Interview with Kristi Ann Hunter & GIVEAWAY  | The Engrafted Word

Kristi Ann Hunter graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Computer Science but always knew she wanted to write. Kristi is an RWA Golden Heart contest winner, an ACFW Genesis contest winner, and a Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award for Excellence winner. She is a founding member and the coordinator of the Regency Reflections blog and lives with her husband and three children in Georgia.

Find her online at www.kristiannhunter.com.

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Savanna:  Welcome to the blog, Kristi. We’re so glad you could join us today. Congratulations on your 2 newest releases this year! I just started A Noble Masquerade last night and could hardly put it down! 🙂

Which character from A Noble Masquerade would you say you’re most excited for the readers to meet? And why?

Kristi:  Since a lot of readers met the Hawthorne family in “A Lady of Esteem” I’ll skip all of them. I’m very excited about bringing the hero, Ryland, into the story. I’m a little in love with him myself, so I hope everyone else will be, too. There’s something about that rough and tumble get-it-done kind of guy finding the woman that changes everything for him.

There’s also a couple of side characters that I’m hoping the readers love as much as I do. Particularly Colin McCrae. This guy is fun to write. He’s very witty and always knows the right thing to say since I have days to figure out what that perfect thing would be. I’ve had more than one reader tell me that they hope this isn’t the end of him. I’m happy to say that it isn’t. Colin is going to pop up here and there for the rest of the series.

Savanna:  How long did it take you to write the e-novella A Lady of Esteem  vs. A Noble Masquerade?

Interview with Kristi Ann Hunter & GIVEAWAY  | The Engrafted WordKristi:  There isn’t an easy answer to that question. The short answer is that “A Noble Masquerade” took about two years to get through the writing and editing process. These weren’t contiguous months. “A Lady of Esteem” on the other hand took about four years because it went thought multiple incarnations before becoming the novella it is today.

“A Lady of Esteem” started out as the first book I ever completed. Over the years it got rewritten approximately 9 times as I learned more about writing and tried to lengthen the book to the same length as “A Noble Masquerade”.

By the time the Bethany House editors and I decided to turn the thing into a novella, I had managed to lengthen the book to more than three times its current length. The edit was painful and gut wrenching but I’m very happy with the product we ended up with.

Savanna:  Getting a book all the way to publication is always an interesting journey, isn’t it? I’m so glad you’re happy with the finished result. That’s important!

You’ve won multiple writing awards. What has been one of the greatest lessons and fondest memories from participating in these contests?

Kristi:  Winning is a rather pleasant memory, I must say. I have fun memories from each of my wins. I was only able to attend two of the four ceremonies, so not all of those wins involved getting dressed up and giving a speech.

Interview with Kristi Ann Hunter & GIVEAWAY  | The Engrafted WordThe greatest lesson from those contests, and one reason I would encourage every unpublished writer to enter them if you can, is that everyone is not going to like your work. For the first three years of contests I got very polarizing scores from the judges. Some would adore the writing and story while others ripped it to smithereens. I learned to write for those that enjoyed my work while honing my craft enough that even those who didn’t enjoy it could see merit in it. That lesson prepared me to shrug off the reviews that were less than complimentary when my first book came out. There are people who like my writing. I write for them.

Savanna:  That’s a great point to remember. Thanks for sharing that.

On your website, you admit you’re a board game junkie. 🙂 Do you have a particular favorite?

Kristi:  My favorites are games that make you think or work together as a team. I love Settlers of Catan and games of that ilk that change every time you play them so you can’t settle in to any particular strategy. I used to play a game called Alibi in college that was like Clue on steroids. My kids are young so we’re easing them into strategy games by playing team games like Forbidden Island and Break the Safe. Then, of course, there’s some really awesome card games like Rook and Phase 10. I have a particular fondness for Boggle but I don’t get to play much since most of my friends refuse to play it with me.

Savanna:  Ah, I love Settlers of Catan. My hubby introduced me to that game and I was instantly hooked!

Interview with Kristi Ann Hunter & GIVEAWAY  | The Engrafted WordCan you share with us a piece of writing advice that has made a difference in your career?

Kristi:   If you can imagine yourself doing anything else, do it. If you can’t, don’t quit.

Writing is hard and the reward is not always equivalent to the work. If the work is not its own reward you won’t make it long as a writer. If you have to get the words down or your head will explode and they’ll find you rocking in a corner, then by all means write. Write and don’t give up.

Savanna:  Thanks for sharing, Kristi. Is there anything else you’d like to add? Any upcoming projects you can share with us?

Kristi:  I’m currently editing the next book in the series. I think a lot of people aren’t particularly fond of Georgina, but she’s got a pretty big secret that’s going to explain why she does things the way she does. Exploring that secret and how it twists her reasoning has been a very eye-opening experience for me and I hope the readers are affected by her journey as well. That book should be coming out Summer 2016.

Savanna:  I can’t wait! I appreciate you joining us today, Kristi. May God bless you and your writing!

GIVEAWAY!!

Kristi has graciously offered to give away a signed copy of A Noble Masquerade to one lucky winner. Enter below and it could be YOU! 😉

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for entering! Contest is open only in the U.S. and ends September 22, 2015.  The winner will be notified by email. Happy Reading, everybody!