive a plot line and then plug in the characters. I wait for the character to show up and then I let them run with the plot line. I try not to interfere. I let them surprise me.

      Linda Katmarian

  7. Terrific interview.. and so excited about this book.. tbr for sure.

    vals_hemi at yahoo dot com

  8. Interesting that so many of you picked up on my comment about being well read. I think the distinction I was trying to make was about me as a writer. You can read a lot, but a writer is expected to know about their craft. As an author, I do not keep up with all the best sellers nor am I very good at analyzing the craft of others. Some authors are very tuned into all the details of who wrote what, plots, characters, etc. I tend to focus on what works and what does not work in storytelling, but don't ask me to recall the name of a character or a scene in a well known work by a well known author.

    Linda Katmarian

  9. What a great excerpt! I'm loving this tour!

    hense1kk (At) cmich (dot) edu

  10. I'm amazed that how different most are in their writing skills even if a story can be similar. Its amazing to witness this in the different series I've written. I truly am glad to just be a reader so I can enjoy everyone else's talents. ;)

    erikalrhodes at gmail dot com

  11. Fun interview

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  12. Congratulations on the debut story Linda!
    You are fortunate to have studied under Sol Stein...
    The excerpt is intriguing, the 1960's setting snagged my attention...
    Writer In Transit

  13. loved the interview!


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