Characters on the Couch: Faith Hunter’s Motley Crew

Today I’m excited to welcome Faith Hunter to the couch with not just one, but three of her characters. Yes, it’s a group therapy session! I met Faith at DragonCon, and she is so much fun to hang out with. Her series are high on my TBR list.

1. If your character were to go to a psychologist – willingly or unwillingly – what would bring them in? Yes, a court order is a valid answer.

Oy. Ummm. Nell Ingram from Soulwood series would go just because she needs to talk and on some level she knows this. Beast, from the Jane Yellowrock series, might go if Beast was promised she would get to ride in Edmund’s car or offered the haunch from a freshly butchered steer. Jane Yellowrock herself goes to a Cherokee elder / counselor all the time anyway, so that’s not a big deal to her. Counseling has given Jane back memories of her past and a sense of her heritage.

2. Is the presenting problem one of the main internal or external conflicts in your book? If so, how does it present itself?

Yes. Both. Nell Ingram is a paranormal special agent with PsyLED (the Psychometric Law Enforcement Division of Homeland Security), so all her novels are wrapped around a paranormal crime or two as external conflicts. Nell was raised in a right-wing polygamist cult, and her family wants her back, willingly, so the internal conflict is always there!

3. It’s always interesting to see how people act when they first enter my office. Do they immediately go for my chair, hesitate before sitting anywhere, flop on the couch, etc.? What would your character do?

Jane Yellowrock would lean against the wall facing the door and the windows, scowling, weapons drawn. Beast would eat the leather furniture or your leather shoes. Nell Ingram would go to the nearest live plant and stick her fingers into the soil—to give the plant a boost of earth magic.

CD note: My poor office plants could use the help.

4. Does your character talk to the therapist? How open/revealing will your character be? What will he or she say first?

Jane and Nell would say nothing personal until they trusted the therapist. Beast doesn’t speak much English and would be too busy eating the leather furniture.

5. Your character walks into the bar down the street after his/her first therapy session. What does he/she order? What happens next?

Jane Yellowrock gets a Coke. Alcohol doesn’t affect her metabolism at all. Beast would order a steak, raw, and if the bartenders told her they were out of steak, she’d stare hungrily at the bartendesr, wondering how tasty they might be. Nell would order herbal tea. (Kinda laughing at the idea of Nell in a bar.)

6. When you’re building characters, do you have any tricks you use to really get into their psyches, like a character interview or personality system (e.g., Myers-Briggs types)?

Nope. Not a one. They are the only thing in my writing to develop organically. I get to know my characters in the same way and at the same moment in the book-timelines as the readers do. It’s a process of discovery!

Thanks for having me!

Thank you so much for stopping by with your characters, Faith!

New York Times and USAToday bestselling fantasy author Faith Hunter was born in Louisiana and raised all over the south. Altogether she has 40+ books in print under the names Gary Hunter, Gwen Hunter, and Faith Hunter. As Faith, she writes two contemporary Urban Fantasy series: the Jane Yellowrock series, featuring a Cherokee skinwalker who hunts rogue vampires, and the Soulwood series, featuring earth magic user Nell Ingram. Her Rogue Mage novels are a dark, post-apocalyptic, fantasy series featuring Thorn St. Croix, a stone mage. The role playing game based on the series, is ROGUE MAGE, RPG.

You can find Faith and her books at her website, on Facebook, and on Twitter.


  1. Faith Hunter’s books, both JY and Nell’s spinoff series, are among those I get on the library request queue for early, and acquire my own copies at some point later for rereads.

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