When you think of horror-style writing and authorship where do your immediate thoughts go? Stephen King? Dean Koontz? Matt Shaw? Well, those names and their work are well and good, but you are surely sleeping on C.V. Hunt. She is a powerhouse author, owner, and editor at Grindhouse Press who specializes in a feminist approach to horror and gore writing. Her voice is unique and badass, to say the least. She writes about topics that are inappropriate and awesome. She pushes the envelope with her storylines and she pounds out some major work. From a fangirl perspective, she is living the dream. As a business owner and writer, I know there’s more than what meets the eye (or the four-eyes).
I was lucky enough to get an interview with C.V. Hunt. I mustered up the courage to ask her (there was no sliding in the DM’s, it was more of a sneaking and hoping in her DM’s) and she said yes! Of course, now I feel that we should be best friends…I digress. However, being able to interview her almost seems surreal. You read someone’s work, you see their books all over your wishlist and you follow their updates on social media, it can feel like fantasy featuring that person on your website, but alas, it is real! And I am super excited to be able to fangirl over her!
FEM: When did you start writing? When did you realize it was something you could do for more than just a hobby?
C.V: I started writing about eleven years ago. A lot of major things happened and I realized I wanted to leave something behind when I died. My brother and I had a long conversation and I don’t know what made me decide I was going to try to write a book but I went home and started writing the next day. After I finished my first book all I wanted was to find a way to get a physical copy of it to put on my shelf—I didn’t care if it was just printed off at a Kinko’s—and after a few rejections, I discovered self-publishing.
FEM: You have an extensive list of books under your belt, what is your process for starting and finishing books?
C.V: Normally something will inspire a thought. Something like a song or even going on a vacation. I’ll play out either the beginning or ending of the book in my head as if it were a movie. If it’s something I’m drawn to I will sit down with a piece of paper and write down my main character(s) age, occupation, physical description, and pick their name based on common names of people born the same year they would’ve been born. I may write down a few ideas or dialogue but I don’t do an outline. After that, I spend the most time on the first sentence. I really try to capture the readers’ attention in the first sentence and pique their interest to keep going. From there I just write it as it comes. A lot of the time the story ends of being something completely different than what I originally had in mind. It depends on my mood but I usually write for a couple of hours in the evening after my day job or on the weekends. I usually don’t write for more than three hours at a time.
FEM: You love horror and sleaze, but is there a genre you are secretly drawn to?
C.V: I really enjoy true crime and biographies from people with unusual professions.
FEM: What is your favorite book?
C.V: This changes all the time. At the moment I’m always recommending Wetlands by Charlotte Roche.
FEM: Who inspired your writing? Your business ventures?
C.V: Authors like Bentley Little, Bret Easton Ellis, and Dennis Cooper inspire my writing the most. As for my business ventures, I don’t know if there is any one person who inspires it. I enjoy being able to curate the look and feel of a line of books.
FEM: 10 years for Grindhouse Press, that is a huge accomplishment, how does owning a small press affect your writing? Does it hinder your process or help it?
C.V: Publishing is definitely a hindrance on my own writing. I used to be able to write two or three books a year. Now I’m lucky to write a novella a year and have considered taking a couple of years off from my own writing to give my authors the attention they deserve. I knew this would be the case after talking to a few publishers who’d started as writers.
FEM: What advice can you give other business owners to help with the longevity of their businesses?
C.V: Be prepared to have it consume all your free time. Set some sort of schedule so you’re not working every moment you’re awake. Don’t burn yourself out.
FEM: If you could start your writing career over again, what would you do differently?
C.V: Oh, yes. I would’ve had a couple more pseudonyms. I write several genres and I feel having some of my work under a separate name would’ve been beneficial.
FEM: What do you want people to know about Grindhouse Press?
C.V: If you’re looking for some gritty horror that can at times push some people’s comfort level you might want to check out our books. I publish all types of horror sub-genres but favor things that are more transgressive or over the top.
FEM: Do you have any events, podcasts, interviews coming up that you would like to share?
C.V: With the pandemic happening we’ve canceled all events for the rest of 2020 but I will be in the celebrity room at Scare That Care in Williamsburg, Virginia 2021. I don’t currently have any podcasts or interviews coming up.
FEM: How many pairs of glasses do you own? What is your favorite pair? Can you share a picture?
C.V: I just recently had an eye exam and my prescription changed. I had to get rid of eight, I think. I kept two pairs I really like and I hope to get the lenses changed in them sometime. I have another two with the correct prescription. So, four at the moment.
FEM: Lastly, what does C.V. stand for?
C.V: My first name is Carrie. V is my real middle initial. My last name is not Hunt. I don’t exist online under my real name. I prefer to keep that a secret. 😉
BIO: C.V. Hunt is the author of Ritualistic Human Sacrifice, Baby Hater, Cockblock, Home Is Where the Horror Is, Halloween Fiend, Murder House, and many other books. She lives in Dayton, Ohio.