Q&A with Helena Hunting

November, 2017
Helena Hunting
This is what the happiest day of your life should not include: a cheating groom, a noisy tryst that startles the guests, and a vengeful bride.

In Hooking Up, Helena Hunting's new romantic comedy, Amalie abandons her trainwreck of a marriage to embark on her honeymoon…alone. What she wants is a little rest and relaxation. What she gets instead is stubborn, aggravating, and annoyingly attractive Lexington, who was at her wedding and witnessed her most embarrassing moments. Sleeping with someone she knows, so soon after her last relationship imploded, is a bad idea. But Amalie's all out of good ones.

Hunting, who is the author of Pucked and Shacking Up, answers your questions about why her husband is her ultimate hero, how she scours the internet for hot guys (for strictly professional reasons), and what kind of angst-y romance novel she would like to star in.



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Donna: The plot of Hooking Up sounds soooooo hilarious/mortifying!!! If you were in the same situation, do you think you would act like Amalie? Or is she much different than you?

Helena Hunting: It would definitely be mortifying (and hilarious, but probably not to me) if I found my husband cheating on me at my wedding—and every single one of my guests heard it! When I wrote that scene, I kept thinking about the most extreme reaction to having something like that happen in such a terribly public way. I'd like to think that I'd be hard-core like Amie and that I would be able to handle myself in the face of such a horrible situation. But I'm not sure I'd be that brave.

Thankfully, I married a really nice guy, not an epic jerk, so I don't have to worry about that!

Emily: Your romantic comedies are my favorite! What are some of your favorite laugh-out-loud love stories to read?

HH: Thank you! I snort-laughed my way through Fire Down Below and Fire in the Hole by Debra Anastasia. Daisy Prescott's Love with Altitude series is full of smart, witty comedy. The Tangled series by Emma Chase is sexy and hilarious.

Sasha: OK, for real, I would really like to meet a guy like the ones in your books. (Who wouldn't??) Any advice on how to find these heroes in real life?

HH: I wish I had a magic wand so that I could "Hermione Granger" those boys and make them real! I think my own husband is pretty much my ultimate hero, but sadly I can't clone him. I have an affinity for heroes who are flawed because, in real life, we all are.

Bri: I adore Pucked. And all your books! Are you a sports fan yourself—or just a romantic sports fan?

HH: I recently attended an NHL game while I was in Vegas, and it was awesome! The game happened to be a shutout, which was really incredible to see.

I have a deep appreciation for professional athletes—and I am as far from one as a person can get. I'm capable of putting one foot in front of the other, but the whole team sport thing eludes me. Hockey is such a smart sport; the ability to predict or anticipate what the next moves will be on the ice is fascinating. Plus, writing about athletes is so much fun because those boys are in great physical condition and have stamina for days!

Jessica: How old were you when you wrote your first romance story? What was it about?

HH: I don't know that I recognized what I was writing as romance until I was a little older, but I've always written about the connection between people. Writing about falling in love and finding the person who balances your soul is fulfilling on so many levels. I wrote short stories for a long time as a child, but when I was a teenager, I started writing what would probably be considered a YA paranormal tale. I'm sure I still have the manuscript (handwritten, of course) somewhere in my house.

Margaret: The cover for Hooking Up is HOT. Do you pick the covers yourself?

HH: I chose all the covers for the Pucked series, but for Shacking Up and Hooking Up, the art department and my team found the images and models, which is such a fun part of this job. There aren't many professions in which scouring the internet for hot guys is a necessary part of the process. I adore the cover of Hooking Up, and I can't wait for readers to get to know the hero inside the pages!

Jessie: How much do you know about a couple's story when you first start writing?

HH: I usually start with a scene, a character (often the hero), and sometimes the heroine. More often than not, that scene includes the hero and heroine's introduction or a pivotal moment between the two of them. Before I get too deep into writing the story—no more than 10,000 words—I outline the rest of the story so that I know exactly where I'm going with them and how I'm going to get there. Nothing is ever set in stone, but I typically have a good sense of the characters' histories and where they'll be by the end of the book.

Veronica: What's the next romance you're looking forward to reading?

HH: I have Hideaway for me on my Kindle, and I'm very much looking forward to the release of Darker!

Kim: What's your favorite thing about writing romance?

HH: The sexy times! I'm kidding…sort of. I love writing first kisses and the lead-up to that moment of intimacy, but I think the part I love the most is when I get to bring two characters together, despite unlikely circumstances. There's deep gratification in breaking down a character's walls and allowing emotional connection to open hearts. I love writing romantic comedy, in particular, because it allows me to take ordinary situations and turn them upside down.

Connie: If you were a character in a romance novel, who would you be and what would your life be like?

HH: I think I would want to be a character in an angst-y romance novel. I love stories where the characters have to overcome difficult situations and personal struggles in order to be together. There's a lot of gratification for me as a reader when the hero and heroine have to fight to be together. A sexy, broken hero who finds his heroine makes my romance heart happy.



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message 1: by Jess (new)

Jess Loved this. HH is my fav!


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