19 June 2015

Author Q&A Session #48: With Catherine Hunt

Hello and welcome folks,
Today in yet another author Q&A Session, we have the debut author, whose psychological thriller, Someone Out There have scared and intrigued quite a lot of readers' minds. Yes, today we have, Catherine Hunt, who is here to talk about her journey, her debut book, and about her life beyond books and all.

Stay tuned and keep reading.

Read the review of Someone Out There

Me: Hello and welcome to my blog, Catherine. Congratulations on your debut book, Someone Out There. How are you feeling about your first book?

Very excited but still a bit nervous. I hadn’t realized quite how nerve-racking it is waiting to find out what readers think!  Thank you for your wonderful review which was really encouraging and it’s great to be here on Book Stop Corner.

One of the strangest things is thinking that after all the time spent writing the book and being alone with it, it’s now out in the world with lots of people reading it and meeting the characters. 

Me: What was your source of inspiration for this book?

As a journalist, I’d come across a lot of real life stories about people with an obsession which had made them commit appalling acts, and it always seemed like a good subject for a book.  Then things got a bit closer to home when someone I knew became the target of another person’s obsession.  Bit by bit the problem escalated, until it reached a violent climax.

It was around the same time that a friend told me how she was chased along a country lane in the dark by a driver she had annoyed. The car chasing her had music blaring and tinted windows so she couldn’t see who was driving it.

It was from those two incidents that Someone Out There started off.

Me: How did you research for the old and less traveled roads in Old Sussex? Did you travel extensively for the purpose of research?

One of my first jobs was as a reporter for the Brighton Evening Argus, an evening newspaper in Sussex. The job meant travelling around the County a lot and I remembered the area pretty well from those days though I did have to go back and check up on details for some of the scenes.

I don’t live that far away now and have relatives there who enjoy hiking and we often spend a day walking in the quiet, backwater lanes and woods of Sussex. I know well the woods where Laura was chased at the start of the book and the grassy downs where she rides her horse, Valentine.

Me: Tell us one trait of your protagonist, Laura, that intrigues you the most.

Her courage and determination. Although she’s frightened and confused by what’s happening to her, she doesn’t give in and refuses to become a victim. Despite her boss behaving so badly, she manages not to stoop to his level and keeps trying to do her best for her clients even though she’s under huge pressure in her life.

Me: What did you expect your readers to get away with after reading the book, Someone Out There?

Perhaps an idea of how all-consuming obsession can be. Also, how quickly life can unravel, and how unexpectedly, just by being in the wrong place at the wrong time; how we think we are more in control of our world than we actually are. What happens to Laura is random bad luck. She gets in the way of a deranged obsessive, something that could happen to anyone, and she’s forced to fight for her life through no fault of her own as she’s caught up in circumstances totally beyond her control.

Other themes are the secrets and lies in relationships, the struggle to maintain your sense of self within a relationship, and how well you really know the people around you.

Me: How will you describe your journey so far as an author?

It’s been wonderful being able to create characters and stories of my own after so many years of writing factual reports for news media. But it is quite a lonely job in comparison and you have to try not to worry too much about rejection and criticism.  To have your book accepted by a publisher, and then see people buying it, is a fantastic feeling.

Me: Was it always your one true dream to be an author?

Yes, it’s always been a dream but it seemed a hard one to fulfill! I only got down to it and started writing fiction a few years ago. I did write a few short stories as a teenager but never dared to send them off anywhere.

Me: How will you describe your normal writing day? And how do you get away from the stress of a long day's work?

I start writing as early in the day as possible as my brain seems to be a bit more creative then and carry on until I can’t concentrate any more. Then I try to go for a bike ride or maybe a walk because exercise always seems to help put me back on track and relieve stress. If it’s a good day, I might be able to do some more later which is great because I don’t get on very fast!  After that, I might answer emails or write some factual stuff for work which can be strangely relaxing after trying to be creative all day, or perhaps go out with friends for a meal or to the movies.

Me: What's next up on your writing sleeves? Please tell us briefly about it.

It’s early days and I can’t say much because there are a few ways the story I’m working on could go and of course the story itself might turn on its head!  But it will definitely be another psychological thriller.

Me: Thank you so much Catherine for joining me today on this interview session. I wish you luck for all your future endeavors.

It was a pleasure to be interviewed by you, Aditi, and very kind of you to invite me. Thank you again for reading and reviewing Someone Out There and all best wishes to you.

Catherine's Bio:

Catherine Hunt is a former BBC TV News journalist who has now found a new love in writing books. Her first thriller "Someone Out There" is being published in May 2015 by Harper Collins Killer Reads. 

Connect with Catherine on:  Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads


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