Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Getting to know … Carol Anne Hunter

What genre would you say your novels fall into, or do they defy classification?
I call it comedy, others say chook-lit; my friend Helen calls it hot flush fiction.

What made you choose that genre?
I wrote half a dozen short stories based on silly events that had happened to me or my friends and blew them out of all proportion for comic effect.  Then I realised I could cobble them together and weave a bigger story around them.  I edited four of them out in the end, but don’t ask which two made it to the final edit because I’m not telling!

How long does it take you to write a book?
Project Me is my first book and was just a hobby I pursued when I had spare time in the beginning, so I can’t gauge how long it would take if I wrote full-time. I started it in 2008, finished it in 2012, and had a year in there where I didn’t look at it at all.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I get up, shower and dress, sit in front of the PC and type.  I make a point of not logging onto the internet, I just go for it.

Where do you get your ideas for your books?
I have no clue, they just come to me then develop from there as I write them down. I have the outline of several full stories recorded on my PC for writing at a later date.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I’ve only written one previous book and must have been around eleven or twelve. A family member had reading and writing difficulties and I wrote a ‘Janet and John’ type book in simple terms to help him. It probably didn’t make any difference but that was my first effort.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I have lots of friends, look after my mum, work part-time behind the bar at the local golf club, and attend writing classes.  I find classes inspiring and when I attend them, my output multiplies.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That the characters would take on a life of their own.  They often take me down a completely different path to the one I pointed them to.

How many books have you written?
Only one full-sized novel but I’m working on book #2.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be a primary school teacher but my circumstances changed and that was no longer possible.

What are you working on now?
I’m 25,000 words into book #2, a sequel to Project Me.  It’s working title is The Pia Protocol and it picks the story up two years after the end of book #1.

Carol was born in Edinburgh and later moved to the West of Scotland for eighteen years, during which time she married, became Company Secretary of her husband’s business, and helped raise three step-children whilst still working full-time.  After a divorce and two promotions in the 1990s, she returned to Edinburgh in 2001.  She took early retirement in 2007 to pursue a lifelong desire to write.  The result is her hot-flush fiction Project Me. 

Twitter: @carolannehunter

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