#ThisorThatThursday Author Interview with Kimberly Hunt

I’d like to welcome Kimberly Hunt to the blog for #ThisorThatThursday!


Things you need for your editing sessions: hours, your manuscript, my computer, and sometimes a red pen

Things that hamper your editing: the requirements of being human (sleep, social obligations, etc.)

Things you love about editing: Reading, providing positive feedback so the author knows specifically what is working well, and suggesting solutions where needed to enhance the successful delivery of their vision.

Things you hate about editing: The frantic worry that I've missed something and the self-restraint needed to NOT point out every flaw. There's a fine balance between helping to improve and overwhelming an author with too many revision suggestions.

Hardest thing about being an editor: As a freelancer, the varied pace is hard. Sometimes my schedule is packed and I work too many hours; when it's slow I focus on training and marketing.

Easiest thing about being an editor: I get to read for a living!!!

Things you never want to run out of: Appreciation for the craft and the patience of my family and friends who indulge my obsession.

Things you wish you’d never bought: Almost everything after I buy it. I like LESS. Clutter is my Achilles heel.

Favorite music or song: REO Speedwagon's Time for Me to Fly because of my dad

Music that drives you crazy: My kid's recorder. That is a new level of parenting hell.

Favorite beverage: Spa water (water infused with cucumber or fruit)

Something that gives you a sour face: I don't like mean people and I don't like Jägermeister.

Something you wish you could do: Take more volunteer vacations like I did last summer. Travel + Volunteering = Bliss.

Something you wish you’d never learned to do: Cook. I do not enjoy it. I'd rather starve.

Things to say to an editor: Thank you. I value your skills and appreciate that you used them to make my book better. Here's your prompt payment for all of the hours you poured into making my book the best it can be.

Things to say to an editor if you want a lecture: Editing costs too much, I'll just ask my neighbor to edit it for free. Quality costs. It's like asking a teenager to build a house versus hiring professionals who have the training, experience, and tools to deliver a quality product.

Favorite books (or genre): Romance! And mystery, suspense and psychological thrillers. OK, I also like memoirs and pretty much anything else if it's well-written.

Books you wouldn’t buy: Zero limitations. As a kid from a large family, my parents had to put me on a budget for the monthly scholastic book club flyers. Picture a scrawny girl with an armful of library books - that was me.

Most daring thing you’ve ever done: Skydiving, sleeping in the Outback, snorkeling with sharks, walked past black bears raiding garbage cans, starting my freelance editing business

Something you chickened out from doing: I've chickened out of ever chickening out. Seriously, I can't think of anything and it's not that I think I'm brave. I'm probably just easily persuaded into doing adventurous things. I don't like to disappoint people.

About Kimberly:

Kimberly Hunt is a freelance editor with Revision Division. She has twenty years of experience managing projects and developmental editing fiction with a certification in copyediting as well. She's happy to answer questions about writing and editing but beware as she can go on at length about her passions: reading, running, and volunteering.

 Links to website and social media sites





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What Books Influenced You?

I acquired my first library card when I was four, and I knew that this was something. I had the power to choose books and take them home to read. My grandmother always said that books were your friends. I have a lot of friends. Just ask the movers. The majority of the boxes from the last move were filled with books. I was thinking about all the books that have influenced me as a person and a writer over the years, and I started making a list on one of my long commutes. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far…


  • Bible Stories

  • The Monster at the End of the Book (Grover is still my favorite Muppet.)

  • Green Eggs and Ham (I checked this out of the Woodstock Elementary Library as often as I could.)

  • Charlotte’s Web

  • The Biography of Walt Disney

  • The Wind in the Willows

Elementary/Middle School

  • The Crooked Banister (and all the other Nancy Drew books)

  • The Hardy Boys series

  • Agatha Christie’s books

  • The One-Minute Mysteries (There’s definitely a pattern here.)

  • Stories by O’Henry

  • Alfred Hitchcock Mysteries

  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

  • Anything by Edgar Allan Poe

I started reading scary or woo woo stories in middle school. I read Jaws one summer and avoided the beach. Then I checked out The Amityville Horror from the library and started it. I woke up in the middle of the night, and the cover was glowing. I threw it out in the hall and promptly returned it to the library. (I think the light was bouncing off the foiled cover, but I wasn’t taking any chances. I still don’t know how it ends.)

High School/College/Grad School

  • The Great Gatsby

  • The Sun Also Rises

  • To Kill a Mockingbird

  • Animal Farm

  • Hamlet

  • Gulliver’s Travels

  • The Great Gatsby

  • The Bell Jar

  • Pride and Prejudice

  • Jane Eyre

  • Wuthering Heights

  • Their Eyes Were Watching God

  • Poetry by Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, and Gwendolyn Brooks

  • The Scarlet Letter

  • The Call of the Wild

  • Oliver Twist

  • Moby Dick

  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

I have a BA and an MA in American literature. (I got to go to school to read books. The perfect setup.) The best class I ever took was Dr. Magnuson’s “Detective Fiction.” He introduced us to the literary conventions, the genre, and a variety of authors. And that’s where I fell in love with hard boiled, detective novels.

I also took children’s literature as an undergrad, and it was fun to see how things had changed since I was in that demographic. By then, Nancy Drew had undergone a makeover, and she now drove a Mustang and dated boys other than Ned Nickerson. YA was just starting to evolve then, and it has exploded over the years.

What’s your favorite genre? What’s on your list?

What I Learned about Navigating Writing (or Fan) Conferences

I returned from a fabulous weekend at Malice Domestic. I had so much fun networking, seeing friends, meeting readers, and being a fan girl. (I got to meet Anne Hillerman and Chris Grabenstein this year.)

Here are some things I’ve learned to help navigate these events — whether your a writer or a fan.


  • You are going to do a lot of walking. Wear comfortable shoes.

  • Dress in layers. Conference rooms are notorious for being frigid.

Be Prepared

  • Make sure you have a bag for things you’ll need: bookmarks, business cards, promo materials, a notebook, and something to write (or sign books) with.

  • Have your elevator speech (1-2 sentences) ready about your book in case you’re asked.

  • Print a copy of all your registration confirmations and take them with you to make sure there’s no confusion.

  • Keep all of your receipts for meals/expenses for your taxes.

  • Read the conference agenda and plan what you want to attend. Some provide “conference at a glance” booklets to help you navigate, and others have an app for your phone.



  • Bring an extra bag or leave room in your suitcase for all the swag and books that you’ll collect. I went to the Kensington Books give-away and signing. They were so generous. My TBR stack tripled.

  • Many conferences have shipping centers, so you can send it all home if you need to.


  • Be professional always! You never know who is sitting next to you.

  • Check out the conference’s website for past pictures to get an idea of the dress code for the events. Some are casual, and some dinners are black tie.

  • Don’t start every conversation about your book. Be genuine. Be part of conversations. They’ll be plenty of time to talk about your book.