Friday, October 26, 2012

Debut Author, Sharon Srock, Don't Give Up Too Soon!

Sharon Srock lives with her husband, Larry, and two dogs in Rural Oklahoma. She is a mother, grandmother, and Sunday school teacher. Sharon has one and three-quarters jobs and writes in her spare time. Her favorite hobby is traveling with her grandchildren. She is a member of the ACFW and currently serves as treasurer for her local chapter. Sharon’s writing credits include numerous poems and short stories published in science fiction fanzines.

Tell our readers a bit about your journey. How long did it take you to get published?
I’ve been a reader all my life, but writing was never my dream. I remember cringing in English classes when a single page paper was due. One night I went to bed a reader and woke up determined to write a book. I was very involved in Star Trek fandom, had some short stories and poetry published in a fanzine here and there. My first full length project was a Star Trek story. Now, I’m Pentecostal, so you’ll have to work with me here…One night, about 25 years ago, we were in a revival. The evangelist, who didn’t know me from Eve spoke a word of prophecy over me. In paraphrase…  “I’ve put a pen in your hand and a light by your side. Use it for me.” Well at that point in my life the only Christian writing I knew about were lessons or theological works of non fiction. That didn’t seem like me, so I stopped writing altogether. Three and a half years ago, a new employee stopped by my desk to introduce herself. In the course of the conversation, she mentioned that she was a writer. I told her that that was my dream at one time. She gave me the oddest look and spoke five words that have changed my life. “You gave up too soon.” That night I started writing Callie’s story.

Tell us about your debut book:
Callie’s spirit is broken after a child she was trying to help is murdered by his abusive father. Little Sawyer would still be alive if she’d minded her own business, wouldn’t he? God refuses to allow Callie’s life to be defined by undeserved guilt and blame so he places her in a situation she can’t walk away from. Iris and Samantha Evans need help and Callie is the tool God wants to use. When she steps out in faith and begins working to reunite these girls with the father who abandoned them ten years ago, Callie discovers that God is rescuing her right along with the Evans family.

Was there a specific 'what if' moment to spark this story?
There really was. Once I thought I had the story completed, a fellow author read it and told me that the story seemed to belong to Iris, not Callie. That was not good news. A friend and I started brainstorming and she suggested that somewhere in Callie’s past, a child she had tried to held had died. If she hadn’t been fifty miles away on her own computer, I’d have kissed her right on the mouth!

Are you a plotter, SOTP writer or somewhere in between?
If there is something more extreme than a SOTP writer, that’s what I am.

What's your process for writing a book?
I wake up with the beginning and the end of the story in my head. The three in the series that I consider complete have stayed pretty true to those beginnings and endings. Not the beginning scene, but where my MC is in her life. I write, I go back the next day and read and expand. I follow this process until there is too much story to do that. Everythig gets about six complete edits before I'm happy.

Do you ever bang your head against the wall with writer's block? If so, how did you overcome it?
I’m forced to write in such short bursts that writers black hasn’t been a real problem. That is not to say that there aren’t days when I sit with one paragraph on my screen, staring at it…

Do you consider yourself a visual writer? If so, what visuals do you use?
Not really. I used to have pictures of my women in my cubicle at work, but once they gave me covers and the images didn’t come anywhere close to matching, I found the old images distracting.

Novelists sometimes dig themselves into a hole over implausible plots, flat characters or a host of other problems. What's the most difficult part of writing for you?
Keeping my women on track. They are all waiting for their story to be told and once in a while they try to steal the show away from the current MC.

What's your strength in writing (characterization, setting as character, description, etc)?
I love to write dialogue.

Did this book give you any problems? If not, how did you avoid them?
Just those pesky women and their determination. I’m still learning to beat them back.

Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy attic nook?
I write where I am. At my desk at work during break and lunch times. At my desk at home, in the car. picnics. The only time I refuse to write is during a planned vacation. Some things are sacred.

How do you balance your writing time with family and any other work you do?
It pretty much gets all lumped together. I’m used to stopping and starting. I rarely have a problem bookmarking my place to fix dinner or something. My husband knows that if I’m writing and he needs something and I say “just a minute” I’m on a streak and he needs to go help himself.

What’s the best writing advice you’ve heard?
To get some critique. I have the best critique partner in the world.

Do you have any parting words of advice?
Not to give up. If you have a dream, even a new one, pursue it.


Three dire circumstances. Three desperate prayers. One miracle to save them all.

Callie Stillman is drawn to the evasive girl who’s befriended her granddaughter, but the last time Callie tried to help a child, her efforts backfired. Memories of the tiny coffin still haunt her.

Samantha and Iris Evans should be worried about homework, not whether they can pool enough cash to survive another week of caring for an infant while evading the authorities.
Steve Evans wants a second chance at fatherhood, but his children are missing.  And no one seems to want to help the former addict who deserted his family.

For Steve to regain the relationship he abandoned, for his girls to receive the care they deserve, Callie must surrender her fear and rely on God to work the miracle they all need.


Sharon said...

Ladies, Thanks so much for hosting me today. I can't believe the book releases today!! I'm looking forward to visiting with your readers.

Michael Ehret said...

Sharon, thanks for sharing! What a powerful sentence. "You gave up too soon." Perfect for so many situations I find myself in personally and for many others, as well. Thanks for that word from God.

Sharon said...

Michael, glad you found it as impactfull as I did!

Ellen Andersen said...

Perfect timing for me. Just re-read a guest post on The Write Conversation by Reba Hoffman called 5 Reasons You Should Not Quit.

I think there's a message in here for all of us.

Sharon said...

Ellen, I've found that God always speaks to us at the right time. All we have to do is listen.