Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 40 novels, three of which have been made into Hallmark movies. She has appeared on The 700 Club and been featured in Woman’s Day and Southern Living.

Denise writes heartwarming, small-town love stories, peopled with layered characters who struggle with real-life issues. Her readers enjoy the experience of falling in love vicariously through her characters and can expect a happily-ever-after sigh as they close the pages of her books.

In 1996, inspired by the death of her grandfather, Denise began her first book, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her husband says he inspires all her romantic stories, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!

When Denise isn't orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling with her family, drinking coffee, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband are currently enjoying an empty nest.

You can learn more about Denise by visiting her FaceBook page.

Can you tell us what you do to prepare and research for each new book you write?

Capturing the reader—preferably from the first sentence—is job number one for me. So, I make sure I have all the right ingredients (starting with goal, motivation, conflict) before I even begin to write. I also research the setting by travelling there, interview someone in my protagonist’s line of work, and read copiously about the repercussions of her inner wound (abuse, fear of abandonment, survivor’s guilt, etc.) All of this has to be real for me if I’m going to make it real for the reader.

How do you feel when each new title is birthed?

I remember receiving my first published book in the mail twenty-four years ago. I stared at it for a long time. Then I set it on my computer desk so I could see it every time I walked past and think, I’m a published author. Now, 44 books later, I still do the same thing. I’m eminently grateful that God has blessed me with a career I love. Each book doesn’t just represent the time and care I’ve put into it. It also represents a lot of work on behalf of my team at HarperCollins Christian Publishing and all the support I’ve received from family and friends. And most of all my readers. Because, without them, there are no books at all.

What “relationship” do you build with your characters?

I usually don’t know my characters terribly well when I start writing. I know what they want (inner and outer goal) and why. I know some of their obstacles. But I get to know who they are as I go along, much the way we get acquainted with people as we spend time with them. Is he funny? Does she have a sarcastic streak? Is he vain or insecure? The characters let me know who they are by the things they say and do as I write.

How much of your personal reality do you bring to your fiction writing?

It can be very handy, though sometimes emotionally difficult, to incorporate personal experiences into my fiction, especially when it comes to wounds. But the real-world experience can lend authenticity to the story, and it can also be therapeutic for the author. Eventually, however, a writer exhausts her own traumatic experiences (one would hope) and has to go in search of others. This is where research comes into play. I consider it a privilege when I receive a note from a reader who shares part of my protagonist’s journey and was somehow moved or changed by my story. Those are my favorites.

Denise Discusses her Hallmark Movies on the 700 Club

Denise Discusses her Hallmark Movies on the 700 Club


Denise Discusses the Summer Harbor Series

Denise Discusses the Summer Harbor Series


Interview with BookTrib about Just a Kiss

The Authors of Smitten Discuss the Book, Friendship, and More

Fort Wayne Magazine - 20 Questions with Denise Hunter