Friday, February 01, 2008

Book of the Month: Afton of Margate Castle and the Theyn Chronicles!




Sniff.  I was working on a scene a moment ago.  A character died in Fairlawn (what do you expect in a book about funeral homes?) and I got all choked up.  Really.  Now, if I can only get ahold of myself . . .
 
Thanks, Doni, for the suggestion to do the Theyn Chronicles!  I had almost forgotten about these books because they were my very first adult novels.  

You may have heard my little speech about how I became a novelist--the gist of it is, "by accident." Actually, it'd be more correct to say, "By Providence." 

You see, I never intended to write novels.  In 1983 I started writing articles and other nonfiction pieces, and after in 1988 I had begun to write children's picture books.  I also wrote some nonfiction books, then I thought I'd try my hand at fiction for middle graders.  After writing two or three series of those, one of my editors said, "Why don't you try adult novels?"  And I said, "Okay." 

The conversation literally went like this:  "Adult novels?  Okay.  What kind?" 
Editor:  "Well, historical seems to be selling well." 
Angie:  "Okay--what time period?" 
Editor:  "Well . . . Gilbert Morris has the Civil War all sewn up. And Janette Oake is doing those prairie books . . . and the Thoenes are covering Israel . . ." 
Angie:  "Ooooh--is anyone doing medieval times?  Lords, ladies, all that?  That might be fun." 
Editor:  "Go for it." 
(Well, that's paraphrased, but that's the gist.) 

So I agreed to write three historical novels set in medieval times.  And I didn't know a thing about medieval times, but soon discovered that it's not for no reason they are known as the Dark Ages. People couldn't read and write. Paganism was rampant, and often mixed in with the Catholic faith. And the Catholic faith was pretty much all there was--no four spiritual laws yet, you see, no Martin Luther.  No evangelicalism. 

Hmmm.  How does one write a novel--for the evangelical market-- about such dark times?  

And that became my challenge.  A pretty big one, as I soon discovered. 

Tomorrow:  How the specific ideas germinated for Afton of Margate Castle, The Troubadour's Quest, and Ingram of the Irish. 
 
~~Angie 

7 comments:

Doni Brinkman said...

Angie - it was a first for both of us I guess. :) Your first adult novels and my first Angela Hunt books! You won me over with your very first adult trilogy.

Deborah said...

yay i loved these books too. i thought they were very edgy for Christian fiction in the early 90s especially the first book.

CrownLaidDown said...

Ooh, some new books for me to discover! I'm so excited!!

As for the Fairlawn death, can't you bring them back like in those soap operas??? Perhaps a Lazarus come forth moment??? Hee hee :) It could happen, ya know :)

I do love the characters you are creating in Fairlawn. I'd hate to see any of them go.

Have a wonderful weekend, Angie. Enjoy those lavender socks!
holly

Ruth said...

I absolutely LOVE the Theyn Chronicles...they were my first Angie Hunt books too. :)

Anonymous said...

Unlike the others, I read the Theyn Chronicles after I had read all of the more recent novels. It was fun going back in time, and the series was so well researched and written. What a wonderful "happenstance" for us that you had that conversation with your editor. Although, I expect, this light would not have been kept under a bushel for long in ANY case! Clyde

Kathy said...

I have to write those touching scenes when I'm alone. My kids think I'm crazy enough but if they saw me with tears streaming down my face typing away, well, they'd know for sure.

The Koala Bear Writer said...

Loved the Theyn chronicles, when I found them a few years back... I'm a history buff (did a few medieval courses in university) and would love to write in that time period myself (someday when I can do all the research required!). Definately a fascinating time in history.