Thursday, May 25, 2006


To celebrate the release of my first novel, I'm touring the world (including South Africa, Canada, and all over the U.S.A.) via the internet. I'll be visiting a variety of blogs to be interviewed, to share a guest article, or to be part of drawings for The Secret Life of Becky Miller.

You're invited to enjoy THE SECRET IS OUT Blog Tour. Travel with me from site to site and meet some great new people! If you have a website or blog and would like me to visit your site, I still have a few days open for the tour. Let me know!

Here's where I'll be each day in June:

June 1. Becky Miller
June 2. Tiff Amber Miller
June 3. Valery Sykes
June 4. Janet W. Butler
June 5. Camy Tang
June 6. Mary Griffith
June 7 Sharon Hinck’s Home Blog
June 8. Lisa Harris
June 9. Julie Carobini
June 10. Tricia Goyer
June 12. Violet Nesdoly
June 13. Jamie Driggers
June 14-15. Ruth Anderson
June 16. Melanie Dobson
June 17. Donna Fleisher
June 20. Mary DeMuth
June 22. Karen Hancock
June 25. Lena Nelson Dooley
June. 26 April Choate

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Learning the Lessons of Becky Miller

Lately, I've found myself feeling overwhelmed with a zillion details relating to my writing life. I've grown frustrated with myself because I don't have enough energy, skill, or hours in the day for everything I could/should be doing as an author, wife, mom, church member, friend, neighbor, daughter.

This morning as I prayed and whined to God again about how little He has to work with in me (and why not make me smarter, faster, stronger--bionic?), I realized it was time for me to face some facts.

I AM a flawed, human, broken, limited person.

Ignoring that fact leads me to run faster and harder and spin my wheels in a frenzy of efforts that make me less available to love those around me.

That's when it hit me. That was very much the struggle Becky Miller faced in The Secret Life of Becky Miller. She felt that as a Christian (with God's strength at her beck and call) she should be able to perform at a superhuman level. She demanded it of herself.

Yet when God calls us to rely on His strength, He's not inviting us to take His place. To try to BE God. He's promising the resources we need as His little children doing our humble, clumsy best for Him. Big difference!

It's a little embarrassing that I can write a whole book about a character trying to be Supermom (developed from my own warped overachieving of the past) and still continue to be clueless today about ways I'm slipping into that. I want to wear a "Superwriter" cape. But the truth is, the only SUPER One is God.

Lord, today we take off the mantle of "savior of the world and manager of the universe" and offer it back to you with repentent hearts. We are your children and that is enough. Guide us in each small way of service today, and let that service come from a heart of love. When we stumble and even when we fail, let us rejoice that your strength is made perfect in our weakness. Amen!

Sharon Hinck

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Fantasy Novels by Christian Authors

This week, several fans of Christian fantasy are highlighting the genre on our blogs.
I've added a link to Tim Frankovich's "Focus on Fantasy" page. He has reviewed several of the major CBA novels to come out in recent years.

My love affair with fantasy began in my early reading years. In high school I stumbled across Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength, all by C.S. Lewis. The power and beauty of these sci-fi novels showed me that Christian writers can use a variety of genres to tell stories that reflect the passion of their spiritual journey. Perelandra remains one of my favorite novels of all time, and did more to help me understand the issues of temptation, free will, the fall, and redemption that some of my college theology classes.

Because I read Stephen Donaldson, Anne McCaffrey, and other prolific fantasy authors, I was delighted to discover Stephen Lawhead. And of course, in college I immersed in Lord of the Rings (appropriately right before a rigorous back-packing trip...gave me true appreciation for all the hiking and slogging the poor fellowship endured).

Recently, Karen Hancock's Legends of the Guardian King series has made me sigh with joy with the sheer pleasure of getting lost in a different world and following epic journeys that inspire me when my own life feels overwhelming.

Ted Dekker's Black, Red, and White series has described another fantasy world that helps inform our understanding of the battle between good and evil.

If fiction is sometimes better able to convey truth than non-fiction (which I believe is true)...then fantasy fiction is especially powerful in conveying underlying truths--especially in themes of courage, quest, temptation, sacrifice, and hope against all odds.

Take a peek at Tim's site, and the Edenstar website this week. If you've never dipped into a fantasy before, I encourage you to try it. Fantasy is not just for geeky high school boys. I'm a soccer mom. Not the typical demographic. But my life and faith have been enriched by fantasy novels.

Sharon Hinck

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Playing "Let's Pretend"

Jo in Little Women, Anne of Green Gables fame, Nellie Bly. In childhood, when I read about characters who were writers, my heart beat with a sense of recognition. Telling stories, searching for the perfect word, noticing life from unusual angles--it's all part of the writing journey that fits me like an old tweed jacket with elbow patches.

But doing my first book signing for The Secret Life of Becky Miller challenged my brain. Part of me still feels like I'm playing "Let's Pretend to be a Writer." So I dressed up, arrived, and saw the huge sign with my picture and book cover in Barnes and Noble.

How did it feel?

Surreal! When would the store manager call security to chase the imposter away from the author table? When would a customer crack open a book and say, "Ah, ha! The pages are blank!"?

Once I realized that wasn't happening, I had a blast. I loved chatting, handing out little freebies, and thanking people in person for taking a chance on purchasing a book from a new author. I felt incredible gratitude for this opportunity. There are MANY gifted writers who haven't yet found a publisher. I know. I've read manuscripts far better than my books. I recognize that having a book in print is a rare and precious gift. So I appreciated every moment. These photos show me with author Allison Bottke who was also signing her debut novel, and my friend Becky McClain who gracious dressed up as BECKY MILLER to add some fun to the event.

Even better were emails I received the next day. "I started reading your book and couldn't put it down. You describe feelings I didn't know how to put into words."

What an amazing example of God's grace. He can stir a dream, provide support and open doors, and create something that can be a blessing to others--all out of our very ordinary, flawed lives.

Because of Him, we don't have to play "Let's Pretend." We are truly loved, cherished, and called to a purpose.

Sharon Hinck

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

You're Invited!

Saturday, May 13th, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at the Burnsville, Minnesota, Barnes and Noble store, Allison Bottke and I will be signing our debut novels. If you live in the Twin Cities area, please stop in to say hello! I'm excited that a general market book store is willing to have two writers who deal with Christian themes in their books come in for a signing.

If you can't make it, call your local bookstore and ask if they've gotten their copies in yet. :-)
The Secret Life of Becky Miller should be arriving to your area soon.

Sharon Hinck