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Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Massive welcome to the beautiful and deadly, Leigh K Hunt

Kia ora,
Please welcome our latest victim guest, Leigh K. Hunt. 

On the metal plate suspended above that puddle by wires is a chocolate fish. Behave and the delicious pink marshmallow fish covered in chocolate won’t end up a goopy mess on the floor.
In the event of an earthquake/zombie plague/or random occupation - you’ll find emergency procedures taped to the bottom of your seat. Yes, just like a flotation device. You’ll also find a Glock 17 with a full magazine.
Remember you cannot reason with zombies and it’s a head shot every time.  


1. What’s your favorite type of takeaway? (Yes, that means take-out in NZ speak)

Any shit that I don’t have to actually go and get. 

But maybe my grandmothers roast that she plates up for me to take away…. It’s apparently because she cares. I’m not sure if this is true or not or if she’s just trying to get rid of the leftovers. But like a pig to a trough, I just sweep on in and snaffle any little morsel she deems worthy of my consumption. 

2. Describe your current mental status.

Sometimes I talk to myself… most of the time my self talks back. Is this normal? 
I discover that the older I get the less stable I am… or maybe that’s just me realizing that I was never very stable in the first place. 

3. I know how I do what I do … but how do you do what you do?

I spend a lot of time in the bathroom… thinking. 

I often think up creative ways of murdering people…. So I just thought I would write it all down and see what happens. Turns out – people think I’m a creative writer – but really, I’m a bit of a psychopath. 

In reality, doing what I do comes with great fecking difficulty. Most of the time I’m juggling about a millions different things. I work full time, have a four-year-old, and everything else going on in my life. These days I’m finding it hard to write – but soon, very soon, I’m hoping that I will have a new time structure in place. 
Oh, and the thoughts of the literary killing of someone is sort of thrilling… isn’t it? How’s that for a little motivator? 

4. Could you tell us a little bit about your latest work?

My latest… well. It’s a work in progress. It’s a spy thriller – hopefully the first book of many, but if it’s not – I’m actually okay with that idea too. Some days I think it’s good and the most brilliant story in the world – other days I hate it and want it to burn with wild fire. 

It’s about New York Legal Associate and Heiress, Millie Parker. Summer has arrived, and her famed playboy Uncle decides she should go and spend time at his Hampton’s beach house. While she’s there getting some much needed R&R, Jack appears on the scene and sweeps her away into a whirlwind and lustful state, that she’s only too happy to comply with. 
But when her Uncle is murdered in the South of France, suddenly Millie realizes that life isn’t a box of chocolates, Jack isn’t who he appears to be, and some secrets are more deadly than others. 

5. Do you have a favorite coffee or tea?

Eeeeep! TEA! So much peppermint tea. I’m a self-proclaimed addict, and I like it that way. (There are a lot worse things to be addicted to – like murdering people. Ahh… I mean characters. On the page.) 

6. Walk us through a typical day. (Do you make sure you’re wearing your lucky underpants before you sit down to write, perhaps you prefer commando? While we’re discussing your underpants, boxers, briefs, or budgie smugglers. Inquiring minds want to know. Yes, that includes my Admins… we don’t piss off the Admins.)

Really? You wanna know the details, huh? 

My four-year-old wakes me up by jumping into bed with me for lovely morning cuddles in the warm morning light. She plats my hair, holds my hands, and we like to sing kumbaya. Then I get up, bake a fresh batch of cookies, and whip up pikelets for brunch. We meditate in the sunshine, and listen to a bit of classical music. Then at about 3pm, I drown my sorrows in booze and smoke a lot of pot while thinking about my miserable life and how I am trapped in it. My daughter goes to bed without any dinner, and then I start on the tequilia while using facebook as my online diary of depression. 

