Wednesday, December 30, 2009

For Love of the Family

I recently returned from a trip to the frigid see my family.

Okay, so the picture isn't recent, but I got to see some of our old photos for the first time in many years and I absolutely love them.

It's been colder up there on other trips, but it's been years since I've seen so much snow up there in December. Eight inches of the big, wet, fluffy flakes kept us in the house Christmas day, postponing our gathering. It snowed about sixteen, or more, inches while we were there. When we left, they had about two and a half feet of snow on the ground.

Quite the winter wonderland. But as beautiful as it is, it has a tendency to hinder travel. So we broke out alternate modes of transportation.

I'm not overly fond of that cold white stuff, which is why I moved south, but I wouldn't trade that trip for anything. In fact, I'd do it all over again...for love of my family.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


I always enjoy a chance to get together with fellow writers. The fun and fellowship we share is priceless. Not to mention that writers are the only ones who understand other writers...the oddities and little quirks, or even the unique way we think. For example, I was told by my friend, my pastor's wife, (you know, one of those 'normal' people) that my thought process is quite interesting. Never mind the fact that I had just told her the dark, narrow road we were on would be a good place to dump a body. But since she is an avid reader and has come a little closer to understanding me, she puts up with my odd statements. (though I did notice she hugged the passenger door a little more)

MTCAN (Meet The Christian Authors Night) provided the perfect opportunity to mix and mingle with other authors. But that's not all it did. The funds raised from our book sales helps Grace-Full Ministry provide back-to-school items for children of single moms as well as fix cars to help those moms get their kids to school on time. The funds also allow children to attend camps and helps with home repairs. I would like to thank the ladies of this ministry for the opportunity to help serve in these activities, even in such a small way. I know what this ministry does for these families is such a blessing, and I'm blessed to be even a small part of it. Thank you, Linda Kozar for inviting me to be a part of MTCAN. And I also thank Janice Thompson for doing such and excellent job as emcee of the event. One more special thank you goes to Karen, who has become a dear friend and is without a doubt the most incredible PR person I know. There's not a question in my mind that without her enthusiastic praise of my book, none would have sold. She's a gem.

We are here to praise, worship, and serve our Lord. Whenever you get the chance, help God's loved ones. They're not the only ones who will be blessed.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Meet The Christian Authors Night

Mark your calendars for the second annual
Friday, July 31st, 2009
6:30-9:00 pm

  • Live Entertainment from local Christian music artists
  • Hear Cec Murphy speak
  • On the Spot Author Interviews
  • Meet your favorite Christian authors in person
  • Shop for books and have them autographed
  • Meet local Christian music artists--buy CDs
  • Buy unique handcrafted silver jewelry and antique beaded necklaces from a Christian jewelry artist
  • Enter a raffle to win a BIG BASKET OF BOOKS!
  • Browse our silent auction with fantastic items to bid on (Astros tickets, spa package, etc)
  • Enjoy refreshing beverages and delicious desserts
  • Help support Grace~Full the ministry to single parents.
As of July 1st, 2009, authors who are coming to sign books at this event are: Cec Murphey, Gail Gaymer Martin, Kathy Ide, Cyndy Salzmann, DiAnn Mills, Kathleen Y'Barbo, Janice Thompson, Martha Rogers, Anita Higman, Lena Nelson Dooley, Jeff LeJeune, Linda and Steve Bauer, Janelle Mowery, Elizabeth Ludwig, Randi Morrow, Karen Zick Slagle, Julie Johnston Zick, Nancy Williams, Cathy Messecar, Kim O'Brien, Brenda White, Donn Taylor, Kent Whittaker, Marcia Gruver, Linda Kozar, Dannelle Woody, Rene' Morris, Eileen Key, Marilyn Eudaly, Karen Mayer Cunningham, Lena Nelson Dooley, Vicki Moss, Darol Hail, Don Dickerman, Patricia Lowenfield and Don Dilmore

@WoodsEdge Community Church
35333 Gosling Road
Spring, TX 77389

View the blog about this exciting event and watch the video at


Monday, March 23, 2009


Though the CBE turnout wasn't as large as hoped, I must say I had a wonderful time. Catching up with old friends and meeting new ones without having to wait for the ACFW conference helped make the trip a success in my eyes. I was able to spend time with three of my favorite people, Elizabeth Ludwig, Susan Downs, and Kim Sawyer,

not to mention Chris Lynxwiler, Carrie Turansky, Wanda Brunstetter, Becky Germany, and Mary Connealy who, btw, found out she was nominated for the Christy Award while at the CBE. Great stuff. Congratulations, Mary.

I think one of the most exciting things to happen was when Max Lucado was kind enough to speak to my sister on the phone since she couldn't be there. Her excitement alone made the trip worthwhile.

I was also able to meet face to face with my agent, Sandra Bishop, who has become another of my favorite people. She introduced me to some of the marketing folks at Harvest House, who will soon be publishing my Colorado Runaway historical series. I had dinner with Mary Lu Tyndall and Kelly Hake one night and thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them. Another night I had dinner with many of the members of the Christian Authors Network, and spent time with Anita Higman and Aaron McCarver, but do you think I was smart enough to get pictures of any of these people? Nope. I'm still kicking myself.

All of this is to say, the next time you have an opportunity presented like the CBE, try to make it. You'll get to connect with some wonderful people.

Friday, February 13, 2009

God Is So Good

It has happened. It was a long time coming. At least in MY time frame. But God, in all His goodness and grace, blessed me with a sale of my historicals. And not just with any publisher, but with Harvest House. Why is that such a big deal? Well, I'll give you the short version of this story.

