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While on holiday in Spain in June 2010, we returned to our villa to find it had been burgled. Standing outside the open window, we didn’t know whether the perpetrators were still inside, and it was terrifying. I read a lot of crime fiction, and that paralysing fear stayed with me for weeks, and I kept thinking how a middle of the night burglary would make a great opening to a thriller. I’d always wanted to try and write a book, and it felt like fate was pushing me to try. At the time I was working in a call centre, and spent several months (before work, at lunchtime, and at weekends) developing a plot to follow the opening burglary scene. They say, “write what you know,” so I did and made my protagonist a call centre worker too. After attempts to secure an agent failed, I self-published the book in June 2021, almost a year to the day of the actual burglary.

I enjoyed the creative process so much that I continued to develop ideas and write, before signing my first publishing contract in 2014. It was the first time I actually felt able to think of myself as an actual writer, rather than writing just being a hobby). I still have a full-time job, but am able to fit writing around it. Adrift is my 21st publication, and I’m so thrilled that Boldwood decided to work with me on it. I can’t wait for readers to see what else we have in store over the next year.

I’m lucky that when I have an idea for a book, the scenes play out in my mind like I’m watching them at the cinema, and this enables me to write at a prolific speed. But I get as much pleasure from writing as I do from reading: it’s an escape from the mundanity of real life, and I feel privileged to be able to use my gift to entertain others too.

You can get your copy of M. A. Hunter’s new book Adrift here:


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