Cari Hunter - Snowbound

Cari Hunter 4:02 PM

Hello :slightly_smiling_face: And cheers for inviting me on here.

Reader 1 4:03 PM

We’re thrilled to have you!

So the way this works, for Cari and anyone else who’s new to book club, is we chat for an hour, ask Cari any questions you’d like about Snowbound or her catalog in general

Reader 2 4:04 PM

I've started thinking of sub plots of murder by meat stick. So I feel my first question will have to be where do you get your inspiration from?

Cari Hunter 5 days ago

Various and sundry sources to be honest. Some are based on actual cases - Cold to the Touch, for instance, or A Quiet Death, they both had sort of ripped from the headlines cases. Snowbound was me pinching a vague idea from a TV show I liked (well, fancied a character on - Without a Trace) and adapting it to my own nefarious purposes. So basically, I had a character called Sam who got shot in the leg and everything else was my own idea.

Reader 3 5 days ago

I loved Without a Trace!

Cari Hunter 5 days ago

I did have a rather impressive crush on Samantha. Hence Snowbound.

Reader 4 4:05 PM

So, I've just gotten to about the 2/3 way through the book for the 6th time (it's still my all-time favorite), and I'm curious about where the characters came from - are these people you see in your everyday work life, or completely made up?

And a question from my wife: is the hostage situation one you've heard before - something that was actually in the news?

Reader 5 4:06 PM

I love Snowbound!! I really enjoyed the whole Cally thing. Like how she just totally expected Sam to be waiting and want her back. I love in books when that cockiness gets slammed by the MC getting real feelings for someone worthy of them.

Reader 4 4:08 PM

Another question from the wife: who/what inspired your writing style?

Cari Hunter 4:08 PM

Reader 4 - I think they're made up. I did sort of pinch Sam from a TV show (see my answer to Reader 2 up there) but everyone else is mine. Incidental characters tend to be based on patients I've dealt with, but never so as anyone would be recognisable. They're just the vague outline of the usual people I bump into on the road.

The hostage situation was entirely fictional. I've never heard of anyone being nabbed by two armed idiots and held in a snowy barn

Reader 5 - I didn't want Cally to be a typical villain, so I like turning characters about and not making them a complete arsehole. I did a similar thing with a lass called Zoe in the Dark Peak books. Cally is a bit of a player, but when she realises Sam really isn't into her, she does take that step back.

Reader 6 4:11 PM

All reet! My question is did you base it on a real place or made up. I'm in Holmfirth so I am at the point where West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, The Peak District and Manchester borders meet. I could picture a few places near me where this could have been based.

Reader 1 4:12 PM

It was the perfect amount of ‘evil ex girlfriend’ - just enough to make me nervous for Kate but I did not want to scream at Sam over it at any point :joy:

Cari Hunter 5 days ago

That's the trick, I think. Trying to add tension and a bit of a hitch to the romance without making one of your characters behave like an arsehole. Snowbound is probably the most formulaic romance I've ever written (actually, one of the only romances I've written!) but I wasn't aware of the formula at the time. I know now that it's common to break your characters up at a certain point in the book but even if you're not aware of the conventions, they're not exactly rocket science! Throw a spanner in the works - keep the tension going a little, reunite them at the end. Voila.

Reader 3 4:13 PM

Unfortunately, that wasn’t a great stretch for me to picture two idiots in a snowy barn

Cari Hunter 4:13 PM

Reader 4 - I think my writing style is just me. It's similar to the way I speak and my sense of humour. Obviously, it's my dialect and all the slang I use. It's come a long way since Snowbound as well. That was the first book I ever had edited professionally and I've learned loads in the last ten years. I'm far more direct with my writing now, I think. Less adverbs, less flowery shit, show not tell, that kind of thing.

Reader 1 5 days ago

What would you say is the biggest way your writing or your approach to writing has changed after a decade of practice?

Cari Hunter 5 days ago

I'm far more confident now in what I'm doing and I'm not constantly looking over my shoulder to check whether I'm doing it right. I've worked with the same BSB editor for ten years and she's taught me loads, so technically I'm better. I know a lot of my regular readers like what I do in terms of the UK setting and the slang/dialect, so I don't feel any pressure to change that approach.

Reader 4 4:14 PM

I didn't quite get to the 'ex' part of the book yet, and it's crazy to me how much sounds new when it's literally my 6th time through. I know what's gonna happen, but the details are new all over again. Not sure if it's old age or what :laughing:.

Cari Hunter 4:14 PM

Reader 6 - All reet :slightly_smiling_face: It's actually based on an old barn we walk past on the way to Jacob's Ladder (which is a real route up onto Kinder Scout - the highest peak in the Peak District). I tried to find a photo but couldn't rustle it up in time. So the location is definitely a real area just with rejigged names. It could be any of the little villages around the Dark Peak - Edale, Castleton, Hayfield etc.

