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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Bringing the French Revolution Alive: An Interview with Hunter Dennis

What made you decide to write your first novel? Was there any particular author you read that made you think, I could write like that?
I became very disillusioned with Hollywood at the exact same moment a friend of mine introduced me to the real truths of the French Revolution. It had to be written, it had to be a book. So I began. I had a written a lot of screenplays and teleplays so it wasn't as intimidating as it sounds.

How did you go about writing and researching your first book? Who encouraged you along the way?
I did a lot of research, even spending a month in France. But from complete stop to completion was about a year. I did perhaps three solid rewrites and multiple polishes. I had my friends and family help with the editing but I was lucky to have a mom who happens to be the best editor on the planet. I'm not really part of any groups.

What made you decide to go the indie route for publishing? 
As a scriptwriter, you have to jump a series of hurdles of increasing size. Even if you have the money, a director, a producer, and distribution, you still need a star who can open foreign markets. My last screenplay got to that stage and stalled.

What is the biggest frustration or joy you’ve had in setting up your book?
I am so happy to have no one to report to. I am so happy to be able to have a direct and personal relationship with my readers with no one in the way. I don't know why an indie writer would become a signed writer. My biggest frustration was honestly MS Word, which happens to be the poorest designed program of such power on earth.

What is the hardest part of writing for you?
I would say the hardest part of writing is the outlining. I hate to outline. Honestly, its the most important thing you can do. Outlining is success.

What does your editor remind you to do most often?
My editor steers me away from my favorite words and also making lists. "Johnny was handsome and strong, merciless and poetic." Also - show don't tell.

What’s the best encouragement you’ve had in your writing?
Getting paid!

Love that honesty! Yes, it’s definitely nice to get paid for our work. On a serious note, how have you learned to deal with writing rejections?
I have probably been rejected a thousand times between agents, managers, execs, producers, actors, and financiers. It used to kill me and make me hate. You can use hate to write, but it’s not healthy. Now I just write because I'm a writer. I wasn't put on the planet for people to sign off on my work; I was put here to create it. Anything else is out of my hands and I should have serenity about it.

What has surprised you the most in writing/publishing?
I am gobsmacked at the opportunity for writers now. Self-publish and put all your beer money into advertising.

Writing is a beautiful journey and a life's purpose. It is not a destination.
What do you know now about writing that you wished you had known sooner?

What is some of the best writing advice that you’ve received or could give?
It is advice I give: writers write. If you aren't a writer, you don't write. That's how you know you're a writer. And if you are a writer, relax and enjoy doing it for its own sake.

Are there any other points about writing that you would like to add?
Writing is a talent given by God to serve your fellows. It deserves 100% effort regardless of circumstance. Your talents and gifts deserve your passion and your pursuit of perfection.

What is the next book that will be coming out?
The next book is the second in the series. It is tentatively entitled "An Heirloom of Ice and Fire." Here's the link to the current book!

1 comment:

  1. Great interview! What Hunter is talking about is a secret for life not just writing; do what you do because you love it if you have a predetermined idea of what success looks like your likely to be disappointed and disillusioned. Even the most talented person can be derailed by business politics, changes in consumer tastes, and an absence of luck. Success is creating something that is better than what you have ever created before.

    It is, however, really important to make a living which can be very difficult for those with a passion for the arts. As Hunter referenced in the internet world there is the opportunity to go directly to the customer.