Today I am so pleased to welcome Lee Hunt to Joyfully Jay. Lee has come to talk to us about his latest release, Last Worst Hopes. He has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving Lee a big welcome!


Lee has written some questions and answers to share with us today! 

Q. There are quite a few point-of-view characters in Last Worst Hopes. Are they all equally important?
A. Val, Ave, Dav and Mick are all of equal importance. We see a little of Marias Garragorah’s perspective, too, but not as much.

Q. Why is Garragorah different?
A. Marias does not change as much as the other characters, though she does have to face herself with honesty before the story is over.

Q. Do you have a favorite character?
A. They all meant something special to me, though they were each easier or harder to write at different times in the novel.

Q. How so?
A. It depended where they were in their character journey. At points where the character was closest to their tipping points, they were the most fun to write.

Q. What do the characters in LWH share in common?
A. They all are, in some way, inadequate. Or they feel inadequate to the challenges in front of them. They certainly do not view themselves as heroes. Each of their character journeys concern their acceptance of their unique characteristics—the things that they feel are flaws.

Q. Why are character flaws important in fantasy?
A. Because we human beings are all essentially flawed. Our successes are often more meaningful because of our limitations. Some of the authors of Grimdark, like Joe Abercrombie have written these awful, but fascinating, morally compromised—or downright evil—characters. And that has been fun and illuminating. The characters in LWH, with the exception of Garragorah, are not so much morally compromised as they are damaged or limited in some other way. And these limitations make the story so much richer. LWH is about the ‘B’ team getting called in at the last minute. Because the ‘A’ team are all dead.

Q. Ok. Give me an example. What is Mick’s special challenge?
A. Mick is very old. He lives in the house on the hill, which is essentially an old folks’ home. And he cannot remember his name or his past.

Q. Like amnesia?
A. No. Mick appears to be suffering from a disease of the elderly.

Q. Does he have dementia?
A. It is never said in the story, but it appears to be something like that. Or there could be more to it.

Q. So is Mick’s story about overcoming dementia?
A. Not quite. Mick needs to remember who he is and what he cares most about. But more than this, Mick and his friends in the house are struggling to find purpose in their lives. They have been set aside in this place and kind of forgotten.

Q. Oh. Do they?
A. For a period of time, the house on the hill becomes the very center of things, and these old folks get another chance.

Q. How about Katherine Valcourt? What is her big challenge?
A. In one sense, Val feels that she is not heard. She is in charge of a powerful group of wizards, called the Elysians, and their supporting forces, but no one seems to listen to her.

Q. So she has Cassandra complex?
A. She certainly feels that way early in the story, but Val comes to realize that her problems are also internal.

Q. Aren’t they always. What are Val’s issues?
A. Val is very driven and focused. She is so task oriented that she misses the love that is right in front of her. She also has a touch of arrogance that undermine her attempts to lead a fairly rambunctious crew of wizards.

Q. How does she overcome this?
A. Not easily, and not simply by self-reflection. The escalating conflict and destruction of her country in LWH doesn’t make Val becoming less task oriented any easier.

Q. Let’s talk about Davignon Delatam.
A. Dav is a young soldier with a problem with his left hand.

Q. Whhaaat?
A. He believes it is evil. That it gives him volatile images and sometimes writes backwards messages to him. Of course there is more to it than this. Dav is embarrassed by what he views as a shameful disability, and he must also deal with those feelings.

Q. I think I’ll just leave the young man with an evil left-hand problem alone for now. The final character is Escuyer Aveline. Does she have an evil pinkie toe?
A. Lol, no. Ave is a squire to the order of Deladieyr Knights. And she has been stuck as a squire for longer than anyone else, except for her friend Bro. She cannot seem to progress. In fact, Ave feels she is getting weaker and worse as time goes on.

Q. Why? From old age, like Mick?
A. Ah, no. Ave is a young woman. Her issue is doubt. The Deladieyr Knights gain the power from their single-minded certitude, and with her country being destroyed and her fellow knights failing and dying beside her, Ave has begun to ask questions.

Q. That doesn’t sound so bad.
A. No, it doesn’t, but she feels she should already have the answers, and she is surrounded by people of intense focus and simplistic mind sets. The more she thinks about her problem, the worse it gets.

Q. Wow. That’s usually a male problem.
A. Very funny.

Q. Do the characters have to overcome their central challenges alone?
A. Yes and no. Ultimately, we all must own who we are and accept ourselves, or make the most of our own unique characteristics, however, Mick, Val, Dav, and Ave each have someone in their lives who believes in them. And friends make a big difference.


last worst hopes coverTheir world was ending, all the heroes were dead, the leaders confused, and their enemies were head and shoulders above them. But there was no one else; they were the dregs, the last worst hopes.

Nehring Ardgour has summoned Skoll and Hati from hell. They have torn through the proud and ancient country of Engevelen and the angelic Methueyn Knights that protect it. Armies have died, cities have fallen. None of the great remain. No brilliant inventors, no powerful knights, no master wizards.

No heroes.

But it gets worse. Farrah Harbinger has looked into the future and foretells the coming of an enemy worse than all the others, a creature of destruction and entropy like no other. A being who will grind all hopes and memory of civilization into dust: the One, True Devil.

Who can stop it? Who is left to even try?

Surely not Val, an arrogant young wizard who no one takes seriously, or Mick, an old man who can’t even remember his name. Certainly not Dav, who cannot seem to tell left from right or up from down, or Aveline, a squire filled with more questions than courage. No one would pick them to save the world, and yet there is no one else left.

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lee hunt bio photoBorn with only one working lung and having had the last rights read to him and dying of an influenza related viral pneumonia, 25-year-old geophysicist Lee Hunt experienced several near-death dreams. The power of communication and the need to both understand and be understood was at the heart of each. He had already found that nothing was more important than being able to cross the distance between people.

Lee’s interests are eclectic. He is an Ironman Triathlete, hiker, traveler, and an enthusiastic sport rock climber. Lee also continues to work as a geophysicist on Carbon Capture and Sequestration projects, and is a writer for

The dream of understanding and being understood has never left his mind, and Lee continues that in his works of fiction through metaphor. His works include The Dynamicist Trilogy, Last Worst Hopes and Bed of Rose and Thorns.


Lee is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour:

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