It’s often been said that authors should “write what they know,” and Angela Hunt has definitely lived by this adage with her latest novel, The Fine Art of Insincerity (Howard).
Inspired by her own grandmother’s life and having sisters herself, Hunt says the story isn’t autobiographical by any means. But understanding the family dynamics certainly helped the story come to life all the same.
“The three sisters are a lot like me and my sisters, but I have to say clearly that we are not Ginger, Penny and Rose,” Angela shares. “But we all share some similar characteristics, and if you were to magnify those a hundred times, we might turn into those fictional characters. Because I’m a firstborn, I do tend to be a bit bossy like Ginger … but let’s hope the similarity ends there.”
Interestingly enough, it’s not just the people who make for interesting characters in The Fine Art of Insincerity. Even the grandmother’s beach home that’s full of cobwebs before Ginger, Penny and Rose intervene is a bit of a protagonist in its own right. In fact, before Angela put pen to paper, she made her way to St. Simon’s Island in Georgia’s coastal region with her family for research and plenty of reconnection.
“My mother is one of four sisters, and they have remained the best of friends throughout the years—and I think that’s a rare thing these days. In any case, they love to vacation on St. Simons Island. They talk so much about the place that I thought it’d be a great setting for this sister story,” Angela says.
“So I rented a beach cottage for a week and invited the family. The only people able to accept were my mom, my cousin and one of my aunts, but we went for about a week and had a great time trippin’ around the island and just sitting on the couch and talking,” she continues. “I learned a lot from hearing their stories—it’s amazing how you can know people well and not really know them until you spend prolonged time with them. I loved learning more about their lives, and I learned that my cousin and I are extremely alike. We never knew that until that trip.”
For anyone who hasn’t checked out one of Angela’s novels before, one of the things she strives for is giving readers an “unexpected experience,” something she hopes will also ring true with The Fine Art of Insincerity.
“All of my books are different from each other, and many of them are unlike anything else on the shelf, which is exactly how I like it,” Angela says. “Another unique characteristic, perhaps, is that I love to do research—so while my primary intent is never to teach, readers usually end up learning something new anyway.”
For more information on Angela, catch up with her online at AngelaHuntBooks.com. She says she “can’t guarantee profundity every day, but can usually promise something interesting.”