Yeah! Young Adult author C.C. Hunter is joining us today! Let’s give her a warm welcome. C.C. is a fellow chapter mate who also writes humorous romantic suspense under her real name, Christie Craig. “Born at Midnight” is her first book in the Shadow Falls Series, a Young Adult paranormal romance, which will be out March 29th.
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**One lucky commenter will win a copy of her book!
So let’s get started!
Could you tell us a little about Born at Midnight?
C.C.: I’d love to! Born at Midnight is my debut YA paranormal and the first book in the Shadow Falls series. It’s really a coming of age story about a young girl trying to discover who she is and how she’ll fit into the world. Of course, she also just learns that there’s more to this world than she thought. Below is a short summery of the book.
The book is about sixteen-year-old Kylie Galen who’s had a lot of crap tossed in her lap lately. Her parents are getting a divorce for who the heck knows why. Her boyfriend broke up with her because she wouldn’t put out. And her grandmother died because . . . well, older people do that. But now, Kylie’s acquired a stalker and she hasn’t a clue what he wants or how to get rid of him . . . and she really wants to get rid of him because apparently she’s the only one who sees him. Thinking she may be losing it, her parents send her off to see a psychologist who gets Kylie sent to Shadow Falls Camp. Kylie and her parents think it’s a camp for troubled teens.
They thought wrong.
Kylie’s surrounded by vampires, werewolves, fairies, witches and shapeshifters. And if she believes what they tell her, she’s one of them. They’re just not sure exactly how she fits in. And her stalker? Well, he’s really a ghost, and he needs her help. As Kylie struggles to cope with the realization that these creatures even exist, and the fact that she might not be human, she’s got two hot guys, a werewolf and a half-fairy, vying for her attention. And they can just keep vying. Kylie’s determined that before she lets her heart loose on love, she needs to unearth the truth. What does the ghost want? Who can and can’t she trust? And most of all . . . What is she?
What inspired you to write Born at Midnight?
C.C>: Good question. Normally, when I’m asked this kind of question, I’ll explain how I get my inspiration from either life experiences or the world around me – like articles I’ve read, or conversations I’ve overheard in restaurants. (Yes, I’ve been known to eavesdrop. LOL) I’ve even gotten inspiration from beautiful sunsets I’ve witnessed. But that’s not really how Born at Midnight and the Shadow Falls series was born.
Before I can explain how it was born, I need to explain something else. I write humorous romantic suspense novels under my real name, Christie Craig. That means C.C. Hunter is a pseudonym. Anyway, several years ago, before I sold my first humorous romantic suspense novel, I’d written a humorous paranormal novel. Now, when I say “humorous” paranormal, I really mean it was crazy, wild and over the top. LOL. While that paranormal novel didn’t sell, it captured the attention of several editors. One of them was Rose Hilliard at St. Martin’s Press. After my fifth novel was published, she contacted my agent and asked if I would consider writing a Young Adult series. When I said I’d love to give it a shot, she planted the seed of an idea in my mind with two words: “paranormal camp.” Now, that’s all she said but it was enough. I took those two words, “paranormal camp,” and went to work. I created my own supernatural world, my own characters, and my own plot. And I’ve had a blast doing it, too.
Do you base any of your characters on real people?
C.C.: Well, sort of. You see, there is a little bit of me inside all of my characters. Even the bad guys. It’s part of my creative process, I guess. For me to write a convincing character, I have to tap into memories and experiences. For example, look at Della, who’s a vampire and Kylie’s roommate. Della is moody and quick to anger, and sometimes I can be that way. (Lucky for my hubby, it’s a rare occasion. LOL.) And then there’s Miranda, who is Kylie’s other roommate and a dyslexic witch who can’t cast her spells right. While I don’t know anything about spell-casting, I definitely know about dyslexia. I’m dyslexic, and so is my son, and we struggle with it every day.
But the character who is most based on my experiences is probably Kylie. I gave her some of the same issues I dealt with when I was a teenager, like fitting in—I always felt a little different from everyone else, like I really didn’t belong. Also, my parents got a divorce when I was sixteen. Man, did that ever feel like someone yanked away the foundation of my world. And I was also dumped by a boy who wanted things I wasn’t willing to give him, just like Trey did to Kylie.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
C.C.: Well . . . I guess that depends on how you look at it. You see, I come from Alabama. Down South, creating stories—or just flat-out lying about stuff if it makes for a better story—was a way of life in my family. As a kid, I had a vivid imagination—still do. I’ve always had book-length stories running around in my head but I didn’t try to capture them on paper until I was 23 and my new hubby suggested I go back to school to become a teacher. That’s when I admitted to him—and to myself—that I wanted to become a writer.
Saying out loud that I wanted to be a writer was a huge step for me. Being dyslexic, I’m a terrible speller and often I get words and sentences backwards, so not only did I have to learn how to write, I had to learn how to deal with my dyslexia. But you know what? I think being dyslexic helped me with my writing. The experts say that dyslexics are very intuitive. And I think this is what helped me understand people’s emotions, which is so important in developing characters in fiction. Plus, being dyslexic forced me to work harder, and that led to my viewing a rejection as an invitation to try harder.
What was the first thing you ever wrote?
C.C.: When I was in the third grade, I wrote a story about a little red shoe. It was a great story – for a third grader – and it won a school competition.
What’s your favorite book that you read as a child?
C.C.: Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. I truly loved that book! This may surprise a lot of people, but I always thought of Charlotte’s Web as being a romance between Charlotte, the barn spider, and Wilbur, the pig. Sort of a cross-species relationship thing. I guess I really like that cross-species relationship thing because my new book, Born at Midnight, has a lot of them. LOL.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
C.C.: I love to walk along the beach. Love to sip a good glass of Cabernet. Love to read, and lunch with my girlfriends. And if I can combine all four, I’m one happy, relaxed, beach-loving camper.
What is something that not a lot of people know about you?
C.C.: Hmm. I guess I’d say that I still can’t believe I’m a writer. That every time I sit down to start a book, I’m afraid I won’t be able to do it. Don’t get me wrong, I worked my tushy off. Because I’m dyslexic, writing is hard. But this feels like a dream come true and I wonder how I got so lucky.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
C.C.: First I’d like to thank you for having me here today. Then I’d like to add two more things for your readers, if I could.
First, make sure you snag my free short story, Turned at Dark. It’s Della’s story and it introduces the Shadow Falls series. You can read the first three chapters of Born at Midnight, too. All you have to do is visit my Born at Midnight page at Macmillan– Born at Midnight Page. Or you can download a free eBook copy of Turned at Dark at all major online retailers. The download also has the first three chapters of Born at Midnight on there as well.
And second, to celebrate the release of Born at Midnight, I’m running a “Tweet my Book and Win a Kindle Contest” from March 22th through March 29th. The grand prize will be the Kindle but I’m also giving away copies of Born at Midnight, some Shadow Falls swag and ARCs of Awake at Dawn, which is scheduled to release in October. All the details will be at my blog beginning March 22nd – Blog. So, please drop by and help me tweet my book and you could win a Kindle!
Oh, one final thing! (Okay, so that’s three things. LOL.) Thank you so much for having me today. I hope you all enjoy Kylie’s adventure. And make sure on March 29th you stop by my website to read some extra content. I’ll be posting scenes from Derek’s and Lucas’s points of view. Also, you can join my newsletter and get advance notice about my books and any contests I’ll be holding. I only send one out when a new release comes out. Also, join me on Facebook and Twitter where I regularly announce contests.
It was great to have you with us today, C.C.! Best of Luck with your new series!!
*Be sure to leave a comment for your chance to win! You don’t want to miss this one!