Nope – that doesn’t quite sound right… 

  • Wake up
  • Make a list of the people who have pissed me off in the last week
  • Hunt them down
  • Put them through a mulcher
  • Pretend im making compost in the back yard
  • Fill the holes
  • Eat dinner
  • Make list for tomorrow… 

Or then there’s this… a typical weekend day is: 

  • Wake up
  • Try and snatch five minutes so grab a quick shower. 
  • Then I look at the list of crap I need to get through for the day, whether it may be birthday parties, grocery shopping, house work, or whatever is coming up. 
  • Try and cross stuff off the list – whatever that may be. 
  • Eventually eat – if I can think of what I actually want. 
  • Drink a lot of tea. 
  • Smoke a lot of cigarettes. 
  • Maybe visit someone. 
  • Think about dinner. 
  • Get to dinner without knowing what to cook. 
  • Grab takeaways. 
  • Feed child, bathe child, and put child to bed. 
  • Collapse. 

  • Think about writing. 

7. Tell us about your main character. (How did you first meet? Would you like to hang out with him/her? What delights you the most about writing him/her? You get the idea …)

My main character in the Nights series is Mack, the Assassin. 
Now answer me this… would YOU really want to hang out with an assassin? 
Life expectancy: Significantly lowered. 

Mack is fun to write as she’s pretty new to the Assassination game, and she’s got a lot to learn. But she’s coming into her own, and discovering a whole new way of life. 
Would I like to hang out with her? Some days I think it would be fun, like flying in private jets, staying in luxury houses, driving fast cars, and whipping out a Glock every now and then. But in all honesty – writing the Mack books is exhausting. They are so fast paced, packed full of really bad dudes, and a little bit of romance on the side – that I just don’t think I could live like that. 

8. Who are your favorite writers?

My favourites? Soooo many favourites. 

Lee Child, Tasmina Perry, Marissa Meyer, Victoria Aveyard, Sarah J. Maas, Susan Dennard, and a bunch more off the NYT list. 

On the NZ author list – we have J.C. Hart (I can read absolutely anything by her!) Melissa Pearl, Richard Parry, Frances Duncan, T.G. Ayer, Catherine Mede, Cat Connor, and a whole bunch more who I just love to bits. 

9. Who inspires you to do better? (Be as corny as you’d like… just go for it! Mmmm chocolate fish.)

My mum… but she’s dead now, so has demonstrated that even she couldn’t stick around! (Kidding!) 
My critique group are amazing – all of them. Incredible humans, brilliant writers, and they’re usually pretty decent as well. 
Also, my daughter. Her world of wonderment is truly awesome. 

10. Do you ever put pants on your dog, cat, or budgie?

Shit – half the time I forget to put my own pants on, let alone an animal’s. 

Can’t say that I’ve ever put pants on a dog, or even a cat or budgie – but we did used to dress the family dog up like a burlesque dancer. I don’t know why that dog actually put up with us. 

11. Describe your perfect day.

Sand, sun, beach, Bora Bora, music. 
No… actually…. 
Waking up to discover I’m the only human being left on the planet. 
No… actually….
My perfect day would be winning a large sum of money from Lotto, and dreaming up the amazing opportunities sitting there waiting for me to snatch them. 

Okay, okay. My perfect day would be waking up, warm and toastie with the sun shining. Making myself a peppermint tea and having breakfast… then sitting down to write my day away surrounded my good music, and happy thoughts. Yup. Perfection. 

12. Who is your favorite fictitious villain? Or are you all about the hero? Who do you love to hate?

MAVEN – from Victoria Aveyard’s series. He’s such a prick. It’s great. 
In my books – the character I love to hate the most is Luke, who is also a complete prick as well (I would use a stronger word, but I’m pretty sure there would be a lot of offended people out there!) 
I actually can’t wait to [spoiler alert] – kill him. Eeeep! It’s going to be so much fun, and brilliant comeuppance for his foul behavior. 

13. Do you have any quirks?

I am a quirk. 
And I can wiggle my nose like Samantha off Bewitched. 

