Friday, November 16, 2012

An Interview with C.C. Hunter

Q: Of which book are you the most proud? And why?

A. Don’t you know this is like asking a mother which of her children she loves the most?  LOL.  But…I will admit to being partial to the Shadow Falls series.  And I think this is for several reasons.  First, when I was approached to write a young adult paranormal series, I almost said no because I wasn’t sure I could do it.  Plain and simple, I was afraid.  It suddenly occurred to me that I was trapped in a comfort zone.  I wrote romance, had built a good audience, and felt like I knew what I was doing.  This series made me stretch myself as a writer and grow.   Writing a book in a singular point of view was a new experience and learning how to tell so many characters' stories through only one person’s POV was very educational.  The second reason I think this series is extra special is because I’ve written five books, so I’ve stayed with these characters and this world for a lot longer than I normally would with a stand-alone book.  I’m working on the last book in the series now, and it’s going to be very sad when I have to say good-bye.  Good thing I stocked up on tissues.

Q: Patty Campbell talks about the germ for a piece of writing being like the sand in the oyster. What is your grain of sand? Do you begin with character or setting or something else?

A. You know, every writer is different.  As for me, well, I’m a very character-driven writer.  Once I have my characters created, once I know who they are, what they're afraid of, what they want most in the world (and how far they are willing to go to achieve it), my plot sort of falls into place.  But until I have that handle on who my characters really are, the story doesn’t flow.  So I guess my characters are my sand.

Q: What do you hear from your readers?

A: Goodness, I get tons and tons of emails.  But more at my C.C. Hunter site than my Christie Craig site.  I think teens get so excited about books and they are just more apt to write the authors.  They all want to have their say about which hero Kylie will choose.  They also want to tell me how they love the friendship in the series.  Because Kylie has sort of always felt a bit like a fish out of water, a lot of teens want to share with me a little about how they feel the same way.  It's been an amazing experience.

Q: Why do you write for Young Adults or Children or Adult?

A: I write both adult and young adult fiction.  And I write them both for the same reason, because I love telling stories.  I love knowing that my stories are entertaining, inspiring, and are feeding my readers some much needed laughter.  One of the reasons St. Martin’s came to me to write the series was they felt my “writing voice” would work in the genre.   As a matter of fact, I actually asked my editor, “Why do you think I can do this?”  Her answer was, “Because you are a smart-a$$ and teens love that.” She was right.  My voice does seem to work.  Now, just because I’m sassy in tone and add lots of humor, doesn’t mean my books don’t have heart.  As a romance writer, I already had to delve into the reader’s emotions.  I had to write characters that a reader could fall in love with.  Then, as a young adult author, I wanted to write characters who were sort of role models for other teens.  I enjoy writing stories about characters who have to overcome something, characters who are going through some change in their lives.  I want to show characters who can laugh in the face of adversity.  Who find that friendship and love are the most important things in life.  And this is in all my books, the young adult books as well as the romance novels.

Q: Who is your favorite character you have written or read about?

A. Hmm…I think my favorite character is Charlotte in Charlotte’s Web.  She had so much to offer all the other characters of that book.  I loved her soft-heartedness and desire to save Wilber.  And let's face it, I'm just a sucker for interspecies romances.  LOL.

Q: What is one thing you would like your readers to know about you?

A: That I consider myself the luckiest person alive to do what I love and get paid for it.  And that if I can make my dream come true by becoming a New York Times Bestselling writer, they can make their dreams come true, too.  Never give up on your dreams.  I don’t care if it’s writing, losing ten pounds, running a marathon or getting a college degree.  Hold tight to your dreams and never give up.

Q: In high school, where did you fall? (Prom Queen/King, Gamer Geek, Brainy/Book Nerd, Jock, Shy/Quiet Scholar, Skate Rat, Stoner, Class Clown, etc.)

A: I was shy, but not the quiet scholar.  I was the kid who faded into the woodwork, the one that a lot of people didn’t know was in the class.  Because I was dyslexic, I struggled with my grades, but I spent a lot of time running off into my imagination and making up stories.

Q: Do you have a pet (pets)? Tell us about it (them) and how they help/hinder your writing.

A. My animals are a big part of my life.  I have four cats, one dog, and a rabbit—all rescues.  (Did you know there are actually stray rabbits?  I didn’t until my son brought one home that came up to him at work and rolled over for him to rub its belly.)  Basically, all of my animals are very unique.  I think animals make us better humans.  And I use animals in my writing all the time to help make my characters better characters.  When a person shows love to an animal, it shows that they are caring individuals.

Q: What is the hardest part of waiting for a book from the end of your writing to when it is released?

A. Just wanting to hold your baby in your hands.  Seeing it just makes it all that sweeter.  And then there’s the self-doubt.  What if this book isn’t as good as I thought it was?  Maybe I need to go back and change a few things?  After sixteen books, one would think the self-doubt would disappear, but nope.  It’s like a bad penny, it keeps showing up.

Q: How often do you dream about the writing you are working on?

A: I think my subconscious is always working on my books. So sometimes I wake up with great scene ideas.  I love it.  I try to tell my subconscious that it should do that all the time.  It doesn’t listen to me, of course, but I’m always thrilled when it does offer me a little help in the dream world.

Thank you for your time, CC! We look forward to seeing you at the festival!

For more about CC Hunter, please visit her website.

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