March 25, 2018

Author-Mark Hunter Shares His Indiana

An Indiana author writing about Indiana? What are the odds? And yet, defying those odds (1 in 5,423—I looked it up), my first eight published books were all about, or set in, or somehow involved, Indiana.

But my ninth book was set in Michigan, and I just finished a manuscript set in Kentucky … I’m so ashamed. At least I stuck to Border States. I always come back home, and can’t imagine being anywhere else for longer than a few months—those months being December through February.
(Indiana’s beautiful in winter … I just don’t like winter.)

Looking back, my books tend to be about humor, firefighting, history, or the weather. My love of history resulted in Hoosier Hysterical: How the West Became the Midwest Without Moving At All. That was fun to research, as it took my wife and me all over. After all, this is the state where the legislature tried to set a new legal value for pi, until a Purdue professor explained math doesn’t work that way. So they compromised by giving Indiana its own pie, sugar cream, which needs math only while measuring ingredients.

And the weather? Well, it wasn’t intended to be a theme. My first novel, Storm Chaser, was about a—wait for it—storm chaser. It led to the Storm Chaser series: two romantic comedies, a short story collection, and a young adult novel. All set during summer in Indiana.


Since I was a kid, Indiana summers have been magic. From Memorial Day to Labor Day we roamed the countryside, and there was plenty of countryside to roam. In northern Indiana a short drive—often a bike ride or walk—will take you to one of our hundreds of lakes. An 1874 book lists 150 lakes just in Noble County, but we’ve drained some swamps of our own since then. Then there’s Lake Michigan, of course.

So on hot days you’ve got swimming, boating, diving, fishing, water skiing, and just sitting along the shore. You’ve got some of that in winter, too, for people who aren’t me.

Then we have our state parks, over two dozen of them—not to mention memorials, forests, and private entertainment like Indiana Beach (yeah, lake) or the fabled Santa Claus, Indiana. If you’re the more indoorsy type (What’s wrong with you? I mean, when it’s warm out.), there are numerous museums, historical sites, festivals, and other entertainment.

If it’s too flat for you, go to the caves and cliffs of southern Indiana; if it’s too rugged, head to the fields and cities of central Indiana. If you’re into horseback riding, there are horses thick as … well, horses. My wife would know—she works at the Pokagon State Park saddle barn. And of course, there are all those glacier-caused lakes and ponds of northern Indiana. There’s something for everyone.
Even if you like winter.


I hope you come to visit one day! But meanwhile, one random commenter gets a copy of my newest book, Radio Red. Which, yes, I realize is not set in Indiana, but it’s only a five hour drive:

Kirsten Veiss is setting a record for bad days: She’s broke, lost in rural Michigan, sunburned, and without transportation after her van hits a deer. When she hears a nearby radio personality making fun of the classical music she loves, it’s the last straw. Aaron Debolt just wants to bring classical to a wider audience, and he thinks a shock jock approach might do it. But he’s shocked himself when a sunburned, wild-eyed redhead bursts into the radio station late at night, brandishing—a tailpipe. Soon Aaron has his hands full in more ways than one, and Kirsten has a temporary on-air job under the name Radio Red. Now all they have to do is prove she’s not the one sabotaging the station’s operation.

Mark lives in small town Indiana with his wife, Emily, their dog, Beowulf, and their cowardly python, Lucius. His night job is as a 911 dispatcher, and he’s also a volunteer firefighter and photography. In his non-existent free time, he writes fiction, nonfiction, and fan fiction. He’s also known for really bad puns.

Connect to Mark and all his work, including purchase information, on his website:  www.markhunter.com

He’s also blogging at: https://markrhunter.blogspot.com/
And Amazoning at: https://www.amazon.com/Mark-R-Hunter/e/B0058CL6OO
(Info Author Provided)


15 comments:

Mary Deal said...

Do I detect humor in your words? You fit a lot of picturesque information into your blurb. Indiana sounds like it has a bit of everything. And your Radio Red sounds like it, too, contains a lot of humor.

Sabrina A. Fish said...

I'm with you on the dislike of winter. Here in bipolar Oklahoma, we get all four seasons...sometimes within one week. Thankfully, the winter usually isn't anywhere as cold as you folks get up north, something my dad thinks is hilarious since he's from Montana. Your pics of your home state are beautiful! Thanks for sharing with us.

traveler said...

I enjoyed your unique post today and would love to read Radio Red which sounds captivating and intriguing. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

Indiana sounds very appealing except for the winter which I cannot abide at all. During the summer I would love to visit and stay at a beautiful lake and relax.

William Kendall said...

But winter is a good thing!

Fiona McGier said...

It's been said that, "The lowest form of wit is a pun." To that I always add, "If YOU didn't think of it." Because when it's your pun, you think of it as the epitome of wit. At least we do in my family! But then, I'm an English teacher, and we raised our family to know and use big words, and to appreciate the amusement of transposing words to "make a funny."

I've only driven through Indiana...never spent any time there. I've heard that Indianapolis is very cultured and exciting, even if you don't like car racing. Your description of the state parks makes me want to camp there...but then, at this time of year, I want to camp anywhere and everywhere! When WILL it stop snowing?

Thanks for sharing about your state.

Mark R Hunter said...

I do indeed like to put humor into my works, Mary! I wrote a humor column in our local newspapers for many years, until they were bought out by a bigger paper, and I have some honest to goodness humor books published. Romantic comedy is a favorite of mine.

Mark R Hunter said...

I'm afraid I've only been in Oklahoma for a few hours, Sabrina, although I'd love to visit again and stay longer. As for Montana, that's a state I'd really love to visit ... during summer. Thanks for stopping by!

Mark R Hunter said...

Thanks, Traveler!

Petite, we're on the same page as far as winter is concerned. It can be beautiful up here to look at--as long as you don't have to go out in it.

William, winter is definitely one thing we'll never agree on!

Mark R Hunter said...

Oh, it doesn't sound like it's going to stop snowing for awhile, Fiona. It sounds like this Easter weekend is going to be more than ten degrees below normal for us in this area--and that's the weekend my wife's saddle barn is suppose to start operations. It wouldn't be the first time they've ridden in snow, but not usually this late in the spring. Indianapolis is all you said, but I have to admit I don't go there often, as I'm not a big city fan ... that and I'm only forty minutes from Fort Wayne, which has its own attractions.

As for puns ... there's nothing more good than a bad pun. If I can make people groan, I've done my job--and in Radio Red the supporting characters groan a lot.


Mark R Hunter said...

Thanks for having me, Annette! It's always fun to talk about writing and my home state.

Karla Telega said...

I'll put up with South Carolina summers to avoid Indiana winters. Otherwise, Indiana sounds more beautiful than I had imagined.

Mark R Hunter said...

Karla, I'll bet the majority of people have one season they can't abide, and wish they had a vacation home to get away from it. I know I'd be your winter neighbor if I could! But yes, Indiana (like most states) has a reputation of being only one kind of place, when in reality it's diverse and often very beautiful.

Mari Collier said...

Mark has a great sense of humor. It probably helps him live through an Indiana winter.

Mark R Hunter said...

You're not wrong, Mari! The two best tricks I've learned to survive unpleasantness are hiding and a sense of humor, both of which I employ during winter.