{Author Interview & Giveaway} The Hashtag Hunt by Kristina Seek

 

Today we’re joining the blog tour for
The Hashtag Hunt by Kristina Seek!

Check out our interview with Kris
and be sure to enter the giveaway!

 

Title: The Hashtag Hunt

Author: Kristina Seek

Genre: Contemporary Romance

About The Hashtag Hunt:

The only reason Lauren entered the Hashtag Hunt was for the $10,000 grand prize. She needed seed money for her startup, and it sounded easy enough: twelve hours to text twelve photos to someone called the Wizard. For hashtag number five, Lauren needs a #HottieInTheWild, and with the help of her best friend, Ivy, she finds the perfect subject.

 

The only reason Brenner entered Barkley’s Pub was to have beers with Scott, an Army brother back in town. The reunion is interrupted when a woman is caught crouched in a dark corner, taking pictures of Brenner. Lauren explains, and though embarrassed, she accepts Scott and Brenner’s offer to help with hashtag number six.

 

While hunting for hashtags, Lauren finds adventure and romance with her #Hottie, but she must stay focused to beat the clock and win the cash.

 

Get Your Copy Today!

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Meet Kristina – an interview with the author:
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Let’s start by talking about the book…it’s so unique! How did you get the idea for The Hashtag Hunt?
Thank you very much! The plot is a blend of ideas taken from two very different Facebook groups. One was a monthly “selfie challenge” with friends (our fearless leader called herself The Wizard). The other was the “Hottie in the Wild” hashtag (#HITW) on author Tessa Bailey’s Facebook page (Bailey’s Babes); it is exactly as how it’s depicted in the story. Members in both groups had humorous stories of getting busted while taking a picture. My book idea came from blending elements from the separate Facebook groups into an official contest with a cash prize.

What made you decide to have 4 leading characters?
The first two chapters include conversations between my main characters, Lauren and Brenner, with their best friends, Ivy and Sully, respectively. This was to provide backstory and advance the plot, but as the scenes and dialogue developed, I didn’t want Ivy and Sully to leave the group. Their flirty banter was fun to write, and I like how it balanced Lauren and Brenner’s cautious demeanor. I did not originally intend the book to be an accidental, extended double date, but it was a great surprise.

If you had to pick one…who was your favourite character to write? 
Without a doubt, Sully. Among military veterans, his disability is not uncommon, but he has a very unusual solution for regaining his capabilities. He likes corny jokes and loves astronomy. I wanted to balance his obvious alpha Army confidence with a surprising vulnerability after Ivy discovers he is disabled.

Your book includes both romance and humor…which is harder to write? 
The romance, which I did not think would be the case! It is a clean romance, but even a handful of scenes where characters privately expressed their mutual attraction made me very nervous. I didn’t want readers to cringe with discomfort or yawn with boredom.

How did you decide on the style of cover for this book? Why did you go with the one you chose?
The clear majority of romance books use photography on the cover, and I wanted my first book to stand out from the crowd, however possible. I like how Penny Reid’s Winston Brothers series uses a cross-stitch style and Rainbow Rowell uses illustrations for her covers, so they inspired me to think outside the box. I follow several illustrative and graphic artists on Instagram, and Liam Ashurst is among my favorites. A friend suggested I message him to ask if he would be interested in doing a book cover, and to my surprise, he said yes! I sent him a list of items mentioned in the book (either from the hashtag contest or relating to a character), and he blew my socks off! He even agreed to do additional covers in the future so my romance titles will have a cohesive style.

Is there anything you can tell us about the next book?
For those who have read The Hashtag Hunt, I had planned on writing the Wizard’s story next. After the book was released, however, readers expressed a genuine interest in Scott and Ivy…so I moved their romance to the front of the line.

Now let’s talk about you!  

