Join me in conversation with M.A. Hunter
Please give a warm Coffee Pot welcome to crime fiction author, M.A. Hunter.
Mary Anne: Congratulations on your fabulous new release, Ransomed (The Missing Children Case Files, Book 1). Your book sounds wonderfully intriguing. What inspired you to start writing crime fiction?
M.A. Hunter: I’ve been a fan of crime fiction for as long as I can remember, and I love stories that grab me from the first page and then weave a twisting narrative that has me second-guessing my suspicions of the wrongdoers, so it seemed like a natural avenue to explore. I’m fascinated by the opposing forces of dark and light, and wanted to explore the psyches of those that chose a particular direction rather than the other. As a parent, a child going missing is what haunts my nightmares so felt like an intriguing subject to focus on.
Mary Anne: Your book is set in Weymouth, in the South West of England, and is a place I know quite well. Why did you decide to set your story here?
M.A. Hunter: I live in Hampshire and Weymouth has become like a second home because of the number of times we’ve visited on day trips, or stayed there for holidays. It is such a friendly town, but having HMP Portland on the horizon hints that all is not as picture perfect as the beach-focused postcards make it seem.
I wanted my main character, Emma, to have this affinity with her hometown, a place that is in stark contrast to where her future may lie in terms of building her writing career, and I think Weymouth provides that dynamic.
Mary Anne: What were the challenges you faced when writing this book?
M.A. Hunter: Finding the time to write was probably the biggest challenge, as I have a fulltime job and young family as well. It’s meant a lot of very early starts and weekend working to get it finished, but I’m so proud of the final work, and my hope is that readers are going to love Emma much as I do.
I also wanted to make sure I did justice to the Weymouth setting, and show those who’ve never been just how wonderful a town it is.
Mary Anne: What do you think makes a good crime thriller?
M.A. Hunter: For me, the perfect crime thriller needs to have a compelling mystery to be solved, but the character following the clues needs to be the right combination of empathy, and deductive reasoning to inspire the reader to follow their journey through the book. A lot of time went into developing Emma, who is this writer suddenly thrust into the spotlight because of the exposé she wrote on historic child abuse at a former care facility for children. She doesn’t want to be recognised in the street, and part of her regrets writing the book for that reason, but she knows without it those abuses would have gone unpunished.
I like to see plenty of twists and turns in a good crime thriller too, and I think over this series (there are 6 books set to be released between Sep 2020 and July 2021) the reader will experience Emma’s highs and lows as she fights for the truth about her own abducted sister.
Mary Anne: What advice would you give to aspiring crime writers?
M.A. Hunter: Read, read, and read some more. Whether that’s to soak up the types of stories that are commercially viable, or just to help develop your own writing voice, reading a variety of different authors in the genre will certainly prove beneficial. Once you’re ready to start, you need to accept that writing a book is a huge investment of your time. Words don’t just magically appear, they need to be crafted and written. I’ve become a very fast writer because of the deadlines set for the production of this series, but it can take a long to physically produce somewhere between 80k – 100k words of material. But it is so worth it when you get to type ‘The End’, and then hear wonderful praise from those who read the book. Some books suggest to write every day, others will tell you to set yourself daily word counts, but in truth there is no right or wrong way to write; ultimately, if you can be disciplined to take however long is required to write the first draft, then you’ll achieve something that so many strive for, but not everyone achieves.
Mary Anne: Thank you so much for stopping by and chatting with me today.
If you would like to find out more about M.A. Hunter and his fabulous new release then you know what to do — SCROLL DOWN!
(The Missing Children Case Files, Book 1)
By M.A. Hunter
Some secrets are too big to bury…
Investigative journalist Emma Hunter never thought she’d be a bestselling author. Especially not for a blistering exposé of the brutal horrors committed at a children’s home.
Some secrets breed in the dark…
All she wants is to return home to the anchoring salt air and solitude of Weymouth where questions still fester unanswered and a twenty-year-old secret binds her to the beach.
And some of them always escape…
But then she finds herself sucked into the chaos of another cold case and soon realises the search for the missing girl will not only unearth the rot ravaging the safety of children across the south of England, but could even solve the mystery that has tortured her since she was seven years old…
Ransomed marks the beginning of a nerve-shredding new crime series of feral reckonings and found family in the face of harrowing inhumanity, perfect for fans of Angela Marsons and Ann Cleeves.
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M.A. Hunter has been a huge fan of crime fiction since a young age, and always fancied the idea of trying to write in the genre. That dream became a reality when One More Chapter signed The “Missing Children Case Files” series.
Born in Darlington in the north-east of England, M.A. Hunter grew up in West London, and moved to Southampton to study law at university. It’s here love blossomed and M.A. has been married for fifteen years, raising two children on the border of The New Forest where they enjoy going for walks amongst the wildlife. They regularly holiday across England, but have a particular affinity for the south coast, which forms the setting for the series, spanning from Devon to Brighton, and with a particular focus on Weymouth, one of their favourite towns.
When not writing, M.A. regularly binge-watches the latest shows from streaming services, as well as reading the latest stories from Angela Marsons, Simon Kernick, and Ann Cleeves.
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