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Why J.B. Hawker Wrote A Corpse in the Chapel.

cover art

Thanks for this opportunity to talk about my book. If there’s one thing an author likes better than writing, it’s talking about what we write.

I’ve decided to tell you why I wrote my latest book, A Corpse in the Chapel. This book grew out of my very first published fiction. I started writing that book, Hollow, in 2005, as the result of a chance remark to my son. He responded, “Write it, Mom!” so I did, and six years later I had a published novel. I supposed that book was a one-off, but readers urged me to write more about the characters, so I went on to write a four-book series.

Some characters I introduced in that first series cried out for a story of their own, so I started the First Ladies Club series about an interdenominational support group for pastor’s wives in a small town on the Oregon Coast. These are stand-alone stories, but include many of the same characters. I am always surprised to see which support character steps up to be highlighted in the next book.

Judy Falls, the lead in A Corpse in the Chapel, stood out in both previous books in this series and won a poll of my readers, when I asked who they wanted to read about next. I was excited with their choice, because, of all my main characters, she is the least like my own personality.

Writers are advised to write about what we know. I was a pastor’s wife for more than twenty-five years, so writing about life in the church and parsonage was a natural. I populate my stories with bits and pieces of the personalities of folks I’ve known and try to touch lightly on an important social issue in each book. The issue in Corpse is abortion. Without preaching or campaigning, I try to give the reader something to think about within an entertaining story.

I didn’t set out to write in a specific genre. Comments and reviews guided me into Christian, semi-cozy mystery/suspense works, and I’ve found it to be a comfortable niche. Readers know best, after all.

A brand-new personality popped up in this book. Mrs. Tilly Thistlethwaite has a small, almost insignificant role in Corpse, but I fell in love with her and decided she deserves a series of her own. By next  year, Mrs. Thistlethwaite and the Magpie should sit on the shelf beside my other books.

Thanks so much for letting me ramble about my writing.

You can buy the series here:


Hollow   Vain Pursuits   Seadrift  …and Something Blue


The First Ladies Club  A Body in the Belfry   A Corpse in the Chapel

JB-Hawker-author headshot BW  500 X 450Award-winning author, J.B. Hawker, is a woman of a certain age who still looks forward to the amazing adventures ahead. As a pastor’s wife for more than twenty-five years, she writes about what she knows; the unique, often humorous workings of the small town congregation as viewed from the parsonage. J.B. has published many articles on faith and ministry.

To learn more about J.B. Hawker, visit her website:

Connect on social media:

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Many thanks for stopping by to share your story, J.B.! Enjoyed the peek behind the curtain. Fun cover! So readers, do you like finding out that characters have or are getting their own story?

I love comments so much that I pick a favorite to receive my monthly AnaBanana gift basket ($25 value).  (And don’t forget that once a quarter I’ll be tossing in something fun from the Perilously Fun Shop!) Recipient is announced the first blog post of the new month.

Perilously yours,


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