Reader 6 4:18 PM

I was picturing Langsetts or Glossop way but there's not a reet lot of difference.

Next question, my friend Elle writes as she speaks but the US audience are struggling with certain parts. Have you changed your style completely to a US audience or is there still a lot of dialect, slang etc in your writing?

Cari Hunter 5 days ago

Kate's home village in No Good Reason is a smaller version of Glossop. Right at the end of the Snake Pass. I usually combine places and areas and fudge the locations slightly unless it's a big recognisable city like Sheffield or Manchester.

Reader 3 5 days ago

That is why i can never find the locations-they are a combo of sites!

Cari Hunter 5 days ago

I've not changed anything to suit an international audience. Which has definitely lost me some readers along the way (and no doubt gained me a few!) I thought BSB would wash all the English out of Snowbound to make it more palatable to a US readership but they seemed to recognise that it's Englishness was a good hook and something that made it stand out in a very homogenised American romance crowd. It worked as well. I did get some shit for Breathe being too slangy, so there's a balance to be found, but I'll never Americanise my books beyond changing the odd word that my editor highlights as being too confusing - i.e. I had a child drinking a "glass of squash" and she said that'd be a "glass of pumpkin" to Americans so we just changed it to "juice" instead. QED.

Reader 6 5 days ago

Cool, thanks. I think Elle put a dictionary at the front to help her readers understand some of the words but got slated for using girlfriend when in the Uk it is a lot different to using it in the US

Reader 3 5 days ago

i would have to go to kindles dictionary to figure that one out myself.

Cari Hunter 5 days ago

Hang on...I put a glossary on my blog after Breathe... https://carihunter.wordpress.c...

Reader 4 4:18 PM

What's "reet?"

Reader 6 4:19 PM


Reader 5 4:23 PM

Cari how do you decide how much medical jargon to use? I mean as a paramedic obviously you understand things on a different level than the average reader. How do you decide between technical or layman's terms?

Reader 7 4:23 PM

For somebody who’s just read and loved Snowbound, what would you suggest for their next book of yours to read?

Cari Hunter 5 days ago

Definitely Unbreakable or No Good Reason. Unbreakable is just one of those books that seems to have worked so well for so many people. I have no idea what I did with it but it was really well received and I couldn't be happier about that. NGR is the start of the Dark Peak series, which are my most popular books and feature the idiotic on/off romance of two long time friends who are made for each other and too daft to take the chance and make it all official. Meg and Sanne are loads of fun to be around and I still miss writing them!

Reader 4 4:24 PM

OMG @Reader 7 EVERYTHING. Literally everything she writes is amazing.

Reader 7 4:24 PM

:slightly_smiling_face: Yes, but the “choose your favourite child book” question is always fun.

Cari Hunter 4:28 PM

Reader 5 - It's tricky and I find medical scenes some of the hardest to write for that reason. I don't want to sound like I don't know what I'm doing but I also don't want to bore the pants off people with too much jargon or detail. People are quite savvy these days, thanks to the proliferation of medical TV shows, so you can get away with quite a lot of tech terms, and there are ways of using a proper term and explaining it in a related sentence so you don't confuse the hell out of people or make it too patronising. All the stuff in Snowbound is well out of date! We have haemostatic gauze and combat tourniquets and blast dressings and clotting drugs now. Kate had a bit of morphine and some saline :laughing:

Reader 1 4:30 PM

I did love how obvious it was that you know exactly what you’re talking about. Some medical romances fall into the category of “they fell deeply in love at first sight and banged all night and oh by the way this takes place in a hospital”

Cari Hunter 5 days ago

LOL. There is a slight instalove element to this one and Desolation Point but I really dislike the trope so once I found my feet, that sort of thing went right out of the window! Also, I write very little sex compared to most WLW authors. It's kinda hard to fit sex in around the bullets and general mayhem.

Reader 1 5 days ago

I enjoy a good teasing ‘they don’t have sex til the very end’ book - it gives you so much more room to develop the characters and the relationship!

Cari Hunter 5 days ago

I don't think that was deliberate (love to say it was!) I think it was me not knowing WTF I was doing but knowing that the sex should probably happen somewhere.

The book was actually a lot shorter because it was originally a story I just wrote for my wife. It was never meant to be novel length. And then it got to a point where it was almost there so I rejigged it and stuck on the revenge subplot (which is why that reads as being...well, kinda stuck on!) and got it to a point where I could submit it to BSB.

Reader 3 4:31 PM

Not any hospital Ive ever worked!

Cari Hunter 5 days ago

One thing Snowbound is very realistic in is relationships between police/doctors/nurses/paramedics. There is so much inter-agency shagging over here (not on duty, though!)

Reader 4 4:32 PM

Oh, yeah - speaking of the medical stuff in Snowbound being a bit out of date...when is it set? I mean, do you guys have cell phones out there in the mountains these days?

Reader 6 5 days ago

There'd be not much coverage even today. It's too hilly. (edited)

Reader 4 5 days ago

Ah, good to know.

