Today we have our own Sharon Hinck with us. Award-winning author Sharon Hinck writes “stories for the hero in all of us,” about ordinary women on extraordinary faith journeys. She has been honored with a Christy finalist medal, and three Carol awards for her novels.
Sharon’s undergrad degree is in education, and she earned an M.A. in Communication. She has been a church youth worker, a choreographer and ballet teacher, a home-school mom, a church organist, and a bookstore clerk. One day she’ll figure out what to be when she grows up, but in the meantime she’s pouring her imagination into writing.
1) Everyone seems to have a “how I got published” story. What is yours?
My writing adventure was as fantastical as my stories. After I wrote my first novel, The Restorer, I went to a writer’s conference and an agent liked the story. His enthusiasm fueled my creative energy so much that I wrote two more books in the series, even though Christian publishing houses weren’t interested in speculative fiction at the time. The next year I tried a different genre and wrote a mom-lit. Bethany House bought The Secret Life of Becky Miller and my first published novel was born. Hooray! Once I had a few contemporary novels published, Navpress decided to publish The Restorer and the next two books in the series. When they phased out their fiction line, Marcher Lord Press contracted new editions. Then Marcher Lord Press was sold and became Enclave. The Sword of Lyric series is still alive thanks to Enclave – in a third edition. The life of the books has had as many twists and turns as the stories themselves.
2) When did you realize you wanted to become a writer?
I began to long for it in second grade when I wrote a silly derivative story about three pigs. In fourth grade I painstakingly typed out a story about a horse on an old manual typewriter. By sixth grade I was writing stories inspired by The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and other spy stories. I had a fragile dream of writing – but I assumed it was as remote a possibility as being a secret agent or astronaut. Writers seemed powerful and bold and amazing. Even when I did some professional writing in grad school (magazine articles, etc.) I never dreamed I could develop the skill to write a novel…or that anyone would want to read it. Years later, the writers in a group I was part of were all working on novels. They were having such fun, that when they shared chapters, I wanted to join the fun and try some full-length fiction. That’s when I began writing The Restorer (Sword of Lyric Series Book 1).
3) Tell us a little about your books.
I write “stories for the hero in all of us.” Ordinary people on extraordinary faith journeys. Whether I’m writing contemporary/women’s fiction or fantasy, I try to take readers on a surprising and entertaining adventure full of heart, emotional depth, and spiritual growth.
4) Who are your books aimed at? If applicable: What are some of the challenges of writing for your audience?
Although fantasy novels are most popular with young adult readers (and I do have some young adult fans) The Restorer was unique in that it was targeted to women. The main character is a middle-American mom, who is swept through a portal into another world. I listened to my friends who read lots of Christian fiction but said they didn’t like fantasy, and then I looked for a way to introduce them to the genre, in a way they could relate to. Not only is the protagonist relatable, but her entire courageous and sacrificial adventure is a sort of symbol for the many women who find themselves unexpectedly thrust into a new world. Perhaps they are facing a child with a learning disability, or a friend with cancer, or a husband’s job loss. Whatever challenge they face, they need to learn the rules of the new world and find ways to help the people they love. I know those women. I see their courage. I hoped to reflect them in The Restorer.
5) Describe your feelings when you opened the box and saw the first published copies of your very first book?
Tearful gratitude. I’ve always adored books and the writers who created them. To feel included among them felt like such a great honor and joy.
6) Does anyone else in your family have musical/writing/artistic skills?
My poor husband (who loves to work behind the scenes as a production manager for our local PBS affiliate) had to be the stabilizing influence for a house full of artists. Our children are writers, actors, musicians, artists, designers, composers—using their gifts in various ways in their careers or freelance.
7) What are your hopes for your future as an author?
My hope is that I’ll be guided by Christ in my choices– whether He guides me to write or stop writing, whether He opens doors for others to find my books or not. I also hope that my writing will bring Him joy, draw me into a deeper understanding of His nature, and bless others a bit.
8) How would you like to be remembered?
As someone who participated in the arts in a way that helped others catch a glimpse of how deeply God cherishes them, and as someone who stirred hearts to worship Him in a variety of ways.
Thank you, Sharon, for joining us today! Here is where you can find Sharon online:
Books: Sword of Lyric