Author Interviews

Author Spotlight Interview: Rebecca Hunter

By: Hidden Gems on May 2, 2023

Hidden Gems Books ARC service.

By: Hidden Gems on May 2, 2023


Today’s interview is with award winning romance author Rebecca Hunter. According to her official bio, Rebecca writes witty, sexy stories about complex characters and intriguing destinations. Her books have won the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award (NERFA) and the HOLT Medallion contest, and her debut with the Harlequin Dare line earned a starred review from Library Journal. In 2021, she won Romance Writers of America’s VIVIAN Award. She shared with us her journey to publication and the challenges she has overcome. It was a pleasure getting to know more about Rebecca’s writing style, and life outside of writing!

HG: How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet?

RH: I write what I call destination romance, where my characters explore a new place as they fall in love. Because I love to travel, many of my books take place in international settings, often Sweden, where my real-life husband is from, and Australia, where my sister lives. My books have been called witty, emotional, deep, fun and sexy, and I’m honored that they’ve won some awards, including the 2021 VIVIAN Award for Erotic Romance for Pure Satisfaction.

HG: Tell us a bit about your publishing journey. When did you know you were ready to take on the “author” role?

RH: I wanted to write a book long before I actually did it, but I somehow got the idea in my head that good writers were born, not made. I didn’t give up hope, but I spent many years waiting around to get “good enough” to write a good book…though in retrospect, what was I thinking?? No one becomes a better writer by waiting around!

Then, when we were living in Sweden, I met one of the parents from my son’s Kindergarten class, who is also Sweden’s most successful novelist. It struck me that she was just a regular mom, and something about that clicked inside: I, too, could be an author! My first attempt at a novel was written shortly after that as a birthday present to myself.

HG: What have been the challenges you’ve faced in your publishing career?

RH: Ahhh, where do I start? Most of the challenges I’ve faced are about figuring out how to consistently write and publish books that readers want and expect from me. Consistency is tough for me, both because of my personality and because I live with other people whom I love to spend time with. I’m a daydreamer by nature, so I can spend a lot of time thinking about things instead of writing. I’m also a bit disorganized and terrible at project management. When I only had one or two books, this didn’t matter as much, but now that I’ve passed 10, it’s chaos! For this reason, I think I’m done with independent publishing…though who knows what the future holds?

HG: Tell us a little bit about your actual writing process. Do you have a routine for where and when you write? Any interesting quirks?

RH: My writing process is whatever gets the current book done! This answer sounds flippant, but it’s true. I have a puppy and kids and other things going on, so I’ve learned that I can’t be too precious about my process. Instead, I’ve gathered a lot of tools in my writing toolbox, and I choose the ones that work best, depending on the challenges of a particular book or what’s going on in my life.

Here’s my current routine: After the kiddos go to school, I read a little non-fiction (current read: Virgina Woolf, An Inner Life by Julia Briggs) and write a few pages in my journal to focus myself. Then, I sit down at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and a print-out of yesterday’s (very rough!) dictation. After I get it in shape, I go out on a walk to dictate more of the “skeleton” of the first draft, which I then print out to expand on tomorrow.

When I finish the entire book, I use the text-to-speech function in Word to play the book, word-for-word, and I make more changes along the way. When I’m satisfied (or when I hit the deadline), I send this draft to my editor for the first round of edits.

HG: Tell us a bit about your books.  What can readers expect? What feeling do you hope readers are left with when they finish one of your novels?

RH: I think this Goodreads review of Pure Satisfaction captures what I hope readers experience with my books:

“Rebecca Hunter can always be counted on to bring the decadence to her heartwarming romances, and this third trip to the Kalani resort has all the simmering heat and soul-deep connection a reader could hope for … The familiar tropes all get a fresh, rejuvenating treatment here, with layers of sizzle and deeply emotional revelations that have these two baring their souls and laying everything on the line. And I absolutely loved every last bit of it.”

Overseas Nanny Mistake

HG: If the Fantasy Island series was turned into a movie or a television series, who would you cast as the main characters?

RH: This might be a strange answer, but I don’t watch movies or shows very often, so I never have seen this as a goal. I think this comes from a feeling of being let down when a movie is inevitably not as good as a book!

So much of the pleasure of a good romance is in the internal narrative of the characters and their journey to emotional intimacy, where characters’ thoughts, actions and words finally line up. This can be difficult to communicate with a visual medium—but not impossible. There are some wonderful dance scenes in the first season of Bridgerton, for example, that capture the tension I feel when I read a great romance.

So if one of my books got the producer’s budget and the director’s vision that Bridgerton had, then I’d trust them to cast whoever they want!

HG: What can you tell us about any other projects you have in the works?

RH: I am currently writing in a very different subgenre of romance under a different pen name, so my Rebecca Hunter books haven’t gotten as much attention in the last year. However, I’m working on a book that’s more women’s fiction than romance, which I hope to publish sometime in the future. It looks at the complications of a messy marriage a woman runs into when she’s living unhappily overseas—and her husband refuses to move.

HG: Switching gears, what do you enjoy doing when not writing?

RH: We live in California, where the weather is generally good, so I spend a lot of time outdoors, hiking with friends or just sitting in the backyard and talking with my husband. I’m a voracious reader, so you can find me behind a book most evenings. I’m grateful that my library and two bookstores are all within walking distance!

HG: What was your last 5-star read?

RH: I’m just finishing up a 5-star read, The Belle of Belgrave Square by Mimi Matthews, set in Victorian England. Matthews’ writing is wonderful. Next on my TBR is Lydia San Andres’s new book, Alliance with His Stolen Heiress, which takes place in the Dominican Republic in 1905. I’m pretty sure I’ll love this one, too!

HG: For fun, before we wrap up, let’s do a fast five! First one…cookies or cake?

RH: Cookies of any kind.

HG: Movie or book?  

RH: BOOK!!!!!! (but you already know that)

HG: Pool or ocean?

RH: Ocean. With a surf board if possible.

HG: Introvert or extrovert? 

RH: I’m in the minority among authors: Extrovert.

HG: eBook, print book or audiobook? 

RH: Print all the way.

HG: For readers that want to find out more about your stories and keep up with you, where should they go to connect or learn more?

You can find out more about my books and sign up for my free monthly newsletter on my website and follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

If you love to read and leave reviews on Amazon, and would like to get books from authors like Rebecca Hunter for free every day, then sign up for the Hidden Gems ARC program. We don’t just have enticing romance novels either – each day we send out emails with offers of free books in over 15 different genres, and you’ll only be sent the genres you’re interested in and the books you want to read. Sign up for as many or as few as you have time and interest for, we’ll keep the eBooks flowing as long as you want to keep on reading and reviewing!

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