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Interview with Kara R Hunt

Kara’s novels have received the 2023 Golden Scrolls Award for Contemporary Novel of the Year and the coveted 2023 Selah Award for Contemporary Women’s Fiction.

What message do you hope readers take away from this book?
One of the major themes of Paper Dolls: Priscilla is forgiveness. Forgiveness of others and also learning to forgive yourself for past mistakes and regrets. Forgiving someone isn’t easy, especially when the people you’re trying to forgive keep doing the same things to you and your loved ones over and over again. In Priscilla’s case, not only do they continue the harassment, they turn up the heat.

Her past is the source of the issue. It was one thing for God to forgive her, but it’s another when you have to forgive yourself. I hope the take away from this book is that with God as your guide, it’s possible to forgive yourself and others, even in the midst of chaos.

Are you a plotter or a pantster?
I’m ninety-eight percent pantster and two percent plotter. I guess that would make me what I like to call a pantsplotter. Generally, when I start a book, I have an idea of the theme and storyline. That’s about it. The rest is completely pantster written.

Reflecting back, what do you see as most significant to your publication journey?
Definitely learning and studying the craft of novel writing.

What’s your biggest challenge in balancing writing time with your other responsibilities?
Not having more than 24 hours in a day. However, throughout my writing journey, I’ve found ways to manage that. I’m an early riser, so sitting at my desk before the sun rises is pretty normal for me. I like to have at least accomplished six to eight hours of writing, marketing, and other book related tasks before noon. After that, I like to spend time with family and friends and tackling the household responsibilities and chores list.

How do your faith and spiritual life play into the picture and affect your storytelling?
My faith in God and everything related to that play a very significant role in the stories I write. The things God has shown me along my spiritual journey bleed seamlessly into the stories He has blessed me to share.

What do you consider the greatest moment of your writing/publishing career?
When Book one of The Habakkuk Series, titled Paper Dolls, won the coveted 2023 Selah Award for Contemporary Women’s Fiction.

Who/What spurs you to write? Where do your story and character ideas come from?
I’m inspired by life and all that it entails. From nature and studying people to life’s difficult and heartbreaking challenges. And the beautiful moments that leave me in awe.

What is your writing routine? Any quirky habits or must-have snacks?
I love writing in the early morning hours before my day gets busy. My goal is to write anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 words daily, Monday through Friday. That way I’m able to keep my Saturdays free so that I’m able to enjoy friends and family without feeling the pressure to sit and write. On Sundays after church service, I like to rest or enjoy time with hubby going on long drives or a trip to the park.

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you as an author?
I can’t think of any right now, but I have crossed paths with several Christian authors that have made me laugh so hard, they made my sides hurt.

What do you think makes your style of storytelling unique?
I like to write stories that are relevant to the everyday person while also infusing the storylines with hope, love, romance, faith, and encouragement throughout. And even a little suspense.

When a reader flips the back cover closed, I hope not only were they entertained, but that they feel refreshed, encouraged, strengthened, and renewed spiritually.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?
I’m an avid reader so you’ll most likely find me reading a novel or listening to some of my favorite audiobooks. I also love to decorate. My hobby is actually Hobby Lobby. I love that place!

What books are on your nightstand right now?
There are a couple of nonfiction books there, but the current fiction hardback I’m reading is Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers. On my Kindle are recent releases from some of my favorite Christian novelists, such as Pegg Thomas, Robin Patchen, Jericha Kingston, Candice Sue Patterson, Deborah Raney, Joy Ohagwu, and Vanessa Miller among others.

Finish this statement: If I were not an author, I would be: I would be an interior decorator.

Kathy McKinsey lives in Lakewood, Ohio, with her husband Murray and the oldest of their five children. Besides writing, she enjoys activities with her church, editing for other writers, braille drawing, crocheting, knitting, and playing with their rambunctious cat.

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