Writers Inspiring Change feature author: Erica Marie Hogan
IWIC: Tell us about yourself.
Erica: My name is Erica Marie Hogan and I was born on Long Island, New York. My whole life I’ve had a big imagination which, as you can imagine, got me in trouble more than once during my childhood. Growing up, our family moved from New York to the beautiful Virginia mountains and then on to Texas, where I now live. My head filled with stories as I grew and I am now pleased to say I can share them with everyone, each influenced by my own ability to feel deeply and connect to a story emotionally.
IWIC: What prompted you to become a writer? Erica: I’ve been writing since I was ten years-old. Stories were always my escape route when life just seemed too hard. I started writing silly little stories created from things I’d watched or read, then they evolved into my own creations. I thought I would always write “happily ever afters”. But as I grew up and matured, I found drama was more my style. I wanted to write about the harder things in life; the desire to hit my readers at a deeply emotional level prevailing over my fantasy fairy tale love stories and I’ve been pursuing that ever since.
IWIC: What do readers like about your writing? Erica: Goodness, I hope they like it, period! I’ve had several people tell me they enjoy my characters and settings. So far, I’ve only had one novel published, my debut The Lost Generation: A Novel of World War I, and readers’ responses have been very positive and encouraging.
IWIC: Is there a message weaved into your writing? Erica: Always. I like to weave the theme of rising up out of adversity into my novels. No matter how hard the world strikes at my characters, they find a way to rise again in faith, hope, strength and love. I believe that we can all do that, and that many people who experience hardship do so on a daily basis. I would even say that I’m one of them, or I try to be. It’s not an easy journey, but I think we all do our best.
IWIC: What is it that you want to inspire in others or change in the world through your writing? Erica: I hope to inspire strength and faith. Especially hope. With my historical novels, I hope to encourage people to look back in time and remember the sacrifices that were made to make the world what it is today. With the contemporary novels I’m working on now, I’m hoping to give people a peek into some of the darker sides of life that happen today. If we can learn from the past, maybe we can change the present.
IWIC: Tell us about your most recent book and why you wrote it? Erica: My debut novel, The Lost Generation: A Novel of World War I, is a journey of three couples from three countries who never would’ve met if not for the war, how they change each others lives and what they witnessed as soldiers in the trenches, nurses in the field hospitals, and wives left home to wait and pray. I wrote The Lost Generation because I was deeply touched by the great tragedy of World War I. The loss of nearly an entire generation of men and women in what became known as The Great War breaks my heart. It was suggested to me that, one day, no one would remember The Lost Generation of 1914, and I didn’t want that to happen. So I created a story and characters I hoped would remind people how much was taken from the families of that generation, so their sacrifice would live on in us and keep the memories of the men who fought for us alive.