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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Author Interview : C.C. Hunter, author of Born at Midnight

Yesterday, a spectacular new addition to the paranormal YA genre was released: Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter I had the awesome opportunity to interview C.C., and she also offered a giveaway copy! (Giveaway is INTERNATIONAL! See below the interview for more details.)

Buy Born at Midnight on Amazon

One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever.  Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.”  Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world.

Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either.  Or does she?  They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason.  As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas.  Derek’s a half-fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past.  Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart. 

Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs…

1.     1. In Born at Midnight, you create this intricate world where supernaturals exist within human society, and try to do so peacefully, hence the camp. There was quite the cast of creatures. What was your inspiration for the story?

Hi, Ashley.  Thank you so much for having me at your blog today.  As for how I got the inspiration for Born at Midnight, well, it’s a funny story.  I was actually approached by St. Martin’s Press and asked if I would like to try my hand at writing a YA.  They had the spark of an idea and wanted to see if I could run with it.  And when I say “spark,” I mean just a spark.  Two words, that’s all I was given.  Paranormal camp. 

I have always been known for writing a rather large ensemble of characters.  And I knew right away that this book would need several.  I’m also known for creating life-like, believable characters.  And considering that these characters are supernaturals, I knew I’d really have to find a way to humanize my nonhuman characters.  So I came up with a list of personality traits for my supernaturals that mirrored the personality traits of people.  For example, people who are the quiet, standoffish types are often called lone wolves. Or the person who blends in so easily with their environment often appears to shift their personalities depending on who they’re with at the time.  Basically, I took human traits to create sort of an outline for my different paranormals.  I’ve actually posted my supernatural personality traits on my website,.   So I guess my inspiration for creating my characters came from all the lovable and sometimes crazy characters in my life.      

2.      Kylie is the quiet loner type, but has a spunky side that really shines as the book progresses. Is she based off of you?

I’m a firm believer in making sure that every character I write is, in some way, based on myself.  I may not be as moody, or quick to anger as my character Della, who is Kylie’s vampire roommate, but for sure, I’ve had days and even weeks like that.  Poor Miranda, who is Kylie’s other roommate, is a dyslexic witch and can’t cast her spells right, and that came right out of my life.  Well, not the casting spells part, but the dyslexic part.  So, I guess you could say I borrow from my own life experiences to create all my characters.  But to get back to your question:  Is Kylie based off of me?  There is probably more of Kylie in me that any of the other characters.  Like Kylie, as a teen I felt invisible.   I was the quiet type.  I hung to myself a lot, and was what I call an over-thinker.  I analyzed everything in my head.  I also gave Kylie some of the same issues I dealt with when I was a teenager.  My parents got a divorce when I was sixteen.  I was dumped by a boy who wanted things I wasn’t willing to give.  I think the biggest differences, though, between Kylie and me are that, first, I’m not supernatural and second, it took me a lot longer to get in touch with my spunky side.  I wasn’t a pushover; I stood up for myself when I was really confronted, but on a daily basis, I mostly avoided conflict by becoming invisible.  It took me well into my twenties before I really found my backbone and started speaking my mind.   Thank goodness, Kylie learned that lesson a lot earlier than I did.

3.      You’ve written adult and nonfiction novels, but this is your first venture into YA. How was the experience different? Which genre do you prefer?

First and foremost, any time you move into a different genre, you have to understand the makeup of that genre.  Writing romance is different from writing YA, just as writing nonfiction is different from writing fiction.  So, when I started plotting Born at Midnight, I went on a reading jag of every YA I could get my hands on.  I had read a few, but I hadn’t studied them.  And by studied, I mean analyzed them and figured out the different components that makes a book a great read.  Not that all books have the same components; some books are great because they are character-driven, others are must reads because of the plot, and for some, it’s the author’s writing, the mood that the writer creates on the page that leaves her readers breathless.  Some books are popular for the dark drama occurring on the pages, and others are light, fun reads.  Some are a mix.  I needed to know what components built the books that I enjoyed the most.   Then I had to figure out how to use my own writing strengths to build a wining YA novel. 

One of the biggest differences between romance and YA is that the plot is about more than just about the romance.  Every YA I read, I got the feeling that the story had an element of “Coming of Age,” of characters discovering who they are, what they like and how romance, newfound independence and inner strength fit into their world and helped them discover who they really were.  

