Sabrina A. Hunter was born in Los Angeles, CA and raised between there and DeRidder, Louisiana. Hunter was introduced to reading and writing at an early age by her grandmother. Her love for literature stayed with her throughout her youth, as she began writing poetry as a young adult.
While attending California State University, San Bernardino as an Accounting major, she began dabbling in modeling and acting, and has been featured in several magazines, music videos and commercials. Realizing quickly that the world of entertainment was not for her, Hunter graduated from college and chose to enter the corporate world as an accountant. Happy with her financial stability, but unsatisfied creatively, Hunter began to write again.
In 2007, Hunter was dealing with a bad breakup and started writing as a form of therapy. After realizing she had written five chapters of material, she decided to dedicate herself to completing a book. In what became her debut novel, Skeletons in the Closet, Sabrina intertwined actual events with imaginary characters and experience to create a story of love, lies, and betrayal.
Now a published author, Hunter is already working on the second installment of Skeletons in the Closet, titled Everybody’s Got One, that continues the story of the main character and her friends and is expected to be released in early 2012. In addition to writing novels, Hunter is working on her first screenplay and creating a treatment for a television show. Hunter currently resides in Houston, Texas and works as a consultant.
(1) Skeletons in the Closet appears to have a very intimate origin. When did you realize that you had the makings of a novel to be published?
I began writing ‘Skeletons’ as a short story but when it kept going, it turned into sort of a challenge to myself to finish a whole book. Once I had the first draft finished, I decided I wanted to publish and that became my goal. So during re-writes, I thought about that.
(2) What was the process like in getting the novel edited and reviewed? What sort of comments did you receive?
During the first round of edits, my format was all wrong and my editor pointed out places where I needed more action or description. She also gave me advice on sections to remove because it was unnecessary to moving the story along. I followed most of her suggestions and then re-submitted mostly for proofreading.
(3) Now as a first-time published author, with plans for a second novel, what have you learned about the process?
I’ve learned so much! I’ve learned about different creative writing processes and the correct formatting. But the most important things I’ve learned have been about the business aspects of publishing. The most important thing I’ve come to learn is about branding and the importance of relating to the readers on a basic and personal level. I’ve never been a traditional “hustler” but in the book-selling industry, if you want to be successful, you have no choice. You have to have a certain “hustler” mentality and you really can’t turn it off. You always have to be “on”. That’s probably been the most difficult but also most enjoyable part of the process to me because I’ve always been a very reserved person but I’ve had to step outside of my box and I’m honestly loving it.
(4) How are you promoting Skeletons in the Closet? Who would be your target reader?
I’m promoting via social networking and by getting out and relating to readers on a personal, grassroots level. My target reader is anyone who wants to read a good story that deals with the same relationship issues everyone has had to deal with a time or two: drama, sex, lies, betrayal, and most importantly, love.
(5) What are your inspirations? What are you reading?
My inspiration is every author who was able to publish their work before me, specifically those who have been able to remain consistent. I am just getting my feet wet as an author, but I want to the level where I have consistently put out good work and readers appreciate me for it.
I’m currently reading ‘Plot and Structure‘ by James Scott Bell as I write my second novel in an effort to improve my craft. Fun stuff I’m reading is ‘Ride or Die Chick 2‘ by JM Benjamin.