Q&A: C.C. Hunter on Shadow Falls and Summer Camp

It's Halloween week, so it's definitely time to celebrate the paranormal. Which is why we were so excited to talk to C.C. Hunter, aka Christie Craig, about her latest Shadow Falls title, Unspoken, out tomorrow! 

Your Shadow Falls series has had several iterations, tell us about that journey.

The plan was to make Shadow Falls a three-book series. Then the series hit the New York Times and I was asked to write two more. When I was almost finished with the fifth book, this idea for a novella about Della snuck inside my head and followed me to my computer every day, hounding me to write it. When my editor read Saved at Sunrise, she came back with the request to do three books on Della. Then poor Miranda couldn’t be left out. So I’m working on her book now. I’ve never slowed down, I’ve put out two books a year, plus four novellas. Add the Christie Craig books, a granddaughter and my husband’s kidney transplant in there, and the schedule was oftentimes dramatic. But I wouldn’t change a thing.

You’ve written Shadow Falls books from different POVs, was that always your plan? How do the girls differ? 

My plan wasn’t even to write young adult. Amazing how life can throw you such wonderful curve balls. An editor at St. Martin’s came to me because she’d read my work and according to her, she knew I could write YA because I was such a smartass. I told her my mama said that would never get me anywhere, but my mama was wrong.

As I wrote the first five books, Kylie’s best friends and roommates jumped off the page. I worked hard to make the girls different so they would shine in their own way and their personalities would make each of them distinct. Kylie is logical, kind hearted and a peace keeper. Della is sassy, sarcastic, a fighter and spontaneous. Miranda is flirty, a little flighty and believes the best in people. They all share the traits of loyalty, determination and the ability to laugh through some of life’s hardest hurdles. As my grandmother said, “If you can laugh at it, you can live with it.”

Did you ever go to camp as a kid?

Oh yes. Been there, done that. The sneaking out of the cabin to put shaving cream all over the boy’s cabins. Losing my bathing suit top when jumping into the river. (I don’t like that memory!) Staying up way past midnight telling ghost stories that left me tossing and turning in that itchy bunk bed while listening to all kinds of woodsy noises.

You also write adult romance, what's the difference between writing adult vs. YA? 

When writing my Christie Craig books, like Divorced, Desperate & Daring, the sixth book in the Divorced & Desperate series, my sexy side gets to come out and party. And considering they are humorous romantic suspense novels, I tend to be a little funnier. When writing my YA books, because they are paranormal, I get to play with magic, super powers and young love. One of the first things I was told by the editor at St. Martins was that she didn’t want me to change my voice. The differences between my books in these two different genres are more about the world and the characters. So while my contemporaries may be sexier, there’s a boatload of sexual tension in the YAs. While one may be funnier, there are laugh-out-loud moments in my YA books.

Do you have crossover readers?

I do have a lot of crossover. About sixty percent of my readers of the Shadow Falls book are adults. And I would say a big portion of those read me in both genres. A few years back, I saw a post by a reader that said, “I had two favorite authors, each in a separate different genre, imagine my shock when I learned they were the same person.” 

Unspoken is available for purchase tomorrow. You can get your copy here: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | IndieBound. And for more YA reads, check out our Everything Young Adult page.