Guest Author: Kelly Hunter





There are many superlative adjectives to describe USA Today Bestselling Author, and former RWAus President, Kelly Hunter’s stories, and I’m not even going to begin to list them. I will, however, share with you two of the adjectives that always spring to mind when I think of Kelly—fun and energetic—and that’s coming from a person who has only had the pleasure of meeting her a couple of times over the years at RWAus conferences.The first novel I read by Kelly was her “Wife for a Week” which immediately grabbed me with its fresh premise. That was it! I was hooked! And, while I can’t claim to have read every book Kelly’s ever written, “Priceless”, “With this Fling” (what a great title!), “What the Bride Didn’t Know” and “Red-Hot Renegade” (all Harlequin Mills & Boon titles) have been among my favourites.



                          

Kelly has an interesting background and says that her journey into romance writing began when she was working in Malaysia in 2000, using her science/biochemistry background to work on a “Screwworm fly control” project. Having no English romance books available to read, Kelly decided to write one!
As she says on her website, she tends to throw herself into everything that absorbs her. She took up various positions on the RWAus committee, did a two year stint and is currently Executive Editor for Tule Publishing Group’s Holiday Imprint and has written more than 30 novels.

Here are five quick quizzing questions I put to Kelly... 

Hi Kelly! Thank you so much for joining me today on the guest author blogspot.
I’ve been so interested to learn of your science background and of the time you spent in Malaysia with your family. Do you still manage to do any biochemistry work and if not, at what point did you decide to end that part of your career and channel your energy into the romance writing genre?
 

Hi Alyssa, and thanks for your hospitality. 

The biochemistry work has gone by the wayside, I’m afraid. For a while after returning to Australia from the screw-worm fly project, I worked part time in the university system, telling rural science students all about the joys of soil physics, chemistry and Australian soil classifications. I did that for about six years and the classes themselves were often outdoors and a lot of fun. But the marking…oh, the marking. Does every teacher want to weep when a hundred three thousand word essays on the pros and cons of various agricultural regions in Australia land on their desk? It finally did me in. From there, I finally turned to writing full time.

Your latest release, “Maggie’s Run” is part of the Outback Brides series. I haven’t managed to read any of the series yet, but am looking forward to reading this title and the other books by Victoria Purman, Cathryn Hein and Fiona McArthur. Were there any particular challenges you faced as you wrote “Maggie’s Run”?

Maggie’s Run was one of my more challenging books to write. Not because of the collaboration—which was fantastic. Not because of the story itself, which was straightforward and written fairly quickly once I got going. What did me in, to some extent, was that one of my (grown) kids was undergoing a lot of medical tests at the time and I was worried, very worried about the outcomes. It was a bittersweet couple of months as info trickled in, and I’m pretty sure some of that sadness (? I’m going to call it sadness) bled through into the story as I was writing it.

I hope everything has turned out okay with those medical tests. Having gone through some pretty harrowing times with two of my three kids medically, I can relate to the stress.

I believe you have another Harlequin Mills & Boon title scheduled for release early in 2019. What else is coming up for you as an author?

 Two more Harlequin Kings to round out the quartet (King #3 releases in Feb 19) another Outback Bride, and then on to new projects. I’m pretty comfortable writing within the short contemporary romance world. Every few books I’ll add an extra dark story to the mix, closely followed by something that leans towards romcom. For balance!

Great to have that balance!

You did a two year stint as Executive Editor for Tule Publishing Group’s Holiday Imprint. What were the most satisfying aspects of this role and do you think editing the work of others has further strengthened your own writing?

I’m still in that role—and loving it. I get to be creative and passionate about projects and the shaping of them and I also get to dust off my old analytical skills and bring those to the table. Best of both worlds. I don’t do a lot of editing in this role—authors who do get me as their editor can be in for a brutal ride (just ask them). Has editing the work of others strengthened my own writing? Yes, I think it has. I’m often in awe of the way an author can so deftly handle story elements I struggle with. I also believe that being a writer makes me a better editor. Symbiosis all round.

 I have to say that one of the best editors I've ever had was also an author!

You’re a Newcastle girl! I landed my first job out of University at Cessnock District Hospital in the Hunter Valley as I wanted to work in a small hospital where I had I had both an adult rehabilitation and paediatric caseload as part of my speech pathology position. I loved my time in the Hunter Region and ended up having my first children (twins) ten weeks prematurely at John Hunter Hospital when they decided to arrive when we were visiting friends in Pokolbin.
If you had two days in which to introduce a friend to all you love most about Newcastle, what sights/activities would be on your agenda?

Your speech pathology career sounds fascinating. More! 

As for Newcastle, I’d have to stick to the areas I know. Carrington (although not the rough port neighbourhood of my childhood anymore—it’s being gentrified!). Lunch at the fish markets near the bridge, where the trawlers come in. Maybe a walk or bike ride along the harbour to the lighthouse. A ferry ride to Stockton and back. Swing back around Nobby’s beach to the ocean baths and Newcastle beach. Top of Hunter street for coffee with fellow Novocastrian Michelle Douglas (who knows all the fab eating places these days). Back to Carrington for a vintage car street meet. Damn, now I’m homesick.

Thank you so much for joining me today, Kelly.

Thank you so much for your hospitality.


     

For more news about Kelly and her books, you can visit her website at: https://kellyhunter.net

     CONTEST!

For a chance to win Kelly’s novel “Maggie’s Run” simply leave a comment on this blog [or email me (alyssaj.montgomeryromance@gmail.com)with 'Kelly Hunter' in the subject line] and you’ll go into the contest! There are two autographed copies to give away and winners will be drawn at random and announced on tMonday 15th of October on this blog . If you enter via the blog rather than the email, you must check back within a week to contact me with your postal address or there will be a redraw.

Thanks for joining me today. I hope you'll revisit the site next Saturday 6th October when my guest author is Christine Feehan. Until then, Happy Reading!

Best wishes,
Alyssa J. Montgomery

http://www.alyssajmontgomery.com/

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About the Blogger:
Alyssa J. Montgomery is an Australian contemporary romance author who is published by Escape Publishing (Harlequin Enterprises, Australia). She also 
writes medieval romance as Alyssa James,




 

Comments

  1. I'd love to spend a day in Newcastle if the itinerary was as amazing as Kelly made out sound. Out was lovely to hear about her background as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A little bit of local knowledge goes a long way! I'm sure every city has its attractions off the beaten tourist track that only locals know about.

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. It's my pleasure to have you as a guest, Kelly!

      Note to all Australian readers: Today is the last day for Maggie's Run to be on a special price for Australian readers, so don't rely on the contest to own your own copy today! Take advantage of the special and ensure you have this fabulous story on your bookshelf. Then, if you win the autographed copy...what a wonderful gift for one of your friends!!

      Delete
  3. Hi Ladies

    Fabulous interview I always love to hear what authors are doing and interesting information Newcastle is a lovely place and I have not seen enough of it and Kelly I love your stories Maggie's Run is so very good :)

    Have Fun

    Helen

    ReplyDelete
  4. You’ll have to find a cruise that stops there, Helen!

    ReplyDelete

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