Author Interview-A. Renee Hunt: An Urban Legend Queen
Welcome to Untamed Publishing's Author Interviews! As a company that caters to the self-published and independent author, we want to highlight and support indie authors. There is a vast array of talent amongst us, and here's the opportunity to connect the readers to their next favorite author!
This interview features, author A. Renee Hunt or Alyssa! As a writer of horror and paranormal, the queen of urban legend is here and her writing will scare the ish out of you...in a very reader friendly way! Get to know A. Renee and pick up her books...if you DARE!
Welcome Alyssa! It's a pleasure to have you join us. Before we kick off this interview, please tell the readers a little about yourself.
My name’s Alyssa and I’m a homeschool mom, wife, pescatarian, Anglophile, who’s a book hoarder, Funko Pop collector and horror fanatic! I’ve lived both in and out of the country and love to travel as well. I do my best to take a piece of every place I’ve ever lived and add it to my stories as well. I detest politics and I love babies. I’m a Gemini and you can best believe there are two of me!
I love it! A woman of many hats and talents! Now, you mentioned horror so we're going to dive right into that. What genres do you write or wish to write?
I love horror and paranormal. Most of my short tales were written for my son as juvenile fiction, but my new adult novels are mostly horror and paranormal horror. I love to be scared, not just grossed out- there is a difference. A good story doesn’t need to be gory, though it doesn’t hurt.
Why did you make the decision to become a published author?
I’ve written all my life, having owned my first typewriter at the age of ten. For me, it wasn’t about choosing a life of writing; it chose me. I feel compelled to tell stories; I always have, even getting spanked for some of them! When I’m writing, I’m creating something almost magical and feel it must be shared. I don’t write to become famous, though I’d like my titles to be known worldwide. For me, it’s the strong sense of sharing that gives me the drive.
Yes! Writing chose you! Say that, Alyssa! I love that because I feel like being a writer is a true calling. So let's get into some fun questions about you as a writer. Tell us a unique writing habit that you have.
I think my uniqueness comes in the form of seeing my characters. Whenever I dig into my character development, I have to see them as I write. I have an excellent concept artist, so as I work, I look at my characters, with their facial expressions and flow.
When it comes to writing, are you a morning person or a night owl?
When I began writing, it was always in the middle of the night. That used to be the only time I could write without any interference. Now that I have my own office, with a lock on the door, I can write any time I wish. I even have a sign stating: You Can Knock and Go Away! LOL! I need one of those signs!
Name your top 5 favorite books by indie authors. Why are they your faves?
My first fave author is now with a publisher, but Mark Tufo is top. He writes with a realistic flare that pulls you into the narrative, making you a part of the story. His horror is original. Second is R. K. Ryde, because she was my first erotic novel read. She placed her soul into that book and she inspired me to write in first person. Demethius Jackson, for being the first black author to write a sci-fi fantasy that was written like a true pro. Tyrolin Puxty, an Aussie author, who took my love for freakishly spooky dolls and made them amazing and C. P. Patrick, who took history and reworked it into a story of spiritual love, hate and rage.
That's a great list of authors. Seeing as how they inspired you and motivated you, would you like to collaborate with other authors on a book project?
I’ve thought of this so many times. I think I would love to work with another, in collaboration of a book. I just don’t know any author’s nearby that I could work with. I think collaborations are a lesson in creativity, and I’d love to explore it.
If you were to write a book about yourself what would you name it? Why?
Though it’s not 100% me, the title is, not would be, The Malignant Soul. It’s my current WIP, and the character not only has my middle and maiden name, but she’s got many of my quirks. I write what I know, and through those writings, I use different topics to share with others. Someone may be going through some of the issues my characters is dealing with and I want them to know, even though there may be some horror and death, you’re not alone in your feelings.
Hmm, I love that title. I can't wait to read it once it's published. Since the book about yourself is your current WIP, please tell us what the project is about? When will it be released?
My current project, as mentioned before is The Malignant Soul. It’s about an over-weight young lady who’s looking for love, maybe just a little too hard. After a major surprise, she decides to take a trip to find herself. While vacationing, she meets a man who knocks her off her feet, and could possibly set her in her grave.
Now, I'm going to move into your most recent work which I have read and enjoyed! Completely enthralled! It renewed my interest in horror reads. So please tell us about your current book project?
My latest release is Puddle. I wrote it after a heavy downpour of rain in a small town, where I used to live. It’s about two friends who end up coming face to face against an urban legend. Something simple, yet has the power to bring an entire town to a standstill. It’s also about what you would do to help a friend.
What makes your writing stand apart from other authors?
I think my tales are different from many others in the fact that just about every story I’ve written reflects a major piece of my life. I usually include an interracial aspect someplace. My family’s biracial and I married an Italian/German- it’s all in me, and I like sharing that with the world.
What are some of your other aspirations for your writing career?
I would love to write an urban fantasy novel in the future. I think the world needs more black, female heroines who can stand on their own two feet, without a man being a necessity. I’d also like to rewrite a few of my juvenile fiction shorts.
Alright Alyssa! You've told us about you as an author and your works, so let's just find out a little about Alyssa outside of writing. Outside of writing, what are your favorite past times?
Because I suffer an auto-immune disorder, I am all about health. I listen to audiobooks while working out and walking, I build with Legos, I sing, and travel. I’ve traveled all my life, so staying in one place too long is bad on me.
That is wonderful! You are cultured and enjoying life. I love that you are so open and willing to share that with the world, so I have to ask, what is one thing about you that is a little known fact.
A little known fact; the love interest in The Malignant Soul, is a real person. Back when I lived in Japan, during my sophomore and junior year of high school, I fell for a Japanese-American friend. We stayed close for many years, but we didn’t reconnect until after we’d both married and had children. His initials are exactly the same, even his first name, but everything else is fiction. My hubby doesn’t even know! (Uh oh! The cat is officially out of the bag! You read it here for first! :)
Before we go, I'd love for you to share your publishing experiences and expertise with us. What is one lesson you’ve learned since becoming a published author?
My biggest lesson is to NEVER pay to be published. With my first novel, which I took back from the publisher, was all because I had no patience. I just had to be published, and due to my ignorance (cause that’s what it was), I didn’t have the control I thought I would, creativity was minimalized and they didn’t even edit well. What a mistake!
What is one myth about being a published author that you learned and would like to share?
I truly believe the biggest myth on being a published author is, there is no one way to do it. What works for one isn’t good for everyone and buying all the books and tools to become a successful author is just that, books of tools. It doesn’t mean it will work. You just have to do what you feel is right for you. I thought traditional publishing was the way to go, until I ended up with a crap book and $3,200 dollars out of pocket!
Alyssa, it has truly been a pleasure to interview you, and we look forward to your future works. Please connect with the author and pick up your copy of her urban legend folklore, Puddle!