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve wanted to be a writer as long as I can remember, honestly. My mom bought me spiral notebooks and I filled them with stories about unicorns, fairies, and magical trees. English was always my best subject in school, and I took pride in reading the “very well written!”, “so creative!” and “excellent job!” compliments in my teachers’ cursive. In high school, I realized I could develop a creative skill set by studying and practicing writing. Further encouragement from college professors and close friends gave me the courage to pursue publication.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
Fiction means imaginary people and events, but readers often find something in common with characters: a career, hobby, hometown, etc. So even though it’s all make-believe, if you make something up, they’ll know.

Three years ago, The Hashtag Hunt was a very different story: Brenner is deep, deep undercover and Lauren’s #HitW picture could blow his case! I ran the idea by a friend who worked undercover in drug, gun, and prostitution rings. She loves her some romance books, too. My plot was unrealistic, and her explanation was kind. I learned a lot through our conversations, and I knew that if Brenner spent years getting deep, deep undercover in a vile organization, he probably isn’t a hottie, and he isn’t the guy for Lauren. I was glad I asked, and she thanked me for asking. Errors in LEO/military romance are a major pet peeve of hers. She told me about a character who switched the safety on and off her Glock when she was nervous…except Glocks don’t have safeties. It reminded me of another conversation with another friend who was excited to read a series about a Roller Derby league because she skated on a team. She was disappointed in the errors made about the sport. A third example: a writer received a bad review based on one scene. A reader who lived in the same city where the book took place said the sun could never set as depicted because the body of water mentioned in the book is northeast, not west of town. You can make the story up, but you must get the details right.

As I wrote my book, I asked friends to read certain scenes dealing with the military, astronomy, hospitals, wildlife, etc., to make sure I didn’t make similar errors. I Googled a great deal, but it was no substitute for someone telling me if my scenes rang true or not.

When do you write? Do you have a routine? Do you listen to music?
I generally write on weeknights from 8-11 p.m. During the editing process, I have additional “office hours” on the weekends so I can work uninterrupted.

I listen to music when I write, usually a Pandora station “for studying and writing” or an instrumental station with groups like 2Cellos or The Piano Guys.
What advice would you give others who might want to begin writing?
It’s easy for me to get wrapped up in a word or detail and stop in my tracks. Instead of blowing past something I could figure out later, I spent too much time getting every word in a sentence correct instead of finishing the scene. I read about typing “XYZ” in the text when I got to something I hadn’t figured out yet. For example, in Chapter Two, women order fancy cocktails while in a local dive bar. I didn’t know what they would order the first time I wrote the scene, so my dialogue looked like, “Anthony, those women walked into a bar with peanut shells on the floor. If they want XYZ and XYZ, they need to sashay their little Botox book club further down the road,” and, “Listen here, I understand cash flow better than anybody, but a XYZ ain’t happening.” I finished the scene and then Googled “pretentious drinks” and found roasted cherry bourbon smash, rose petal sangria, and saffron howler for the placeholders.
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Thanks Kris!  We appreciate you spending some time with us and filling us in on all the behind-the-scenes goodies! 🙂

About Kristina:

Kristina Seek is the marketing and communications director for a residential design-build firm. Sometime near her fortieth birthday, she kicked around the idea of self-publishing a romance novel. With the support of her family and friends, Kristina completed her first book, The Hashtag Hunt, in 2018.

Kristina enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her loved ones. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and son and is currently writing her second contemporary romance novel.
 

Connect with Kristina:

Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Website

 

Enter Kristina’s Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don’t forget to enter our other giveaway here!!

 

Ana
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Ana

Lover of all things romantic...strangely attracted to fictional characters...slightly melodramatic... mildly addicted to chocolate...hopelessly attached to my kindle...probably reading right now....
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Posted March 13, 2019 by Ana in Adult, Alternating POVs, ARC, Author Interviews, Author Submission, Blog Tour, Contemporary, CURRENT GIVEAWAYS, Favorite Authors, Inteviews, Military, Romance, Series, Swoonworthy Book Boyfriends, Top Shelf Books / 0 Comments

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