Wednesday, August 19, 2015

What Robin Jones Gunn Means to Me

By Kelly Bridgewater

From Amazon
This is the eighth month of me writing about the authors who have influenced me as a writer. If you missed any previous posts, please return to them and read up on how these certain authors influenced me. There were C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, J. K. Rowling, Arthur Conan Doyle, Alexandre Dumas, Frances Hodgson Burnett, and Steven James.

This month, I want to focus on the author who introduced me to the Christian fiction genre. She was the first Christian author to write for the Young Adult readers. Know who I’m talking about. At the 2013 ACFW conference, she was the Keynote speaker, and I had her autograph one of my classic copies of her book.

Have you figured out who I’m talking about yet?

If you guessed Robin Jones Gunn, then you would be right. As a fifteen year old, I was immersed in reading, but I filled my days and evenings with The Baby-sitter Club, Sweet Valley High and University, Nancy Drew,  and other books for young adults. My father had a subscription to the Focus on the Family  magazine. There was an advertisement for the next book in the Christy Miller Series called True Friends, which was the seventh book in the series. My father knew how much I loved to read, but he wanted to introduce me to Christian books, so she purchased the book.

I loved it and wanted the previous six books in the series. The book affected me as a young teenage girl who grew up in the church but had gotten made fun of because of my strong belief in Christ. Joining Christy Miller as she struggles with the issues I faced as a teenager made her realistic for me. Gunn did a good job at allowing me to understand that being a Christian as a teenager is not a bad thing, it is actually a good thing. We have values and guidelines to help us set our lives upon.

From when I got to meet Robin Jones Gun at the 2013 ACFW Conference
It might be funny for the secular community that the public school preaches, but in the end, I’m the one that didn’t have to deal with unplanned pregnancies, STD’s, hang-over, and failing grades.

Robin Jones Gunn introduced me to the Christian Fiction genre and helped me stand strong as a Christian in a world where being a Christian was frowned on. Her stories comforted me and allowed me to stand strong as I took a stand on sex before marriage and drugs.

What author helped you to stand stronger in your faith? What book did they right that inspired you to keep your faith?


  1. Praise the Lord for Robin's books and her positive influence on young girls. Back when I was an editor, we received many manuscripts by women authors for female readers. But I noticed that few authors were writing stories that would appeal to young men-in-the-making. Boys need positive role models too, which is why my first two novels starred male heroes for the YA market. Kelly, may your post inspire both men and women to write wholesome books for the younger generation!

    1. Thank you Rick!! I even purchased an entire collection for my ten-year-old niece. I saw her reading them, which brought a huge smile to my face. I even read them once in a while to put a smile on my face. Robin did have a good impact on my life with her writing.

  2. I agree with Rick, Kelly. Think I'll pick up some of Gunn's books and see if I can interest my Grandgirls in them.

    1. Mary, your grandgirls would LOVE them. It is important to put good books that show realistic characters going through the same struggles they will face growing up but in a positive light. Christy Miller is a great role model for younger girls.