Maria Hennings Hunt
For as long as I can remember, I've always loved writing, and my favourite subject at school was English. I particularly enjoyed writing stories and playing with synonyms and antonyms.
At the age of ten, together with three friends, we designed, wrote and published our own 'Jackie' style magazine as part of an English project. I loved creating it so much, I dreamt about working for a fashion/lifestyle magazine when I grew up.
After I left school, it took me a few years until I finally landed a job in magazine and newspaper publishing - although it wasn't quite Vogue, (nor anything like Jackie either!)
I worked on several different magazines before I joined TTG UK & Ireland (Travel Trade Gazette ) the UK's leading weekly travel trade newspaper.
For 13 fantastic years I worked in one of the most exciting industries there is - I travelled all over the world, went to lots of parties, did 'lunch' and managed to overspend on my expenses account on a regular basis. Those were the days! I also did a three month stint on the travel team at the Daily Express until eventually in 1998, I launched my own weekly travel trade newspaper called Independent Travel News.
However, even though I was surrounded by news stories, features and articles, I always secretly wanted to write fiction. So, I wrote short stories for the women's magazines - Best, Bella & My Weekly etc., - in my spare time (often at work - shhh - don't tell my boss!) and after many rejections (yes, I've kept all the slips), I became quite successful and had lots of short stories published.
I'm eternally grateful to Pat Richardson, who was Fiction Editor at Best magazine back in the early 1990's, who bought my first ever 'Twist-in-the-Tale' story. (Thanks, Pat!).
In 1999, due to an abrupt and crazy early ‘mid life crisis’ type event (if you want more details you'll have to buy me several large glasses of wine and set aside a couple of hours!) I left Independent Travel News and went freelance, whilst at the same time training to become a Dance Teacher.
I loved freelancing. I specialised in travel, but I wrote all sorts of non travel stuff too, articles, brochures, features, leaflets, copy, in fact anything that would pay. (I'm not proud!). I was lucky enough to get a two year commission to write all the brochures for leading Independent Tour Operator, Cadogan Holidays, and in 2004 I also wrote the launch brochure for Emirates Tours UK.
While I was freelancing commercially, I wrote more short stories for the women's press and also managed to qualify as a dance teacher...and thus, began a new career....
These days, my writing is squeezed in between running my dance school and teaching. I write a LOT of emails, design a lot of posters and update all the websites on a constant basis. I now also do website design and copy writing and so far, I have designed and written sites for all sorts of business ranging from hairdressers to architects. My rates are VERY reasonable!
However, I still love to write fiction, and late at night, just the sensible side of midnight, when I'm done with the emails, my hips ache from dancing and the kids (& cats) are asleep, I still find time on occasion to add a few lines to all those unpublished short stories saved on my hard drive.
I've also written two children's picture books and when I'm brave enough to send them off, I really hope that one day my first children's picture book 'Bear Hug' will be published. Until then - I'll keep writing........
For a quick peek at BEAR HUG...click HERE....if you like it and know any agents or publishers who also might...give them my number!