In this paper, we investigate the linear superposition principle of exponential traveling waves to construct a sub-class of N-wave solutions of Hirota bilinear equations. A necessary and sufficient condition for Hirota bilinear equations possessing this specific sub-class of N-wave solutions is presented. We apply this result to find N-wave solutions to the (2+1)-dimensional KP equation, a (3+1)-dimensional generalized Kadomtsev-Petviashvili (KP) equation, a (3+1)-dimensional generalized BKP equation and the (2+1)-dimensional BKP equation. The inverse question, i.e., constructing Hirota Bilinear equations possessing N-wave solutions, is considered and a refined 3-step algorithm is proposed. As examples, we construct two very general kinds of Hirota bilinear equations of order 4 possessing N-wave solutions among which one satisfies dispersion relation and another does not satisfy dispersion relation.