Welcome to week two of the Eight Week Blog Series: Women Who Write. I hope you find this author showcase entertaining and enlightening as we dive into the world of female Christian authors. This series focuses on women who write Christian fiction, their books, and their perspective of the industry.
Gone are the days when women had to hide behind the veil of a male pen name. Though many authors still use pen names today, I think we can all agree we are thankful that women have the freedom to express their art…as women! Being a writer myself, I have to say I am overjoyed at the opportunity to talk with these authors and share their stories with you. So, let’s celebrate the women in fiction who followed their predecessors and continue to pave the way for the rest of us!
Don’t miss the giveaway at the end of the post!
Author Angela Ruth Strong
Angela Ruth Strong studied journalism at the University of Oregon and published her first novel, Love Finds You in Sun Valley, Idaho, in 2010. With movie producers interested in her book, she’s rereleased it as part of a new series titled Resort to Love. She also writes romantic suspense for Love Inspired Suspense. This Idaho Top Author and Cascade Award winner started IDAhope Writers to encourage other aspiring authors. She currently lives in Idaho with her husband and three teenagers where she teaches yoga and works as a ticket agent for an airline when not writing.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer?
My mom was a writer, and I grew up reading stories about me in magazines like Women’s World. In high school I wrote a story about an experience that happened to me and sent it in to a magazine because I figured, “That’s just what you do, right?” My story was published in American Cheerleader Magazine and I was $100 richer. Though it hasn’t ever been that easy again, there has never been anything else I wanted to do. I went on to study journalism at the University of Oregon, and since I stayed home to start a family, my writing grew up with my kids. First rhyming stories for Hopscotch Magazine then a middle grade series. Now I write the kind of books I’ve always loved to read. Love stories.
What are your goals with your writing? What do you hope to accomplish?
My mission statement is to inspire, create, and encourage hope in myself and others, and that’s why I write Christian fiction. It offers hope. Being that my audience is already Christian (presumably), I’m not writing the hope of the gospel message. I’m digging into the lives of Christian characters to shine a light on different ways we can lose hope even if we say we believe in Jesus. Being a Christian doesn’t solve all our problems. Sometimes it even creates problems. For example, the manuscript I sent to my agent last night has a missionary for a hero, and he mistakenly believes God NEEDS him. When he gets to the point he has nothing left to give, he has to admit he doesn’t trust God to care enough to take care of him if he can’t take care of himself. This is something I’ve battled in my own life, and it’s been a humbling lesson for me to learn. I’m not writing Christian stories to confirm what Christian readers already believe, I’m writing Christian stories to challenge them to continue to grow.
What are the biggest challenges you face as a female Christian author?
As I stated above, I want to keep growing, so I know my writing can always improve, but a frustration I face is an audience who often doesn’t want to grow. It seems many people read Christian fiction because they think it’s safe. If Christian fiction is anything, it should not be safe. It should be thought-provoking and challenging. It should create a burning passion inside us to overcome fears and step out of the boat.
Can you tell us a bit about one of your books?
Finding Love in Park City, Utah is the third book in my Resort to Love series and releases in March. The first book was originally published as Love Finds You in Sun Valley, Idaho in 2010. I was able to get my rights back and reprint it as the first in a series so I could write love stories for the other brothers too. This story is about the youngest Lake brother:
C.J. Lancaster’s job as a tabloid journalist takes her to the Sundance Film Festival to interview an actress. She tries to charm her way past the movie star’s youngest brother-in-law, Sam, and somehow ends up on an “undate” with him. If C.J. were ready to date, the fun-loving veteran would be her first choice, but since she’s still healing from her ex-husband’s affair, she knows it will be safer if she scares her new “friendboy” away.
Sam Lake is intrigued—he’s never had to pursue a woman, and he can’t get C.J. out of his mind. Whether it’s how she likes to eat ice cream in winter or the way she gets his nieces and nephews to gang up on him in a snowball fight, he feels more at home with her than his oversized family. But when his own issues arise, he realizes C.J. might be right about avoiding a relationship with him.
Can the two of them overcome the emotional mountains in their lives to be together, or will they remain a “noncouple” forever?
What can readers look forward to seeing from you in the future?
Besides these rom/coms, I also write romantic suspense. Presumed Dead releases in February from Love Inspired Suspense.
Take a look at her books here!
Enter every week for your chance to win a $25.00 Amazon Gift card!
The winner will be announced and notified via email at the end of the 8 week Women Who Write series, don’t forget to come back next Wednesday for another Christian Author showcase!