Hunter Darden’s first endeavor in the writing field produced a mystery book entitled “The Secret of the Old Oak Tree.” Unfortunately, it was bound only in bright yellow construction paper-the finest binding a fourth grader with a vision could create. Shortly after Hunter wrote this “masterpiece” her teacher asked everyone what he or she wanted to be when they grew up. Certain her book had all the qualities of a Nancy Drew bestseller, she proudly announced, “ I’m going to be an author!” Hunter did not know then that her youthful dreams would not be realized until thirty long years later……..
Hunter grew up in Elkin, N.C., as the daughter of a doctor and a kindergarten teacher. Her most valuable lessons about life were learned through her parents, both influential role models. Her father, with his humble nature, taught her about character and strength in spirit. Her mother, with her enthusiasm for life, taught her that anything is possible if you have the drive and the will to succeed.
Through the years, Hunter did continue to enjoy her writing as a hobby. She developed her writing skills as the editor of her high school newspaper. She wrote feature humor stories for the paper. Hunter went to Meredith College in Raleigh, NC. She was intrigued with why people are the way they are with their varying personalities, needs and actions and reactions to situations. She graduated with a B.A. in Psychology continuing to enjoy writing as an outlet. She had two sons who became the focal point for her life. Her writing took a backseat to life and its commitments. Her family encouraged her to write and she would always say, “But I need to be completely inspired!” She did not realize that her inspiration was close at hand.
Hunter’s father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of fifty-six. It was difficult for her family to watch this once intelligent and generous man disintegrate into a shell of a person. After a nine- year illness he died peacefully in the spring of 1994. She was thrown into the most common position of explaining the reality of death and the concept of eternal life to her children. As a catharsis, she resorted to her most natural instinct. Hunter, at last being completely inspired, began to write. All the ingredients were in place-her positive messages for living from her parents, her spirituality, her experience as editor, the interest in psychology and the love and guidance from her family. After thirty years, these had culminated into her first book, The Everlasting Snowman, a story of the cycle of life, is an inspirational book for children and adults alike. With its beautiful watercolor illustrations by Tamara Scantland Adams, it explains that the natural cycle of life goes on and on. The Everlasting Snowman was the catalyst for seven other books that followed in quick succession. Hunter enjoys using her words to touch and lift hearts or to bring about a much needed laugh.
Hunter enjoys public speaking to a variety of groups from literacy conferences, book clubs, women’s clubs, grief organizations, church groups, etc.
She also teaches a writing camp called Writer’s Cramp Camp. It is designed specifically to teach children to use their clever imaginations. Hopefully, they will discover that school English assignments don’t have to be a boring chore; but, instead an opportunity to stretch their minds through their fingertips.
Hello! I have just completed my first childrens book how Talia met Tanner that has been successfully published! I am now working on more and I am very excited. I wish I could have you read some of my ideas. Are you still located in statesville? Your books are very inspiring and I would love some tips. Thank you. Theresa.
Hi Hunter, I have some of your books which I bought at a book signing in Statesville years ago. I am a watercolorist and art teacher at Statesville Christian School. Now my husband and I have decided to publish a children’s book. Everyone in the family quotes and has preformed at some time Chuck’s poem he wrote back in high school. I am illustrating it and we intend to publish as an ebook. I would also like to print hard copies as well. Could you advise me on how to get started? I know you have been doing this for quite a while now and know the ropes. The instructions on the web for Amazon ebook publishing seem to be fairly simple. I need to know if there is a better way. I would love to chat with you if you have a moment. Pat
I am the media specialist at Wilkesboro Elementary in Wilkes County, NC. I grew up here in Wilkes County and attended East Wilkes High School. This is my first year as a media specialist. I am loving my job! I have taught in the classroom the past 22 years. My love of sharing a story/book and all the animation and emotion that goes with it has brought me to the library. I was wondering if you charge for school visits and if you would be interested in visiting Wilkesboro Elementary this spring?
I was impressed to see you were originally from Elkin, NC. I would love for my students to know that there are those around them that have made their dreams come true.
Thank you for your time.
Thanks for your interest. I would love to come to your school. I just sent a note to your email address.
I work for Rowan Salisbury School, my boss Kelly Feimster is trying to get your email address. She would like to see about you coming to an invite in Sept. I am not really sure about the details. Would you please send me your email address? And she will contact you with further information.
I am sending this to your email address, as well, to make sure you get it. Thanks, Hunter
So nice to meet you today and have a chance to visit. Unfortunately I misplaced my autographed book already! Chemo brain. Good grief!!!
I’m going to order another one as I really really would love to read it:)
I am so glad to hear from you. You left it at the check out counter as you were leaving. I grabbed it and headed out to the parking lot in hopes of catching you, but you all had already left. I left it with the owner at RagApple in case you came back for it or I would be glad to mail it to you.
I enjoyed meeting you today, as well. You will be in my prayers.
How do I order The Everlasting snowman. I tried on your website but I couldn’t get it to work. I very much would love to buy a couple of books to help some children that are dealing with grief. Thank you.
I am sorry it didn’t work on the website. I will be glad to send you copies. Just let me know to whom I should sign them. You can mail me a check or send it through paypal. I’m so glad for your interest. It touches me to know that it has helped children….and adults.
Just finished your book Tapestry tonight. I knew when we met and spoke at RagApple Lassie Vineyard that you were a special lady. Thank you so much for sharing your grief in order to help others heal. The Lord keep and bless you always. Sherri
My wife Sherry and myself used to talk to you at Cherries in Clemmons and now as well as having grandchildren, I also have great grandchildren that need to be introduced to your books. I could just buy them off the internet but I wanted you to know that out of sight has not been out of mind.
Lots of love, Sherry and Christopher Robin Dean.
You all are so kind! I miss seeing you all at Cherries! I would be glad to personalize books for you all. The books I have that are available are The Everlasting Snowman, Georgia Georgia and my latest one is From Gloom to Bloom-the beauty of a positive attitude. I sent you an email, also about it. Thanks so much for your interest in my books! Love, Hunter