Author Q&A: Denise Hunter and Sherryl Woods

Questions for Denise Hunter

When someone picks up one of your books, what are they guaranteed to find? What would you like fans of your books to take away from your stories?

I aim to write engaging, heartwarming love stories, but I also deal with real-life issues women may struggle with. Readers will find themselves swept away in a romantic tale, falling in love vicariously, and hopefully learning something about themselves in the process. And of course, I hope each reader finishes the book with a happily-ever-after sigh.

 

What do you love most about being a writer?

There are so many things, but most of all I enjoy my readers. I love interacting with them on social media and learning little tidbits about their lives. I love getting their input on my titles, characters, and settings—I value their opinions so much. They have been such a wonderful blessing to me!

 

A good story can be like aromatherapy: reading is like self-care! What book would you recommend to a friend right now?

That’s so true! For a charming escape from real life struggles, you can’t do better than Sherryl Woods’s Lilac Lane—or any of her Chesapeake Shores novels for that matter. If it’s a bit of laughter you need, curl up with a Kristan Higgins novel.

 

If you could offer an aspiring writer only three pieces of advice, what would they be?

  1. Read a lot and analyze the writing/plot/story structure.
  2. Set a daily word count goal and stick to it.
  3. Write the book you want to read.

 

Can you share any plans for your next book?

Honeysuckle Dreams is a modern-day marriage-of-convenience story. It’s about a devoted father who finds out he may lose his young son to his former in-laws. But when his good friend Hope steps in to help, they both get more than they bargained for. Honeysuckle Dreams releases May, 2018.

 

Questions for Sherryl Woods 

Is there a particular book that you remember as having sparked your love of reading? What continues to inspire you to write?

The book I remember most from my childhood is Little Women. I recall reading that, all of the Little House on the Prairie books and so many more with my mom. And she was the one who introduced me to historical romances way back in the day.

As for inspiration, there are always stories to be told. As a former journalist by training, it doesn’t take much to kick my mind into gear. I like writing stories about real women dealing with real issues and the men who make them stronger.

 

Having a place where you can think creatively is key to the writing process. Do you have a writing spot?

Because I live in two different locations, my “spot” is little more than wherever my computer lands. I do have city views of Miami from my office here and of beautiful crepe myrtles blooming in pink and lavender from my Virginia office.

 

For book lovers, pinpointing a favorite story can be tricky. Every great book has its unique greatness—obviously! But there tends to be that one story that stands out. What is one of your all-time favorite books that you find yourself re-reading?

I know just about everyone has a favorite book that they read over and over, but I’m always looking for the next great story. With a to-be-read pile as high as mine, I love finding fresh voices or returning to a favorite author who never disappoints, rather than re-reading an old favorite. I do have a pile of those, but I seem to be saving them for a day when that other pile vanishes and I can no longer search book store shelves for something new.

 

Which of the characters from LILAC LANE do you relate to most? 

Kiera, the heroine, who’s had so many disappointments in life, but is willing to open her heart just one more time. Taking emotional risks is a big thing for me.

 

If you could be transported into any story’s setting, which book would it be from and why?

Of course, if I get to choose from my own, it would be the Chesapeake Shores series. Not only was that setting inspired in part by the town where I actually do spend my summers (as revealed in A Small Town Love Story: Colonial Beach, Virginia, out November 14 from MIRA Books), but also captures the essence of what I love most about small towns: the charm, the caring and the values.

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