- Tell us about yourself:
- Where do you live? Orlando, Florida
- How long have you lived there? Twenty years, although I was deployed to the Middle East three times during that span.
- Kids? Two adult “kids” (boy and girl) both married and four grandkids, fifth on the way.
- Full time job? Retired Army veteran and currently working for contractor.
- Are you married? Yes, to my wife Trena for the past 37 years.
- Education? BA in Secondary Education-Social Sciences; MA in Computer Resources and Information Management; MBA in Business Administration.3.
- Who is your favorite author and book? I enjoyed old school authors, such as Alistair MacLean, Jack Higgins, Ian Fleming, etc. My favorite books include, The Green Beret (Robin Moore), Killer Angels (Michael Shaara), Where Eagles Dare (Alistair MacLean), The Eagle Has Landed (Jack Higgins), and Team Yankee (Harold Coyle).
- What is your preferred genre? Historical fiction / Thriller / Suspense
- How did you start this journey to become a writer? I grew up traveling the western hemisphere, living in twelve different states and four different countries in Latin America…all before I joined the Army where I continued my trek across America, Berlin, and the Middle East. With my multi-cultural experiences through the Cold War and the War on Terror, I have been writing in journals about my experiences throughout my life.
- What have you written so far? The following are my non-fiction and fiction published books:
Non-Fiction: Stone in a Sling: A Soldier’s Journey
All I Could Be
Fiction: Love in the House of War
2 Tickets to Paradise
Cold War in Berlin
6. Tell us about your current book.
I’m working on two now. They are: ESCONDIDA-In 1973, fourteen-year old Tonya Taylor arrives at Country Day High School, the American school in San Jose, Costa Rica. When she and her new boyfriend, Mike Brown, come across an abandon church in a small patch of jungle, they see a terrifying ghostly image of a teenage girl who vanished the year before. Determined to learn more about her disappearance, Tonya returns to the church, known as ESCONDIDA, and discovers a hidden room that had been kept a secret…a secret that places her young life in grave danger.
STARDUSK-In 1754, before the Revolutionary War, the British America colonies fought New France in the French and Indian War. The Virginia militiamen are under the command of a young twenty-two-year-old named, George Washington. When his fighters ambush a French patrol in the Battle of Jumonville Glen, nobody fought harder and with more skill than the seventeen-year old daughter of an Iroquois chief…known only as STARDUSK.
7. What is the inspiration for your current book? For ESCONDIDA, it is a combination of my Cold War experiences in Berlin, my ninth-grade year in Costa Rica, and a teenage mystery inspired by Alfred Hitchcock and Agatha Christie.
8. Who was your favorite character to write and why? Asha Hawkins because she crosses several of my books but is primarily featured in MILLENNIAL GIRL as the first female Army Special Forces qualified soldier, having received her Green Beret in the year 2025.
9. Is there anything of you in that character? My two autobiographies, STONE IN A SLING and ALL I COULD BE are obviously about me, but bits and pieces of my character can be found in DUTY RECALL, COLD WAR IN BERLIN, GIRL ALONE, and DESERT ROCK.
10. What sets your book apart? The blend of characters that are loosely based on the many people I have come across throughout my world travels and experiences.
11. What’s your favorite part in the book? (read it) Each book has a crescendo or two and it’s hard to select a favorite. Here’s a selection from MILLENNIAL GIRL in Asha Hawkins’ own words:
April 2025 AD
I remember it all, vividly…a traumatic moment I shall never forget.
It was only two days until the end of Phase V. I was following the footsteps of my father, a Green Beret legend for his exploits in Afghanistan and Iraq.
I was good at avoiding capture by the opposing force, called the OPFOR. Of course, nothing is totally predictable, and, I never expected betrayal…by my own team.
I should have known though…they were all part of a standing good ‘ole boy network…who dreaded the idea of a woman wearing the Green Beret.
Led into a dark abandon shack, a lantern flicked on. I saw that I was surrounded by no less than five men…none of whom looked very friendly, at all friendly…including the ones who were supposedly on my team, the ones who led me here on false pretense.
One of them grabbed me by the army while another came at me with rope. With my free hand, a mistake on their part, I reared back and let the dude who held my wrist, have it just below his eye…I missed, because I was aiming for the full flesh of his nose.
