Cara Hunter is a successful author. Her first book was published in 2018 and will soon be adapted for television. All of his books are rated above 4 stars on goodreads, and many readers have surrendered to Inspector Adam Fawley. His next book is scheduled for 2022.
First, thank you for the opportunity to talk with you.
Have you always wanted to be an author?
I suppose it was always a dream, but it didn’t become a possibility until much later, when I became a freelance copywriter and had more time. Virginia Woolf famously said that a writer needs a ‘room of their own’; they need time of their own as well!
How did writing come into your life?
I’ve always written stories, even when I was a little girl, but as I mentioned before, writing first came into my life as an adult on a professional basis, when I became a copywriter. It was good training, actually – it gave me good practice in meeting deadlines, keeping promised, and getting through writer’s block!
Close to Home is the first book in the Adam Fawley DI series, it was a success. How did the idea for this inspector come about?
The idea for Close to Home came to me first as the twist (no spoilers, but if you’ve read the book you’ll know what I mean!). After that the challenge was to create a world – a family and a community – in which that story could develop. As it was a story about a missing child it was inevitable that there would be a police investigation, so Adam Fawley started life as a piece of plot machinery, even if a pretty important one!
In his books, at least the four published so far in Portugal, the main characters are children or teenagers. Is it something planned, and will it continue in the next books in the series?
No, it’s not planned. I don’t focus on children or teenagers as such, my interest is more in families, and what happens when people find themselves in impossible situations. That’s why there are children in the books – because they suffer the consequences.
The Whole Truth is the latest book in the series, which will probably be published in Portugal next year. What can readers of this new book expect?
It’s not about children! It’s a case looking at sexual politics and sexual violence, only from a different perspective than we normally see. In this case, the predator accused of assault is a female professor, and the victim is a young male student.
What kind of research did you do for these books?
I did a lot of research for the book (as I always do) looking at how these cases are handled, particularly in terms of police procedures.
A very difficult question to ask but what is your favorite novel from those you’ve written, and what was the most exciting to write?
I’ve always been very fond of Close to Home as it was the first and got things started, but I’m particularly proud of No Way Out (number 3). I think there’s a lot of emotional depth and resonance in that book.
TV rights for the series were acquired by the Fremantle group. What can you tell us about this? Is there a date yet?
Not yet! But things are moving along – as everyone keeps telling me, things take ages in TV!
Did you ever think that your books would be translated into so many languages?
Absolutely not – it’s a dream come true! I especially love seeing all the different designs for the covers!
How long did you take to write your books?
The first draft usually takes about three to four months, though The Whole Truth took longer, as it was in lockdown, which was really tough. Then edits take another couple of months, and the production comes in after that. So the whole process is about nine months.
What is your favorite part of your writing process?
The second draft! When the ‘scaffolding’ is done and you can start to have fun!
What is your favorite book you’ve read over the last 12 months?
I was recently on holiday and re-read Asta’s Book, by Ruth Rendell, writing as Barbara Vine. A wonderfully rich and multi-layered book, with a compelling mystery at its heart.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
A few! All writers do!
If you had a dinner party and could invite 3 personalities from any period in history, who would they be and why?
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the Romantic poet, who was universally regarded as the greatest talker of his age; Shakespeare, just because we know so little about the real man and there are so many questions to ask; and the actress Helen Mirren – I think she’d be great fun.
Can you give us any insights into any future books or projects that you’re working on?
I’ve just finished Fawley book 6, which is called Hope to Die. It’s inspired by a truly fascinating and inexplicable real-life case…
Finally, what would you like to say to Portuguese readers?
A huge THANK YOU! For reading the books, and talking about them, and giving me such wonderful feedback on social media, especially Instagram. I always love hearing from my readers!