Coming from a military family, Hunter Lee served in the US Army. She was stationed overseas during a time of high terrorist activity and worked on top-secret war games. Although Hunter Lee was recommended to attend West Point, she remained enlisted and received four Letters of Commendation before she had served 18 months.
Hunter Lee received an Editor's Choice Award for her poem Forbidden Love. Her writing experience includes writing articles for MSN Religion and Executive Editor for the online religious group OurFaiths.
When did you decide to pursue writing and eventually publication?
I first dreamed of being a writer when I was 10. I began writing my first novel at that time, but I didn't know the process necessary to pursue publication. In 1994, while writing my first suspense novel, I decided to begin pursuing publication. My first story was submitted in 1996. It had been accepted for publication under the proviso that I change the ages of my main characters. Unfortunately, I did not pursue it at that time.
What is your writing process like? Do you write daily? Are you a plotter or a pantster?
I tend to write when the muse hits. Therefore, I do not write daily. When I am able, I do work on the craft of writing daily which includes character sketches, research, editing, and writing.
What is your favorite part of the writing process? Least favorite?
My favorite part of the writing process is when I am writing and creating something new. I find I cannot stop, do not think of eating, and even forget to sleep. My least favorite is editing after critiques.
What is one of the most interesting things you’ve discovered in your research?
One of the most interesting things I have discovered in my research is the fact that the rules for Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency, has constantly fluctuating rules. What is acceptable one day may be against the rules the next and vice versa.
Please tell us about your latest release.
My latest release is Live Free or Die set in Belfast, Ireland. I enjoy stories where the underdog wins, and the average person overcomes difficult circumstances. So, my heroine is a CIA analyst thrust into the field on a low priority assignment. However, when an ex-KGB agent (now Russian mafia) shows up on the scene, the mission heats up. My hero is a retired MI-5 field agent who is called out of retirement to help capture his arch nemesis, the ex-KGB agent. Of course, the IRA is part of the plot since the story is set in Northern Ireland. Add to that mix a group of American-Irish young men who have been mixed up with Al Qaeda – the reason the heroine ends up in Belfast. So, it's a fast-paced suspense that starts with a car bombing, includes a nuclear threat, has a kidnapping, and ends with good triumphing over evil. Of course, my hero and heroine grow as individuals and are forever changed because of the circumstances they have been thrown into. The heroine is rather innocent at the beginning of the story, goes through a moral dilemma, and discovers who she is by the end of the novel. Although the agents make mistakes and the IRA blurs the lines between good and evil, you can definitely tell the difference between the good guys and the bad guys by the end of the story.
Who or what inspired this special story?
There are always a number of things that inspire a story. I have three great-grandparents that emigrated from Ireland, so the country always held a bit of interest to me. I had a friend who visited Ireland every year and brought back stories and tea for me. I was watching a lot of British TV. I had read a book where Dawkins (the name of the hero) was used as a minor character. I began thinking of who Dawkins might be in modern day. With a Welsh name, he couldn't be American. Then, I thought of the type of woman that would attract him. And Katie was born. As I dreamed about my characters, my story was born.
Is there anything else you would like to share? What will you be working on next?
I grew up in a home without books. At the age of three, I began memorizing the stories I heard from my friends' siblings and parents and sharing them with the other children in the neighborhood. I always loved stories. I am also dyslexic. But where there is a will, there is a way. No matter what your obstacles are, you can learn to write publishable stories if that is your desire.
Although suspense is my main genre, it always contains a bit of romance. I also write romance, both contemporary and historical, which always contain a bit of suspense.
Currently, I am working on a story about people who are hiking a portion of the Appalachian Trail. When that is finished, I will begin editing stories I have written while doing research for the next story about fun in the sun in Southern, California. After that, I intend to finish my historical romance (Scotland, 1585). I do have a series planned about a female American sniper in the Middle East and am constantly doing research for that series.
Can you tell us something about yourself that few people may know?
I currently work at a bank. My customers, and even people I run across in the store, have one thing they appreciate about me the most. My smile. It's always genuine, and I truly do enjoy smiling when I greet people.
Another thing is that I served in the US Army after high school. I turned down the opportunity three time to attend West Point because I was too afraid of failure. I regret not taking advantage of those opportunities.
What is your most treasured possession?
My books. All of them. Any of them. They are very precious to me. I never dog ear the corners and try not to break the binding, even on a paperback.
If you had to leave your house suddenly, what is one thing you would grab, other than family and pets?
That's easy. My phone because it gives me access to everything I need, including my stories. When I was a teenager, we were temporarily living in a mobile home. When a tornado was coming, I grabbed one thing – the folder with my stories, songs, and poetry. I am thankful for online storage. I'm afraid that folder would be too heavy to grab!
Thank you so much! Where can readers find out more about you and your books?
You can visit my website at http://www.hunterleebooks.com/ or my author Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/authorHunterLee.
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