Artemis Hunt, author of Snow White and the Alien, discusses her book, her journey as a writer, and self-publishing on Kindle.
DAVID WISEHART: What can you tell us about Snow White and the Alien?
ARTEMIS HUNT: It's a fantasy/sci-fi/Young Adult romance set in the enchanted forests of the Brothers Grimm. I call it Tangled meets The Day the Earth Stood Still!
16-year-old Snow White is rude, opinionated, dirty and crazy about studying bugs (the creepy crawly kind). But when her bipolar stepmother goes all out to devour her heart, Snow White has to go on the lam. Being plucky and resourceful, she must outwit every studly huntsman, assassin, city guard and robber baron sent to bring her back, preferably dead, before she reaches Lapland.
On the other side of the coin (and galaxy), 20-year-old Aein is a one-winged cripple. His princely birth makes him eligible to be disguised as a 'Crawler', a scout selected to go to Earth and who appears to us as a handsome human youth. But Aein has a darker mission—to pave our world for his people's colonization and, later...our annihilation.
The first native he stumbles upon is the fugitive Snow White.
DAVID WISEHART: How do you develop and differentiate your characters?
ARTEMIS HUNT: I made Snow White extremely different from all the fairytale and Disney versions. I daresay she'll be different from the 3 movie Snow White versions coming up in 2012! Snow White speaks her mind all the time, to the detriment of all her relationships. My Snow White is a scientist in a medieval world, more interested in publishing entomology journals than pretty dresses.
Because Aein is an alien, who in his natural form looks nothing like a human, I purposefully made him more human than human so the reader can identify with him. He's an underdog, ridiculed because of his deformity. He loves his beautiful cousin, but she's engaged to his most hated rival, a handsome bully who makes Aein's life hell.
DAVID WISEHART: Who do you imagine is your ideal reader?
ARTEMIS HUNT: Anyone who thinks beauty is overrated. This story is about the two most beautiful people in the world (albeit one is genetically disguised!) who are attracted to each other because of other qualities. Aein thinks Snow White is ugly. And Snow White does find out what Aein really looks like. Can they even have a relationship with so many obstacles in place?
DAVID WISEHART: What was your journey as a writer?
ARTEMIS HUNT: I started off when I was in college, doing newspaper and magazine articles for health (because I have an MD as a basic degree), lifestyle and entertainment (because my passion is movies).
Sometime in the last decade, I decided I wanted to tell stories as well. So I traditionally published a short story collection which became a bestseller. But because I'm Asian, I wanted to break into the American market. My then agent couldn't get me in, so I fired him and began the query process myself. Got a lot of nibbles from top agents for another manuscript I wrote (which I intend to indie publish), but they passed even after requesting a R&R. But then, I didn't really try that hard to exhaust agents. If I don't get a 50% request rate, I withdraw the manuscript!
These manuscripts are now being indie published. Snow White and the Alien is one of them. I'm still getting requests on it from queries I sent out months ago!
DAVID WISEHART: What is your writing process?
ARTEMIS HUNT: Because I hold a stressful full time job, I write whenever I can. At lunch, in airports, in planes. My husband complains I never have enough time for him.
DAVID WISEHART: What authors most inspire you?
ARTEMIS HUNT: J.K. Rowling. I love her stories and her writing.
DAVID WISEHART: What one book, written by someone else, do you wish you'd written yourself?
ARTEMIS HUNT: Twilight! It was so simple, and yet so engaging.
DAVID WISEHART: How have you marketed and promoted your work?
ARTEMIS HUNT: In the past, I have only marketed it the traditional way—author tours, newspaper and mag interviews, even a serialization in a newspaper. But e-publishing is a whole new different ballgame and I'm just a debutante at it.
I bought ads at sites like Red Adept and Frugal eReader. I'm contacting book bloggers for reviews. I just got started! I hang out at the Kindleboards. I set up a Twitter page.
And the best promotion is just to write some more! I'm releasing my backlist as well as furiously writing more.
DAVID WISEHART: Why publish on Kindle?
ARTEMIS HUNT: I like the platform. Mobi. files look great! Amazon is an amazing distributing arm.
DAVID WISEHART: What advice would you give to a first-time author thinking of self-publishing on Kindle?
ARTEMIS HUNT: Hang out at the Kindleboards for months first and learn from everyone. I made the mistake of not doing that (too busy writing). They will teach you how to set up a proper launch, pricing, and manage your expectations!
DAVID WISEHART: Thanks, and best of luck with your books.
Subjects I feel PASSIONATELY, PASSIONATELY about
Hi, you have just arrived at my blogsite. I'm Artemis Hunt, author, harried employee, long-suffering wife, multi-tasker, Pomeranian lover, stepmother to two grown-up stepkids. I'm going to blog about subjects I feel passionately about. Please browse, and maybe you'll find something you feel passionately about too. For darker adult stories, I write under the name of A.R. Hunt. For straight erotica and erotic romances with mild BDSM (a la Fifty Shades), I write under the name of multiple Amazon and Barnes and Noble bestselling erotica author, Aphrodite Hunt.