It was only after reading several stories by Lori Wick that I determined I could write a story. She, or better, her stories inspired me. I was sure I could do it. So after formulating a plot and carrying the story around in my head for a year, I finally sat down and started my first story. When that one was finished, I started another, and then another. I had no clue what I was doing. Didn't know a thing about writing rules. I just wrote the stories that kept taking over my mind.

Then I joined ACFW and one of their critique groups. With the help of the ladies in that group, I learned the writing rules, went back to my stories, and applied those rules. After years of work and patience, those stories have now sold. A dream come true.

For those of you who don't know, Lori Wick is published by Harvest House. Isn't that amazing? Talk about a dream coming full circle. To this day, I still stand in awe of how God works. His ways are perfect. Don't ever stop dreaming, and never give up.

A big thank you to my Lord and also to the editors at Harvest House, who believe in these stories. I am thrilled and honored to be working with this publishing house, and I am humbled by God's graciousness. Praise God! And thank You so much.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Teen Series Turns 20, Hits 2.5 Million Sold

Robin Jones Gunn Reaches 4 Million Copies of her Books in Print

THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS--When taken individually--having a series last twenty years with all the titles still in print; seeing 2.5 million copies of those titles sold; and having 4 million copies of your children's, teen and adult books in print--could be considered quite an accomplishment. Yet bestselling author Robin Jones Gunn has achieved all three milestones. Just last week she turned in her 70th book.

Gunn, the wife of a former youth pastor, never intended to become a writer. "We were on a camping trip with the kids in our church youth group, and a bunch of girls were hiding out in their tent reading evocative novels." she states. "When I said I didn't want them reading those books, they challenged me and said, 'Why don't you write a book for us, then? We'll tell you what to write. How hard could it be?' I soon found out that it was very hard but those girls helped me every sentence of the way."

It took two years to finish Summer Promise, the first title in The Christy Miller Series, and 10 rejections from publishers that claimed they just didn't see a market for them before the title was contracted. "I wanted to say, 'You can't see them because they're hiding in the tent with a stack of books from the library.'"

But the book division of Focus on the Family was aware of the need for clean teen books and had been looking for a writer to create a series. When then-editor Janet Kobobel Grant read the manuscript for Summer Promise, she realized Gunn understood how to connect with teens.

By the time the first book was published, Gunn was committed. She had fallen in love with the art of telling stories to teens. "The cast of characters in the The Christy Miller, Sierra Jensen, College Years, and Katie Weldon series are all very alive and real in my imagination. Over the years I've received thousands of letters from teens that feel the same way. These characters are their friends."

The books have been translated into several languages, including Portuguese. "Whenever I receive another email from Brazil with lots of exclamation marks I smile," she says. "I can't read a word of it, but my heart knows what they're saying."

Every one of the thirty novels in the Christy Miller, Sierra Jensen, College Years, and Katie Weldon series is still in print. Indeed, fans of the first books are now introducing a new generation of readers to the books they love. One of the original readers, Tracy, showed up last year at a booksigning Gunn was doing in Indiana. Tracy surprised Robin by bringing her teenage daughter with her stack of books ready to be signed. "My daughter still doesn't believe I helped with these stories," Tracy said. "She says they're too authentic to have been written in my generation. I told her it's a God-thing."

"Robin's books have connected with teen girls for twenty years, with the first Christy Miller novel releasing in 1988," says Janet Grant, now Gunn's agent and founder of Books & Such Literary Agency. "How fitting that during this anniversary year, her teen books should reach this level of sales."

Grant remains as surprised about the longevity of the series as Gunn. "Neither she nor I ever envisioned such a long, happy and spiritually productive life for Todd, Christy, Katie, and the other authentic characters Robin created. Yet she receives letters and emails from girls every day who gave their lives to Christ or made other significant spiritual decisions as a result of reading these works of fiction."

"After two-plus decades of writing for publication," Gunn says, "I have come to ask of myself and of God the same questions I ask of these fictional characters: "What happens next? What if . . .? and Why not?"

Gunn's desire to write in a way that teens connect with and to touch their lives continues to be her driving force. In the words of one of her fans, "These books totally changed my life. You have no idea how much. Please don't ever stop! No one else writes for us like this. You have to keep writing for us until your hand falls off!"

Given Robin Jones Gunn's track record, many productive years lie ahead of her, and she still has stories to tell that teens long for. Her next teen book release, in May 2009, will be an addition to the Katie Weldon series, Coming Attractions.

Robin Jones Gunn is available for interview

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Standing Firm

The Old Man of Hoy is a 449 foot stack of sandstone that stands in the Orkney Islands of Scotland. Relentlessly beaten and battered by winds and crashing waves for 400 years, the column still stands. Some say erosion will soon make the Old Man fall while others are certain it will stand another 200 years. Regardless of who is right, it’s still quite impressive to know this famous landmark has stood so long while facing constant adversity.

As Christians, we too must stand firm. Our faith must stand firm, even when we’re beaten and battered until we feel like an old man, or woman, as the case may be. We may wonder when the wind will ever stop blowing or the waves stop crashing against us. Adversity comes in many forms. Poor health. Loss of a loved one. Ridicule. Sometimes just the wear and tear of our busy, everyday lives.

As a writer, I also see the similarity, the need to stand firm, keep the faith, even when we feel beaten and battered. Rejections. The need for patience. Deadlines. Writer’s block. Doubts.

The list goes on for both believers and writers. But we can overcome. The Old Man stands because of its strong foundation. We, too, have a firm foundation. God’s strong foundation stands firm upon which we can rest. In, on, and through Him, we can endure anything. ‘For God did not give us a spirit of timidity but one of power, love, and discipline.’ (2 Timothy 1:7) Choose to stand firm in the face of adversity. By doing so, you will glorify God.