14. All-time favorite movie and why?

The Labyrinth. Cos who wouldn’t wanna get lost in a maze with a crazy heterochromatic goblin king, chasing a stripy baby. 

15. Do you enjoy the editing process?

It depends on how much work my editor has given me. Sometimes I yell at her because of her snark, but mostly – I respect her opinions. I actually do quite enjoy the editing process. I love the refinement that the books go through – shaping them into something even bigger and better. 

And my editor calls me out on all my shit. That’s good too. 

16. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why?

Paris. I should have been born there. 
The French way of life is something that I would really like to acquire for myself one day…. Hopefully one day soon. 

17. Favorite Pizza topping?

Oh – a ‘make my own’ pizza I used to make quite frequently…. 
Camembert, smoked chicken, cheese, feta, pesto, and acidophilus yoghurt. Holy shit that stuff is good.

I haven’t been allowed to make that in years due to family complaints on my lack of cooking skills.  

18. What were you before you became a writer?

I was… schizophrenic. I think. I can’t quite tell. 

I was supposedly a corporate person, who fumbled and farted her way through life earning money. I also painted a lot. But… It’s not the way I was designed. When I actually listened to those weirdass voices who are constantly chattering at me – I realized that those voices probably weren’t a sign of schizophrenia (like I originally thought) – but were actually characters – waiting to be written. 

19. What is the most random thing you have ever done?

Got married. 

20.  If you’re not working, what are you most likely doing?

Sleeping. Trying to sleep. Planning how I’ll sleep. Or digging holes in the back yard.  

No really. I’m a mummy, I work full time, I have a design business, I write, and I have all sorts of everything else going on in my life – which is pretty much like working all day, every day. Without ever stopping. 

21. Who is your ultimate character?

Elektra. Wait… she’s not mine. 
Erm. River – he’s pretty boss. He’s big, tough, strong, zen, professional, and he reigns in Mack every single day. Oh, he’s sexy to boot as well. 

22. Whiskey or Bourbon? Red or white wine? Tequila? Beer?

Bubbles…. Margaritas… Martini. 
And peppermint tea. 

23. What’s in your pockets? (Or handbag, whatever you carry your stuff in. Are you apocalypse prepared?)

A lighter. I’ll burn the zombies if I can get close enough. They may need to stand still. 

24. Laptop, PC, Mac, tablet?

Laptops, and iPad. 

25. Ebook or tree book?

Both… I love collecting paperback books, as having lovely books in the house makes me feel at home. But e-books for sheer convenience. 

Paperbacks will be handy to start fires with later. 
To burn the zombies. 

26. Favorite apocalyptic scenario?

Where everyone is dead, and it’s just me hanging out in my cabin in the woods? 

27. Where do you do most of your writing?

I do it on the fly. I used to do a lot on the train on my way in and out of the city. Nowadays – I get writing done in snippets of time. I quite like writing in Hotel rooms, actually – I get through a lot doing that. The dirtier and seedier – the better. 
Or a 5 star. I’m good with that too. 

28. What’s the hardest thing for you when it comes to being an author? (For me it’s marketing but for others it’s the actual writing …)

Marketing – cos I’m rather shocking when it comes to giving a shit. 
Isn’t that terrible? I love it when my books are selling and doing well – hate trying to get reviews – and generally when a book is released I’m more focused on the next project. 

You made it!! Damn, you rock. Now would you like to try for the chocolate fish? Mind the puddles … but hurry. Power surges are common in the dungeon; you don’t want to have one hand on the metal plate containing that delicious chocolate fish and a foot in a puddle...
That laughter you hear is coming from The Knight, he probably won’t flip that switch he has his hand on. Probably …

You can find out more about Leigh in the following places ...

Website and blog: www.leighkhunt.com 
Twitter: @leighkhunt 
Instagram: leighkhunt

And of course ... Leigh's books are available in store.

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