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Monday, May 26, 2008

Guest Blog ~ Robin Jones Gunn

When I wrote the first Sisterchicks® book in 2002, I honestly thought it would be a standalone novel. The story was just something fun I wanted to write. Then USA Today ran an article titled, “Bridget Jones Goes to Church” and declared “Sisterchicks on the Loose!” to be the first Christian Chick-Lit novel. I’m not sure it was the first. Neta Jackson, Kristin Billerbeck and several other writers for the Christian market were also writing first-person stories during the same time that fell into the same category. But that was the unexpected bonus – we suddenly had a new category of fiction in the CBA and the doors were open to lots more wonderful books crafted by gifted writers.

So, there I was with a novel that sold 100,000 copies in a few months and had been so fun to write that when my publisher asked if I’d write another, I easily agreed. I knew I wanted to write the second Sisterchicks story about two friends going to Hawaii. I love Hawaii. I love any excuse to write and/or visit beautiful Hawaii.

Sales were still off the charts with Sisterchicks Do the Hula! and places like Target were ordering copies for their endcaps. Why not write some more? The big question was what location should I write about?

As I was pondering this, my agent and I were given a free cruise to Mexico! Ole! Janet and I became the real life “Sisterchicks in Sombreros!” as we set sail and the story floated off my finger tips.

Now what? More Sisterchicks novels, please. Okay. How about “Sisterchicks Down Under!” and “Sisterchicks Say Ooh La La!” and “Sisterchicks in Gondolas!” and “Sisterchicks Go Brit!”

Then my husband said, “It’d be great if your publisher would send you to all those places so you could do the all-important research before writing the stories.” And my publisher said, “Okay.”

For the past five years I’ve been living a writer’s dream. I’ve traveled to Australia, New Zealand, Paris, Venice and England and I have discovered that Sisterchicks are everywhere!

Sisterchicks are friends. Close friends. Women who care about each other at the heart level and share the ups and downs of life with each other in a way that keeps them going strong. In each of the novels a different pair of Sisterchicks travel to one of these corners of the world and discover together that God is much greater than they ever thought. They also discover more completely who God created them to be and how He is fulfilling His dreams for them in the next season of life.

Now that “Sisterchicks Go Brit!” is releasing, I’m finding that everything I’ve been writing about has become real, living truth in this next season of my life. God is much greater than I ever realized. He has dreams for me and He is fulfilling those dreams in unexpected ways. I’m learning to trust Him more deeply and rest in His love. This world He made is gorgeous. It is beautiful and amazing and mysterious. His ways are not my ways. His thoughts are not my thoughts. And I love Him so much. So, so much!

I’d be honored if you came by for a visit. You’ll find lots of info on the Sisterchicks novels and lots of photos from around the world. You can sign up to receive my Robin’s Nest Newsletter. I send out the newsletter via email about every six or eight weeks and offer contests and updates on new titles. You can also listen to some of my stories on audio.

What I want to tell you here is a little story behind the story of “Sisterchicks Go Brit!” I included some photos and travel journal details at the back of the book. This is a story I didn’t include in the novel or in the bonus material at the back of the book. I’m breaking the story here, exclusively! Hee hee!

On one of the days during my research trip to England, we took a train to the city of Rochester to have a look at one of the oldest churches in that part of England as well as see the last house where Charles Dickens lived. We found Rochester to be an uneventful jaunt. We were too late for evening Vesper service at the church. The Dickens home was closed that afternoon and the craft fair that had been taking place on the old castle ground had
just ended and the tents and booths were being taken down. The whole day seemed like a waste.

We stopped to talk to the security guards at the castle grounds to see if there was anything “fun” or “interesting” we could see before getting on a train and heading back to London. One of the security guards said, “You can direct traffic for me, if you like. That will be fun for you and interesting for us.”

I agreed and was given the guards’ stocking cap and lime green safety vest. He ran through a few basic traffic hand signals and I went to work. Indeed, it was fun for me and interesting, I’m sure, to all the curious onlookers. And here are the photos to prove it.

I thought about this bit of silliness the other day when looking through my England photos. I remembered how much we laughed and how good we felt getting back on the train to London even though nothing we set out to do in Rochester had been accomplished. I think the glee and sense of satisfaction was there because we stopped to play.

Why don’t we do that more often? Stopping to play is a wonderful, Sisterchicky, womanly thing to do. Laughter is good medicine. It revives our spirits. Every day we have agendas and lists of goals and some days nothing on the list is accomplished. Okay. So what? Relax. Stop and play for a few minutes. Don’t take yourself so seriously. It will be fun for you and interesting for the rest of us. I promise.

If I could offer you, as a reader, a small gift today, I think the gift would be this freedom to stop and laugh in the midst of all the pressing frustrations of daily life. As I look back over the years of writing the Sisterchicks novels I realize that is exactly the gift I wanted to give to women, whether I understood it or not as I wrote the first book. Each Sisterchicks book is an invitation to pause your routine long enough to laugh a little, turn your heart and your truest self back to God so that when you get on the train of your life to whatever is next, you’ll be refreshed on the journey with a sense of contentment and confidence that your times are in His hands. I hope you enjoy reading “Sisterchicks Go Brit!” and I hope it makes you laugh so that your spirit might be refreshed.

“O Lord, our Lord. How majestic is Your name in all the earth!” Psalm 8:1
“From the rising of the sun to its going down, the Lord’s name is to be praised.” Psalm 113:3
“Like your name, O God, your praise reaches to the ends of the earth.” Psalm 48:10
“No wonder my heart is glad and I rejoice . . . You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.” Psalm 16:9&11

Rejoice, Sweet Sisterchicks!
With a giggle,


  1. My neice introduced me to your first book and two or three others for Christmas gifts. Now I get your newsletter to keep up with your writing. God has truly blessed you.

  2. I'm a huge sisterchick fan, and so is my teen daughter. And I've gotten the women in my church hooked on the books. Thank you, Robin, both for writing these books that touch our hearts, and for this little bonus peek into your trip to Britain.

  3. Thanks for joining us, Robin.

  4. Thanks for blogging, Robin! And Gina, thanks for having her!

    Robin, I LOVE the Sisterchick books. I've converted a few "anti-Christian fiction" readers over to the Sisterchick side as well.

    I'll never forget the encouragement you gave me over 12 years ago to keep writing. Well, I may not be writing for publication yet, but I am still writing. Thanks.

  5. I just LOVE the sisterchicks novels. I hope you will continue to write more of them. So many countries that can be visited.
    I thought of one that would be perfect: ISRAEL!
    I also read your other adult novels.
    Thaks for all the enjoyable hours reading your novels!!!
    Alayne in VA


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