Sunday, September 02, 2007

A Visit from Angela Hunt

This morning, I'm happy to welcome Angela Hunt
to talk about her new release, Doesn't She Look Natural?

About the story: How do you live when God asks you to bury a dream? Jennifer Graham, the no-nonsense chief of staff for a Virginia senator, quits her job after her divorce—and finds herself an unemployed single mom. Forced to live with her mother until she can find work on Capitol Hill that does not involve her gregarious ex-husband, her efforts are stymied until she learns that she has inherited a funeral home in picturesque Mt. Dora. Jennifer journeys to the small Florida town with her two sons and her mother, never dreaming that within a mortuary she will uncover mysteries of love and life.

I was able to sit in on some of Angela's fiction classes at Mount Hermon. I learned so much from her, just listening to the way she navigates the writing life, as well as how she tackles writing challenges. Her professionalism and her commitment to crafting compelling fiction are an inspiration to me.

Angela, how did you come up with the concept for Doesn't She Look Natural?

A: I read HEAVEN by Randy Alcorn and naturally began to think about the life to come. I’ve also lost several friends over the last couple of years, and I’ve come to realize that death, for the believer, is not to be feared. I thought a series about a funeral home might be a good way to address issues affecting the living and those who are facing death.

How closely is this Doesn't She Look Natural based on your life?

There are bits of every author’s life in every story he or she produces, but I am happily married with two older children. I’ve never been a mortician, but I’ve always been interested in all things medical.

What is the symbolism for the title Doesn't She Look Natural?

When my editor and I were talking about titles, we were trying to think of things people always say at funerals. We’ve come up with three: Doesn’t She Look Natural?, She Always Wore Red, and She’s in a Better Place.

Do you have a favorite character? Why?

I’m a little partial to Bugs, Jennifer’s five-year-old son. He says the cutest things . . .

How much research did Does She Look Natural take?

Quite a bit, and this is just the beginning of the series. In the second book, Jen goes to mortuary school, and by the third book she is actively operating the funeral home. So I’ve had to learn quite a bit about funeral homes, caskets, supplies, embalming, burial versus cremation, etc.

What are some of the challenges you face as an author?

I think all authors face the same challenges—the need to place ourselves in a chair and stay there until the work is done, the challenge of staying fresh in the face of many revisions, and the challenge of weaving entertaining stories and spiritual truths. People looking for the former aren’t always looking for the latter.

What message would you like your readers to take away from Doesn't She Look Natural?

I would like readers to see that God is always leading us . . . even when we don’t like the direction in which we’re moving. And when God moves us, He supplies our needs . . . sometimes in the most unexpected ways.

Angela, thanks for stopping by, and blessings on this new series!

1 comment:

Angela said...

Thank you, Sharon, for sharing your blogspace with me this morning. You're a sweetheart!