Genre Chick Interview: Faith Hunter

One of the original items on my to-do list that launched May 2011’s Month of Writers here on the site was a series of interviews I planned with the contributors of How To Write Magical Words: A Writer’s Companion.

Are you familiar with the Magical Words site? If you’re a writer, you should be! The contributing bloggers there are some very experienced folks who have exceptional insights about all things wise and wonderful in the world of publishing.

So this week in the Month of Writers is special — It’s Magical Words Week! Every day I’ll be hosting an interview from a contributor from the Magical Words website. Today, my guest star is fabulous Faith Hunter!


Alethea Kontis: FB or Twitter?
Faith Hunter: Yes, though I prefer FaceBook.

Most recent publication?
FH: Mercy Blade, the third in the Jane Yellowrock series.

Short Stories or Novels or both?
FH: Both, though I lean more toward books, and am only now getting into short stories.

Are you a Plotter or a Pantser?
FH: Plotter. Heavy plotter. And then when I have everything all plotted out, I’ll pants my way off the outline.

What’s your average words per hour output?
FH: (ballpark) 375 to 500

What’s your favorite part of writing?
FH: Not having to leave the house to go to work. No, wait. It’s when my characters talk back to me. No, wait. It’s getting paid to tell lies and make up stories. That one. Yeah. That one!

What’s your least favorite part?
FH: Uncertainty. Telling lies and getting paid for it isn’t a secure job description.

What motivates you to mentor other writers?
FH: When I was an upcoming writer, there was no writer near me who would act as a mentor, and the Internet world didn’t exist except in fiction writers’ imaginations. I wanted and needed a mentor. So when I got the chance to help other writers, I jumped at it, starting a writing group in my town and mentoring 6 other writers, 4 of whom went on to produce award winning work, e-publication, and traditional publication. Seeing their success gave me immense satisfaction. MagicalWords.Net allowed me to take that joy to the next step.

Is it difficult to come up with a fun and interesting essay topic every week on top of your current workload?
FH: Oh, heck yes! Which is why I sometimes open my weekly slot up to commenters’ work where I critique short segments. We’ve done opening lines, book cover blurbs, the elevator pitch or nitch pitch, and others. And I take requests for subjects to cover. Got any ideas?

Describe how words are magical to you.
FH: When I was a child – miserable, geeky, book-loving, not socially adept in any way, books became my world. When I dove between the covers of a book, I found acceptance and success and glory and all the wondrous adventures that my own life lacked. Words became my safety net, the place I went when my world was lonely, friendless, and dark. And words are still my friends. Maybe my best friends.

Edmund has an essay discussing useful and distracting similes and metaphors. Please put yourself in a simile. Example: “Edmund Schubert is like a dead penguin wedding cake.”
FH: Dang. Edmund stole mine! Okay, how’s this? Faith Hunter is like a fire devil—a tornado that forms above a massive fire—all light and heat and a pretty fire-show, but much ado about nothing. Or – Faith Hunter is like a Class III river, rushing downhill in delight and fury, bounding off rocks, throwing spray into the air, and giving everyone a great time.

A.J. quotes Steven Spielberg in one of his essays, about how the core of a film should be able to be summed up in 26 words or fewer. Please sum yourselves up in 26 words or fewer.
FH: Faith Hunter writes, grows orchids, collects skulls and bones, RVs with hubby and dogs, runs Class III rivers, and hopes to grow up someday. Or not.


How To Write Magical Words: A Writer’s Companion is a compilation of essays originally published on, a popular writing blog with thousands of regular followers. Distilling three years worth of helpful advice into a single, portable volume, it contains nearly 100 essays covering a wide range of topics. Many of these essays are accompanied by comments and questions from the blog’s readers, along with the author’s response, making this volume unique among how-to books on any subject. The core members of Magical Words—David B. Coe, A.J. Hartley, Faith Hunter, Stuart Jaffe, Misty Massey, C.E. Murphy, and Edmund R. Schubert—have experience writing and editing fantasy, mysteries, thrillers, romance, science fiction, non-fiction, and more. This group is uniquely qualified to cover the full spectrum of writing-related issues. How To Write Magical Words: A Writer’s Companion is a book that belongs in the library of anyone interested in the craft of writing, the business of writing, and the writing life.