Name L.L. Hunter
Where are you from:
I live on the picturesque Central Coast of NSW, which is about an hour north of Sydney Australia. I’ve been writing since my teens and although I’ve always wanted to be an author, I’ve studied everything from Forensic Science, veterinary science, teaching and dramatic arts. Aside from being an author, I also work with kids with special needs, which I find very rewarding. I am also an advocate for getting kids to read, so my goal from the beginning was to write books everyone will want to read.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I’ve just finished writing my 20th piece of fiction, so when it is published it will be my 21st publication. I’ve also just scored a Bookbub promotion for my book First Glance, which is extremely hard to get, and been nominated several times in the Aussie Owned and Read Indie Book Awards 2015 for two of my series, so that’s really exciting!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing when I was around 14 or 15, but I used to only write short stories, poems and song lyrics. I was always an avid reader and wanted to create my own fantasy series, just like the books I loved to read. I began writing fiction stories by age 18. I began writing books because I saw kids were hesitant to pick up a book, so I wanted to make a difference and get people reading again.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I guess my parents and my high school English teacher always used to tell me I was a talented writer. But it wasn’t until I published my first fiction work, a short story by the name of The Dragon Heart Keeper, that I began to realize that people actually wanted to read my stuff. Ha ha!
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first full novel came to me in a dream. The Chronicles of Fire and Ice came to me in bits and pieces at first. Like the protagonist, Scarlett, I too had dreams of dark angels who were half demons and taunted by their father’s mistake.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I find I write best in past tense, third person. My writing has been described as vivid and I like to think I write a little prose like sometimes. I’m definitely not a plain writer.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The Chronicles of Fire and Ice’s title came about by playing around with a few basic ideas. There was a lot of brainstorming involved to get to the point where I was happy with them. Basically, Fire and Ice refers to Heaven and Hell in the story, where Heaven is Fire and Hell is Ice. The good and the evil. Scarlett is part Archangel, and Dyston is part demon. The Chronicles part has to do with the ‘angel bible’ in the series, The Chronicle.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
To find yourself and to become comfortable in your own skin, you have to battle your demons and vanquish them.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
The Legend of the Archangel series is urban fantasy. There are fantasy elements in real life places. Other than the settings, most of it is from my own imagination.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Most of anything I write is based on some fact.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
There are so many people I could put here, but predominately, I admire Kathy Reichs, Phillip Pullman, Melina Marcetta, Markus Zusak for shaping and inspiring me as an author today. Kathy’s my idol in her profession as author and Forensic Anthropologist (I wanted to be her!), Phillip’s series, His Dark Materials were some of the first fantasy books I ever read and I wanted to create something just as delicious. Melina practically shaped my childhood, with her books Saving Francesca and Looking for Alibrandi as well as her Lumatere series. I had the pleasure of meeting Melina recently and she is beautiful and just as inspiring in person. Markus’ ability to pull you in with incredible writing style and vivid descriptions makes me envious. (He’s also a lovely, down to earth bloke!) If I wrote half as good as these amazing people, then I’d be happy.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m reading Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas, but I just finished Yellow by aussie author Megan Jacobson. You must check it out! You can see my review of Yellow here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1529067245?book_show_action=false
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Megan Jacobson with her debut, Yellow, like I said above. Amazing woman and book!
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’m currently writing the 3rd book in the Adelaide Paige series, Third Eye. Then I’ll be writing the last Legend of the Archangel book. (Sob!) Publishing next though, I have the last book in my fantasy series, Dragon Heart, named Thirst. That’s due to release at the end of March 2016.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
A family friend, Father Laurie.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. I take writing and publishing very seriously. It’s my passion.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, I’m pretty happy with it. But if I had to start over in my career, I wouldn’t waste time with a hopeless publisher.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Here’s an excerpt from my next book to be published, Thirst.
“Oh, Dragon boy,” I purred stepping around him. I dragged a nail down his now shirt-clad chest. But it was a tight shirt and showed off all his chiseled abs. He was positively yummy. “I want what everyone wants from you.”
Ash squinted and Eva looked none too happy I was touching her man. He folded his arms over his chest.
“And what is that?”
“Oh, use that pretty head of yours,” I said, placing a painted nail on his forehead. Thankfully, the Princess beat him to it.
“You want his blood.”
“Ding, ding, ding. Bingo. But I don’t just want his blood. Anyone can take his blood. I want his power. You have no idea how much power runs through your veins, Ash.” As if responding to our conversation, a breeze whistled through the willow trees and tousled my long amber colored hair around me like flame. I heard Eva gasp as green and yellow flames erupted over Ash’s body. They shot up his hands, over his shoulders and engulfed his torso. With another puff of wind the flames were extinguished as quickly as they appeared.
Ash scanned his eyes all over his body, examining his hands and shirt before looking to me wide eyed.
“What on earth was that?”
“Like I said, you’re powerful, Ash. Too powerful. It is you who awakened the power in these lands and opened the doorway between the human world and ours. I can’t have someone that powerful roaming this planet. So, I’ll tell you what I want, Ash. I want you gone.”
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I find switching between first person and third person pretty challenging. As well as changing tenses. I suck at tenses!
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I’m a pretty big fan of Cassandra Clare, Airicka Phoenix, and Kathy Reichs. They write so vividly that you are pulled in and can relate to what they write like you are right there with them. I have yet to meet Kathy, but the other ladies are pretty awesome and absolute sweethearts in person.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not really, unless I go to a book signing interstate. I mostly do local signings and events because of personal reasons.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I work with a number of designers; Regina Wamba of Mae I Design and Photography, Rebecca Berto of Berto Designs, Stina Rubio at Cover Lust Designs and Desiree DeOrto. All are extremely talented women.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part about writing my current WIP, is switching from my usual third person past tense, to first person present tense.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I leaned to let something sit a while if I’m not happy with it and then come back to it later.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Chase your dreams and don’t give up. Life is too short. Also, grow a thick skin.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Err, I love you?
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
It was either Where the wild things are by Maurice Sendak, or George’s Marvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I need to meet Kathy Reichs. If I do, then I’ll be a happy writer. I had the chance once to have dinner with Kathy, and I’m kicking myself I didn’t take the opportunity.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
Never gave up on her dreams.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I like designing 50’s retro fashion and rockabilly wear.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
TV: Pretty Little Liars, The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, Arrow, Supergirl, (any of the superhero shows, really), Bones, Shadowhunters, and any forensic documentary.
Movies: I love classic horror films like Psycho and the original two House of Wax films.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Food: Italian cuisine, Asian cuisine, chocolate.
Colors: orange and green.
Music: Adam Lambert, Taylor Swift, Maroon 5, Fleetwood Mac, and I just bought Rachel Platten’s new album, Wildfire, so I’ve been listening to that on repeat.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Probably go into teaching or be a forensic crime scene technician.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I have a blog, where I write pretty regularly, but I like to review for other authors too so the blog is mostly used for that.
I’ll have a website soon with my Writers Group, The Story Queens of Aus. We’ll be launching very soon so keep a look out for that!