D.I. Hunter Wilson is my favorite character in Val Penny’s Edinburgh Crime Mysteries, which includes the most recent, Hunter’s Blood. So, I made a special request that she feature Hunter in my Character Traits Series. Now, it’s Val’s turn to take over this post.
The first novel I wrote was Hunter’s Chase. The main character is a police detective inspector, Hunter Wilson. Let me tell you about how I developed this character.
I knew I needed a character I could trust and rely on and I wanted a name that reflected his job, fighting crime. One day when my husband and I were going to my mother’s house, we passed a lawyer’s office. The name on the facia was Wilson Hunter. Perfect! However, my husband thought that I better not use that name, in case the lawyer objected, and so Hunter Wilson was born.
I always write biographies for my main characters. This allows me to get to know them well. When I wrote Hunter’s biography I realised that he was ‘a son of the manse’ as they say in Scotland. That means that his father was a protestant Church of Scotland minister (at that time all ministers were male). His mother had had a traditional role as the minister’s wife, making scones for church coffee mornings, tending to the church flowers and running the women’s group (known as the Women’s Guild) in the church.
This gave Hunter his strong Scottish work ethic, his innate sense of fairness, the importance he places on loyalty and his strong sense of right and wrong. It also explains his love of good coffee and freshly baked cakes and scones!
When I thought about it a bit more, I realised Hunter must also be a family man. He rarely sees his daughter, Alison, who lives with her husband and two children in the very North of Scotland on the Shetland Islands. Hunter also has a son, Cameron. Cameron, like many children has given his father cause for concern over the years and these struggles have provided colour and narratives in several of my books.
I realised also that life had not always been easy for Hunter. So he is divorced from the mother of his children. The visible cost of that divorce is that he lives in a two-bedroomed flat in Leith, which is a modest area in Edinburgh. He is not house proud, so his home is often messy and in need of being cleaned and tidied before he has visitors. His most frequent visitor is Dr Meera Sharma, the principal pathologist of his region. He loves Meera deeply but they both have heavy work schedules. That is their challenge.
Physically, I see Hunter as just under six feet tall with steely, intelligent grey eyes and brown hair cut in an unfashionably short style. He is slim and wiry and dresses sensibly for the Scottish weather.
Hunter is loyal and sociable. He likes to be part of a team, both at work and at home. He used to play football in his younger days, but now he referees boys’ matches and plays darts for the team in his local pub, The Persevere Bar in Easter Road where the other members of the team have nicknamed him ‘Clouseau’ after the hapless detective ably portrayed on film by Peter Sellers.
I like Hunter and I enjoy feeling him grow and develop in my novels. I hope he like me, because we’re going to spend a lot of time together going forward.
My most recent novel, Hunter’s Blood is published by SpellBound Books Ltd, on 2nd July 2023.
Hunter’s Blood Blurb
Mutilation and murder outrage DI Hunter Wilson, especially when he knows the victims.
He learns three elderly women have died in mysterious circumstances and is horrified to realise that he is the only person who has met each of them.
Hunter scrutinises the evidence but must accept help from the Major Investigation Team when he investigates the triple murder.
He is amazed that the breakthrough comes from an unexpected witness.
What did she hear?
Hunter confronts the perpetrators and fights for the victims’ rights – even when the crime has been committed with the best of intentions.
Excerpt from Hunter’s Blood
“Fucking shit! Did you see that? How fast was it going? It could have taken my nose off!” DI Hunter Wilson roared as a red van raced past them in the outside lane.
“Your nose isn’t that big, darling,” Meera Sharma smiled.
“Huh, thanks. I think. Where are the traffic cops when you need them? And really, how fast was that van going?”
“Some are in a real hurry to meet their maker.”
“I just get so angry. They don’t even think about who else they could take with them if they crash and that was a business vehicle. I’ll bet the owner wouldn’t like their employees to be racing around like that.”
“Probably not,” Meera sighed.
Hunter was driving back from a leisurely lunch at The Steading at Hillend on the outskirts of Edinburgh, with the petite pathologist, Meera Sharma. He always enjoyed their time together. She was easy company, and they got on very well indeed. The Steading was a good place to eat after they had been for a long walk in The Pentland Hills. Maybe this time he would be lucky in love.
Meera changed the subject. “That was delicious, thank you. We should spend more time like this. There is no better exercise than walking you know.”
“Oh, I can think of at least one form of exercise I prefer,” Hunter grinned.
She turned and grinned back at him.
“You’re very cheeky, you know that, don’t you?”
“That’s why you love me,” he glanced away from the road to smile at her.
Meera looked into Hunter’s intense grey eyes and smiled at his traditional short haircut. He would look even better if his hair were just a little longer, but he complained that he looked like the cartoon character ‘Oor Wullie’ when it grew even just a little. She sighed inwardly. Hunter was one of the good guys. Maybe this time her parents would accept her partner of choice.
“Of course, we should make more time to go walking together,” Hunter replied with a sheepish grin. “But you well know how likely that is with our schedules, doctor. In fact, I forgot to tell you, I’ve got to go back to the station this evening. There are a couple of things still I need to finish.”
“Of course there are, Detective Inspector. There always are. But a girl can dream, can’t she?” Meera smiled at him.
Hunter felt warm inside. He might have thought it was the sticky toffee pudding, but Meera’s smile always made him feel like this.
About Val Penny
Val Penny has an Llb degree from the University of Edinburgh and her MSc from Napier University. She has had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer but has not yet achieved either of her childhood dreams of being a ballerina or owning a candy store.
Until those dreams come true, she has turned her hand to writing poetry, short stories, nonfiction books, and novels. Her novels are published by SpellBound Books Ltd.
Val is an American author living in SW Scotland. She has two adult daughters of whom she is justly proud and lives with her husband and their cat.
Social Media Links
Hunter’s Chase – https://geni.us/ic7r
Hunter’s Revenge – https://geni.us/a13c
Hunter’s Force – https://geni.us/f5eJb
The First Cut – https://linktr.ee/spellboundbks
Hunter’s Blood – https://tinyurl.com/8rrpp59x