I've heard of Angela Hunt for years, but the first time I met her was at the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference in Minneapolis last fall. I just love her. Welcome, Angela. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
That all depends upon the character. I don’t consciously do this at all, but I have to write about things that interest me, so my characters are interested in these subjects by default. Nearly all of my protagonists are women, employed, and fairly independent. I am at least all of those things.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Hard to say, as I live on the edge of quirkdom. My fascination with mastiffs is probably my most enduring quirk. Life isn’t exactly tidy with two 200-pound dogs (have you ever teased a slinger out of your hair?), but it’s always interesting.
When did you first discover you were a writer?
I don’t think “writerdom” is something innate—it’s something you do. I suppose it does come more easily to some people than others, but everyone struggles at one time or another. And everyone looks longingly out the window and wishes they could trade all those hours in a chair for a job that’s more secure.
Don't I know it? Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I read just about everything: a lot of New York Times bestsellers, historicals, suspense, high-concept, character stories, etc. I don’t read a lot of romance (though I enjoy books with romance in them), nor do I like anything that’s too predictable.
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
I don’t think we have the space here to list them all! I’ve written over 100 books, for adults and children, fiction and nonfiction. Before I wrote books, I wrote magazine articles, brochures, catalog copy, anything anyone would pay me to write. I consider myself a working writer, and that encompasses a lot of variety.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I opt out whenever possible. I realized long ago that I couldn’t do everything and do it well. So I would have to choose to focus on the things God called me to do. That means I pass up a lot of “good opportunities” in the name of obedience.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
I choose my protagonists’ names carefully—I like names that are easy to pronounce, yet unique. For random characters I usually either use the names of my friends or pop open a telephone book.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I take a great deal of pleasure in knowing that at least one of my books exists as a film . . . and that starred PW review made me smile for about a week.
I'd be really happy with either of those things. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
My nature is more like a cat’s than a dog’s, so I’d want to be a cat and live in BJ Hoff’s house. Because she has a heart for dogs, cats, and books.
What is your favorite food?
I’m a youth pastor’s wife. Loving pizza is a job requirement.
Sometimes, I've worked with youth, too. I know what you mean about the pizza. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Don’t know that I’ve ever experienced a roadblock, but I did have an editor tell me that the manuscript I handed in was “unpublishable”—and this was long after I was an established writer. My brilliant idea wasn’t very readable, as it turns out. So I threw half the story away, opened a metaphorical vein, and started over again.
What advice would you give to an author just starting out?
Get thee to a good writer’s conference, be flexible, take advice (like this) with a grain of salt, and don’t let anyone stifle your unique voice. Most beginning authors think there are certain rules and magic formulas and things they must do . . . well, a lot of those rules and formulas are simply silly. Spend most of your time learning how to write an irresistible, passionate story.
What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
SHE’S IN A BETTER PLACE is the final book in the three-book “Fairlawn” series. The first book, DOESN’T SHE LOOK NATURAL? features Jennifer Graham, a single parent who inherits a funeral home. The series follows her life as she adjusts to her new calling and learns that God has a unique ministry planned for her.
Sounds interesting. I can hardly wait to read it. How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is http://www.angelahuntbooks.com/. Or you could try Google.
Thank you, Angela, for spending this time with us.
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