Thursday, April 16, 2009

Guest Author: Sharon Hinck

Sharon Hinck hooked me on the first page of The Restorer, Book One of the Sword of Lyric Series, and I read all three books. She not only garnered a new reader, but her genre has won a new fan. Her work is insightful, and I'm pleased to welcome her today to Net's Book Notes.

First, let's take a look at Book Three: The Restorer's Journey.

With a loved one's life at stake, Jake charges through the portal into Lyric to stage a dramatic rescue, trusting that the signs that mark him as Restorer will guarantee success. But everything familiar in Lyric has vanished, swept away by deadly lies and a corrupt king. As inexorable forces conspire to turn him from his purpose, Jake finds his path leading to places beyond his courage. While he confronts the temptation to flee his calling, Susan struggles in brutal captivity. Can she gain freedom before the enemy destroys her spirit, and will Jake choose to follow his destiny before everything is lost?

Today, let's mix things up and put my review before the interview:

Once again Sharon takes us to the land of Lyric. With adventure and high stakes on the horizon, she leads her heroic characters through tough battles—yes for life over death, but also for their own sanity. And she never lets her characters off easily. I think readers will relate with Jake’s mother (Susan, the restorer from the first book in this series) as she is held captive by fiendish enemies of her mind. Anyone who has suffered with/battled depression will see him/herself in the story. Readers will root for Susan to overcome the mind bending tactics of the Rhusicans. Christian readers will likely perceive and appreciate the symbolism she portrays. Jake, the other main character in this book, is called to a certain mission, though he’s compelled to find and rescue his mother. All doors close in that regard as he is commissioned by The One to fight for the sake of His people. I loved this third book and appreciate how it rounded out the series. Sharon bravely tackled tough issues and wasn’t afraid to dig deep, making the final victory that much more sweet. If you haven’t read this series, read it. Book after book, you’ll thrill to find yourself in the land of Lyric once again.

And now for our interview:

Welcome, Sharon. I'm so glad you could visit! (Readers, the Lord has definitely knitted the two of us together. Isn't it great when you meet an instant friend?)

Sharon, I love how the Sword of Lyric series is like an escape from the life of a busy mother. Well, that's how I read it. :) What inspired the Sword of Lyric series?

One of my major inspirations was the story of Deborah from the book of Judges. I’m fascinated by the way God calls ordinary people and equips them for a special task. I wondered how that might translate in the life of a modern day woman. That tends to be the underlying theme of all my novels – God using flawed vessels, people who feel their small abilities or efforts couldn’t possibly make a difference – then through His grace, doing amazing things in and through the life of that character.

In the "Etc." portions of your Navpress books there are songsheets (one for each book). You are listed as writing the lyrics, and Joel as the one who wrote the music. Is Joel your husband? Or son? And how often do you write music? Do you sing? Are you on a worship/praise team at your church?

Joel is my eldest son. He has a degree in music composition and is a gifted musician, so I asked his help with the songs. I wrote LOTS of songs in high school and college and they were pretty terrible, so I was relieved to have someone talented to turn to for scoring those songs. I still sometimes sit down at the piano and write a song for God, but only for Him to hear. :-) And yes, I love music. In the past I participated in many choirs, worship teams, bands, choral groups, and musical theatre. I was a church organist for several years, and play piano and guitar and very bad clarinet.

One more thing we have in common--the love of music. Your other novels are contemporary, women's fiction. What made you decide to write fantasy? Will you write fantasy again?

The Restorer books were the first books I wrote. The stories came to me in that genre so I wrote them that way. :-) I’ve always enjoyed creative and imaginative “outside the box” novels and would love to write more books like that again. I love the way that in speculative fiction we are given the freedom to explore something so different than our own experience, that it gives us fresh eyes to look at our reality. Writing stories about epic battles and dangerous enemies and noble sacrifice gives me a new perspective on the exciting and challenging walk of faith in my day to day life. I draw courage and inspiration from those sorts of tales, and I hope my readers will, too.

I'm so inspired reading your stories. I felt like a restorer myself after reading Book One. ;-)

I love your sweet spirit, whether on the video/interview or teaching sessions at a writer's conference, or in email interactions. Tell me how you see God. What does He look like to you?

WOW! Talk about a challenge. I could write novels my whole life, and each one would only succeed in giving small, imperfect glimpses into His nature. Humans don’t have adequate words to describe the transcendence and perfection of God. Scripture does a wonderful job of giving us clues – God as our Creator, Sustainer, Healer, Strong Tower. And of course God reveals His nature perfectly in the incarnation: Becoming man, to experience everything we do and reassure us that He understands, to take our place and save us – to love so deeply that He surrendered to death, and to be so powerful He rose and gives us eternal life. One thing I’ve been learning in recent years, is that God still surprises me all the time with the tenderness of His love. He finds ways to draw me closer to Him, to bring comfort on difficult roads, to be my sufficiency. All my life one of my favorite images of God has been that of the Good Shepherd. I think it’s because I relate so much to being a dumb little lamb – often helpless and confused – yet feeling totally safe in the arms of my Savior.

Beautifully expressed,
Sharon. Thank you for coming by Net's Book Notes. We wish you all the best! Thanks for sharing your writing with us and your heart.

Thank you for inviting me! I’m so delighted the Sword of Lyric series was a blessing to you.

Readers, you can learn more at

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