Written in the airport–

Yesterday I was at the salon having my roots done–and my stylist has this nifty new toy.  Mounted next to each chair is a touch screen, so you can watch a streaming video, browse for new hair styles, or select your next Redken products while you’re getting your hair colored or buzzed or whatever.  Pretty cool, huh?  Pretty soon you’ll be able to visually “try on” your new hairdo before you take that first cut!  

Speaking of such things, I was writing on a writer’s email loop about how writers are like fashion designers–just as you can recognize the quirkiness of a Betsy Johnson dress or the clean lines of Ralph Lauren, you can also recognize certain hallmarks of your favorite author.  Anyway, after I posted that note, all of the Project Runway addicts came out of the closet!  (I confess, I’m hopelessly addicted.) 
I started to watch PR because my daughter is in fashion (trust me, I’m not), and I wanted to understand some more of her world.  Fascinating!  In my mind, I keep changing it up for writers–take a group of them, give them a challenge, send them off to write a short story, and then read it before a group of judges.  Hear, “I can’t believe you’re giving us first-person narration again–can’t you take it to the next level?”  LOL!  
Anyway, Project Runway is coming down to the big finale and I’m not sure who to root for.   Christian is talented, but he needs to learn some humility.  Jillian is talented, but she could use some sparkle.  Rami was my favorite, but he was hard on Sweet Pea when they were working as a team, and I’m a little tired of the Grecian goddess look. 
(The photo is of Christian’s winning look for “art as fashion” week.  You’re not supposed to actually wear it, just . . . admire it.  I mean, how could pants that tight be comfortable? I really do love the white blouse, though.) 
Anyway–there.  My confession for the day.  
Taking it back to writers (other than me, please):  what are some distinguishing characteristics that you know you’re always going to get when you pick up a certain writer’s book?  Anything come to mind? 


  1. sara

    i know when I pick up a Randy Alcorn book, I will be getting an intriguing view of Heaven!

  2. Dana

    No fair. You can’t exclude yourself! I know from your books I’m going to get a spiritual “lesson” or truth. That’s what I love the most about them. Darn. I can’t think of anyone else…

    Have a great trip!

  3. Accidental Poet

    Lynn Austin’s historical fiction: compelling narrative that makes you want to grab your Bible and re-read

    Kristen Heitzmann: finely honed prose combined with resonating spiritual truth

    Nancy Rue: people you care about

    Kathryn Mackel: Read with the light on!

    Al Gansky: a trip to somewhere interesting that you’ve never been before

    Angela Hunt: real people in interesting situations, Jesus on every page.

    Rene Gutteridge: you will like her people, and you will laugh. Often.

    Patti Hill: people you wish you could be your friends in real life

    Ted Dekker: read with the light on, under your bed, with all the doors locked

    Karen Hancock: well-crafted fantasy, with finely designed redemptive analogy

    Donita Paul: readable prose, enjoyable story, take-away truths (“You have been given a gift, and you need to honor that.”)

    And to think – less than five years ago, I was one of those “I don’t read Christian fiction” girls …

  4. Angela

    What lovely accolades for some of the nicest people in the world FROM some of the nicest people in the world. 🙂

    Angie, still sitting in the airport . . .

  5. Carrie K.

    Athol Dickson – wonderful plot twists and some of the best descriptions of setting.

    Lisa Samson – quirky, authentic characters who each have their own “voice.”

  6. Kathryn Mackel

    Like my friend Accidental Poet, I wasn’t reading Christian fiction six years ago. One of my first books to intro me to the genre? Angie’s The Debt.

    Re: Runway. Rami is my favorite too but he needs to show variety. I expect Christian to win, but I think Jillian will show clothes I’d like to wear (if I were eight sizes smaller)

  7. Accidental Poet

    My intro to Christian fiction was Francine Rivers The Last Sin-Eater. I wouldn’t even have read that, but I was recovering from surgery and ran out of books to read, and a friend brought me some from our church library.

    I put down The Last Sin-Eater and said “Please God let me write something that good just once in my life.”

