Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Meeting a Literary Heroine: Robin Jones Gunn

There are a few of my literary heroines that I'm never going to meet this side of heaven. I don't think, for example, that I will ever be able to go to a book-signing for Dorothy Sayers' novels. I'm holding out hope for Lois McMaster Bujold (read the Miles books and the Curse of Chalion, and skip everything else), but up till today, the only one of my literary heroines I'd met in real life was Frederica Mathewes-Green.

But today, I got to meet Robin Jones-Gunn! She was doing a book-signing in our town, and when I heard about it, I didn't think I'd be able to go, because my son was on the verge of falling asleep. He didn't fall asleep, which annoyed me, but in the end, that was what let me go to the book-signing. I was on the way out of the house, when I decided, "well, it started an hour ago, but maybe she's still there," and so grabbed one of her novels off my shelf, and put it in the car along with diaper bag and library books. We stopped by the bookstore where she was, and guess what? She was still there! Moreover, she was able to talk to me for about five minutes.

And, I have to say, she was lovely. She talked to me about writing when her kids were little (so encouraging!), confirmed by suspicion that she lives in Oregon (beautiful Oregon!), quoted C.S. Lewis, smiled at and complemented the babies, and signed both my old book and the new one I bought there.

Robin Jones Gunn is the author that showed me that you can write about the present day, and still make it beautiful, that you can write about teenagers without being condescending, that you can write relaxing books that aren't shallow, that you can write about a relationship with Jesus without being clunky, and that you can write sweet books without being cloying. That's what makes her one of my literary heroines.

So, go read some Robin Jones Gunn! And, as you do, enjoy her stories with the assurance that she's just as lovely in real life as she seems on the page.

peace of Christ to you,

p.s. You know how she wrote when her kids were little? She got up at three in the morning four times a week! And you know what? I want to try it - maybe I'll start with one morning a week, just to see how it goes. But honestly, that sounds like the best way to get some uninterrupted time. (And, if you do it her way, you make a big pot of tea to go with all those words. Doesn't that sound lovely?)


Emily said...

So if you get up at three in the morning, don't you think you'd be cranky with your kids for the rest of the day? I'm pretty sure I would be. That's why I've never liked the suggestion to "get up at 4am to have time with Jesus" - I'm not very holy at 2pm if I do that! :)

Elena said...

When you have a tiny one nursing in the night, sleep trumps everything! =) I don't think I could do 3am, but I do know that I'm know I'm a much better mom on the days when I've gotten up early to write. I'm less tempted to resent my kids as three reasons I can't write, and more likely to love them all the more as three excellent sources of material. On the days when I can drag myself out of bed, that is... =/

Stephanie S said...

Actually, getting up early is the best way for me to write, too, even though I don't have kids. People just don't call you, and businesses and doctors' offices are open, and you have to be quiet because other people are sleeping in the house.
But getting enough sleep is still a problem...