Interview With Author Peter Hunt

# Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!

Hello from beautiful Washington State! My name is Peter Hunt, and I’ve written and published four first-person, full-length books. Listed chronologically by release date, they are Angles of Attack, an A-6 Intruder Pilot’s War (Ballantine Books, 2002 with a second release by CreateSpace, 2011); Setting the Hook, a Diver’s Return to the Andrea Doria (CreateSpace, 2011); and The Lost Intruder, the Search for a Missing Navy Jet (CreateSpace, 2017). Finally, Beyond Identity, Navigating Life’s Waters with Parkinson’s Disease (Kindle Direct Publishing, 2020) is my most recent work. All are nonfiction reflections of personal experiences that have been particularly impactful to my life.

# What is/are the real-life story(ies) behind your book(s)?

Angles of Attack (355 pages) follows the aircraft carrier USS Ranger’s 1991 Operation Desert Storm deployment through the eyes of an A-6 Intruder attack bomber pilot (me). Not just an edge-of-the-seat war story, the fast-paced narrative takes the time to describe daily life on the aircraft carrier and flight operations in everyday terms. Interspersed throughout are brief explanations of applicable Middle East history for background. Introspective without sacrificing technical accuracy, Angles of Attack is above all about people, from the author’s relationship with his bombardier/navigator to family back home and abroad, and the enemy on the ground.

Setting the Hook (276 pages) explores the Andrea Doria, commonly known as the “Mount Everest of shipwreck diving,” from two different eras, the early 1980s at the dawn of technical wreck diving and almost twenty years later in 2001. As I prepare for my return to the dangerous wreck of my youth, a subplot starts to form as I begin to question my underlying motivations for this hazardous quest. Both extreme-sports thriller and reflective muse, Setting the Hook offers a unique perspective of the men and women who risk everything to divulge the Andrea Doria’s secrets.

The Lost Intruder (223 pages) recounts the crash of an A-6 Intruder attack jet into Puget Sound in 1989, an aircraft I had flown from both the deck of the USS Ranger and Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. After the Navy could not locate the Intruder’s wreckage, I vowed to find her someday, but it took nine years of Parkinson’s disease progression to lend a sense of urgency to my search. Nevertheless, my eventual discovery of the lost Intruder changed my life profoundly, teaching me how to live more fully while exploring who I am at the core.

Beyond Identity (188 pages), a collection of essays and poems departs from the structure of my three earlier books. The writings cover six years, beginning nine years after my young-onset Parkinson’s diagnosis at age 43. Individual pieces illustrate snapshots of an evolution from considering myself a victim to gathering the necessary empowerment, in my opinion, to live a happy life with any debilitating ailment. Forwards to each chapter help guide the way to understanding how I learned to accept the disease without incorporating it into my identity.

# What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?

Rushing the book’s editing and becoming too attached to sections that really should be cut for a more fluid read. It pays to be ruthless in ensuring the minimal narrative to tell the story. Allow others to fall in love with your writing before you do.

# How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?

Assuming the reviewer has read the work in question, I consider them valid interpretations of my writing and I strive to treat them respectfully. I never comment on a bad review unless specifically invited to do so. Everyone has a different perspective on life. While my writing reflects a part of me, it is not who I am. Therefore, I try not to take negative reviews/feedback personally.

# Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?

I am fortunate to get personal satisfaction by serving my readers, so no balance is required. If something I wrote has helped even one person understand a situation better, I consider that essay, blog, poem, or book successful.

# What role do emotions play in creativity?

Emotion helps guide us to better understand the world on a subconscious level, where I believe all creativity originates. Therefore, freely expressing emotion while writing is essential to my stories, although this might not be evident except to the astute reader.

# What are your plans for future books?

I learned a long time ago not to try to force a book. An idea will come to me in time, or it won’t. Either way, that’s okay.

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