It’s not every day I get to interview a ninja who just happens to also be a warrior for teen issues and a horse enthusiast to boot. Oh, and did I mention she’s an amazing author? Ann Hunter and I go back years as authors and fellow writing convention snarky commentators (seriously, we can’t sit next to each other!).
When I asked her to come play on the blog last minute, despite being super medicated for a recent ninja related injury, she was more than eager to say yes!
Onto the interview with ANN HUNTER: Mom, writer, ninja (no, really!)
Let’s get to know you better! If you could visit any part of your past for a half an hour, what would you do?
I don’t like the idea of living with regrets or trying to go back to fix something (unless it’s a first draft!). Mistakes make us who we are. I like to say “I never lose. I win or I learn.”
But I guess I would ask for a do-over at the 2018 World Taekwondo Federation National Championships. My score was pretty dang low, but I got a gold medal anyway (because I was the only one in my division). Luckily, I’m competing at State Championships in a few weeks with the hopes of qualifying and going back to Nationals and fixing that score!
Tell us about your newest release and the story behind it.
Dark Horse is the 6th book in my contemporary YA series, North Oak. It deals with the aftermath of rape, the ongoing effects of depression, and PTSD. All while being a teen. It has gotten great reviews, several angry emails (cliffhangers, gotta love them) and lots of ugly crying. I’m looking forward to getting book 7 out quickly (again, cliffhangers)
Also there’s pretty ponies that go really fast! #horseracing
Check out Dark Horse on Amazon
What is the randomest thing you’ve done to research something for a writing project?
With North Oak, I’m constantly researching interesting stuff. When you write what you love, researching turns into a geek fest. I have books on the aerodynamics of race riding, how it’s changed over history, and so on. I recently had to research how a jockey actually becomes a jockey (all the laws and fitness testing, etc). You’d be amazed at what they go through.
And although I love my contemporary teen series, I enjoy my fantasy writing as well– because you make your own rules.
Many of your books include horses. What is your craziest real-life horse story?
Perhaps my author bio for North Oak. I used to run around barefoot and half-naked with a herd of Arabian horses my parents bred when I was little. #truestory Those really early years was when I learned all my fundamental horsemanship– by being kicked, bitten, chased and trampled like any other naughty foal.
Second craziest horse story? That one was how I became a published author at age 12. For English we had to write a short story. Naturally, being the horse crazy girl I was, I chose to write about a horse. My teacher ended up flunking me because the story wasn’t written and formatted the way she wanted. My reading teacher noticed how down I was and asked what was wrong. So I told him. He asked to see the story. I gave it to him… and didn’t see it for a few weeks after.
The next thing I know I’m being called to the principal’s office. Why? Because that story had gone from the reading teacher, to the librarian, to the 8th grade English teacher (who was a published romance author) and brought to the head honcho’s attention. It got published in the paper, in full, and went on to win local awards.
I was transferred out of that flunky teacher’s class, and she later apologized to me the following year.
REGARDING NORTH OAK: I do want to say it’s not just a horse series. I set out with a mission to tackle the really hard, scary issues teens are facing today. The last few books have dealt with bullying, sexuality, depression, and suicide. The horses play more of a backdrop to the drama. Sometimes they even help teach important lessons about miracles and finding yourself.
I hope you’ll give the series a try. There’s nothing else like it on the market!
Check out the North Oak series on Amazon
Tell us about how you prefer to work and a little about your writing space
I don’t have a desk, per say. I typically write on a laptop in bed, or wherever I might be at the moment. Some of my favorite sessions are over lunch with other authors (I love mentoring them or even just being in their company), at Taekwondo while my kids have class– I also do martial arts and I’m just over a year away from my black belt! Or wherever I can catch a break.
I do have kind of a pimped out laptop though. I’ve stickered it to death. You can see one of my favorite stickers here:
What’s next? Tell us about what you’re working on.
Book 7 in the North Oak series, obviously. It’s going to be a bit lighter toned than the last two that dealt with some really solid issues teens are up against in this day and age. I’ve also got my first middle grade horror planned (“Zoo”, it’s going to be a cross between Jurassic Park and Jumanji), a YA standalone inspired by the song “Summer of 69”, some fairytales, and my first couple of romances for a project I’m doing with a few other authors. I’m also contemplating a book about nutrition for diabetics by a diabetic (me– macros and food are another thing I love to nerd over), and a book about getting more writing done without burnout.
About Ann Hunter
Multi-award winning author Ann Hunter is awesome. And hilarious. She is often told it must be a blast living in her brain. She argues that the voices in her head never shut up. The only way to get relief is to let them out on to the page.
She credits the voices for:
Crowns of the Twelve – A fractured fairy tale series: Moonlight, Blade of Woe, The Subtle Beauty, Fallen, A Piece of Sky
North Oak – a young adult horse racing series that totally rocks! IF YOU’RE A FAN, DON’T MISS UPDATES: Click here to sign up for North Oak updates!
She likes cherry soda with chocolate ice cream, is a mom first and a writer second, has a secret identity, and thinks the Twilight movies are cheesier than cheez whiz (which is why they are her guilty pleasure! And Oh my goodness, have you seen Vampires Suck? Bwahaha!)
She lives in a cozy Utah home with her two awesome kids and epic husband.
Be sure to sign up for her mailing list for exclusive news about upcoming books!
Ann realizes she speaks in third person, and this profile is entirely unprofessional.
But that is why you’ll love her!
Connect with Ann
- Facebook: @authorannhunter
- Ann’s Amazon Page
- If you’re really great about leaving reviews, you can get also her books here:
You can also find updates and post notifications on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – chose the one you like the most!
Excellent interview! I adore Ann and her books.
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