We are delighted that Angela Hunt will be the keynote speaker at this year’s conference. She graciously agreed to answer a few questions as we countdown toward the conference.
We’re so excited to have you join us as the keynote speaker at this year’s ACFW conference. Any previews you want to give us about your topics?
Hmm. I’m not sure what I’ll be speaking on because the Lord hasn’t told me yet. I’m pretty sure it’ll be something that I’m currently learning, however. That’s usually what works best for me. And I usually always tell my “how I got published” story.
You are a prolific writer with more than 100 books published. How do you get the ideas and what ifs for your books? And do you ever think you’ve found the last great idea for a book?
Ideas are always popping up like mushrooms. The trick is culling the really good ideas from the mediocre ones. The last great idea? LOL! Not sure there is such a thing, because any so-so idea can be made great by the way you handle it. I expect I’ll still be getting ideas in my dotage. I’m just not sure they’ll make any sense!
You also have a doctorate in theology. How does that help you in your writing?
I went back to school for two reasons. First, I wanted to know more. After 113 books, all of them very different, I was running out of spiritual topics to address. Second, I wanted to be absolutely certain that the spiritual concepts I was presenting were accurate. I can’t think of anything more awful than to teach heresy or to propagate misinformation, especially about spiritual matters. I’ve had people disagree with me, but since my ideas come from the Bible, I usually just point them back to the Truth.
While individuals at all stages of the writing journey will attend the ACFW conference, many are still seeking that first contract. What advice do you for them as they prepare for the conference?
Come with an open mind. There’s a lot of misinformation out there in the blogosphere, and people who are desperate to be published often take some of those “rules” as gospel truth. Also, if you’re not published yet, don’t worry about having a website, a platform, a slogan, a list of endorsements. None of those things matter one whit as much as WRITING A FASCINATING STORY. Spend most of your time on writing a story you’re passionate about. Work on your craft so it’s well-told. As to all that other stuff, as a New York cabbie would tell you: “fuggedaboudit.” Plenty of time for that after the story’s told–unless you’d rather work on your next book (and who wouldn’t?).
You and Terri Blackstock are teaming up for a workshop entitled Survival of the Fittest. What’s the number one piece of advice you have for published authors?
For published Christian authors, I’d advise two things: 1) on the personal side, make sure you are continually listening to the Lord above your agent, your editor, your writing friends. You’re responsible to Him, and sometimes He leads down paths that do not conform to conventional wisdom. Obedience is more important than sales and what the world calls “success.” 2) On the business side, even if you have an agent, read every word of your contract and learn about industry standards. In this day of changing technologies, don’t unwittingly sign your work away forever. A fair and reasonable rights reversion clause can be your best friend.
Great advice. Any other thoughts for us?
Just that I’m looking forward to being with everyone in September. And I’m hoping it will be cool! It’s so hot down here in Florida that I’m having to put ice cubes in my mastiff’s water bowl–and they’re always with me, in the air conditioning!