Faith Hunter is known for her dark fantasy stories, including her Rogue Mage novels—featuring Thorn St. Croix, a stone mage in a post-apocalyptic, alternate reality—and her Skinwalker series. The latest book in the Skinwalker series, Raven Cursed, is coming in 2012. Under the pen name Gwen Hunter, she also writes action-adventure stories, mysteries, and thrillers. As both Faith and Gwen, she has over 20 books in print in 27 countries. Find out more at her websites faithhunter.net, gwenhunter.com, and magicalwords.net.
Daily Dragon: First off, thank you so much for your time. I really do appreciate it. Is this your first Dragon*Con?
Faith Hunter: Yes, and I am scared silly. So many people. Such a huge space! And for someone who can get lost in her own closet, that is terrifying!
DD: I have a copy of your latest Skinwalker book. Tell me about the book and the series.
FH: Jane Yellowrock is a Cherokee Skinwalker, perhaps the last of her kind. With a small amount of genetic material, she can shape-shift into other animals and walk in their skins under the moon. Jane has only fractured memories of her childhood and past, but she hasn’t let that stop her from using her talents to track down and dispatch young rogue vampires, mindless beasts who attack and drain and kill humans. She is sensitive, kickass, rides a restored Harley, and likes both blades and guns. In Mercy Blade, Jane goes up against a werewolf pack—to find that they aren’t what myth and romance novels suggested they were.
DD: You are such an accomplished author with over 20 books published. Do you have a daily routine you go through? Things that you do as you prepare to write?
FH: Yes, I do. Weather permitting, the hubby, dogs, and I start the day with a 1.5-mile walk, followed by a shower (for me, not the dogs. They just flop down on the cool floor and snooze). I have a cup of hot tea, check email, and go to magicalwords.net to see what’s up with the site created by David B. Coe, Misty Massey, and me for writers of fantasy. Then I start writing, which lasts eight to ten hours, interspaced with lunch and business. Then I do errands and housecleaning. Cooking. Finally, I sleep. And start all over again the next day. One day a week (deadlines notwithstanding) I kayak, which might be a whole day or half day, depending on the river. And two days I pull 17-hour days at a rural hospital lab. Can you say work-a-holic?
DD: Growing up, which authors influenced you the most?
FH: I read everything from fantasy, to romance, to mystery, to thrillers. I suppose Anne Rice was my hero.
DD: Reading your bio, you are such a diverse woman. You work in a hospital and have a plethora of hobbies, especially making jewelry and kayaking. What do you enjoy doing the most?
FH: Kayaking. On a river there is no e-mail, computer, laptop, or phone, or you can’t hear it over the roar of water. It’s just me and the river, and I adore it. But then there are those characters who call me off the water to tell their stories. I love them, too.
DD: How is the market different now than when you were first published? How do you feel about the growing e-book market?
FH: When I sold my first book in 1989, the height of technology was a word processor with basic spell-check of less than 100,000 words. I knew one person (one!) who had such a wondrous device and it cost her two month’s pay. That has changed and will continue to change faster and faster. Writers have to be adaptable. I think the e-book market is a fabulous thing, and I can’t wait to see how it influences the market in years to come.
DD: Other than sit in your chair and write, what one piece of advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
FH: Read. Read everything. Keep a good eye on the NYT bestseller list for developing trends. Read, read, read. Then write just as hard.
DD: Thank you very much for graciously giving us your time today, and we hope you enjoy the convention.
FH: Thanks for having me!