This only angered him and with the help from a third guy, they both held my hands behind my back…pulling my arms together. That was only a little painful because I am quite flexible.
The guy with the rope approached me and said, “Time to teach you some manners, girly…”
I did not give him a chance to finish. With a forceful grunt, I mustered my lower extremities with a full force of energy, and placed a well-aimed kicked, right where it counts. “How’s this for manners?” I yelled in the process.
“GAHH!” He screamed like a baby and doubled over to the ground…clutching his groin.
I was in survival mode…my adrenaline running in high gear. The punks behind me released their grip, either out of shock, fear, or both…or so I would have hoped. I went immediately into a basic shallow standing martial arts squat and waited. In hindsight, it would have been better if I had bolted for the door…but I hesitated…and it was a costly mistake.
I felt a sharp sting from a solid impact behind my right leg, just above the knee, that sent me crashing to the ground.
“Aaaahhhh! GOD!” That really, really hurt. I turned quickly to see a buffoon standing over me with a baseball bat. Before I could react with my lightening quick speed, which was now hampered, another guy came out of nowhere and kicked me in the back…the momentum thrusting me forward into the guy with the bat. I must say, it was not pretty after that.
Both guys picked me up and tossed me against the back wall, away from the door. For the first time…in a long, long, time…I felt fear.
I tried to jump up, I really did, but when I stood on my right leg, I quickly went down again. I was a sitting duck. The next thing I knew, my body was taking punches from every angle…there must have been four or five guys.
At this point, I tried my best just to cover my head and face…while my arms, shoulders and back took the blows, at least at first. When I tried to protect my mid-section from savage kicking, I momentarily exposed my face and like bees, they stung the exposed flesh.
Everything was fading to black when I heard one of them yell, “That’s enough boys. I don’t think she’ll try kicking us again. Bill; Mike, tie her to the post.”
I was too weak to resist the dirt bags from dragging me across the floor and then tying my hands above my head to a wooden beam or pole. I will never forget the amount of pain I was in…and I remember trying my best not to groan, because to me it was a sign of weakness.
There I was, hanging with my arms extending above my head when the leader walked up to me and rubbed his nose on my bloodstained cheek. I could barely see out of my left eye, which was nearly swollen shut.
“Quite a kick you have there, little darling. I betcha you can’t do it again.” He stepped back and nodded to someone behind me, which I quickly surmised was the one holding the baseball bat, because he swung his blasted instrument of pain again, striking my other leg. I will never like the game of baseball again.
“Aaaahhhh—JESUS!” I could not keep from yelling…as much as I wanted to stifle my screams. I panted for air like a thirsty hunted deer. I wanted to remain defiant…a bad habit of mine.
When I slurred, “You—you’re crazy!” through my gasping, blood from my lip shot from my mouth like a stream from a kids squirt gun. I could not hide my smirk since the splat was a bullseye between the leaders’ eyes.
The men standing around snickered. This guy in charge, a coward in my mind, wiped the blood off with his sleeve and then reached around to grab the back of my hair. Yanking hard, he pulled my head close to his face.
“Oh, really sweetie? We’re just getting started, he snarled.”
The others laughed like a pack of hyenas…going in for the kill.
“Wha—whadoyou want?” I choked.
“Want? Why, you of course. Just you—the first woman who is about to receive the Green Beret. All of us here want a piece of you—especially the one still rolling on the ground. Oh, he’ll get up soon enough.”
“You’re—eevil! Buh—but my God is stronger!”
“Well darling, where is he now, hum?”
“Hear that boys? Her God is going to come get us,” he mocked.
I glared at him the best I could…considering my eyes were nearly swollen shut.
“You see darlin’, in these high-stake games, we must make it as real as we can. Unfortunately, people sometimes do tend to get hurt. We want you to be fully prepared for the real world…of a true Green Beret.”
I closed my eyes, which, like I said before, were nearly shut anyway. I could not stand the sight of him…plus, I prayed that I could hold back the tears.
But I could not. I felt a drop roll down my cheek and I remember thinking, I hope it is a blood drop…it wasn’t.
“Aw, look guys. Our little warrior is crying. Boo hoo.”