As for which genre I prefer.  I really don’t know.  I mean, I’m having a blast writing the YA with the paranormal elements.  It’s so much fun to be able to write about ghosts and have people who can fly.  But I haven’t and won’t stop writing my romances either.  I think what I love about writing isn’t so much a genre, it really is about the storytelling I love.   

4.      Describe Born at Midnight in 5 words. 

Five words?  Seriously?  LOL.  Okay, I’ll try.  How about . . . Self discovery, friendship and romance?  That’s actually from a tagline at my website . . . “Welcome to my world of self discovery, friendship and romance.”

5.      After reading this book, I know that fans of the book will be divided into two factions: Team Lucas, and Team Derek. (Personally, I’m Team Lucas. Love me some bad boy.) Which team are you more partial to?

Just the other day my husband, who is straight up Team Derek, was asking me about a scene with Lucas.  He got upset and told me that I was giving Lucas too much page time.   “Derek is the real hero.  You have to make sure he wins the race at the end.”

I looked at my hubby and frowned.  “I can’t force the book to end the way I want it to, the book has to write itself.   Something may happen in the next few scenes that changes how Kylie feels about things.” 

 He was surprised at my answer and said, “Wow, I never realized that you really don’t dictate what happens in your books.” 

I know it sounds crazy, but the book really does write itself.  I don’t plot out my stories down to the last details.  I set up a series of events and the story evolves as I write it.  I don’t know who Kylie will end up with.  As I’m writing a scene with her and Derek, I think… “Oh, yeah, he’s the one.”  But then Lucas will show up on the next page, and my heart breaks, because he’s the one, too.  Kylie will have to make that call when the time comes.  I don’t envy her the decision either.  Both Derek and Lucas offer something to Kylie that helps complete who she is.  And both bring with them some flaws that Kylie will have to accept. With each book, Kylie grows; and what she wants, needs, and is willing to accept will change.   I don’t think even Kylie knows who she wants to end up with in the end.   So stayed tuned as we discover this together.  Meanwhile, can I say I’m on the fence about what team I’m on?  Then again, right now both Kylie and I are mad at Derek.  So he’d better watch his back.  LOL.

6.      Is there anything you'd like to say about your book?

I had a blast writing it.  Right now, I’m working on Book 3 of the series, Taken at Dusk. I’m learning more about Kylie and her world, more about her friends at Shadow Falls, too.  Oh.  Speaking of Kylie’s friends, I wrote a short story called Turned at Dark about Della Tsang and how she became a vampire. It will be available at the Born at Midnight page at my publisher on March 15th.  (You can also read an excerpt from Born at Midnight there, too.) Then, on March 29, the same day Born at Midnight releases, my short story Turned At Dark will be available as a free eBook download on all online retail sites, such as BN, Borders, Sony, Googlebooks, and IBookstore. How cool is that?

Thanks again, Ashley, for having me visit your What’s Your Story? YA Book Review blog.  I had a blast!


Thank YOU so much, C.C., for answering my questions! 

C.C. Hunter grew up in Alabama, where she caught lightning bugs, ran barefoot, and regularly rescued potential princes, in the form of Alabama bullfrogs, from her brothers. Today, she's still fascinated with lightning bugs, mostly wears shoes, but has turned her focus to rescuing mammals. She now lives in Texas with her four rescued cats, one dog, and a prince of a husband, who for the record, is so not a frog. When she's not writing, she's reading, spending time with her family, or is shooting things-with a camera, not a gun.

C.C. Hunter is a pseudonym. Her real name is Christie Craig and she also writes humorous romantic suspense romance novels for Grand Central.
Giveaway is now over. Thank you to everyone who entered. :)


  1. Great interview! And thanks for the giveaway!!

  2. Awesomeness! C.C.'s writing the third book already! I tried winning this book. But didn't manage too. :D Thanks for this. :D

  3. Awesome interview :) Not often I read everything. But this interview was very well written and interesting :)
    I am dying to read this book. It`s on top of my wishlist. And now it just went higher on the list :P
    Thanks for making it international. Even though I have almost never managed to win anything. I can always hope :P

  4. Thank you so much for the giveaway! I've been pining for this book for ages :)

  5. What an awesome interview! I'm so excited to read this; thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

  6. This book sounds excellent! Thanks for the giveaway!

  7. I think I have lost my count in reading interview with C.C Hunter. The more I read the more I want to read Born At Midnight.
    Thanks for sharing with us all things about your books.


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