#RealmMakers2018 Faculty Spotlight: Sharon Hinck

Welcome back on this beautiful Tuesday. We’re exploring more of our #RealmMakers2018 faculty by continuing with continuing sessions leader Sharon Hinck!


From our website:

Award-winning author Sharon Hinck writes “stories for the hero in all of us,” about ordinary women on extraordinary faith journeys. Known for their authenticity, emotional range, and spiritual depth, her novels include humorous contemporary fiction, women’s fiction, and the ground-breaking Sword of Lyric fantasy series. She has been honored with a Christy finalist medal, and three Carol awards for her novels.

When she isn’t wrestling with words, Sharon enjoys speaking to conferences, retreats, and church groups. She and her family make their home in Minnesota.


And on to the interview…

Welcome to the Realm Makers blog. Tell us a little about you and how you got into the publishing world.

A convoluted path – with all the zigzags of an epic fantasy. I began a career as a church youth worker, but also taught ballet and choreographed for local theatres. In grad school I began to see some of my writing published in magazines, but after getting my M.A., I served as artistic director of a Christian dance company for ten years before focusing on writing again. During those years, my hubby and I welcomed four children into our family, so I did a lot of jotting scene ideas at piano recitals and soccer games. When I finished my first novel, The Restorer, I emailed an editor friend and said, “What do I do now?” He said, “Get thee to a writer’s conference.” The encouraging responses I received kept me writing, although it was actually a mom-lit (with day-dream fantasy elements in each chapter) that was my first novel to find a publishing home at Bethany House. After The Secret Life of Becky Miller, I wrote three more contemporary novels for Bethany, while NavPress picked up The Restorer and its sequels.


What makes you most passionate about writing/publishing?

Two things. The way God helps me draw closer to Him through the process of work (oh, my, it does require a lot of faith, courage, and love to do this stuff!) and the response from readers who are blessed, encouraged, or challenged in some way by the stories.


What is one very important piece of advice for writers these days?

Kipling’s poem “If” has a great line about treating the imposters “triumph and disaster” the same. If we focus on writing as an expression of love for our Creator, and love for readers who need the delight of a story, we won’t get as distracted by those noisy imposters.


If you weren’t a writer or involved in the publishing world, what would you do?

In an alternate reality, I’d choose a job as a midwife. But I do that metaphorically by helping other authors give birth to their stories.


What are you teaching at Realm Makers this year and why should attendees check it out?

An extended track on Faith-Infused and Faith-Fueled Fiction. We’ll dig in to those recurring questions about how to organically and authentically share the truth of God’s love in our stories, and also find tools to support our creative gift – matching them to our unique needs/obstacles/style. And since I’m aiming for an interactive time, I hope you come so I don’t have discussions with empty chairs.


What are YOU most looking forward to about Realm Makers?

People! I’m one of those weird writers who can find too much solitude shriveling. I can’t wait to hear what God is up to in the lives and writing work of a whole conference full of amazing people.


God is already working in amazing ways. The stories are pouring in. We can’t wait to see what happens at the conference this year!

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Jay

    Hi Sharon! Your novels are great!!
    I’m wondering just how much does your life (friends, family, people you meet & interact with, or just see passing by on the street) influence your writing? ie.Do you use people & events in your life, or people you just see randomly as a basis for new characters & events or plots for your novels?

  2. Patti Hill

    Oh man, I wish I were going to the Realm Makers Conference! I need to hear what you have to say, Sharon. Just this little bit that you’ve shared has encouraged me. Many thanks.

    1. Sharon Hinck

      Thanks Patti – each time I go over the lessons, I feel like I need to hear this, too. 🙂 It’s a topic I feel so much passion for. I realize that “uttering the unutterable” – attempting to depict God’s grace in its mystery and fullness within our stories – is daunting, but I still rejoice at the many Christian writers who keep trying!

  3. Jay M.

    How much effect does your daily life have on your writing? Do people from your life, people you see, form a basis for characters in your novels? Do events you witness &/or participate in form a basis or appear as plots/plot points in your novels?

  4. Sharon Hinck

    Hi, Jay, I wrote an answer and tried posting, but it might be stuck in moderation. I draw a lot from my life – my struggles, experiences, etc., And occasionally my characters are influenced by someone I’ve seen or met. But my characters are truly their own people. They may develop from certain traits in my self that I exaggerate, (including the villains!) but they are never “based” on someone else I know.

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