Saturday, June 10, 2006

Guest Blogger--Sharon Hinck

Today's guest blogger is Sharon Hinck. You can find out more about Sharon here:
website and
blog.

Sharon has been married to Ted for 27 years... and yes, they were high school sweethearts. Her oldest son, Joel, is married (Sharon says it's still weird to think of herself as a "mother-in-law" to his dear Jennelle). Kaeti is almost 21 and a journalism/theology major. This summer she's doing an internship in Chicago. Josh is 15, into drama and music. Jenni is 13 and loves to write, sing, play piano and flute.

Tricia: Sharon, where did you get the idea for your newly released novel?

Friends and I often talk about the pressures we feel as wives and moms - and even when we recognized that much of the pressure was self-imposed, we weren't always able to break free. By writing a novel about a mom feeling driven to do "Something Big for God" I could look for a new perspective on what it means to make a difference in the world.

Tricia: How do you balance your role as writer and mom? What has surprised you most about balancing both?

I don't do balance very well. I've been known to jot notes for a scene I'm working on during a long piano recital (NOT when my kids are playing...or their friends...) or during a soccer game (what? Jenni blocked a kick? Where?) I'm grateful for the grace my family gives me that allows me to write during the crevices of time I can find. What has surprised me is realizing that time alone doesn't necessarily make it easier to write. Family support, encouragement, and chatter fill my well and help me keep at it.

Tricia: What are your tips for moms who want to follow a dream beyond toilets and play groups?

Ask God to give you the gift of a few glimpses into how you already are making a difference in your life. I think we'll all be AMAZED when we get to heaven to discover ways we blessed others and never knew it. Don't despise giving that "cup of cold water" to a child...it's a service to God.

But also, stay in touch with your gifts and passions. When I was little, I dreamed of being a secret agent. That doesn't seem like a passion God could use, but my love for adventure stories HAS been used by God in my writing life. Take a moment to jot down your "secret life." What are the things you dreamed of doing when you were in second grade, sixth grade, high school? What are some hobbies you loved but gave up when life became more practical? I give a talk on "Finding Ministry in the Midst of Motherhood." We CAN find ways to have a ministry around our passions, even while busy with nursing and potty-training, and field trips. We just have to find new shapes for it.

Tricia: Also, we live in a time when people have numerous choices for entertainment. Why do you think Christian fiction continues to sell and draw readers?

The spiritual journey is a core experience in every human, and Christian fiction doesn't ignore that aspect of the human condition. In fact, it allows the spiritual journey of the characters to be an vital part of the story. Christian fiction can produce that wonderful sense of recognition, the comfort in finding "someone else has been here," and can inspire us for the battles in our own daily life.

Tricia: Finally, how has God worked in your life as you work on your writing?
With great humor. He keeps showing me ways that I NEED the lessons of The Secret Life of Becky Miller. I write from my weakness and failures. I'd rather write from my strengths - but God keeps challenging me to be honest in creating characters that make mistakes that I make.

Thank you, Sharon!

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