Interview by Ashley Eastman
Featuring The Wishing Season
Ashley: How did you come up with the idea for The Chapel Springs Series?
Denise: The TV show Parenthood convinced me it was time for a family series. In an age where there are so many ways to communicate, we're so disconnected! I wanted to write about a close-knit family in a small town setting. Family ties come with the good and the bad, and the McKinleys share in all of it: Friday night BBQs, rumors, backyard ballgames, heart-to-hearts, secrets, laughter and tears. Each book is a stand-alone that feature the love story of 1 of the 4 grown McKinley kids. Incidentally, this is my first series set in my home state of Indiana.
Ashley: Give us one fact about each character that no one else knows.
Denise: Oh, how fun. I love secrets. :) The heroine PJ was a fun challenge in that she's my polar opposite. She's chatty and outgoing and over-the-top optimistic. She's newly graduated with a culinary degree (I hate to cook!), and she dreams of opening her own restaurant. She's dealing with the secret shame of having dated a man she later discovered was married.
The hero Cole is steady and quiet (and a little annoyed by PJ's tendency to run off at the mouth). He grew up as a foster kid and dreams of opening a transition house for kids aging out of the system. Cole blames himself for the death of his family.
Ashley: In three sentences, what is this book about?
Denise: When an eccentric resident offers her ancestral home to the applicant with the best plan for it, PJ McKinley thinks her dream of owning a B&B/restaurant is about to be realized. But contractor Cole Evans has plans of his own. When the elderly woman can't decide which plan is better, she proposes a tie-breaker--the competitors will share the house for a year to show what their ideas are made of.
Ashley: Can you give us a hint at the next book?
Denise: Married 'til Monday is the last book in the Chapel Springs series and my first reconciliation story--it really packs an emotional punch. It features the oldest McKinley sibling Ryan who's attempting to win back his ex-wife and soul mate, Abby.
Ashley: What is your favorite genre to write for?
Denise: Contemporary romance is my sweet spot. I love love and all things associated with it, and nothing makes me happier than bringing my readers along on the emotional journey of falling in love. My goal is that happily-ever-after sigh at the end of each story.
Ashley: Where do you get your ideas from?
Denise: Oh, they come from all over the place. Music lyrics, Sunday sermons, newspaper articles, Dr. Phil. LOL Not kidding. I have a thick file full of story ideas. I'll never have time to write them all.
Ashley: How long does it usually take you to write a single book in the series?
Denise: I'm on a 6-month release schedule now, so no book takes me longer than that. Some books are easier than others. I think my record is 4 months, but it usually doesn't go that smoothly!
Ashley: Coke or Pepsi?
Denise: Diet Pepsi
Ashley: Soft shell or Hard Shell tacos?
Ashley: Favorite place to vacation?
Denise: Anywhere, so long as I haven't been there before!
Ashley: Favorite season?
Denise: Fall (which lasts about 2 days in northern Indiana.)
Ashley: Do you have a particular drink or food you consume when you write? Like coco, raspberry tea, animal crackers?
Denise: Coffee. (Toomer's Costa Rican blended with MCT oil and a bit of Stevia.)
Ashley: Favorite color?
Ashley: Do you have a favorite Bible verse?
Denise: Philippians 4:13
Ashley: Favorite pasta dish?
Denise: Mostaccioli Al Forno
Ashley: Do you listen to music while you write?
Denise: I find music very inspiring, but while I'm writing, I need quiet!
Author Website: www.DeniseHunterBooks.com
Author Twitter: DeniseAHunter