Kristi Ann Hunter’s Debut Book Sweeps RWA & ACFW Awards

Kristi Ann Hunter
graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Computer Science but always knew
she wanted to write more than code. The power of stories and their ability to
bring people together has always enthralled her. Kristi is an RWA Golden Heart
contest winner, an ACFW Genesis contest winner, and a Georgia Romance Writers
Maggie Award for Excellence winner. She lives with her husband and three
children in Georgia, where she divides her time between family, church, and the
pursuit of the next perfect story.

What sparked the story
for this novel?
When Miranda appeared in A
Lady of Esteem
I knew she wouldn’t meet the love her life in any way that
was conventional. I also knew that she needed to learn that she was stronger
than she knew. That meant her story needed a very unusual man and a rather
uncommon situation. Thus A Noble
Masquerade
was born.
Share a bit of your
journey to publication. Was it short or long?
While it felt like eons while I was living it, comparatively my
road to publication was a rather short five years. Because my ability to write
a query is, shall we say, lacking, I turned to contests for exposure. The first
few years gave me great experience and advice and I put everything I’d learned
into writing A Noble Masquerade. The
book did extremely well, winning both the RWA Golden Heart and the ACFW Genesis
awards and gaining the attention of an editor at Bethany House. The rest is,
well, beginning as the first book in the series has only been out a few days.
What would you do if
you didn’t write?
That’s hard to say. I spent nearly a decade in corporate
information systems writing code and working with databases. Before I began
writing, though, we started a family and decided it was best for us if I stayed
home with the children. So if I weren’t writing, I guess I’d be a little more
on top of the laundry and actually remember to make dinner.
What makes you
struggle as an author?
Time management. Juggling life and writing drives me nuts. Good
thing all the best writers are a little bit crazy.
How do you handle it?
I signed a contract with a deadline. That lights a fire under
anyone. I also am blessed with an enormously supportive husband who makes sure
I have the time to do what God has called me to do.
Have laptop ~ can go anywhere

Where do you write: In
a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?

Anywhere and everywhere. I have a
laptop that goes with me almost everywhere. I’ve written at dance class, the
back corner table of Chick-fil-A, the car pool line, the church lobby, the
kitchen table, the treadmill, the floor of my kids’ bedroom, and even, on
occasion, I’ve sat at my desk.
Do you prefer the
creating or editing aspect of writing? Why?
Before I started working with Bethany House I would have
absolutely said the creating. I hated editing so much that instead of doing
major revisions I would simply rewrite the thing. I do not recommend this. It
is rather time consuming.
However, after working with some really amazing editors, I’ve come
to appreciate the process of cutting and shining the diamond. The finished
product is very satisfying.
Do you consider
yourself a visual writer? If so, what visuals do you use?
I am a very visual writer, but I’m also an audible writer. I have
pictures on both the wall and my Pinterest board that represent characters,
scenes, ideas, clothes, and setting. When I’m in the very beginning of a book’s
creation, though, I rely heavily on music. Themes, characterizations, and plot
lines are often inspired by different songs. I’ll put together a playlist and
go back to it whenever I feel stuck in the story.
What are your top 3
recommendations for a new writer?
  1. Write. I know too many new
    writers that spend all their time studying writing and never actually
    write. Forget everything else until you’ve actually managed to put a
    complete story on paper. Don’t worry, it’s going to suck, but at least
    you’ll know you have it in you to put a story onto the page.
  2. Get to know writers that are
    beyond you in their careers. If you’re a complete newbie, make sure you’re
    rubbing shoulders with those who’ve been around a while. If you’re
    starting to pursue publication, spend some time getting to know published
    authors. Not only does this keep you motivated to move forward, you learn
    valuable lessons about the next phase of your career.
  3. Remember that God made you to
    be you, not me or any other author in existence. Your stories, voice,
    style and path to publication will not be the same as anyone else’s and
    that’s okay. In fact, that’s a good thing. 
Then what 3 things
would recommend not doing?
  1. Do not ignore the industry
    and how it works. The first thing I did in serious pursuit of a writing
    career was attend a conference and pitch my book. The conference was in
    October and I wondered if they’d love it so much they’d fast track me and
    I’d be giving books for Christmas presents. Try not to hurt yourself
    laughing over that one. 
  2. Do not think you
    instinctively know how to write. I came across that submission from that
    first conference the other day and I about died remembering how proud I
    had been. I had so much to learn about the craft of writing. There’s still
    more to learn. Never assume you know how to write and have nothing to
    learn.
  3. Do not spend your time on
    things that don’t advance your goal. Do you want to be a blogger? Then by
    all means, devote your time to making amazing content that can be spread
    around the world through your many social media contacts. Do you want to
    be a novelist? Make time to write the novel! You can’t do that if you’re
    blogging 500 quality words every day. 
What’s next for you?
The next book, of course! Miranda’s sister, Lady Georgina has been
getting in everyone’s way, but it turns out she has a powerfully motivating
secret for doing so. All her well-laid plans may be for nothing if she keeps
running into the one man that could ruin everything.
I’m also doing a lot of things to try to get out and meet some of
my readers. I adore my readers. If you live in or near Georgia, check out my
webpage to see some of the events you can come meet me at.
A Noble Masquerade

Lady Miranda
Hawthorne acts every inch the lady, but inside she longs to be bold and
carefree. Entering her fourth Season and approaching spinsterhood in the eyes
of society, she pours her innermost feelings out not in a diary but in letters
to her brother’s old school friend, a duke–with no intention of ever sending
these private thoughts to a man she’s heard stories about but never met.
Meanwhile, she also finds herself intrigued by Marlow, her brother’s new valet,
and although she may wish to break free of the strictures that bind her,
falling in love with a servant is more of a rebellion than she planned. 

When Marlow accidentally discovers and mails one
of the letters to her unwitting confidant, Miranda is beyond mortified. And
even more shocked when the duke returns her note with one of his own that
initiates a courtship-by-mail. Insecurity about her lack of suitors shifts into
confusion at her growing feelings for two men–one she’s never met but whose
words deeply resonate with her heart, and one she has come to depend on but
whose behavior is more and more suspicious. When it becomes apparent state
secrets are at risk and Marlow is right in the thick of the conflict, one thing
is certain: Miranda’s heart is far from all that’s at risk for the Hawthornes
and those they love.