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An Interview with Anita D. Hunt

It is a thrill to introduce you to my fellow Swanicker and author, Anita D. Hunt. Anita is anticipating the publication of her debut novel, Behind the Curtain, by SpellBound Books Ltd this summer. Thank you for taking time to talk to me today, Anita.

What inspired you to write your most recent book?

It was a combination of factors. I was starting the second of year of my Masters in Creative Writing degree and, although I had been scoring well with my light romance writing, I wanted to go darker and see what I could unveil there. I had been thinking about the introduction of a character uncovering a diary for a while and, when the main character – Penny-May – started being created and I needed to put her into a horrible situation, the rest just fell into place.

Who is your favourite character in this book and why?

It has to be Penny-May. She goes through such a difficult time with her abusive main man and needs to discover just how strong a person can be when they are put under extreme conditions.

What was the first piece you had published?

It was actually a theatre review. I was whittled down from over a hundred applicants to be one of just six people who were then employed on a freelance basis by the largest theatre in Cornwall to review the amazing work that was happening in fringe theatre around the County.

I then went on to have poetry published in the Poetry Cornwall magazine and my first short stories were in anthologies by Cornwall Writers. They currently have two anthologies in print, the first – Curiosities misfits and legends – I have two stories in. The second – Secret and Hidden – I have one story in and they are publishing their third in June of this year – Beneath and Beyond – which I also have one story included.

Do you have another story planned or in progress? When can we expect to see that?

I always have stories running around! I’m working on two at the moment, one is light hearted romance romp and the other is a darker storyline around a group of women who may have attracted some unwanted attention… I’m intending for at least one of them to be finished and published next year.

Who is your favourite author?

I have several, what writer doesn’t? It’s nigh on impossible to keep the list short because I want to name everyone! But Dorothy Koomson, Liane Moriarty and Jodi Picoult are certainly there for when I want a dark psychological read. If I’m after something lighter and to give me a feel good win, then Sue Moorcroft, Jill Mansell and Marian Keyes are certainly there amongst many, many others…


What do you like to do when you’re not planning or writing your next book?

I have a few hobbies that each feed different parts of my soul. I am a member of Rock Choir and I also performance sign for them in order to open our performances up to people who would otherwise struggle to enjoy the beauty of music and song. I also volunteer as an usher at the theatre I previously mentioned. Again, I just love to see people have fun and enjoy themselves and what better way than through the medium of a theatre with its myriad of different ways to tell stories? When at home, I enjoy walking and playing with my dogs and generally most crafts – I can crochet a pretty mean blanket…


When did you know you wanted to write novels?

They have always been there, the stories just run through my head and demand to be written down. From being in infant school and them running out of the reading scheme books for me, through the Famous Five and beyond. The love of reading and disappearing into story has always inspired me to want to write my own. I think that the validation I felt when I was given the theatre reviewer role gave me the permission to call myself a writer and pursue the path that I now find myself on.

Do you write in other genres?

I do have a tendency to transgress into other genres. I mainly flit between chick lit and psychological suspense, but the short story I have in the second Cornwall Writers anthology – The Cabin – is a story about a teenage girl called Aimee who has a dance of sorts with a few Cornish Fairies and Piskies. I’m often quite surprised with where some of my stories go once the characters start coming alive – that one was never meant to be fantasy story, but I love the way it insisted it was going to be.

What do you like most about being an author?

The planning stages when the pieces start coming together and the story takes on its own momentum. That feeling of bringing the characters to life and being the person who is privileged to tell their tale is quite something. Also, writing The End when I’ve finished the first draft is always a moment to sit and savour.

Do you have a specific routine for writing?  Is there a special place or particular tool you use?

I don’t have a specific routine as such, it’s a case of making sure I stick my butt in a chair and write when I have time available. I need to be disciplined in it otherwise it is quite easy for the rest of my life to take over. As for a particular tool, if I’m handwriting, then it is in pencil with an A4 project type book where I can put character notes and story arcs into their own sections. When on the computer, I use Scrivener – that is such an amazing writing package which gives so much flexibility to the way a writer can format and rearrange their novel. As I tend to write dual narrative and time slip novels, the ability to move chapters around etc is invaluable.


What advice do you have for other writers?

Write your story, not anyone else’s. Don’t edit as you go along, that’s for the second draft. Believe in your ability and give yourself permission to call yourself a writer. Most of all, stick your butt in the chair and do it!

If your book were to be made into an Audiobook, who would you choose to read it?

I think I would go for Renee Zellwegger for both female parts and Samuel L Jackson for Sam’s chapters.

If your book were to be made into a movie, who would you like to play the main character?

Penny-May would have to be Margot Robbie, Lucy would be Scarlett Johansen and Sam would be Matt Damon.

The Author

Anita Hunt has an MA in Creative Writing and is a poet and author. Her debut novel, Behind the Curtain, will be published in the summer of 2024 by SpellBound Books Ltd.

She is passionate about equality and accessibility for all, holding a couple of volunteering roles as well as performance signing in a choir. She relaxes by walking her dog, reading and crafting. Her favourite phrase is, ‘sleep is for wimps…’

The Links

Website – Piskie Dreams -

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1 Comment

Great interview. I really enjoyed reading this. Thank you, Val and Anita. x

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