Hello, reader friends! Join me in welcoming author friend Robin Jones Gunn for a little chat in honor of the Haven Makers series book 1, Becoming Us! I’m looking forward to reading this book and delighted to have Robin answer a few questions for us!
about the author
Robin Jones Gunn is the best-selling Christian author of nearly 100 books, including several series for teen girls, the widely popular Christy Miller series, as well as Christian fiction for adult women and several nonfiction books.
She authored Finding Father Christmas and Engaging Father Christmas, both of which have become popular Hallmark Christmas films. The third Father Christmas Hallmark movie was released in November 2018.
Her books have sold over 5.5 million copies worldwide. She makes her home in Hawaii.
For more information, visit her website!
Christy Miller, Sierra Jensen and several other characters from your previous novels return in this book. What has it been like living with a character (Christy) for 30 years? What have you learned?
R: I’m not sure I have much to say about living with a character for 30 years, other than to say that Christy and Sierra sure seem real to me! But I definitely feel as if I’ve lived with the readers for over 30 years and I’ve learned so much from them. I’ve heard their voices in emails, letters, social media posts and face to face every single week for the last three decades. The interaction with them has never let up. They tell me what they want – what they need – what’s missing in the other books they read and the movies they watch.
Christy and Sierra have felt like real people and true friends to these Beautiful Readers. They want to be reunited with them and learn from them how to navigate the next season of life.
B: I’m in the minority who hasn’t yet met Christy but I took advantage of the $1.99 ebook sale on Christy Miller Collection volume 1 and we’re going to remedy that ASAP! (I bet my teenage daughter beats me too it!)
You introduce a new main character in this book, Emily Winslow. What was it like writing the story for a brand new main character and trying to blend her into the world of Christy and Sierra?
R: The interesting thing about Emily was that I didn’t know her name as I was crafting the story. My process is to create binders for all my books and collect pieces long before I start writing. I saw a picture of a woman in a clothing catalog and immediately knew she was going to be the first-person voice telling the story in Becoming Us. I cut out the picture, pasted it on a piece of paper and put it in the binder.
As I spend time with the cast of characters before I start writing, I listen until I can hear their voice in my imagination. I could hear Emily’s voice. I knew all about her life, her personal struggles, her husband and daughter. But she wouldn’t tell me her name.
I started writing the book and when I got to the scene in the first chapter where Jennalyn, the hostess of the Christmas party introduces everyone, I watched my fingers type as Jennalyn introduce her as Emily. I stopped typing and said out loud, “Well, hello, Emily. So nice to finally meet you.” I remembered thinking that Emily was even more shy than I realized and I loved her for her timidity. That character quality played out in the book and endeared Emily to me all the more. We’ve all been Emily’s at some point. It was so healing to watch my ole’ friends Christy and Sierra encircle Emily and invite her into their group. Who doesn’t want to be invited to belong?
B: Oh, this is fabulous! I can’t wait to meet Emily!
Emily and her circle of new friends are tightly knit by the end of the book and even name themselves the Daughters of Eve. Did a friend group of your own inspire their strong bond?
R: I have been blessed many times over to be part of several groups of friends where we shared a tight bond. We never named any of our groups Daughters of Eve but I liked that title for the characters in Becoming Us. It seemed to fit the sort of deep connection they all had just like every woman connects at the beginning of all things by being, if nothing else, all daughters of Eve.
B: There’s no doubt friends are some of God’s greatest blessings!
What can you tell us about what you’re working on next? Will we get to read more about Emily, Christy and Sierra?
R: The happy answer is, yes! Becoming Us is the first book in the Haven Makers Series. I’m working on the sequel now and can promise you more friendship growing adventures with Emily, Christy, Sierra, and Tess. The second book is told from Jennalyn’s point of view. It’s been five years since her mom passed away and Jennalyn is experiencing a new wave of loss. Now more than ever she needs to be surrounded by her closest friends. Why is it she keeps pulling away? What is Jennalyn hiding from them?
B: I love that we get to hang out with this lovely group of friends for a while longer! This series sounds delightful!
about the book
From the author of the best-selling Christy Miller and SisterChicks series comes a new book of community, friendship, and tackling the hard things of life with God and loved ones around a table.
Five young moms, including beloved Gunn character Christy Miller, gather to share meals and soon become unlikely best friends.
The regular gatherings provide opportunities for the women to reveal their stories, and those life stories endear them to each other. They experience their lives naturally meshing as they raise their children together in community.
In Becoming Us the group find ways to challenge, encourage, and help each other become the nurturing mothers they wished they’d had when they were growing up. They unite to be remembered for what they do as moms and not for what was done to them.
Reader friends, I hope y’all join me in reading Becoming Us!
Tell me if you’ve read the Christy Miller series.
Are you a fan? why or why not?