Sharon Hinck isn’t new to the writing scene…but her re-vamped Restorer series is. Why would a publisher take a chance on reissuing an already printed trilogy? Because it’s amazing, just like the author!
Sharon’s published dozens of articles in magazines and book compilations, and released her first novel in 2006. Since then three of her novels have won Carol Awards and The Restorer was a Christy finalist. Read on and discover more about Sharon Hinck.
Ecstatic. Intrepid. Full-blown-fear-factor-freak-out. What emotion describes how you felt, Sharon, when you received the news that Marcher Lord Press wanted to reissue your Restorer series?
Hesitation. I was excited about the innovative work MLP was producing, but life circumstances had pushed writing to a back burner. In fact, Jeff checked in several times to gently remind me he was interested. I’m grateful he had the patience to wait until I was ready – and the persistence to keep asking.
Re-crafting a previously published work into an expanded edition sounds like a daunting task. Honestly, has this project energized or drained you, and why?
I loved these stories and characters so much that it was a treat to revisit the world beyond the attic. It was fun playing with scenes from new angles and exploring other character voices. The interactive devotion guide was rewarding to write, because it helped me dig deeply into the Biblical themes that inspired elements of the books.
Any nuggets of advice for an author attempting to polish up and re-package a ‘new and improved’ version of an earlier work?
It was important to me that people who already owned the book and bought the expanded edition would feel it was worth the expense. I drew from all the mail I’ve gotten from readers about these books and created the things that I felt would do the most to enhance their experience of The Restorer.
Since many readers share that the spiritual themes had a big impact on them, I created the devotion guide to show the foundation of those themes – and also to give more glimpses into the way that Susan Mitchell is loosely inspired by Deborah in the book of Judges. The Bible study and journaling and prayers allow readers to go on their own spiritual adventure as they are reading the novel.
I also had fun creating new scenes from the perspective of minor characters. Since the book is in Susan’s first person point of view, it was fun giving other characters like Wade, Tara, Kieran, Nolan, and Tristan a voice. My publisher had suggested including “deleted scenes,” but anything that had been deleted from the original manuscript when the book was first published needed to be deleted. So writing fresh material from a new slant seemed like the way to go. I hope it’s as fun for readers as bonus material on a DVD is for me.
We also tried something innovative in using QR codes so that people with smart phones can hover over the symbol and go to a page to hear the music of a song in the story, or read a recipe for a meal that is described in the book.
For which character did you gain the most new insights on this go around?
I particularly liked a moment with Kendra, where she compared the sensation of Rhusican poison with an endless game of Perish… it was a new concept to me, and she helped me understand my own desire for control and the damage that can cause. I was intrigued to learn more about Nolan and his experience when assigned to go with the Hazorite army to Braide Wood. I also had fun taking a nameless Council apprentice who had been in the background of a climactic scene, and viewing the events through her eyes. But my absolute favorite was writing about Linette as she struggles to lead her clan in worship the day of the battle, in spite of her broken heart. Her determination sang to me.
The writing journey is tough, as you well know. What sage bit of wisdom have you gleaned and can share from your experiences?
As Christians, we constantly struggle to utter the unutterable. We long to share concepts beyond our human ability to understand—the transcendence of God’s holiness, the potency of forgiveness, the depth of God’s love for us. Fiction helps us find ways to express those truths of magnitude because it is relatable, symbolic, and engages the emotion – unique qualities that make it a vital art form.
Our stories will always seem inadequate for expressing the wonderful things we learn about God’s grace and love and truth. But in the process of creating these stories, we get to know Him better, and we give ourselves to Him in a special way. He is able to work in our hearts as we write, and in our readers’ hearts as they read.
In short—writing is worth all the challenges!
Susan Mitchell thought she was an ordinary homemaker. She was wrong. When she’s pulled through a portal into another world, she finds a nation grappling for its soul and waiting for a promised Restorer to save their people.
She has always longed to do something important for God, but can she fill this role?
While she struggles to adapt to a foreign culture, she tackles an enemy that is poisoning the minds of the people, uncovers a corrupt ruling Council, and learns that God can use even her floundering attempts at service in surprising ways.
This new expanded edition of The Restorer includes an in-depth devotion guide for readers who want to dig into the spiritual themes of the book, bonus scenes providing glimpses of the story through a variety of characters, and fun extras including links to songs and recipes.
Thanks for stopping by today, Sharon. Where can readers find you on the web?
To order The Restorer-Expanded Edition: