KC Hunter - Thrilling Paranormal Indiana Jones-like Stories
KC Hunter is the author of the paranormal thriller series KANA COLD and the young adult urban fantasy novel THE BROTHERS LOCKE. Since the age of 13 KC has lived a creative life as an author, an oil painter, a landscaper, a programmer, and a variety of other activities. He now aims to bring many of these visions, characters, and stories to the world at large as a professional author with nearly 45 books planned for the next few years. As our Author of the Day, he tells us more about his book, Kana Cold: The Reaping of Black Grimoires.
Please give us a short introduction to what Kana Cold: The Reaping of Black Grimoires is about.
The Reaping of the Black Grimoires is the first adventure in the Kana Cold series. There's a bit of Indiana Jones, and a bit of Marvel's Jessica Jones, all mixed in an urban fantasy adventure story.
What inspired you to write this book? Was there anything in particular that made you want to tackle this?
The odd story of how this book and series came about was from watching paranormal countdown shows on YouTube back in the mid 2010s. I thought "all these weird stories would make for a great series where someone tackled these urban legends and creepypastas that aren't widely known". I then remembered that I was a writer and should do it myself! The character "Kana Cold" came to me in about five minutes. It was one of those times when a character just presents themselves to you in your head and you're like "yes! I hear you. That's who she is. That's her name. Done."
Tell us more about Kana Cold. What makes her tick?
Kana is a flip on the modern trend of "Mary Sue" that seems to have caused a lot of discussion about female protagonists these days. She intentionally begins as if she's going to be another "I can do anything just because" female hero. As the book and the rest of the series continues, we find out that there's way more depth to Kana. She's not perfect. She can't do everything. She makes mistakes both big and small. What makes her a hero is that she learns, corrects, and fights back when she makes those mistakes.
This book forms part of the Kana Cold Paranormal Adventure Series. How does it tie in with the other books in the series?
The Reaping of the Black Grimoires sets the tone for many things in the rest of the Kana Cold series. As of right now, it's planned for ten books. Kana and her best friend, AJ, start out as paranormal investigators who want to get real cases. They finally get real cases but it then opens them up to this entire world of the "paranormal underground" as well as personal issues between them and other characters as the series continues. It all starts with them finding the Black Grimoires.
Have you always wanted to be an author? Please tell us more about your journey.
I've written fiction since I was ten in one form or another. I was the kid who rented a video camera in middle school back in the late 80's and had all the kids make action movies. I've had five different series in my head since college and am now starting to put them into actual books. Kana Cold, ironically, was not one of those original stories but it does use some ideas I've had for a long time.
Interesting cover. How did you come up with the design?
I do have a background in graphic design and have paid attention to what other covers in my genre look like. I wanted to be a bit different though without throwing people off too much as to what the book was about. Kana needed to be front-and-center. The other images in this and other covers in the series are hints as to what happens in the books if you look carefully enough.
Readers say this book reminded them a bit of Indiana Jones. Was this intentional?
Yes, it was intentional. The funny thing as of this interview is that there is a new Indiana Jones movie coming out that is supposed to push a female protagonist. I'm going to be very curious to see whether she has any of Kana's traits or storylines. I already know the character in the new movie seems to have the same relationship issues Kana has with men.
Your characters are realistic and believable. How did you manage to create this them this way?
The characters in Kana Cold are archetypes to some extent mixed with aspects of my personality and people I've known over the years. The main thing is not to only put them in storylines that are entertaining but to wrap in things most people have experienced (falling for the wrong person and realizing it later, being friendzoned, things going wrong at the last minute etc.).
Why did you include the Vatican and Secret Societies in this story?
The Vatican comes in because of the Black Grimoires themselves. While the grimoires in this book are fictional, it's based on rumored books that are kept in the Vatican archives. Using secret societies as the villains of the first book allowed me to dive into lesser-known myths. The Thule Society has real and fictional lore that I found fascinating. Not many people know about them or what their history is, especially regarding the rise of Nazi Germany before World War II.
How much research did the book require from you? What was the most interesting aspect of this research?
Most of the research is from those paranormal countdown videos on YouTube I watched back in the 2010s. Dark 5, Matthew Santoro, Danger Dolan etc. introduced me to so many weird stories that I can do further reading on. For instance, the Grimoires of Pope Honorious III (which is real) made me imagine: what if he wrote three other grimoires that only a few people know about? What if the reason most don't know about them was because they were dangerous? Pushing these urban legends and creepypastas as parts of a narrative for Kana's overall story is the most fascinating part for me.
When starting on a new book, what is the first thing you do?
I break them down into acts: beginning, middle, and end. It's far easier to know where you're going if you have a rough road map.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
When writing dialogue, I often read it back and try to act out each character's part. You'll notice things like hand gestures, how your eyes move, and other body language from doing that and you can use those in your descriptions. The average writing day is me opening Scrivener and trying to stick to my set word count for the session (2,000 words on a weekday, 5,000 on a weekend).
What are you working on right now?
I wrote Kana Cold Book 5 a while ago and it wound up being 1000 pages. Right now, I'm doing the hard and long task of trimming that down into something around 300 pages. It's taking way longer than I thought it would but for the narrative of the entire series it was necessary.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
I recently started a podcast called "The Innerneath Podcast" that's on YouTube and all major podcast providers. In addition to interviewing other creatives, I am starting a series where I dive into the meaning behind the themes and characters in the Kana Cold series. I can also be found using the tag @thekchunter on most social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).