Saturday, January 06, 2007

BOM: The Singing Shepherd

Leslie asked a good question (and don't feel silly because people ask it all the time): Why is my name sometimes "Angela Elwell Hunt" and sometimes "Angela Hunt"?

In the beginning, all of my books said "Angela Elwell Hunt." The name is always the author's choice, and I had this thing about how there aren't many Elwells and no boys in my family, so I thought I should use the Elwell.

I kept it as I moved into writing adult historicals. But as I began to write adult contemporary novels, one of my editors pointed out that my name could be BIGGER if I dropped the "Elwell." Hmm. Good point. So I dropped the "Elwell" on the adult contemporaries, and a lot of people thought I was two people.

Lately, however, I've noticed that the three name thing is being overdone, so I'm going more and more by the simple "Angela Hunt." And I think that people are finally realizing that the historical writer, the children's writer, and the contemporary novelist are all the same person. At least I hope they are.

On to today's book: I love The Singing Shepherd because it's about a boy who loves to sing . . . and can't carry a tune. The idea sprang from a nativity story. I began to think about the angels appearing to the shepherds, and I thought, "What if one of the shepherds decided NOT to go and see the child . . . and later regretted it?

So I created a child-shepherd who suffers from a lack of courage . . . and goes to find the child in Bethlehem much later than the other shepherds. But when he straggles into town, the angel has already appeared to Joseph, and soldiers are already checking people at the city gates, looking for a baby.

So the shepherd takes the baby and slips him into his shepherd's sling, and helps sneak the baby out of the city. The lamb of God carried in a sling for lambs . . . I love the image.

This book is also out of print now, but it will always be one of my favorite stories. If I had to write it over again, though, I think I'd cut out a few words. It's a wee bit too long for my tastes . . .


1 comment:

Leslie said...

Cool =) Thanks for answering my question!