Today I have the pleasure of interviewing LK Hunsaker, author of the short stories TOWARD THE SKY, and JACOB’S CROSS, among her works, and welcome her to my blog. Welcome LK!
Hi Marcia, and thank you for having me on your blog! I’m so glad you enjoyed my short stories and it’s nice to be here to chat with you and your readers.
Q: Have any life experiences inspired you to write your books?
A: I’ve used quite a few life experiences within my books in some way, but my most recent book, Moondrops & Thistles, was actually inspired by life experience. I was an Army spouse for 17 years and my husband was deployed to Desert Storm. That was a story I knew I had to tell some day, not only the war experience but the whole Army life experience. Movies, TV, and even many novels don’t do it justice since you have to be truly inside of it to truly understand it. It took twenty years to let myself share that highly emotional time in my life, but it finally came out. Finishing Touches, my first novel from 2003, is a personal story as far as being a young artist trying to find a path in life through obstructions. It’s also set in my hometown area. Jenna’s obstructions are different than mine and it’s by no means autobiographical, but there is much of myself in it.
Q: Have you been writing for a long time?
A: I’ve been writing in some form ever since I can remember. I’ve always loved stories and spent much time in my grandma’s library. She had this great collection of Americana music books and I used them to create musical plays that my siblings and cousins would help produce for our older relatives. I probably drove them crazy, but they were nice about it! I’ve done poetry, plays, essays, a touch of fanfic back in high school, and I jumped on the blog train nearly as soon as I realized there was such a thing as a blog where I could write and share it immediately. My serious novel writing began in 1996 and I worked at it for 10 years before my first novel came out.
Q: You have a prolific output of both short stories and longer works. Do you have a writing program which works for you?
A: Yes! It’s called Obsession. Writing isn’t only something I do; it’s part of who I am. I’m not happy with me when I don’t write regularly enough. I did go through several (far too many) years of putting it aside while my kids were young and I was working this job or that in between military moves. I wish I hadn’t. Denying part of yourself is never emotionally healthy. But as far as a routine, not so much. I’m still working around my family (planning a wedding at the moment!), but these days I’m able to stay home other than errands and so on, and I’m finally settled, so productivity has increased. I often write in the evening when the family is watching television or such, and when I can, I grab daytime hours to really get some work done. I don’t use a program other than Word and OneNote, plus my binders of notes and handwritten scenes to incorporate into my computer-typed book. I just love OneNote for outlining, organizing, and keeping track of my research. If I had one program to recommend to other writers, that would be it.
Q. Do you have any favorite book genres which you love to read?
A: Well, I’m the standard geek type who loved getting classic book reading assignments in school. I still read classics along with modern literary/mainstream fiction. I love good historical fiction. I read some romance but I am particular about it; I want story and character development and not much graphic detail. I like an occasional cozy mystery, and I’m willing to give sci fi and fantasy a try now and then. I also read some non-fiction, particularly when it relates to music and sometimes politics. I’ll give most any genre a try, other than horror or thrillers. I don’t do scary!
Q. Are there any favorite books and authors who have been influential upon you and your writing?
A: I love Shakespeare and his word play and Irving Stone with his fictional documentaries (particulary of Van Gogh and Michelangelo). I’ve been more influenced, though, by John Irving with his societal focus, Hemingway with his sparse straight-to-the-point style and deep characters, and most recently Marilynne Robinson for both her societal focus and deep characters, but also for her beautiful language use. I’d have to say I’ve never seen a novel written more beautifully and more truly within each character than Robinson’s novels. Her non-fiction is a challenging read, but her fiction speaks to all of us and should be widely used in literature and writing classes. I aspire to her beauty of prose.
Q: Your books display a great awareness of nature within their individual frameworks, and the environment in which your characters are located is also an influential factor in the narratives. Have you always had an interest in nature, or is it something which you discovered at a certain point in life?
A: I think I’ve always had an innate sense of the balance between nature and humans and an appreciation for it. Over the years, that has bloomed (excuse the pun) and the bits of encouragement that came from my grandparents and their excitement about the yearly sweet corn from Grandpa’s garden and his one huge sunflower, plus Grandma’s over-abundant flower gardens and myriad of trees and her bird watching, have stemmed into my own amateur gardening attempts and bird watching. I do delight in nature and it’s everywhere in my work, both as setting and as metaphor. Right now I have the prettiest white and red tulips blooming and it makes me incredibly happy to see that my effort of putting them in last fall has come to such a nice effect.
Q. Do you have any favorite TV shows, from either the past, or still on the air?
A: My favorites from the past, and I’m showing my age here, were Star Trek, Emergency, and American Bandstand. In fact, my first long piece of writing was a play based on Emergency. I think I was about fifteen at the time I wrote it. Currently, I don’t watch much television, but I do enjoy Dancing with the Stars. The pro dancers are pure joy to watch and I find it inspirational that out of shape celebs with no previous dance experience can jump in and work hard and learn to dance in such a short time. I took dance while growing up. It’s not easy! I also love Castle, just for the fun of it, and hubby and I watch Pittsburgh Pirates games as we have time. Go Bucs!
Q. Do you have any hobbies you like to participate in when you have spare time?
A: I’m an amateur artist, meaning I have an art minor and have dabbled in it since I was young. I create my own covers and artwork for inside some of my books. I also do other types of design work. I’m not sure that qualifies as a hobby. But I do own a beautiful acoustic guitar that I play with at times and occasionally I mess with the piano. I garden to some extent. I love to swim and go boating. And I often write scenes in my head while on the back of my husband’s Harley. I don’t like road trips unless it’s on the bike, although I do love to travel. I used to sew and cross stitch but I gave those up for writing time.
Q. Do you have any other writing projects which you would like to mention?
A: I’m currently trying to finish the third book of the Rehearsal series since it’s due out this year, as well as a straight lit fic in progress revolving around a biker on a quest. Rehearsal 4 & 5 are in progress along with the series sequel. Plus, I have two younger reader books I want to get out soon that are in different stages of development. There are several more on hold, to include at least one short story compilation. I think I need to learn to sleep less. 😉
Marcia, thanks again for having me!
You’re most welcome, LK.
I am certain that you will join me in thanking LK today for her time, and that we look forward to reading more of her works in the future.
If you wish to contact LK, she is available on:
*Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/author.lkhunsaker
A selection of LK’s books can be accessed from Smashwords by clicking on the book covers below:
Books from LK’s website:
LK is kindly offering one lucky reader the chance to win a copy of her e-book MOONDROPS & THISTLES. All you have to do is comment on this blog post to be in the running to win a copy of MOONDROPS & THISTLES. Good luck!