There was more laughter from the others. I heard one of them say, “Ray, you sure ‘bout all this? I think maybe…”
“Shut up Jimmy!”
“They never said anything abo…”
“I said, shut up Jimmy, or we’ll do something to you too.”
Oh, good, a slight glimmer of hope…maybe, I thought.
“You’re in our neck of the woods now, ‘lil darlin.’ Have you ever heard the saying, “What goes on in Vegas, stays in Vegas?”
I forced my drooping head up a little and glared at my assailant with the best look of defiance I had left. Forcing a slight grin, I spit out…with blood still spurting, “Nah—not Vegas half twit moron.”
I know; not the brightest thing to say under the circumstances.
The dark-eyed man grabbed me by the chin, moved inches from my face, and hissed, “You’re very right about that sweet thing. Like I said before, you are in our neck of the woods now.”
Instinctively, I tried to move my legs.
“Aaaahhhh…ma—ma legs! I think you broke them!”
“Such a pity, and so close to the end of selection too. Guys, remove her foot gear.”
While someone was busily removing my boots and socks…not gently, I might add, the ringleader grabbed my belt that was holding up my trousers, pulled out a large Buck knife, and cut it off. Then in one swift motion, he yanked my trousers down…over my throbbing legs.
I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and whispered, “Help me Jesus.”
Then it happened…just when I thought bad would get ugly, I suddenly saw a blinding light shine through the whole shack and for a moment, I envisioned entering the gates of heaven. Then I heard the boisterous and life-saving sound of helicopter rotor blades. The voice over the loudspeaker blared, “ALL CLEAR!”
The next thing I know, a bunch of soldiers burst into the shack. I barely saw them, but the first guy stopped and was pointing a .9mm pistol at the ringleader. “Get away from her, PUNK!” he snarled.
The leader nodded and backed away from me. One of the men behind me, must have cut the rope because I dropped like a sack of potatoes with a thud. Somehow, I stayed conscious, but barely. I only heard voices now…wanting just to go to sleep.
“Just following orders, sir.”
Someone came over and covered me with a blanket or his shirt…or something. Thanks, I tried to say…but couldn’t speak. He checked my vital signs and I heard him say, “Captain, she’s in a bad way.”
The Captain yelled, “Help him out. Secure a clearing to land the bird, now!”
The soldier helping me stood up and I heard a commotion. Then I saw the ringleader fall beside me. He was bleeding profusely from his nose. Good, I thought.
Then I heard the Captain again. “I will pull this trigger if you take another step! Now drop that bat.”
I heard that horrible thing drop to the ground next to me.
One of the bad guys said, “You can report us if you want, Captain, but we were ordered to treat her under the pretense of what she’d receive if captured for real by an actual hostile.”
“Well, you bastards succeeded.” The Captain then spewed out a flow of words that would peel the paint of a wall.
The big soldier who rushed to my side cradled me in his arms, scooped me up, and rushed me to the awaiting chopper.
That was the last thing I remembered before slipping into darkness.
12. What was the most difficult part to write? Anything I write in First person as a female character is challenging.
13. What was your favorite book to write? See answers #12 and #13.
14. How do you write? Do you have a set time or place? How many hours a day? I write inspirationally, meaning I do not have a set time or place but will sit down and write when the moment is right. The time varies but I do not allow myself to burn out so the most I’ll sit at any one time to write is about four hours.
15. Why did you want to be a writer? I have had too many experiences in the world and with people to hold it all in. I regularly held informal audiences’ keen interest and attention from my verbal stories, which would lead many to say, “You need to write.”
16. How do you get your ideas? A combination of experiences and current trends along with identifiable and perceived needs. For instance, I discovered that my college students knew very little about American history…of any kind. Thus, the reason for historical fiction (based on facts).
17. What do you have planned next? After the next two releases in 2019, I will extend a story with one of mine previously written. I enjoy the prospects of the future and future technology.
18. What advice would you give new writers? Don’t write to get rich. Ninety-five percent of the time, you’ll be disappointed. Write because you enjoy writing. Write because you love it! Oh, and marketing is a “BEAR” and can be costly if you let it. Hold on to your money. There are many who want some of it.
19. How can readers get in touch with you?