Friday, July 15, 2011

Guess I'm Just Not a Classy Author


Do you know the difference between “classy” authors and working writers?

Classy authors never show their toes in public. Writers go barefoot as often as they can.

Classy authors are always dressed up. Writers don’t comb their hair before lunch and wear sweat suits while they’re working if no one is coming over. Because I live in Florida, I’m usually in shorts with bare feet.

Classy authors never yell. Writers get excited and scream when their kids are pounding on the door, the printer won’t print, or the power goes off unexpectedly. We used to live in a rural area where our power transformers were mounted atop high telephone poles. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been hard at work, heard a large kaboom, and stepped outside to discover that a squirrel had committed suicide on my telephone pole. Being a dedicated female writer, naturally I went back into the house, called Florida Power, and went shopping.

Classy Christian authors only read newspapers, the Bible, and My Utmost for His Highest. Writers read those things, too. But we also read the comics first thing in the morning and wistfully peek at Best Seller lists. We read other authors and gleefully note grammatical errors in the margins.

Classy authors do not eat except at banquets where they’re always the speaker and guest of honor. Writers snack all the time and consequently gain two pounds per book—unless they learn to chew sugarless gum instead.

Classy authors have housekeepers who cook for their families. Writers make tons of spaghetti and memorize the phone number for any pizza man who’ll deliver. I’m happy to report that the Schwan man and I are now on a first name basis.

In 1983, when I started writing, I wanted to be a classy author. I’d dream about people standing in three-mile lines for my book signings and people stopping me on the street and saying, “Aren’t you--”

But five years later, I actually wrote a book that a publisher wanted to buy. And the night after I got “the Call,” I lay awake thinking that the time had come to get serious, people were actually going to read what I wrote. And it might change their lives the way some books have changed mine. (After all, I learned how to flirt by reading Gone with The Wind.) And that God had just given me an awesome responsibility. . .

A few summers ago I went with my husband’s youth group to a camp where they have horseback riding. I mounted my hot, sweaty mare and leaned forward to brush the horseflies from her face. “What’s this horse’s name?” I asked the trail guide.

“Classy,” he said.

I grinned. I knew that was as close to classy as I would ever be.

Tee hee.  Of course the above mini-speech is all in fun; I actually know many classy authors who happen to also be Real People. So that's what I try to be. Real. Honest. Transparent. In my writing work and in my life.

Because it's really the best way to be.

~~Angie
http://www.angelahuntbooks.com

16 comments:

C.J. Darlington said...

Thanks so much for this reminder about what being a real writer is all about.

Missy said...

HAHAHA!!

Love it. Well said.

Katy said...

I'm perfectly happy to be just a writer. But can I have one of those housekeeper thingies?

Bonnie R. Paulson said...

thank you. exactly what i needed this morning.

Richard Mabry said...

Angie, you've restored my faith in authors--at least, the kind I hang around with. Thanks.

Bonnie Lacy said...

Great stuff, Angie. Simple, wise, grounded! Thanks!

Cindy Swanson said...

Well, speaking as a reader--you might not think you're classy, but your books definitely are. When people sniff disdainfully at Christian fiction (when most of the time they've never even read a word of it), YOU'RE one of the authors I point to as being one of the best I know of in ANY genre!

Linda G said...

I have had the privilege of meeting you and you are one classy lady.

Angela said...

Ah, thanks, everybody, for dropping by. I suppose classiness is in the eye of the beholder, no? :-) Carry on!

Angie

Anonymous said...

How fun! Apparently being a grandma hasn't siphoned off any of your creative juices.

Blessings,
Mary Kay

Caitriona aka Catherine said...

This post is great! Anyone who can make me laugh out loud at the computer screen is classy in my book. You described the classy authors and working writers, would that make us "wanna-be's" suffering scribes?

Angie....I appreciate you being the real deal!

~Catherine

Ane Mulligan said...

And we love you the way you are, Angie, REAL classy. Dog drool and all. ;)

Hugs!

Anonymous said...

"Excuse me, but aren't you 'The Note'-able writer who loves big slobbery dogs, whipping up cute cupcakes, fancy aprons, sang for ReGen, and has written 70+ novels, Angela Elwell Hunt?"
Just keeping it real with you, Angie, lol. Going barefoot must help you sink your toes in for that seat in the chair times ;)
Miriam

Anonymous said...

"Excuse me, but aren't you 'The Note'-able writer who loves big slobbery dogs, whipping up cute cupcakes, fancy aprons, sang for ReGen, and has written 70+ novels, Angela Elwell Hunt?"
Just keeping it real with you, Angie, lol. Going barefoot must help you sink your toes in for that seat in the chair times ;)
Miriam

Kimberli Renee' Campbell said...

Working writer - I feel better now knowing I am not alone. :) Thanks!!

Sarala said...

Love it! I can't write in anything but sweat pants and a T-shirt. No socks or shoes for me, please. :)