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Tuesday, March 24, 2020

A Little Romance Goes a Long Way: Author Interview with Denise Hunter

My interview today is with Denise Hunter who is an internationally published bestselling author of more than 30 books. Plus two of her books have become Hallmark movies and there may be more to come. Her awards include The Holt Medallion Award, The Carol Award, The Reader's Choice Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and as a RITA finalist.
So, read on to find out why her heartwarming, small-town love stories touch the hearts of her readers.

You’ve written numerous series. How do they get started?
I sign 4-book contracts with my publisher, and I provide story synopses in advance, so I know whether the books will be stand-alones or part of a series well before I begin writing.

You also write novellas. I’ve heard agents downplay novellas. How well do yours sell compared to your novels?
My novellas tend to sell about the same as my novels.

How did you go about finding an agent/publisher?
I got my first agent long ago before I even began going to conferences. I used the Guide to Literary Agents, starting with my top picks and working my way down. I got plenty of rejection letters, but eventually found one who was a good fit.

How did your books find a home on the Hallmark Channel?
As far as the Hallmark movies, my publisher has a rights department that pitches their stories to producers. Fortunately, one of those producers took a liking to my work.

What is the hardest part of writing for you?
The hardest part for me is always the middle of the book. And that doesn’t seem to change no matter how many I write.

What’s the best encouragement you’ve had in your writing?
Just in general, I’d say receiving letters and reading reviews. It’s such an honor to share my stories with others, and I never take that for granted.

We have all experienced rejection. How have you learned to write past it.
I read my reviews, and sometimes I get a negative one. I’ve learned to let them go. Reading tastes are subjective, no one book will satisfy everyone.

What has surprised you the most in writing/publishing?
I can’t believe how quickly time has gone. It seems impossible that I started writing my first book almost 24 years ago. And even so, I still learn new things every day.

What has frustrated you the most?
Earlier in my career, it was very frustrating to have little control over critical things like titles and covers. These days my publisher wants my input, so, fortunately, that’s not a worry anymore.

What do you know now about writing you wished you had known sooner?
It usually takes a long time to build a reader-base. There are some fortunate authors who hit it big quickly, but in general, building a career as an author takes a lot of effort over a lot of years. And these days authors are expected to do a lot of their own marketing, which can be time-consuming.

What is the best writing advice you’ve received or could give?
Write the book you want to read.

Can you give me a short synopsis of the next book coming out?
After a public breakup with her fiancĂ©, rising star Mia Emerson has finally scored the role of her career. But when a scandal arises, falsely casting her as “the other woman” to one of Hollywood’s leading married men, Mia flees to Bluebell—the location of her would-be honeymoon—to lick her wounds.

When she arrives in Bluebell NC, she meets Levi, the hardworking and handsome innkeeper. Mia and Levi have seemingly few things in common. But when they discover that an old heirloom necklace is hidden somewhere in the inn, the search draws them together . . . and they soon find themselves falling in love.

The name of the book is Carolina Breeze and it’s set to release May 19.

That sounds like a fun story with the potential for another Hallmark Movie! If you like trying new recipes, she offers some on her website as a special treat! 

To learn more about Denise’s books, here are some links to get you started.