C.C. Hunter grew up in Alabama, where she caught lightning bugs, ran barefoot, and regularly rescued potential princes, in the form of Alabama bullfrogs, from her brothers. Today, she's still fascinated with lightning bugs, mostly wears shoes, but has turned her focus to rescuing mammals. She now lives in Texas with her four rescued cats, one dog, and a prince of a husband, who for the record, is so not a frog. When she's not writing, she's reading, spending time with her family, or is shooting things-with a camera, not a gun.
C.C. Hunter is a pseudonym. Her real name is Christie Craig and she also writes humorous romantic suspense romance novels for Grand Central.
Here is the Interview!!
Can you tell us 3 things about you that we can't find on the internet?
C.C.: Oh, boy. You sure know how to start an interview with a tough question, don't you? Honestly, though, I don't have that many secrets left to share. I mean, I've answered a lot of questions about my life, about my books, about my family (including my furry family members), so almost all of the important stuff has already been covered and is already out there. I suppose I could start sharing some really embarrassing details, like a photo of me having the Worst Hair Day Ever, but because I wouldn't want to inflict that agony on innocent bystanders, I'll refrain. (Hey, I'm only thinking about you guys here.)
The first thing is that I love strawberries. They are so versatile and they make a perfect addition to any meal. Like for breakfast, when you can add them to a non-fat yogurt and toss on a bit of granola for a healthy start to your day. Or you can enjoy them for lunch and dinner; just slice them and toss them into a giant green salad. (They're delicious with a raspberry vinaigrette dressing over leafy greens.) Oh, and my favorite—strawberries for dessert. Choose some of the big, plump ones and dip them in decadent milk chocolate. Mmm. Strawberries.
Second, I have a terminal case of cold feet. Now, I don't mean that I'm afraid to try anything new. I just mean that my feet are always cold. So, when I'm having a writing day and don't plan to leave the house, I'll slip on some comfy sweats and a pair of socks with skid-resistant bottoms so I don't go sliding all over the place on my hardwood floors.
As for the third thing that hasn't been put on the Internet about me—at least I don't think it has—is that I'm a little bit of a true crime geek. Yep. I love watching those true crime shows on cable TV. Of course, since I'm a writer, I try to tell hubby I “have” to watch them because it's research. And that is true--up to a point. But I just find the subject fascinating. (And since hubby has known me for a long time now, I think he's on to me. That and worried that I love learning how people “almost” get away with murder.)
Can you tell us a little about Taken at Dark?
C.C.: I'd love to! Taken at Dusk is book 3 in the Shadow Falls series. Kylie is learning more about her special gifts, but she still doesn't know what supernatural species she is. As the book opens, she gets to meet Daniel's adoptive parents . . . or, at least that's who they say they are. Burnett and Holiday aren't so sure, especially when the older couple disappears. Or as Perry puts it, ‘goes poof.’ But Kylie's got a lot of other things to worry about—she is growing closer to Lucas and that is causing him (and her) a bit of trouble with his pack . . . and his family. Her two best friends are still squabbling and Kylie's new ghost is causing even more problems. But worse than all of those things combined, the death angels have a new message for Kylie: Two people will face danger. One will live . . . and one will die. And Kylie's afraid that this time, she won't be able to stop the prediction from coming true.
What is a typical writing day like for you?
C.C.: Well, a typical writing day starts early. I'm usually up by 6:00 a.m. and at my computer. I begin by reading through and editing the last scene I wrote the day before, just to get me in the mood. I try to get in a good couple of hours of work before I leave to take my morning walk. Writing is such a sedentary occupation so I need the daily exercise. Plus, it helps me work through any plot problems I may be having.
When I get back from my walk, I head back to the computer and write for a few more hours. Then I'll take a lunch break, catch up on some emails, make a few phone calls, and then it's back to the computer for another two to three hour writing jag. I continue like this for the rest of the day. If I'm under a tight deadline, I may even work a little into the evening, although I generally try to call it a day around dinner. I'm really lucky in that I have such a supportive hubby. He makes dinner most nights, so I don't even have to worry about that when I'm writing. Plus, he even does the laundry! Am I lucky or what?
What made you want to become an author?
C.C.: Well, when I'm asked this question, I usually blame it on my family and/or being from Alabama. You see, creating stories—or just flat-out lying about stuff if it makes for a better story—is a time-honored tradition in the South, and it was a way of life in my family. As a kid, I had a vivid imagination—still do. I’ve always had book-length stories running around in my head, but I didn’t try to capture them on paper until I was 23 and my new hubby suggested I go back to school to become a teacher. That’s when I admitted to him—and to myself—that I wanted to become a writer.
And make no mistake about it—saying out loud that I wanted to be a writer was a huge step for me. You see, I'm dyslexic. That means I’m a terrible speller and often I get words and sentences backwards, so not only did pursuing my dream meant I have to learn how to write, I also had to learn how to deal with my dyslexia. But you know what? I think being dyslexic helped me with my writing. The experts say that dyslexics are very intuitive. And I think this is what helped me understand people’s emotions, which is so important in developing characters in fiction. Plus, being dyslexic forced me to work harder, and that led to my viewing a rejection as an invitation to try harder.
Out of all of your books, what scene stands out to you the most?
C.C.: Oh, this is such a hard question to answer. It's like asking me which book is my favorite. Or whether I love my former feral cat Skitter more than I love our family's former junkyard dog Lady. (I love them both equally although, to be honest, there are some days that I heap on a bit more sugar and love to one of them than I do the other.) But about my "favorite" scene, usually, it's the one I am working on, which is a good attitude for a writer to have because it keeps my enthusiasm high, and I think that comes across to the readers when they're reading my stories. But, having said that, I do have one scene that I wrote that has a special place in my heart.
It's the scene in Born at Midnight when Kylie offers Della her blood. That scene was so hard for me to write—not that it was a difficult scene for the characters, but the emotion of it really got to me. I think of that scene as a turning point for Kylie’s growth as a person, as well as her relationship with Della. Plus, the scene echoes the theme of how important it is to look past the “differences” we see in others and to accept them for who they are, not what they are.
What are you working on?
C.C.: Right now, I'm working on Whispers at Moonrise, which is book 4 of my Shadow Falls series. I'm nearly finished with the book and, as usually happens when I'm getting close to finishing a book, the words are just flowing out of my brain onto the page. What is really cool about the writing process is that I learn what is happening at the same time Kylie does. Yeah, I know that sounds a little strange. I mean, I'm the author and I should know everything that is going to happen in the book. And some stuff I do know before I sit down to write. For example, I'll know what spirit is going to visit Kylie in the book. (I may not always know why the ghost is there or even who the ghost really is, but I'll know enough to get the ideas percolating in my brain.) I'll also know the general plot of the book. It's the specifics that I learn as I write the story. And when the book is speeding toward the last pages, well, that's when it gets really exciting for me to write. And I hope it's just as exciting for you to read!
C.C.: Oh, that's so totally unfair. I love both Derek and Lucas. Besides, if I had a favorite boy, it might influence my writing. So, I'm firmly Team Kylie when it comes to this one. Now, I think I know who she is going to pick in Book 5, which is the final Shadow Falls book, but I could be wrong. Like I said above, I learn the details of the story as I write it. But one thing I do know is that writing that last book is going to bittersweet. Answering all Kylie’s questions is going to great, but saying goodbye to all my Shadow Falls characters is going to be hard.
Thanks again for having me visit the Books and love. I've had a blast answering your questions. I hope you and your readers love reading Taken at Dusk as much as I enjoyed writing it!