"Aaah! An interview with Robin Jones Gunn? Seriously?! I'm so excited!" Well, that's what I'm thinking, anyway.
In what ways are you similar to Christy, Katie and Sierra?
I’m similar to Christy in that during high school I felt like she does in the books – clumsy, self-conscious but with a tender heart towards God.
I’m similar to Katie in that I love to make jokes and laugh and get other people to laugh. I also love a bargain and would definitely shop at a Bargain Barn if I found one.
I’m similar to Sierra in that when I was in my latter teen years I became passionate about helping other people and going on missions trips and volunteering to help wherever I could.
Could you share one of your secret (or not-so-secret) tips to good writing?
I always start by developing the characters before deciding what the story is going to be about. If I know and love the characters it makes a big difference in how energized I feel to write about them. Whenever I wrote to prove a point or solve a problem and I didn’t have the characters fully formed as “real” imaginary people in my mind then the stories got bossy and boring and I didn’t care about finishing them. It also helps a lot to write about a setting/location that is familiar because the details of that place will come alive in your writing as you describe things like how it smells in Hana after the rain or the way the sunset looks on the ocean at Newport Beach.
When you were a teenager, what books did you read?
I read a few Nancy Drew mysteries but what I really loved were books about real people – biographies and autobiographies. Some of my favorite were Amy Carmichael, Harriett Beecher Stowe and Christina Rossetti.
What’s your life verse?
For many years it was Jeremiah 20:9 “But if I say I will not mention Him or speak anymore in His name; His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in, indeed I cannot.”
Lately I’ve been drawn to Acts 20:24 “But my life is worth nothing unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about God’s wonderful kindness and love.”
Were you brought up in a Christian home? (As I write this, all I can think of is Christy Miller at camp, giving her testimony to the girls in her cabin, and one of them asking, “How can a house be a Christian?”:P)
What music do you enjoy listening to throughout the day and as you write?
A lot of Hawaiian music, instrumental, old hymns without the words. If I listen to songs with words I end up typing the words I’m hearing so I usually only listen to instrumental.
Why do you think your readers feel so connected to your stories and characters?
This is a question I’d love for you to ask your friends and then you guys tell me! It’s kind of a sweet mystery to me why that is so and I don’t think I have a proper answer except it’s a God thing.
Quick, think! What are the top 5 books you’ve ever read? (Not including your own! :P)
Pslams by God
Isaiah by God
Perelandra by CS Lewis
Voyage of the Dawn Treader by CS Lewis
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
...speaking of your own books. Do you ever actually sit down with, say, Summer Promise, and read it like you’d read any other book? I can’t imagine doing that to my own book (If I was actually a published author) and not being critical the whole time, even it happened to be the most amazing thing ever written!
Nope. Haven’t tried such an exercise yet. That would be interesting.
I hope you all enjoyed reading the questions and answers. And thankyou, Robin, for taking the time to answer these questions! :)