The Lightning Blog is pleased to welcome author Kristi Ann Hunter, the featured author for the November 2017 issue of the Spark Magazine. Kristi sat down with us recently to answer some questions about her writing inspiration, quirks, and upcoming works.

It’s a constant battle to mix motivation with mood because what inspires me today probably won’t tomorrow.

What stories have inspired your writing the most?

Most of my writings are inspired by a “what if” sort of question. Those can come from anywhere. Sometimes I see someone driving down the road and by the time I reach my destination I’ve built an entire story off of one thing I saw them do. I think stories that build from a single idea or a single scene are powerful because you get to really explore an idea with the reader.

As for stories that inspire me to write, it can be anything. Great writing will send me to my computer, but so will terrible writing. Either I want to become better or I just want to make sure something better is available to readers. It’s a constant battle to mix motivation with mood because what inspires me today probably won’t tomorrow.

What classic are you ashamed to admit you haven’t read?

There’s actually quite a few classics that I’ve never read. When it comes to classics, if it wasn’t assigned in school, I probably didn’t read it and I’m actually okay with this. The one people would probably be most surprised to learn I’ve never read is Wuthering Heights.

Which hero/heroine/mythological/medieval character do you most admire or despise? Why?

Because this question is ridiculously hard, I’m limiting it to fictional characters only. Even then, it’s still a very difficult question. I adore ensemble casts where every character has a little good and a little bad, where their strengths and weaknesses complement each other but also cause a little friction. A lot of science fiction shows utilize this: Farscape, Firefly, Chuck. But you also see it in the longer-running sitcoms: Friends, MASH, Golden Girls.

I think if I were going to pick a single character, though, it would be The Doctor from Doctor Who. The show is built around the conflict of a person having good and bad in them, making decisions that seem right but have difficult consequences, caring about people but also failing them. At turns I both admire and despise The Doctor and I think that’s what makes him real and relatable. At the very least he inspires you to think or feel something, and that is what all the best stories and characters do.

If your writing life were a sport, which one would it be?

Probably golf because 1.) it’s very easy to get completely off course and have to fight your way back; 2.) it’s a very slow game filled with short bursts of activity; 3.) the goal is to keep your numbers low, but more likely than not, you’re going to go over the suggested amount; and 4.) even the people who love golf find it frustrating but think it’s all worth it when they hit those moments of victory.

What are your writing quirks?

  • I write my first drafts out of order.
  • Post-It notes. Everywhere. And yes, they’re actually brand name Post-It notes because the other ones fall off too easy.
  • I listen to music almost constantly. Inspirational playlists while plotting and movie soundtracks while actually writing.
  • I don’t like to stop when I’m writing my first draft so I leave myself little notes everywhere using $ to mark them. Sometimes I’ll even create side characters but not stop to name them, and for the entire first draft they will be known as $slimyguy, $LadyNameHere, and $cookperson. Occasionally I’ll put things like $saysomethingcleverhere and hope that on another day I’ll be smart enough to find a cool way to say something.

Tell us what’s coming for you in the rest of 2017.

Given that it’s November, the rest of 2017 is pretty much filled with Christmas amazingness. Early next year, though, I’ve got some great things coming out. My Hawthorne House series wrapped up this past September with the release of An Inconvenient Beauty which means that next year starts a brand new series. The Haven Manor series is going to start with a free e-novella in the spring followed by the first full length novel in the summer. I’m excited to share this new journey with all my readers.

Check out Kristi Ann Hunter’s flash fiction in the November 2017 issue of Spark Magazine.

Meet the Author

Kristi Ann Hunter has always believed in the power of stories. After ten years in the IT world, she was more than ready to escape back to the world of fiction, publishing five Regency novels with Bethany House Publishers with many more to come. You can follow Kristi on KristiAnnHunter.com, as well as FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.