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Why Karen McCullough Wrote Hunter’s Quest

...and Its Long (Very Long) Road to Publication

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I wrote the first draft of Hunter’s Quest almost twenty years ago. It was written in response to a call from a publisher for a specific type of book. It made it through two rounds of editorial cuts, but not the final one because it was deemed not exactly what was wanted for the new line. I moved on to other projects and the manuscript languished ignored and unloved on my hard drive for years.

About a year and a half ago I was doing some spring cleaning on my hard drive when I came across the manuscript and re-read it. It had some problems—bits of it were out-of-date, technology had changed a lot, and a piece of the premise no longer worked. But I still liked the basic story. After some debate, I decided to dig in and give it the rewrite I thought it deserved.

The basic story was born in a number of family vacations to the Blue Ridge Mountains when our children were young. It’s a beautiful area, a place where you never know what you’re going to find around the next bend. On one of those trips, the idea occurred to me: what would happen if you heard shots in the woods nearby and then someone ran out in front of your car?

But then, of course, I had to figure out why Kristie, my heroine, was driving by herself on a lonely mountain road and why Jason Hunter, my hero, would suddenly burst out of the woods and run across it. I always knew Jason would be a law enforcement professional, but I wanted to use a lesser-known agency, and I’d recently done some research on the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. It seemed like a good fit for Jason.

I also knew he was technically on leave, mounting an unofficial search for a friend who’d disappeared.

I had the problem of how Kristie could help in that search, and why she had to, particularly when Jason didn’t like that she put herself in unnecessary danger. Until I realized that she knew things he didn’t. She had a psychic gift that could help him avoid trouble and offer some clues to what had happened to his friend.

Once those pieces were in place, writing the book actually went very quickly. Getting it published, obviously, did not.

When I finally pulled out the manuscript again, I’d already released a number of my backlist titles and felt I was starting to figure out the indie pubbing things. I rewrote the story, then ran it by a beta reader, did some more rewrites, hired an editor, and did some more rewriting based on her suggestions before I finally felt it was ready to release to the public.

I hope readers will enjoy the ride!

You can find out more about Hunter’s Quest and Karen on her website.

I’d like to thank Karen for stopping by and sharing her story! That’s an intriguing place to start for sure! What would you do if you heard shots and someone ran out in front of your car? I’ll admit I’d be kind of freaked out. lol

Perilously yours,

Pauline

1 Comment

  1. Daisy says:

    Sounds like a very interesting book! In response to the question, “What would you do if you heard shots and someone ran out in front of your car?”, I’d brake. Hard. And skid and swerve and try to miss him. But as I’m not exactly a pro at driving, I might not miss, which unfortunately would in a way would solve the problem of what to do next, haha. ;p Just kidding.

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