Monday, April 16, 2007

Karen Hancock - CSFF Blog Tour




Return of the Guardian-King by Karen Hancock releases this month. Woo hoo!

Last month I shared how spec-fic author Randy Ingermanson made a huge difference in my entrance into the writing profession. God brought one other published author into my life who served as an example and mentor early on, and who deeply affected my approach to this calling. You guessed it. Karen Hancock!

I don't remember now what first prompted me to get up the nerve to email her. I think it was to see if she would be attending Mount Hermon as I prepared to go to my first conference four years ago. Today when I rummaged through my files, I found print-outs of long, meaty email conversations from back in 2003, so it was early in my novel journey.

I didn't get a chance to meet Karen in person until ICRS last summer. But I'd already learned she was wise, warm, funny, kind, gentle, and generous. Over the years, I've shared many of my questions and struggles with her about the emotional and spiritual challenges of being a writer. What I admire most is her tenacious focus on the truth that matters - on living lives of obedience and faith instead of striving and fretting.

If you read her blog, you've been blessed by her honesty about these themes, and about the temptations that rise up for writers to focus on deadlines, sales numbers, "fitting in," reviews, and distractions. She's been my role model of someone who withdraws from the clamor, listens to God, and writes. She also fits in-depth study of the Word into her daily life.

Perhaps that's part of what makes her prose so rich--that and the tremendous gift God has given her. Some authors write fast-paced stories that are like magic-marker line drawings with a bit of color sketched in. Karen's books are oil-paintings instead. Layered with colors and texture. If you haven't yet tried her books, get The Light of Eidon and begin the series. You'll be immersed in a journey that will feed your own courage and nobility.

Karen, thank you SO much for all the wisdom and encouragement you've shared - both by your example, and by the counsel you've offered me about specific questions! And thank you for obeying God's call and writing such amazing books.

Be sure to visit the other participants in this month's blog tour for reviews of her new book, interviews, and other interesting posts. I've listed their links in the right-hand column (scroll down to the CSFF Blog Tour list).

When I read the first book of the series, The Light of Eidon, I wrote this review - which applies even more to the other books in the series:

Her created world is alive with interwoven societies and people groups, conflicting loyalties, strange cultures, and creatures painted with vibrant description. Yet the novel never bogs down in those details. I believe that is because of Ms. Hancock's power in sharing authentic and multi-faceted characters that we deeply care about. I felt a visceral level of shared experience as I traveled with Abramm through tragedy and hope.

A great book leaves me changed at some level. Light of Eidon, with its unflinching look at the battles of life, has inspired new courage in me for my own day's challenges.

Blessings!
Sharon Hinck

10 comments:

Rebecca said...

I've loved reading Karen's blog, too. Particularly when she was "under the wire" for this latest book - the woman was so diligent and perhaps not aware of how *much* she accomplished in so little time. (Can't imagine how she managed to do that ... ;-))

Thanks for getting my link in there, Sharon. Leave it to me to add Becky M's "Opt In" email to my "must reply" folder, and then forget about it for a week!!!

Karen Hancock said...

Sharon, thanks for this wonderful and very gracious post. I loved our "meaty email conversations" which only came about because of your keen interest in the spiritual side of this writing business. And I so appreciate your taking part in this tour despite the avalanche of writing chores that have poured into your life right now!

WayneThomasBatson said...

You ladies ROCK!! I read your words and I am SO amazed by the outstanding reality of Christ in your lives. If there's a way to be a Christian writer without going completely insane, surely the kind of fellowship you two talk about is incredible.

And, though I know Karen wouldn't put much thought to this, I want to point out that RotGK is selling very well on Amazon. God rules.

If you want to see for yourself, click HERE

WayneThomasBatson said...

OOPS! Can you tell my mind is whirling. I can't even finish a sentence with the same thought still in mind. Here's what I meant to say in the previous:

If there's a way to be a Christian writer without going completely insane, surely the kind of fellowship you two talk about is essential.

hrh said...

Hi Sharon:

Thanks for giving us "the inside view" of the writer. I can believe all you wrote about Karen just from the way her books turn out.

Love your comparison of Karen's writing to a richly layered oil painting. Very true.

Looking forward to more writing - from Karen and from you!

Sharon Hinck said...

Hi, Rebecca!
Yep, her blog is a MUST READ for writers.

Karen, I was THRILLED that you were the feature of the month, because I knew it would be a delight to "love on you" a little. :-)

Wayne, thanks for pointing out the great sales on TRG-K. You're so right that Karen probably isn't keeping an eye on those numbers. It's one of those issues that I learned about from Karen. :-)

She taught me that googling my book's title, checking rankings and stats, and reading reviews could sometimes provide a little happy adrenaline "hit" but left me wanting more (human praise can become an insatiable desire) and stumbling across bad news or negative reviews could send me into a tail spin. So either provided distractions I didn't have time for. I'm gradually getting better at fighting the temptation to look for things, and just thank God when someone passes along good news to me.

We can all thank God for those great numbers for Karen! :-)

hrh, thanks for stopping by. I'll pop by your blog later. I can't wait to read everyone's reviews, insights, etc. :-)

Cheryl said...

Very nice post Sharon. Thanks for sharing. :-)

Shannon said...

Sharon, thanks for posting this ... Karen IS so gracious and approachable, isn't she?? :-) :-) :-) It's fun hearing bits of your story in amongst hers!

Pixy said...

Sharon wrote: "She taught me that googling my book's title, checking rankings and stats, and reading reviews could sometimes provide a little happy adrenaline "hit" but left me wanting more (human praise can become an insatiable desire) and stumbling across bad news or negative reviews could send me into a tail spin. So either provided distractions I didn't have time for. I'm gradually getting better at fighting the temptation to look for things, and just thank God when someone passes along good news to me."

That is super advice!

Thanks for sharing those great insights from Karen! And I agree with Wayne, iron sharpens iron. It's important to have those friends to look to for support and advice.

chrisd said...

Nice post, Sharon. It's great that you have such wonderful support.