Cari Hunter 5 days ago

Ten years ago...I can't remember whether anyone has a phone in it. I think they do but like Reader 6 says, the signal would be shitty. I live in the middle of a sheep field and our broadband is terrible.

Reader 3 4:32 PM

especially on the night shift….

Reader 6 4:32 PM

You should have given her some sticky back tape and a washing up bottle. The things you can do with those :wink::wink:

(US peeps look up a show called Blue Peter from the 70’s and 80’s but not current). (edited)

Cari Hunter 5 days ago

Kate didn't do badly under the circumstances! And Sam was able to fashion a weapon out of a handy shovel.

Reader 5 4:35 PM

Throughout the book I felt sorry for Eric many times. He seemed to be the submissive counterpart to his dominating brother. And he apologized to Kate. Was your goal writing to illicit that response towards him? Or am I just odd? lol

Cari Hunter 5 days ago

No, you're not at all odd. He was definitely the lesser of the two evils. He was perhaps the less intelligent of the two and probably quite prone to being bullied into doing whatever his brother wanted him to do.

Reader 4 4:35 PM

I was sure Eric was a bit slow...on the lower end of the IQ scale.

Cari Hunter 5 days ago

I think there was an element of developmental delay/learning difficulties there.

Reader 1 4:42 PM

What kind of books do you read (if you have any free time between your own writing and your work :stuck_out_tongue: )?

Cari Hunter 5 days ago

All sorts! I'm currently reading a M/M magical mystery book by a podcaster my wife really likes. Before that was Circe and a pandemic story by Emma Donoghue. I used to read loads of crime but I got sick of the stupid amount of gore and unbelievable crap in them (and a complete lack of The Gay) so I just write my own now.

Reader 4 4:43 PM

@Cari Hunter what's your favorite part of writing a book, and what's your least-favorite?

Cari Hunter 5 days ago

Action stuff and funny dialogue. I do love a good scrap or a chase or sending Sanne running across the moors in her undies. And I love writing dialogue. I chat to so many different people in my day job that it's given me a good ear for dialogue and dialect, and the audio versions of my books are brill for letting people know how it should all sound.

Least favourite...all the niggly connecting scenes that you have to write to make it all make sense, but can be a bit dry to work on.

Reader 6 5 days ago

Who is your narrator?

Cari Hunter 5 days ago

Nicola Victoria Vincent for all of them bar Snowbound. She's amazing. A proper voice actress so every character is distinct and she's brilliant with accents.

I am a massive fan girl and she's actually a good mate because she only lives near Hebden.

Reader 6 4:43 PM

Tagging on Reader 1’s question, who is your favourite author and which out of the books you've written is your favourite (sidestepped the latter earlier me thinks?) (edited)

Cari Hunter 5 days ago

Favourite author is probably Jacqueline Carey, but really only for her Phedre/Kushiel series. I have lots of favourite books by different authors - Code Name Verity, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, The Two Bear Mambo - but Carey's Kushiel series is one I've read loads of times and I always find myself loving them again whenever I pick them up.

Reader 1 5 days ago

I’ve definitely been having a Baader-Meinhoff experience with Jacqueline Carey lately - never read her but several people have brought her up. I think it needs to go on the TBR!

Cari Hunter 5 days ago

I never rec her because the books I love are quite heavy on the BDSM front and they won't be to everyone's taste! But that's just a small element of the series and it's a fantastic trilogy.

Reader 6 4:50 PM

Ok, I'll try to do a Cori question as she's not here to do one… yet.

Do you ever think about writing a sci-fi book about baboons that live on a planet that's invaded by guerrilla’s?

Cari Hunter 4:50 PM

Well, I am now!

Guerrillas or gorillas? Cos either would be fun.

Reader 1 4:55 PM

Can we ask what you’re working on next?

Cari Hunter 4:56 PM

Yeah, you need proper boots to go stomping around up there.

Reader 1 - I'm working on what I hope will be the first in a new crime series. It features Jo Shaw as one of the leads, who had a cameo towards the end of Unbreakable. I was writing it before I started Unbreakable but for whatever reason it wasn't clicking with me right at that point. I picked it up a few months ago and am having far more fun with it now. I think I over planned it to start off with.

Bonus - Jo and Safia (from Unbreakable) are good mates now so I've been able to sneak Saf into this book.

Reader 1 4:59 PM

We’re at the bottom of the hour - anybody have any last questions for Cari?

Reader 4 4:59 PM

Yes - favorite snacks, for when you're not about to go to bed?

...and is there anything you want from the states? :grin:

Cari Hunter 5:00 PM

LOL. Those filled pretzel thingies are really good! We don't get them here and I can't for the life of me remember what they're called.

Reader 5 5:00 PM


Cari Hunter


Cheers to you all for reading the book and taking the time to chat.

Reader 1 5:02 PM

Thanks so much for joining us, Cari!