When her job with the federal government ended after 17 years, Courtney Hunt made the best of a difficult situation and found an opportunity to pursue her writing dreams. Now she writes sweet and sexy contemporary romances and has published The Lost Art of Second Chances, Welcoming the Muse, a book containing a full year of writing prompts, and Forever a Bridesmaid.
Read more for Courtney’s writing advice (btw, you don’t need to write a thousand words a day!) and to find out how to win a copy of The Lost Art of Second Chances.
How long have you wanted to be a romance writer? When did you decide to write a book?
Though I’ve been a scribbler all my life, I began pursuing publication when the federal government furloughed in October 2013. During the furlough, I finally lived my dream life as a full-time novelist. Once the furlough ended, I set about making that dream come true.
What inspired you to write this story?
The Lost Art of Second Chances started as my National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) novel in 2011. I initially started writing a second chance at love story, as that is one of my favorite tropes. I hadn’t been writing long when Nonna Belladonna popped onto the page. Her story took me to World War II Italy and work with the Monuments Men. Eventually, The Lost Art of Second Chances developed into two parallel storylines, one in World War II Tuscany and one in present-day.
What is the best writing advice you have ever gotten?
For years, I struggled with developing a daily writing habit because I erroneously believed I needed to produce thousands of words each day. Instead, I followed Chuck Wendig’s advice in his blog post (LINK: http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/02/20/how-to-push-past-the-bullshit-and-write-that-goddamn-novel-a-very-simple-no-fuckery-writing-plan-to-get-shit-done/) Please note that the link does contain adult language!) and set myself a goal for 350 words a day, about a page and a half. Even on my worst day, I could do that. Using the “don’t break the chain” productivity method, I completed a streak of 274 days before a family vacation to Disney World broke the streak. By then, writing daily was an ingrained habit.
What has surprised you most about this process?
How much work post-production is. As a self-published author, generating new words is only about two-thirds of my job. The rest is revision, copy-editing, cover design, and promotion.
Where is the best place to go for writing advice?
I’m addicted to reading craft books and writing blogs. I also love listening to podcasts. My wonderful copy-editor, Alastair Stephens, does the amazing Journeyman Writer podcast that is a favorite of mine. I recently did a feature on my top ten writing books and top ten writing blogs at my blog. Some great resources.
Links: Top Ten Books for Authors: http://courtney-hunt.com/2015/07/top-ten-books-for-writers/
More top ten books for authors: http://courtney-hunt.com/2015/07/more-top-ten-books-for-authors/
Recommended blogs for authors: http://courtney-hunt.com/2015/08/recommended-blogs-for-writers/
When Lucy Parker’s eccentric grandmother dies, Lucy must return a beloved painting to a mysterious man in Italy, leading her on a journey to discover long-buried family secrets that could change everything. When Lucy’s childhood best friend, estate lawyer Jack Hamilton, agrees to accompany her, will they find their second chance at love? From the tiny town of Applebury, Massachusetts to the rolling hills of Tuscany, never-told family secrets unfurl in…The Lost Art of Second Chances.
The Lost Art of Second Chances is a current nominee in the Kindle Scout program. Think of it as American Idol for books. Selected books receive a publishing contract with Kindle Press. Best of all, if The Lost Art of Second Chances is selected, everyone who nominates the book gets a free Kindle copy.
I need your help!
1) Please go to this link and nominate my book for selection. It’s free, fast, and easy. All you need is an Amazon account. When you get there, press the turquoise “Nominate Me!” button. Thanks so much for your help! https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/2ALMAM3A5NB8S
2) Please share this campaign with your friends and family requesting they also nominate The Lost Art of Second Chances. Feel free to also share it on any and all social media channels–tweet it, pin it, post it on your Facebook wall. Any help getting the word out is most appreciated!
My campaign lasts until 3 October so I only have a limited time to win a publishing contract from Kindle Press and for you to earn a free e-copy.
Don’t delay! Nominate The Lost Art of Second Chances today!
Courtney Hunt is a recovering attorney. She lives outside Washington, DC and spent the last seventeen years working for the federal government, buying everything from satellites to copy paper. Courtney met her own Prince Charming (aka the Pilot) in a training class in 2000 and married him two years later. They have one son, Fox, who keeps life fun and full of surprises.
From the day Courtney snuck her first romance novel (Partners by Nora Roberts) out of her mother’s library bag, she’s enjoyed reading about all the many paths to happily-ever-after. Though she’s always been a scribbler, a recent life change to be a write-at-home mom allowed her to pursue a writing career full-time.
When Courtney isn’t writing, she enjoys photography, sailing, and reading. She can never resist a craft store. After an early stint as a Disney cast member, she is a life long Disney addict. She’s also an avid fan of Star Trek, Star Wars, Sherlock, Harry Potter, Buffy…the list goes on.