Bonus Entry: Q & A With Helena Hunting
Q&A – Helena Hunting
Q: Can you tell us a little about your new release, Handle with Care?
A: Handle with Care follows the story of the reclusive Lincoln Moorehead, who has done everything he can to separate himself from his family and their massive media corporation. Upon the death of his father, he’s forced to come home for the funeral, and then asked to stay on to help transition the company with the assistance of Wren Sterling who has been commissioned to overhaul Lincoln’s image in the public eye.
Q: Lincoln Morehead and Wren Sterling are the lead characters in Handle with Care. Which one of them did you find the easiest to develop? What is each characters best and worst traits?
A: I always find developing the male lead the easiest. I’m not sure why exactly that is, but Lincoln’s character was so easy to round out and develop. Lincoln’s worst trait is that he jumps to conclusions without first getting all the facts, but his best trait is his altruism. He’s very much about giving back, and despite the fact that he can be a grumpy jerk, he’s also an incredibly good human being. Wren’s worst trait is that she can be a martyr for things that are outside of her control but her best trait is her strength of character and her belief in redemption.
Q: What was your greatest challenge while Handle with Care? What was your greatest pleasure and/or reward?
A: Wren is a badass heroine, so I think finding the balance between her strength of character and those hints of vulnerability could be tricky at times. I really wanted to humanize her and make her relatable and I hope readers connect with her. I LOVED writing the banter between Linc and Wren. They are both such strong personalities, and that made putting them head to head so much fun.
Q: Which do you find easiest to write-the humor or the heart?
A: Humor always seems to find a natural place inside the story, but for me it’s about the balance
between the two. I love taking a heavy moment and inserting some kind of comic relief before I go for the feels again.
Q: Do you work from an outline while writing your novels? How closely do the finished novels fit your original vision of the characters and storyline before you begin writing?
A: I outline extensively. Most of the time I have about ten thousand words of outline and character development before I even start writing. It’s just how I work most effectively. I need to know who my characters are going in and where I want them to be by the end of the book. I generally stick to my outlines very closely since they are so detailed.
Q: What did you edit OUT of this book?
A: A lot of f-bombs.
Q: Do you listen to music while writing? Does it influence the flow of the scene you are writing?
A: I do. I create playlists for every single book I write, and I often (always) listen to the same playlist while I write the book. This means that I burn out albums and songs for my family on a very, very regular basis. My husbands list of artists he will no longer listen to grows exponentially with every release. Halsey always finds a place on my playlist and the song Joaquim by Oscar and the Wolf was a particular favorite.
Q: When sitting down to write a new book you have a specific outline to follow or does it just flow naturally?
A: The first step in my process is always to write an outline. I need the bones of the story down, where the character arcs will fall and what the conflicts will look like before I start writing the book.
Q: What do you like to do when you aren't writing?
A: I like hanging out with my daughter and craft. Recently we went camping, which was a fun experience, although I grew up with a family cottage so we would spend a lot of the summer there.
Q: Name three things on your desk right now.
A: Broken Knight by LJ Shen, Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey, Resist by K. Bromberg, Undeniable by Melanie Harlow, The Last Letter by Rebecca Yarros (still gives me the chills when I think about it), Verity by Colleen Hoover.
Q: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
A: The banter between Wren and Linc and writing a grumpy, jerk hero who really isn’t a jerk but sure acts like one!
Q: To get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
A: I have two cats, Digit is a 14 year old pure white polydactyl cat who sheds like nobodies business and Pumpkin (named by our daughter) is a 6 year old black cat who often thinks he’s a dog, eat edamame beans and begs for bacon at the table.
Q: You've written many books & bestsellers, in many genres. What has been your favorite to write thus far?
A: That’s a hard question to answer. I love them all for very different reasons, but I will say that I had a lot of fun writing Wren and Linc because of the banter and how much I love writing a strong heroine.
Q: What was your favorite book or series in your youth?
A: I used to love reading VC Andrews books, and Clive Barker, which I realize are very, very different!
Q: What would you like us (the readers) to take away from your story?
A: That families aren’t perfect and people can make mistakes, yet still grow from them.
Q: What is your favorite platform to connect with your reader to date?
A: I have a reader group called The Beaver Den and I love it in there. The readers are always sharing book experiences and it’s a great community! If you want to join my group you can do it
Q: What project(s) are you currently working on?
A: I just finished the third book in the All In Series, which the first book will be releasing this fall. Next I’m starting a standalone, but I also have a new series I’ll be starting soon, and I have a book idea or two for secondary characters in the last two books of The Shacking Up series, as well. It’s safe to say that my writing schedule is planned for the next two years!
Q: Do you believe in love at first sight?
A: I don’t know about love at first sight but when I saw my husband from across the room for the first time I thought, “man, he’s pretty” and then when we had our first conversation,the connection was instant. I think people can “click” and be drawn to each other for inexplicable reasons.