The Writer’s Desk with Sharon Hinck
Award-winning author Sharon Hinck writes “stories for the hero in all of us,” about ordinary people on extraordinary faith journeys. Known for their authenticity, emotional range, and spiritual depth, her novels include humorous contemporary fiction, women’s fiction, the ground-breaking Sword of Lyric fantasy series, and her recent Dancing Realms series. She has been honored with three Carol awards, and the 2020 and 2021 Christy Award in the Speculative Fiction category.
She has been a church youth worker, a choreographer and ballet teacher, a church organist, and an adjunct professor for Creative Writing MFA students. One day she’ll figure out what to be when she grows up, but meanwhile, she’s pouring her imagination into writing. When she isn’t wrestling with words, Sharon enjoys speaking for conferences, retreats, and church groups. She and her family make their home in the Midwest.
More about Dream of Kings:
The Future Never Sleeps
In the glacial nation of Norgard, Jolan the Dream Teller serves every seeker, whether peasant or high lord. Though she loves using her gift, she struggles to navigate the corrupt and dangerous court and the jealousies of the Guildagard.
When an old man’s nightmare imparts a dire warning, Jolan realizes her entire nation is in danger. But before she can sound the alarm, she is betrayed by the guilds and sold into slavery in a rival kingdom far to the south. As a slave in a foreign land, at first, Jolan can’t see beyond her singular focus: return home to warn Norgard of the coming calamity. After facing new dangers, making new friends, and forgiving old wrongs, she must fulfill the purposes the Provider has set before her.
Only then can she face a decision that could cost her the man she loves, her calling, and her freedom—all to save a people who abandoned her.
Q&A with Sharon Hinck
TG: Everyone always asks for an interesting fact, we’re going to flip the question. What is one boring fact about yourself?
SH: I love mashed potatoes
TG: Where did you get the inspiration for Dream of Kings?
SH: Dream of Kings was my “pandemic novel,” and came from grappling with the question of how we respond when we find ourselves in a place we don’t belong or didn’t choose. In the middle of writing the story, I experienced a lot of loss and grief and found the theme of the book shifted to look at the surprise of joy and purpose in the midst of times of loss.
TG: Do you have any habits or rituals as a writer?
SH: A weekly zoom check-in with my writing buddies/critique group where we do a quick touch-base, share goals, and pray for each other.
TG: What habits would you encourage others to take up to be a more productive writer?
SH: I’ve learned that there are seasons in life where being productive isn’t the priority, and that’s okay. But a habit of showing up daily (even if just for fifteen minutes) is a great way to make progress on a current project.
TG: What do you snack on or drink while writing?
SH: I drink tea while writing. When I am applying edit notes or doing galley proofs, I add M&Ms to keep me motivated. I eat mashed potatoes as a reward AFTER writing.
TG: How do you overcome writer’s block?
SH: I think about telling the story to an individual friend who would enjoy reading it. That helps motivate me to finish the story.
TG: Are you an “edit-as-you-go” writer or do you wait until the very end before you do any editing?
SH: I prefer polishing as I go. I realize the inner critic is supposed to be shut down while in the creating side of the brain, but I’d rather stop and find the right word or phrase before I forget what I was trying to convey. Writers need to find what works for them. We are all unique, and not all the standard advice will fit us all.
TG: What would you say is the most common mistake new writers make?
SH: Stress. Getting bogged down in all the advice (some of it unhelpful or from self-appointed “experts”), worries about failure or success, comparisons to others’ writing journeys, etc.
TG: What is the best piece of writing advice you’re ever received?
SH: Write for the audience of One (meeting with Jesus over the page, getting to know Him better in the process of creating and exploring themes and characters) and find joy in the process.
TG: What is coming up next for you?
SH: I’m preparing to self-publish a completed novel based on my Granny’s life in Russia during the Bolshevik revolution and in Latvia during the Nazi occupation of WW2. I’m also playing with a new fantasy novel that has some fun new concepts that I’m excited about.