Pucked is one of the best books we have read this year and we are thrilled have Helena Hunting with us for this week’s Spotlight. Check out her answered to our questions and find out more about all her books!
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
From what my family tells me, yes. When I was a kid I could sit for hours and draw pictures and create stories. If I didn’t know how to spell the words, I’d draw a little picture to go with it. Stories have always been my escape.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self?
That’s it’s okay to fail, that not being the best is how we learn to do better.
Do you work on one storyline at a time or do you have multiple storylines in the pipeline?
I typically write one story at a time, but I’ll have several stories ready, or I’ll take breaks to write scenes in other books as they come to me. I try to finish one project at a time. Right now I’m working on Pucked Up, but I have several other ideas for stories bopping around in my head.
Let’s play favorites! Who is your favorite character you’ve written?
That’s tough, but I will always love Hayden Stryker. He was my first hero and he holds a special place in my heart.
Have you experienced any of your stories personally?
Sweet lord, no. Thankfully. The kind of trauma Tenley and Hayden endure isn’t something I’d wish on anyone. And as much as I love Violet, she’s ridiculous. Besides, some of the antics she and Alex get up to are downright embarrassing, which is what made the story so fun to write.
What are your biggest distractions?
Social media. It’s always there to keep me entertained. That and You Tube.
What is your least favorite part of the writing or publishing process?
Final edits. I get so paranoid I’m going to miss things, and then of course, things get missed.
Do you find it difficult, or challenging to write from the male POV?
Up to this point I haven’t. Sometimes I have to go back and reword things so it sounds more dudish, depending on the dude, of course. Men are pretty straightforward in their thinking. Women are the ones who tend to dissect everything.
What activities do you enjoy outside of writing?
Running, reading, playing Scrabble and cribbage. Hanging out with my family. Staying away from large crowds.
Do you have a favorite author or book?
That’s so difficult. I love a lot of authors in different genres. I read everything from lit fic to YA to romance and paranormal romance.
Ever think you have a great idea for a book, only to find out someone released the same storyline already?
I don’t know that any storyline is wholly unique at this point. I’ve had ideas and read stories where there have been parallels, but never a whole story laid out the way I want to lay it out.
Have you ever had writer’s block and how do you work through it?
Some days I get more words down than others, but are there times when I stare at the computer screen for hours and there’s nothing? No. I always have a story in my head and if one isn’t working for me, then I’ll jump to another and give myself the break I need so I can go back to that storyline with fresh eyes. Right now I’m setting weekly goals and deadlines for my next book and that’s more of a challenge, especially when I feel like I’m not where I’d like to be.
Do you ever find yourself jumping up from the dinner to table to jot down a scene that just ran through your head?
Yup. And getting up in the middle of the night to do the same. Sometimes I voice record things if I can’t write it down or I’m driving.
What does your writing workspace look like?
Like a bomb went off it in. There’s paper and crap everywhere. I need to be more organized.
Sharing your baby with the public has to be scary. How do you respond to negative reviews?
I don’t. Or if I’m tagged by someone who doesn’t like the book, but took the time to read it and review it, I thank them for doing that. It takes time and energy to review a book whether you like it or you don’t. Not everyone is going to like what I write, and my most recent release is pretty out there. I think readers are either going to love it or hate it and you have to have both.
Do you have any visuals for your characters from any of your books?
For sure. I love Stephen James (football/soccer player turned model) for Hayden Stryker. I love Channing Tatum for Alex Waters in PUCKED. He’s got that pretty boy, jock look, but when he’s interviewed it’s clear he’s incredibly smart. I love Emma Stone for Violet. She’s got this awesome attitude toward the media and she doesn’t take herself seriously.
Can you tell us what you are working on next?
PUCKED Up. It’s the second book in the PUCKED series. This one is about Buck and Sunny. I’m having a blast writing these two.
What is in your purse right now?
Seven pens, a bunch of old receipts. Gum wrappers. Three lipstick tubes in a variety of colours, a few candies, some of my daughters Shopkins and a some bills I need to put away.
Do you have a favorite scene or book of your own?
The cupcake scene in Clipped Wings and the Super MC scene in PUCKED.
BOOKS BY HELENA