Author Spotlight: Hunter J. Skye
Friday, April 9, 2021

Today I'm excited to share with you the works of Hunter J. Skye, who writes the Hell Gate series for readers who love dark, paranormal romance and ghost stories. You can read my full review of book one in the series, A Glimmer of Ghosts, here. And book three, A Rapture of Wraiths, is on the way. But the main focus today is on the second installment: A Shiver of Shadows which releases on May 24th!
Keep reading for an interview with Hunter, where she talks about the inspiration behind her Hell Gate books!
A Shiver of Shadows:

You'd think stopping Armageddon would buy a girl a bit of R&R with her freshly resurrected boyfriend. But things go south again when celebrity soul wrangler, Melisande Blythe, is abducted and dragged to Europe.

There's more to the darkness hiding in the reclusive, mountaintop country of Andorra than just garden variety evil. There's something dangerously wrong with her beautiful immortal hosts too. Gifted with flesh again by the Grace of God, three-hundred-year-old former ghost, Colonel William Grayford, will move heaven and earth to find his beloved. But Europe's most wicked monsters stand in his way. Something more painful than death awaits Mel, if Grayford can't find her in time.

The world's been living on fifteen thousand years of borrowed time and it's just run out.

Find it on

Amazon or Barnes & Noble
Don't miss the beginning of the Hell Gate series, A Glimmer of Ghosts:

One night of filming in the wrong cemetery changes everything for a celebrity ghost-hunter with a half dead brain. When Melisande Blythe discovers that a secret society of wraiths wants her killed or worse, Mel will have to do the one thing she promised she would never do… trust a ghost.

But does the corporeal spirit of her dreams really want her heart or does he want her newfound ability to enslave souls? With Hell on the horizon, Mel is running out of time. She has to stop the fiery invasion or face the darkness warring in her soul.

Find it on

Amazon or Barnes & Noble
What started/sparked your fascination with ghost stories?
That’s a great question with an unnecessarily long answer! My first reason for writing ghost stories was the spooky late Victorian house in which I grew up. I was born and raised in Olde Towne, Portsmouth- a historic district in an old colonial town on the coast of Virginia. My father is a stickler for maintaining historical accuracy so it was rather like living in a museum. Not unlike people of the Victorian era, my parents were charmed by the frequent paranormal activity in their beautiful home. They accepted it as par for the course when one lives in a home in which so many generations have lived and died. My older brother was fascinated by it too, but me- not so much. I was frightened most every night growing up.
My second reason for writing haunting tales was an undiagnosed sleep disorder. After decades of suffering in silence, in 2016, I was finally diagnosed with narcolepsy, an auto-immune disorder that causes frequent nightmares, sleep paralysis, and hallucinations upon waking and falling asleep. It’s like living inside the scariest ghost story you could possibly imagine. I wish I could have been diagnosed earlier, but now that I know what’s going on inside my head, I can literally make lemonade out of my spectral lemons by writing ghost stories. Now that the phantoms are on the payroll, everyone is much happier.
Where do you see this series going? / How many books do you have planned for the series?
I’m so glad you asked! There are seven hell gates in this series so there are seven books, but I have four novellas that fit neatly between the books so, all together, that makes, WOW, eleven books.
As for where the series is going, my heroine’s internal journey is a bumpy ride as she is always desperately trying not to turn evil. It’s an on-going problem. Her external journey takes her deeper and deeper into the paranormal side of life. She travels the world and meets preternatural species of every ilk. Sometimes alliances are formed and sometimes it’s simply kill or be killed. I love tossing Mel into unwinnable scenarios because she always surprises me.
Have you written any books not in the Hell Gate series?
Yes, indeed. I started writing sword and sorcery in my teens and have worked up quite a pile of unsubmitted manuscripts. I’m also chipping away at two young adult magic realism series, a mainstream light science-fiction, and my first try at a mainstream mystery with a light paranormal element.
Urban Fantasy is my favorite sub-genre, but I’ll write anything as long as it’s speculative fiction.
How much of yourself do you put into your books?
I don’t take pride in much, but I am proud of my genuine characters. The only way I can do that is to be honest and imbue my characters with my own vulnerabilities, hopes, neuroses, humor, and quirks. I put everything I got into my books.
Are you a member of any writing groups? If so, which ones?
I am a member of a few writing communities and guilds, but I pour most of my time into my chapter of the Romance Writers of America. In fact, I’m currently president of the Chesapeake Romance Writers, which is strange since I didn’t ever see myself writing romance. Boy, have those authors rubbed off on me. I write scenes now that turn my cheeks red. If one of my kids comes into my office while I’m typing a steamy scene, I literally turn the monitor off. Oh gosh, I’m blushing again.
What was your favorite scene to write and why?
I guess I’m always secretly hoping someone will ask me this question, but now that you have, what do I go with? The curse-dripping mummified thieves, the castle full of evil nuns, the catacombs? Decisions, decisions. Wait…there’s a scene in book two when my main character is at a party on the beach in Barcelona and she’s drugged and having a really good time. That scene is the runner up because I’m a closeted free spirit. I’m always waiting for the opportunity to cut loose and dance like nobody’s watching. Alas, someone is always watching so no cavorting for me. But I lived vicariously through that scene.
With that said, my favorite scene from A Shiver of Shadows is the one where my heroine stumbles into a bar filled with drunken saints. One of my favorite things about Mel is that she struggles with her faith. I can relate. She thinks she’s a bad Christian, but in fact, Mel is pretty in tune with the universe and the powers that be.
What do you think most characterizes your writing?
This is super subjective, but I think my lyrical slantings characterize my word as borderline literary. I write some downright gritty stuff, but I try to describe it in a way that leaves an almost poetic impression. I hope my dark, quirky, dreamy aesthetic comes off as cool and not weird. Oh, screw it- I’ll take weird. Weird is good too, right?
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
I’d say “There’s this thing called the internet coming soon that will make submissions a lot faster and easier. So, don’t horde those manuscripts. Polish them and get ready, girl. Oh, and don’t go out with that guy down the street. You know which one. He’s a putz.”

More About Hunter

I was born with a rare nightmare disorder, and raised in a spooky Victorian home. If that's not enough reason to pen tales of haunting paranormal romance, I don't know what is. As a writer of ghost fiction, I am inspired by haunted sites like the historic district of Olde Towne Portsmouth, VA where I grew up. As long as I get plenty of oxygen and sleep, I can keep the nightmares at bay.
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