Saturday, September 01, 2007

Serials and Scenarios - Angela Hunt Being Natural

I had a great opportunity to interview Angela Hunt for an article. I had so much extra information I'd thought I'd share it with you. Angela was so nice. I mean nice. I stumbled over my words and tripped in my grammar, and embarrassed myself at least three times and she acted as if she hadn't even noticed. I even mis-titled her book. And she just quietly fixed it and stayed silent. Yeah, I'd like to be just like her when I grow up.

Go to NovelReviews to see my review of Doesn't She Look Natural? and/or click on the cover above to go to Amazon.

You have written in several genres. I personally have read Uncharted which I found to be spooky and thought provokingly important, The Novelist which twisted and turned and made me cry, The Tale of Three Trees which my family dramatically read for a Christmas program several years ago and which still has a huge place in my heart. You've also written Biblical/historical fiction, women's fiction and non-fiction. Doesn't She Look Natural? seems to be teetering on the edge of Chick-Lit. Which genre is your favorite? And why?

I really don't have a favorite genre, and I don't think about genre as I write. I focus on the story and tell it as it needs to be told, then leave it to my publisher to try to "shelve" it in the proper place. Yes, sometimes it is a challenge!

What else do you do with your "spare" time (ha, besides take masters/doctorate level theology classes ­ oh my!)?

Spare time? (Laughing.) Actually, my favorite way to unwind after a long day at the desk is to pop a movie into the DVD player. I love story, and movies are a great way to get a complete story in a couple of hours.

If you weren't a writer ­ what would you do with your time?

If I weren't a writer, I'd probably be in law school. I love research and debate.

According to your website, you originally sought a musical degree. Do you still sing? Do you have a favorite musician(s)?

I like all kinds of music, ranging from opera to country. I love Emma Krauss, Rene Fleming, and Sarah Brightman. I don't sing very often these days because I'm too busy with writing-related travel or work. I sing to my dogs, though.

Any authors or books you love to recommend?

I love to recommend ALL Christian novelists because they are my brothers and sisters in Christ and they are doing such fine work. Whatever genre you like to read in, you can find a Christian equivalent today. I think it's important for writers to realize that characters have more than emotional and physical aspects--they have spiritual aspects, too, and those need to be recognized and developed.

What are your spiritual gifts?

Teaching and administration. I have a gift for telling people what to do. I have to work at not being bossy.

How do they present themselves within your writing?

The administration helps me organize my time and my material. The teaching comes out in my books even though I realize that people don't pick up novels to learn something; they read to be entertained. But people usually learn something while they're being entertained in my books. I know I learn a lot in the writing process.

You've won numerous awards and honors including a Christy and have a movie based on one of your works and a few more optioned. You are a sought after speaker. What one honor has meant the most to you?

The Christy was special because it was the award's first year and I was so completely flabbergasted when they called my name. But while awards are a nice affirmation, I don't think much about them from day to day. The awards I'm working for are those that will be presented at the Bema Seat, also known as the Judgment Seat of Christ. The things I've done will be tested as to my motivation--did I do them for Christ's glory, or to further my own reputation? The earthly rewards won't matter a whit there, but the Lord will judge the intent of my heart more than the works of my hands (1 Cor. 3:12-15).

Which compliment related to your writing has meant the most and why?

Whenever someone writes to tell me that one of my books has caused them to draw closer to Jesus, that's the highest affirmation I could receive.

What criticism has cut the deepest and why?

Being misunderstood is always hard to bear . . . I've had people put my books down without ever really grasping my intent or message. Then I remind myself that Jesus was misunderstood, too.

What attribute of God do you find the most appealing? Do you see this as a theme in your works? How?

For the last several years I've been focusing on the sovereignty of God . .. and I've been amazed at how many believers don't really have a grasp of its implications. When we completely rest in the knowledge that God is in control of everything that touches us--good and bad--we are freed from fear and uncertainty. I used to think that I could somehow mess up God's perfect plan for me. Now I understand that even the rough times--even my mistakes--are part of God's plan to mold my character. He knows me intimately, better than I know myself, and he knows when I am going to mess up. So he uses those times to teach me, discipline me, and mold me into what he wants me to be. My characters are always discovering this truth, as I am. It's a multi-faceted gem.

If you could ask any person, living or dead, a random question -- what question would you ask of whom?

Because I live with two 200-pound dogs . . . I think I'd ask Noah about how he handled the manure problem on the ark.

Some out there in writing land have strange rituals. Share yours.

I'm not sure I have any . . . Other than doing everything BUT writing until about one o'clock, then I get serious. For instance, I'm typing the answers to these questions at 1:04 p.m., and I have yet to get started on my daily assignment!

Favorite turn of phrase or word picture in literature or movie.

Most romantic scene EVER: from The Last of the Mohicans. When Cora is looking at Hawkeye and she says, "What are you looking at, sir?" and he says, "I'm looking at you, miss."
Be still, my beating heart!

What period of history intrigues you the most?

All of them! People are always interesting, no matter when they lived.

How does something worm its way into your heart? Through tears, truth, humor or other?

Animals do it for me. Mammals--I'm not so wild about insects--can touch my heart quicker than almost anything.

Where would you most like to travel ----- moon, north pole, deep seas, deserted island, the holy land or back to a place from your childhood, somewhere else? ­ and why.

I've been to the Holy Land, so next on my to-travel list is Italy. I would love to visit Rome and set another book there. Maybe a historical in the time of the gladiators . . .

What would you do today if you knew you had only a week to live?

I'd finish my WIP! And teach my husband how to use the computer so he could pay the bills. (I'm a pragmatic person . . .)

What is your favorite word?

Today? Brouhaha. Just saying it makes me laugh.

What word annoys you more than any other?

Today? Fluffy.

Superhero you most admire and why?

One of my novelist friends--and I'm not going to give her name, because she would be embarrassed--but whenever I wonder what to do in a given situation, I think about what she would do. She's dedicated to her work, to Jesus, and she doesn't worry about promotion, marketing, etc. She simply does her best work and leaves everything else in the Lord's hands. I so admire that.

Super power you'd love to borrow for awhile?

A photographic memory would be SO useful . . .
Societal pet peeve sound off.

I would really LOVE it if people would stand about two feel back from the conveyor belt when luggage comes off an airplane.That way we could step forward and swing suitcases off the belt without taking out a few innocent toddlers and other bystanders.

Do you have a current passion for any ministries or issues you'd like to share with our readers?

I have a strong passion for pro-life issues. The cheapening of human life in this country is a travesty, and I believe we must continue to teach that men and women are created in the image of God. That is a foundational truth that has been ignored in the last few years, to our detriment. When the most innocent among us--the unborn--are no longer protected, it won't be long until none of us are guaranteed legal protection.

Thanks, Angela. You were so sweet to work with.