I’m excited to introduce you to Sharon Hinck – author, editor, and…secret agent?
Where did you grow up? Hi, Stacy! I love your description of Minnesota as a Land of 10,000 Words. I’ve always been a chatterbox, and need lots of words. I guess it’s a good thing I began writing novels. I grew up right here in Minnesota (Ja, ya betcha, don’t you know!)
What are some memories you have of growing up here? Our family moved from South Minneapolis out to the “wilds” of Bloomington when I was in second grade. Our neighbor owned a tank and sometimes drove it up and down the dirt road that led to our houses in the woods. I used to explore the meadows and forests near our house. Today that area is all developed and full of paved roads and modern homes.
A tank?? Did you get to ride it? No, but I did get to ride in the bucket of a boom-crane once (my dad worked for Tel-e-lect, a company that made them).
Well, that’s pretty cool too. What did you want to be when you grew up? A secret agent, a ballet dancer, a writer. I did some of them (I’ll leave you to guess which).
Hmm. It’s a toss-up between secret agent and ballet dancer. What do you love about living in Minnesota? What are you not particularly fond of living here? Love: fall and spring. Don’t love: February (by then I’m ready for spring, but winter keeps holding on like a stubborn kid burrowing under the blankets of snow, refusing to get moving)
Great image of February (which is my least favorite month, too!). Tell us about your writing journey. I gravitated to the power of words on a page when my mom taught me to read before kindergarten. In grad school I first began being published in magazines. After years of working in other arts, I joined a writing group. The other members were all writing novels, and it seemed so amazing and fun, that I was inspired to try. Once I finished a novel, I continued to gather feedback, went to a writer’s conference, and kept writing. Within a few years I sold The Secret Life of Becky Miller to Bethany House. I still remember that after the phone call from my agent, I checked the caller I.D. record, because I thought I’d imagined the whole conversation. But no, he had really called to tell me I had my first contract.
I think I’d have done the same! What’s a lesson you’ve learned during that journey? I learned that even with great focus and passion for the work, it’s far too easy to get distracted. Writers get invited to do interviews, to speak, to teach, to mentor, to edit. It’s all good… but can sap writing energy and time. Then there are internal distractions—self-doubt and discouragement can blossom with bad reviews or disappointing sales numbers.
The temptation grows to compare to other writers and their progress. Also, as I learned more about the writing craft, my inner critic became so loud it was harder to write with joyful abandon, the way I had when I didn’t know so many “rules.”
The “rules” can certainly be overwhelming. Has anything surprised you? I’ve learned that God can do wonderful and surprising things through our humble efforts. I’m always blown away when a reader emails to tell me about a way she or he was blessed by one of my stories or a line I didn’t even remember writing.
Tell us about your current work. My most recent release is The Restorer’s Journey-Expanded Edition. I love the Sword of Lyric Series – an adventure series about an ordinary mom pulled into an extraordinary journey. I spent a few years writing devotion guides to go with each book, as well as bonus material for these new editions. They are all available now in wonderful new editions.
It’s an amazing series. Clicking on the book titles below will provide more information about each book, as well as ordering information.
What are your future plans and goals around writing? I’m continuing to work a little each morning, putting words on the page, and hoping some of it will be good enough to share. I spend my afternoons doing some free-lance editing work.
The last few years, I’ve had the privilege of contributing to the Guideposts daily devotion book, “Mornings with Jesus,” and have really enjoyed varying my novel-writing work with the more “bite-size” art of devotions. I’m excited that the new Restorer editions combine both kinds of writing—with the complete novel, and then a devotional guide.
What Minnesota experiences have influenced your writing? My husband and I love hiking up north…and the pines, waterfalls, and rocks of the North Shore all inspired the setting of Braide Wood in The Restorer. My novel Symphony of Secrets features many Twin Cities metro-area locations.
What’s something most people don’t know about you? I’m a new grandma. (Okay, I lied. Most people DO know that about me now, because I can’t stop telling everyone I meet how adorable my granddaughter is.) You can read “7 Things my Granddaughter Taught Me” at my blog.
Congrats on that new grandbaby! And thanks for sharing a little about yourself today, Sharon. (I’m still trying to picture you in a raincoat and fedora, chasing bad guys.)
Leave a comment or question for Sharon here, or connect with her at the following: