Monday, October 11, 2021

Helena Hunting Interview - When Sparks Fly


Photo Content from Helena Hunting

NYT and USA Today Bestselling author, Helena Hunting lives outside of Toronto with her amazing family and her two awesome cats, who think the best place to sleep is her keyboard. Helena writes everything from contemporary romance with all the feels to romantic comedies that will have you laughing until you cry.

        



Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
Storytelling is how we share and pass on history and make connections with people. It gives us an opportunity to relate to others through shared ideas and with fiction, it can give us an escape from the everyday.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
The friends I’ve made along the way—readers, authors and booklovers and their shared passion for stories and storytelling is the most rewarding part of this journey. I’ve been fortunate to meet some amazing women in the world of books and I’m grateful for their insight, support and friendship on this journey.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
When Sparks Fly is my most recent release and I’m so excited for readers to meet Avery and Declan! I have several other projects in the works, including a special short story later this fall, Love on the Lake releasing March 15th, 2o22 and another standalone with St. Martin’s later in 2022. I’ll also have an angsty new adult release later in 2022 as well, under my H. Hunting penname.

Can you tell us when you started WHEN SPARKS FLY, how that came about?
Back in 2018 I attended a book signing in Colorado called Book Bonanza, hosted by Colleen Hoover. It was an amazing experience and we spent a week afterward traveling around Colorado and taking in the beautiful landscape and backdrop. I decided I wanted to set a novel there, and that became the inspiration for where When Sparks Fly was set. I wanted to write about three sisters who ran their own event hotel.

TEN RANDOM FACTS ABOUT WHEN SPARKS FLY
  • 1. The setting was inspired by a trip to Colorado where I discovered that I am 100% a flatlander after driving up the side of Pike’s Peak. I cried. The end.
  • 2. I watched several seasons of Survivor and the show inspired some of the event side of the Spark House hotel.
  • 3. The opening scene was inspired by a YouTube video rabbit hole I fell down regarding the sport of hobby horsing.
  • 4. Avery’s middle sister, London makes origami stars, which was inspired by my bestie, who became an origami star addict and also turned me into one in the process.
  • 5. The Spark House hotel was loosely inspired by an estate house that was turned into a B&B where I plotted out the original series with my agent.
  • 6. Lobster Mac and Cheese is written into the book and while I’ve only ever had it once, my mouth always waters when I write or think about it.
  • 7. A macadamia nut latte is a real thing and can be found in Thornton, Ontario at a little cafĂ©.
  • 8. Avery and Declan met during frosh week and played soccer together in college. I once played soccer in grade 5 for the school team (I think they were hard up for players) and I can only remember one time when I kicked the ball and it got air.
  • 9. The pot brownie scene was inspired by an incident that happened to a friend, who accidentally ate a bag of special gummies and proceeded to have a twenty-four hour nap.
  • 10. Thor makes an appearance a few times throughout the book, this is because I’m obsessed with Marvel comic movies and Thor, in general.
What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
The importance of family, of thinking outside the box, friendship, finding love and learning how to heal.

What part of Avery and Declan did you enjoy writing the most?
I loved writing the evolution of their friendship and their shared connection. People make mistakes, and we are all intrinsically flawed. No one is perfect, and how Avery and Declan deal with their circumstances isn’t perfect, but it’s what they learn and how they grow from those experiences that shape their relationship and who they become by the end of the story, both individually and as a couple.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I would introduce Avery and her sisters to women from The Shacking Up series (and maybe I do J). I feel like they would have an amazing time together and those women could rule the world.