    So with a cautious appreciation for Christian fiction, I went to the library and found Angela Hunt’s Awakening. Beth Moore had liked it, and I liked Beth Moore, so I gave it a shot.

    I’ve since bought more copies of that book than I can count. I have a list in my head of “people I’ve already bought ‘Awakening’ for.”

    The rest, as they say, is history.

  8. Kay

    Those pants look familiar. I remember the “harem pants” that were fashionable in the late
    80’s. They looked terrible on everyone!

    With Angie’s books, I know I’m going to encounter something I’ve never read in fiction before.

    Athol Dickson – rich words and vivid imagery.

    Francine Rivers – I’ll be drawn right into the story

    The Theones- great historical education in an engrossing story.

    The problem is, that even though I’ve been reading Christian Fiction since Love’s Enduring Promise or whatever it was, I have been terrible at remembering the authors names.

  9. Suzanne

    If I read Karen Kingsbury I know I’ll cry.

    Brandilyn Collins is edge of your seat quick paced.

    Ted Dekker–his I have to put down and walk away from when they get too intense.

    I know Diann Hunt and Kristin Billerbeck will make me laugh.

    Terri Blackstocks books make me think.

    And Angie…I know you don’t want to be included but it seems odd to leave you out (this being your idea and all!) your books entertain me, make me forget all of my other duties and urge me to be a better person. Especially with The Debt. I can’t get past it–it was life changing for me.

  10. Mocha with Linda

    That’s definitely not a wearable outfit – how could you sit in those pants or eat (or do anything!) in that top?! And it would probably scare me to hear how much it would cost….

    Charles Martin – raw honest emotion in characters, tender & abiding love persevering through pain & heartache.

    Nancy Rue – gripping, real-life situations that leap off the page with characters I feel like I know; spiritually challenging insights.

    DeAnn Gist & Cathy Marie Hake – historical fiction that is warmly satisfying without being sappy

    Angela Hunt – can’t-put-’em-down, compelling, thought-provoking, simultaneously satisfying yet always want to know beyond the end of the story.

    Hannah Alexander – great combination of faith, mystery, and medicine

    Harry Krauss – medical mysteries that can make me feel torn between being uneasy and not being able to stop reading

    Gilbert Morris – historical, predictable yet enjoyable light reading

  11. Nicole

    Angela Hunt: never the same story twice

    Kristen Heitzmann: romance like it should be written

    Francine Rivers: always profound

    Robert Liparulo: unique, well-written thrillers

    Frank Peretti: capturing the spiritual depths

    Karen Ball: honest, original, good romance

    Susan Meissner: deep stories, subtle humor

    Tosca Lee: stunning writing, great first novel

    to name a few . . .

  12. Nicole

    Oh, how could I forget Randy Alcorn?! Great concepts of heaven, prayer, and fantastic stories with fleshed out characters

  13. Joy

    Karen Kingsbury: I’m going to wish the characters were real people so I could meet them in person…and I’m going to cry by the end.

  14. CrownLaidDown

    What a difficult question! I now will have to read to look for the mark of the writers I read. Hmmm…quite thought provoking.

    When I recommend your books, Angie, I always say that you write about characters I like in situations that are interesting and compelling with a touch of grace covered by the Truth of Jesus. Also, I often say that some of your books remind me of pro/con issues which we wrote upon in college. So the topic is the kind that we have an opinion on.

    Jan Karon–old friends with whom I want to see how they are doing; many quotable phrases

    Lori Wick–Rich characters that I want to know more about; a gentle read

    Beth Moore–humorous and depth of relationship with Jesus and His Word applied to every day needs

    Elisabeth Elliot–wise, oh so very wise

    Kristen Heitzmann–compelling stories of characters with a story behind them; you are always searching out more of the person in the story

    John Eldredge–always offers a challenge to step up and get out of complacency

    T Davis Bunn–well researched, historical depth and characters that I care about

    Jane Austen–quick wit and insight into the big picture of society

    There are so many more. But as I said, what a question! I’ll keep asking myself this one for every read from now on.


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