I’ve been fortunate to have some wonderful friends in my life, but there are some who have left a lasting impact that will be with me through all my days.
One of those friends was John Hawkins.
That name might ring a bell if you’ve read Finding the Lost Dutchman’s Gold! In the book, John Hawkins is Joe Bryant’s best friend, fellow adventurer, and right-hand man, and he was inspired by my real-life mentor.
The real John Hawkins was legendary, and one of the people I admired most. John taught me a great deal about life and people, and the lessons I learned from him have served me well throughout my life. (Just ask my wife!)
John was a man of many talents. He could fix just about anything and make it right, and he shared his incredibly valuable skills with me. I spent many years in the trades doing painting, construction, and renovations, and everything I know, I learned from John.
I learned a lot of useful things from John, but some of his greatest gifts are things that can’t be taught. John was a joyful man who loved to sing and dance and laugh. He had a generous spirit, and he was a very kind and caring man.
When I sat down to write Finding the Lost Dutchman’s Gold, I knew that Joe Bryant (a character based loosely on my own experiences) needed a wonderful best friend by his side as he set off on his adventure to find the Dutchman’s legendary gold mine.
Joe needed someone who was smart, thoughtful, and up for ANYTHING! As the character took shape in my mind, I realized I already knew and loved this fellow.
I was thrilled to include my dear friend in the pages of my second book. Through the writing process I was able to relive some of our greatest adventures and fondest memories, and I think the real John Hawkins would be tickled to find himself a lead character in a book!
I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know John Hawkins in Finding the Lost Dutchman’s Gold. He was one of the best men I’ve ever known, and I’m proud to honor his memory and his life.