Author on the Couch: Kristi Ann Hunter
This week I’m conducting a session with…
Kristi Ann Hunter
Kristi is giving away an autographed paperback copy of one of her books!(U.S. Only)
Me: Tell me about an experience that had a profound impact on your life.
Kristi: When I was in my early twenties, I got the opportunity to go to Switzerland. Standing at the top of Jung Frau, looking over the Alps I was struck by how much work and creativity God put into creation centuries upon centuries before man would ever see it. That freed up my own creative process in a way I hadn’t expected, making it more about the story and less about what people thought about it and more about the tale I wanted to tell.
Me: What personality trait of yours helps you most as an author?
Kristi: The ability to consider multiple angles and views of a situation can be an annoyance when you find yourself making excuses for why people do stupid things. As a writer, though, it can be quite an asset when trying to put myself into the shoes and heads of my characters.Enter to #win an autographed paperback of one of @KristiAnnHunter's books! Click To Tweet
Me: What personality trait of yours hinders you most as an author?
Kristi: Procrastination! Combined with my ability to convince myself I can do one hour’s worth of work in five minutes and I often find myself scrambling as deadline approaches. It’s hard to learn the discipline to do things differently but I’m slowly creating better habits. When I don’t put it off.
Me: What was your high point as a writer—a time when you were happiest, on cloud nine, flying high? What happened?
Kristi: My first year as a published author was one high point after another. When A Noble Masquerade came out, I was terrified. Then I got a social media contact from someone who didn’t know me, who only knew my book. And they loved it. I was elated. Then the book finaled in contest after contest, somehow managing to pull out a win in the Rita competition. It was an amazing year and it will be difficult to ever top it.
Me: What was your low point as a writer—a time when questioned your path, a time when you felt really crappy about your writing? What happened? How did you get over it?
Kristi: There’s a point in writing every book where I end up in tears, convinced that I’m a horrible writer, unsure why I do this, why I put myself and my family through the ups and downs caused by my procrastination and general artistic craziness. I’ve learned by now that it’s a cycle, that soon I’ll circle back around to actually liking my story and being glad I get to share it with the world.There’s a point in writing every book where I end up in tears. @KristiAnnHunter #AmWriting… Click To Tweet Good reviews went to my head and bad reviews kept me up at night. @KristiAnnHunter #AmWriting… Click To Tweet
Me: What’s the worst piece of writing advice you were ever given? How did you get beyond it?
Kristi: To never, ever use adverbs. I love a friendly adverb. I discovered that when I tried to actively pull adverbs from my writing it turned stiff and formal. I lost my voice and my pacing. Is it possible to use too many adverbs? Absolutely. And when I first started writing I would highlight them all and count how many per page and stress over it. Now I don’t. I have weasel words I check for and beta readers I trust. I may have more adverbs than you’re “supposed” to, but it works for me.
Me: How do you deal with rejection or bad reviews? What advice can you give others about how to handle rejection and bad reviews?
Kristi: I don’t read reviews unless they are personally sent to me or I’m tagged in a post. I discovered early on that good reviews went to my head and bad reviews kept me up at night. When people don’t like my books, though, I just remind myself that they aren’t who I’m writing for. First and foremost, I write for God, and second I write for my fans. I’m not going to change what and how I write to make one person happy when it would mean losing all the people I already make happy.
Me: What do you collect? Why? What personal meaning does this item have for you?
Kristi: Squishy stress ball toys! I started this collection when I was in college because they were a popular thing to give out at school events and career fairs. When I got frustrated with an assignment I’d throw them around my dorm room. I have some fairly unique ones including a brain, an astronaut, a potato, a bomb, and an ear.
Me: Tell me about your Regency with Spiritual Elements titled An Inconvenient Beauty.
Kristi: Griffith, Duke of Riverton, likes order, logic, and control, and he naturally applies this rational approach to his search for a bride. He’s certain Miss Frederica St. Claire is the perfect wife for him, but while Frederica is strangely elusive, he can’t seem to stop running into her stunningly beautiful cousin, Miss Isabella Breckenridge.
Isabella should be enjoying her society debut, but with her family in difficult circumstances, her uncle will only help them if she’ll use her beauty to assist him in his political aims. Already uncomfortable with this agreement, the more she comes to know Griffith, the more she wishes to be free of her unfortunate obligation.
Will Griffith and Isabella be able to set aside their pride and face their fears in time to find their own happily-ever-after?
Me: Share with us one of your favorite excerpts from An Inconvenient Beauty.
Kristi: The passage below is from Chapter One, but I absolutely love it because for me, when I wrote it (which wasn’t first because I write out of order) I finally clicked in to who Griffith was. He’s formal and proper, but only on the outside. On the inside he’s witty and possibly even a bit snarky and he wants his family to be happy. I love that about him.
He looked away from his mother to note the girl in question— a plain young woman hovering near a doorway, her dress an unfortunate color that was remarkably similar to the ballroom wallpaper. Given her supposedly close relationship with tonight’s hostess, one would have thought the near-professional wallflower would have known to avoid that particular shade of rose. “If there is a true need for a member of our family to rescue Miss Watters from the wall—a position which I’m sure you know she takes up at every social gathering—there are other male members you can appeal to.”
Mother’s lips pressed together into a thin line. “They are married.”
Griffith slowly lifted his own eyebrow in a perfect imitation of his mother’s earlier expression. “I had no idea the institution affected a man’s ability to dance. No matter. Up to now they’ve shown remarkable resistance to whatever marriage related malady might inhibit a man’s dancing talents. I’m sure they can hold it off for another night.”
His mother said nothing, though he could tell from the crinkles forming at the corner of her eye that she wanted to laugh. Almost as much as she wanted him to dance with Miss Watters. As he only danced with women he considered family, her laughter was the only desire he was inclined to grant. One more sardonic remark from him should send her over the edge.
“It is a comfort to know, however, that public scrutiny of my lack of dancing finesse will diminish once I’ve married. Until then I shall endeavor to plant myself among the married men on the rare occasion that I join a dancing formation with a sister or cousin. Perhaps then we shall all be equally bumblesome.”
You can purchase all of Kristi Ann Hunter’s books here: http://www.kristiannhunter.com/aib
You can find An Inconvenient Beauty here…
Indie Bound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780764218279`
Christian Book Distributors: https://www.christianbook.com/new-4-an-inconvenient-beauty/kristi-hunter/9780764218279/pd/218279?event=AAI
Be sure to connect with Kristi Ann here…
My books: http://www.kristiannhunter.com/bookshelf
Abbie Roads writes dark emotional novels featuring damaged characters, but always gives her hero and heroine a happy ending… after torturing them for three hundred pages.