REASONS TO READ WHEN SPARKS FLY
  • 1. It’s a best friends-to-lovers story , which is something I’ve never done.
  • 2. Not only will you laugh but there will be moments where you feel like I punched you in the gut with the feels (in a good way!)
  • 3. This story takes place in Colorado, so naturally there is a scene involving edibles.
  • 4. This is the first book about the Spark sisters—three woman who lost their parents when they were teens and are running their family business.
  • 5. I wrote this book when we all just went on lockdown for COVID ( I live in Canada, so it was a long lockdown). It also means I could relates on a personal level to what Avery was going through being stuck at home after her accident.
  • 6. Because we just gone into quarantine and moved houses, and the world wasn’t in great shape, my first draft of this book needed work because I don’t think I was in the right headspace at the time (was anyone?!?). On the upside, it means I have a lot of deleted scenes which I like to share in my newsletter.
  • 7. Avery, the heroine loves all things sports and adventure. She has a core group of guy friends who she spends most of her free time with (except for her sisters, of course).
  • 8. I had the hardest time picking a title for this book. For a long time it was just called AVERY and then the tentative title was FULL SERVICE before we finally settled on WHEN SPARKS FLY.
  • 9. There is one scene that every person who read it commented on—and it is when Declan walks in on Avery trying to...take care of herself. There was a lot of discussion on that scene ;)
I think if you’ve loved my other series, PUCKED, ALL IN, SHACKING UP, you’ll love this new book. Oh and yes, Avery’s two sisters, London and Harley, will each have their own books too!

Tell me about a favorite event of your childhood.
Going to the family cottage in the summer. It’s always been the perfect escape and that’s never changed. It was time with family and I had a network of friends up there who were the same age. We would spend the summer together, swimming, biking, playing board games. It was a special time and those memories are priceless which is why I wrote LOVE NEXT DOOR and LOVE ON THE LAKE. I wanted to pay homage to one of my favorite places.

What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
Drive up the side of a mountain with my husband. Even as the driver he spends half the trip looking out the window. It gives me a serious appreciation for flat land.

Best date you've ever had?
What was the first job you had?

I worked for my dad’s sign painting company when I was young, but my first job that wasn’t with family was working the cash register at a 5¢ carousel in Port Dalhousie, Ontario.

If you wrote a journal entry today, what would it say?
You mean by hand? Cursive writing? If I had to cursive write more than a line or two I don’t know that it would be legible. But I would tell whoever ends up reading it to follow your dreams. I used to hand write in journals all the time when I was young. I have a box of stories and angsty poetry from when I was a teenager that I should probably burn.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Bora Bora. Hands down. I want to stay on one of those huts over the water. That’s my dream vacation and a bucket list travel destination.

First Heartbreak?
His name was John. We dated for a year and a half in high school. We definitely weren’t destined for forever, but first love isn’t one you forget, and that heartache leaves a lasting impression.

Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before?
Ack. This makes my heart ache just trying to answer the question. I would rather have the love of my life then never know what that kind of love feels like, even if it rips my soul in half when I lose it.


Running the Spark House, a hotel/event space that has been in her family for years, has been Avery Spark’s lifelong dream. After years of working hard and making personal sacrifices, Avery and her two younger sisters have turned the Spark House into the premier destination in Colorado Springs. Avery is living her best life—she works with her sisters and loves every minute of it, she has a great group of friends, and she lives in a fantastic condo with her best friend Declan. She might not have any love in her life, but she's happy.

But everything comes to a screeching halt when Avery is in a car accident, leaving her immobile for weeks. After nearly losing Avery, Declan insists that he will be the one to take care of her while she recovers. However, as Declan becomes Avery’s caretaker, lines begin to blur.

Avery and Declan have been best friends since college and always had an attraction to one another, but when she ended up dating his best friend, Sam, they successfully stamped down any feelings they may have ever had for one another. Now, as Declan and Avery spend more time together, they each begin to wonder what would’ve happened if she'd dated him instead of Sam. What starts as a friend helping out another friend turns into foreplay and, before they realize it, they recognize how deeply they care for one another. But when things get serious their past threatens to destroy everything they have built.


You can purchase When Sparks Fly at the following Retailers:
        

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you HELENA HUNTING for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of When Sparks Fly by Helena Hunting.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
a Rafflecopter giveaway
jbnlatestinterviews

3 comments:

  1. Meeting my boyfriend at this Mexican restaurant and pretending like we were strangers.

    ReplyDelete
  2. We went on a drive in the country and came across a sunflower field. It was perfect.

    ReplyDelete