This is me

Author Interview with Anita Hunt

In our author interview with Anita Hunt we discover her favourite place to write and how Cornwall has shaped her writing.

Tell us a little about yourself

I am Cornish and I work in adult social care. With an MA in Creative Writing I am a published poet, theatre reviewer and author. Hobbies include walking my two dogs, being crafty in all manner of ways although mainly they revolve around a ball of wool or a sewing machine and singing with the Rock Choir.

When asked how I fit everything in, I shrug my shoulders, give you that I don’t know look and can be heard to mutter: ‘sleep is for wimps__ ’

  • My favourite authors include Jodi Picoult, Dorothy Koomson, Liane Moriarty and Lesley Pearse in the domestic noir genre - with my favourite book being My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. I also enjoy contemporary romance with anything by Jill Mansell, Sue Moorcroft, Milly Johnson, Katie Fforde and Jenny Colgan leading the field.

  • I am notoriously bad at eating breakfast. Generally it consists of just coffee first thing and then a banana mid morning.

  • It has to be anything in the Womens fiction realm, i alternate between choc lit and domestic noir.

  • Quite a boringly average size glad i haven't been asked for my dress size....

  • Oh, that is a difficult one, the compulsion is always there, the little voice in my head that demands to be heard; the image that pops up when i'm walking down the street or overhear something. Those images string from one sentence to another and before I know it, there is a whole story, just waiting to be told.

  • Yes. It was one of my favourite lessons. A chance for me to let my daydreams loose.

  • I have two stories in this first Cornwall Writers anthology. 'Waiting' was inspired when I was driving home from a choir rehearsal and singing along to Dido's 'My love has gone'. I had an image in my mind of the Scottish Widows advert of a woman in a dark shawl/cape standing on a cliff, looking for her lover to return. 'A Cornish Rant' is totally different from Waiting in genre and mood. It is much funnier and quirkier and grew from an exercise within my Master of Arts in Creative Writing course. We were told to write a short piece bringing forward the voice and accents of our home town. Being Cornish, we have a strong lilt and vocabulary, particularly with the older generation, and it only seemed right to bring pasty making and tourists into it - I mean, is there anything else worth talking about down 'ere?

  • Oh, I would have to be the heroine. I'm afraid I'm one of those supportive, helpful types that people always turn to in a crisis. They say that if you want something done ask a busy woman... ...Yeah, that would be me...

  • I have a secret - I'm a notebookaholic....I have them everywhere, in every room in the house, in all of my bags and even a couple stashed in the car for emergencies. I have far more than i would ever need yet I still find myself browsing the stationary aisles and purchasing more - I'm a sucker for a funky cover. Typing up my stories though, is completed in my home office on a desktop computer. It's not half as much fun as scribbling away in a cafe or my lunch break, but believe me, you wouldn't understand my writing.

  • What is there not to be inspired about in Cornwall. I was born and raised here, i can't imagine living anywhere else. When you have paradise on your doorstep, why live anywhere else?

  • It has to be the piecing together of words into sentences, sentences into paragraphs and seeing them build into worlds that a reader can escape into. It also helps to get rid of that voice in my head as they begin to take shape on the page.

  • Cornwall is in my soul. Honestly, it is difficult to enter the writing game as a career from down here, but the inspiration from the landscape, the people and the changing of the tide can't be beaten.

  • For 'Waiting' it was the striking image of the woman on a cliff, looking out to sea and then looking deeper into her life and seeing the emotions she was going through.For 'A Cornish Rant' it was my own history growing up in Cornwall with some expert pasty makers in my family. No outdoor event was complete without a home made pasty to go with it. I can make a pretty mean pasty myself...

  • I think it would have to Princess Odette from The Swan Princess. People always say that I appear serene and calm no matter what I am doing yet, my poor little feet are paddling away out of sight trying to keep myself afloat. Otherwise, it would be Cinderella...always picking up other peoples...............

  • Aside from the obvious pasty making ability that most Cornish girls were taught from a very young age, it has to be a cottage pie. My mum and I used to compete for who could make the best one with my three sons as judges. they always told me that i was the best - I have a sneaking suspicion they told her the same.

  • Writing has always been there for me, but I was never really given the encouragement to put it out there or to believe it had value until about five years ago when I managed to land a freelance gig writing fringe theatre reviews for The Hall For Cornwall. I absolutely loved doing this, being paid to go to the theatre has to be one of the best ways to combine work and leisure. Around this time I was also finishing my Bachelor of Arts degree (Open University) with modules in Creative Writing and Advanced Creative Writing - achieving a distinction in the latter. This all combined to prove to me that my writing was OK and spurred me onto the Master of Arts in Creative Writing, achieving a merit award after two and a half long years of study and the beginnings of my first novel (currently being edited) 'Behind the Curtain'.

  • Believe in yourself and go for it.

  • I have two dogs, a 14 year old West Highland terrier who is a right old grumpy git these days - and my shadow, always by my side or cuddled up on my lap - as well as a 7 year old cocker spaniel/black labrador. She is absolutely adorable, totally manic and how she survived puppyhood I'll never know.

  • Probably a cat. I'm far too independent to be a dog, jungle animals are too wild, birds go up too high, i don't like swimming so that wipes out fish and insects are just yucky.

  • The only music I can write to is that of the world going by. If I put anything with lyrics on then I just start singing along and the writing goes out of the window.