Twenty-five years ago, Sharon Srock began writing science fiction. Today she writes inspirational stories that focus on ordinary women who use their faith to accomplish extraordinary things. Her second book in The Women of Valley View series released earlier this year.
Sharon is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and serves as treasurer for her local chapter. She and her husband, Larry, and their three Labrador retrievers live in Oklahoma.
What sparked your writing journey?
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 twenty-five 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. Five 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.
Has God ever provided an unexpected “detour” in your life that turned out to be positive?
I’d have to call that twenty year space, when I didn’t write a word, a huge detour, but in a positive way. So much of what I experienced in my own life during those years seems to turn up, in bits and pieces, in my stories, that I have to think of those years as preparation for what I’m doing today.
How does your faith play into your writing?
In everything. I certainly want my stories to be entertaining, but If my characters can encourage one person to climb out of a tough spot, or if one prayer or Bible verse in my dialog makes someone stop and think about their own need of a relationship with Jesus . . . That has to be why we do what we do.
Terri Hayes has a new foster child, a flooded house, broken toes, and a secret love for a man with all the family he needs. How can this be the path God has for her?
Steve Evans feels like God must love him best. He has a second chance with his daughters, a successful writing career, a new home and church family. What more could a man want?
Forced from her home, Terri reluctantly accepts the loan of the Evans basement apartment, never suspecting the plot by Steve’s daughters to join Terri and their father in wedded bliss.
As research for his new book, Steve obtains permission to participate in Kelsey’s visitation. Terri is horrified by the confrontation that follows.
Will Steve’s harsh words be the catalyst that brings Kelsey’s family back to God? Can Terri find the courage to sacrifice what she wants in favor of what God wants?
God often uses our stories to teach us when we’re writing them. What did you learn (about life, faith, and/or even yourself) in the process of writing this book?
Too much to write down here. Writing that first story (Callie) was such a compulsion for me. I just knew that when it was done, and I’d worked this writing thing out of my system, I’d go back to being a normal person. Not so much. In The Women of Valley View: Terri, Terri feels like she knows what God has planned for her. It’s taking its sweet time to get there, but she feels there’s a plan, and she knows the steps. When God seems to reverse her course, He has to pull her along an uncertain path, kicking and screaming the whole way.
As I was writing this story, I was beginning to see that God really had called me to do this and I wasn’t too thrilled with the prospect. I could give you a list of things that pertain to writing that I don’t do well. Waiting, uncertainty, and rejection are just a few. I need a plan. Not being able to see the next step drives me a little crazy, but like Terri, I’m learning to leave it in God’s hands.
A few fun questions…
When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?
Chocolate in any shape, form, or fashion. Because I’m convinced God created the cocoa bean with stressed out women in mind.
This website features musicians as well as writers. Do you have musical, as well as literary, talent?
No . . . I can’t carry a tune in a zip locked bag sealed in a Tupperware container.
If you were a song, what kind of song would you be?
A mushy love song.
In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?
I’d have to say a combination between the mysterious woman in dark glasses and the little girl walking in high heels.
I’m an introvert. I prefer blending into the background as much as possible, but If I’m forced to the front of the room, I can put on Mommy’s heels and fake it with the best of them.
I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.
We have three LARGE dogs. Sara and Ziva are pure bred labs. About four months ago we were adopted by a large black stray. Shadow is a 100 pound sweetheart with trust issues. Before we could get her confidence built up to allow us to get her into the truck and to the vet to be “fixed,” she got pregnant. Last week we were blessed with seven new puppies. If you know any one that needs a part Lab, part your-guess-is-as-good-as-mine puppy. Please send them my way.
Thanks, Sharon! It’s nice to have you as a guest at DivineDetour.
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