Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Author Spotlight on Sharon Hinck

One of the priceless benefits of becoming a writer has been meeting and making new friends. Over the past few years I have had the privilege of getting to know author Sharon Hinck. She has become a mentor, encourager, and best of all, a friend. Once I'm published, I pray I can handle the responsibility with half the grace as she.

So, I'm thrilled to let people know about the re-release of Sharon's novel, The Restorer's Son as an Expanded Edition (through Marcher Lord Press). I'm not typically a fantasy reader, but Sharon's Sword of Lyric novels are different. She draws the reader in using real-world characters, making it easier to identify with them even as they're drawn into a foreign world.

Sharon's a gifted storyteller and I encourage you to give her Restorer novels a try. You won't be disappointed.

THE RESTORER'S SON-Expanded Edition

Book two in the groundbreaking Sword of Lyric series, The Restorer’s Son won a Carol Award (2008) for speculative fiction.

Plunged again into the gray world of Lyric and Hazor, Susan and Mark search frantically for their teenage son, Jake. All signs hint that a trusted ally has betrayed them and threatens their son. A target of assassins and more political intrigue, false leads and near misses beset their path, which leads them into the dark prisons of Hazor before the One’s purpose is revealed.

Cast out by those he trusts, the new reluctant Restorer prefers to cross swords with the One rather than submit to His will. Pursued by his calling, he journeys to Sidian, where he finds a boy without a home, a king with burning questions, and a nation torn by darkness. As he embraces the tasks the One has set before him, this new Restorer learns that the One requires his all—perhaps even his life.

This new expanded edition of The Restorer’s Son includes an in-depth devotion guide for readers who want to dig into the spiritual themes of the book, bonus scenes providing glimpses of the story through a variety of characters, and fun extras including links to songs and recipes.

Sharon, I love all the new interactive features! What a clever way to add dimension to your book. What was it like developing this material for the new edition? 
     Books are like children. I treasure each of them in different ways, and among the novels I’ve written, I try not to have favorites. However, I confess that The Restorer’s Son has an extra special place in my heart. Because of that, it was fun to revisit the characters and world of this story. Kieran’s attitudes were loosely inspired by a verse in Judges where Gideon is told God will use him to save his people. Gideon’s response is basically, “If God is for us, why have all these bad things happened to us?” It’s a question many can relate to, and part of the reason that Kieran is such a beloved character.
     The new devotion guide gives readers an opportunity to dig deeper into the Biblical inspirations that helped inform the book, as well as find personal application. About forty pages of new content, including bonus scenes and a new song composed for the book, make this edition a new experience.
How did you decide where to put in bonus elements? 
     Working with the publisher, we decided it was important to keep the flow of the story intact and free from distractions. So the book is designed with a large back-of-the-book section that can be used either after finishing the story, or during the reading of the main story. Small symbols and page numbers at the end of chapters direct readers to bonus scenes, and QR symbols in the margin invite readers to explore audio files, or recipes, or rules for playing Perish – all without interrupting the story.
     It was important to me that people would feel that it was worth the investment to own The Restorer’s Son-Expanded Edition, even if they had a copy of the original edition, so we packed this book with lots of added value. 
As someone who owns all the original Sword of Lyric releases, I can't wait to get my new copies. It sounds like the new features will be very entertaining. But, besides an entertaining read, what do you hope people experience in The Restorer’s Son-Expanded Edition? 
     My hope is that readers will catch glimpses of the way the One speaks to each of us in the language we understand, and that we can go to Him with our difficult questions. For those who are walking very painful roads, I hope the story will help them feel acknowledged. The journey is hard, heroic, and sometimes frightening. But we are never alone. 
That's so true. We are never alone. Part of that is having people in our lives to cheer us on our life journey and, in this writing business, having cheerleaders is so important. Who is your biggest cheerleader(s)?
     My absolutely best cheerleader (although he’s never shaken a pompom) is my husband. All the best qualities of my male heroes are inspired by him, and he patiently listens when I’m full of discouragement and doubt about my work.
He sounds like my husband (and no, he's never shaken a pompom either) who's encouraged every step in my writing journey. Everyone's path to publication is different and inspiring. Could you briefly describe yours?
     I felt God nudging me to move into writing again. I had done a bit of writing for magazines, and a lot of writing for newsletters, scripts, marketing material, etc. during my work in the arts. I joined a Christian writing group, continuing to pray for direction about WHAT to write. I assumed God would guide me to go back into writing magazine articles. But all the writers in the group were working on novels, and it was so FUN hearing what they’d created each month. The thought took hold. What if I wanted to write a novel? Which genre? What kind of story? What sort of story would I like to read? Who would the protagonist be? What would be her core struggle? I created Susan Mitchell and threw her into an alleyway in Shamgar where a sword fight was going on...and The Restorer unfolded from there. When the manuscript was finished I brought it to a writer’s conference and accepted representation from an agent who liked the work. I kept writing, and it was actually my fifth finished manuscript (TheSecret Life of Becky Miller) that was first contracted, all the Restorer series sold soon after that. It’s so fun to see those stories have a new life. 
Thank you so much, Sharon, for stopping by Spire Reviews today! I hope you'll visit again when The Restorer's Journey-Expanded Edition releases.

An interview with Sharon Hinck at Inkspirational Messages following the release of The Restorer-Expanded Edition:

To order The Restorer’s Son-Expanded Edition: http://urlcut.me/aM3
Kindle version: http://urlcut.me/aM2

Sharon Hinck writes “stories for the hero in all of us,” about ordinary people experiencing God’s grace in unexpected ways. Known for their authenticity, emotional range, and spiritual depth, her novels include contemporary fiction such as The Secret Life of Becky Miller or Stepping into Sunlight and the groundbreaking Sword of Lyric fantasy series which includes The Restorer’s Son–Expanded Edition. She’s been a Christy finalist and has won three Carol awards.

Sharon’s undergrad degree is in education, and she earned an M.A. in Communication. When she isn’t wrestling with words, she enjoys speaking to conferences, retreats, and church groups. She loves interacting with visitors at her website and blog: www.sharonhinck.com and http://sharonswriting.blogspot.com/


  1. The Sword of Lyric series rocks! I'm so happy for the expanded series!

    1. I agree, Michelle! I'm looking forward to re-reading them.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Well done, ladies. Thank you for sharing Sharon with us, Bren.

  3. Brenda, thank you for your kind words. You are a blessing! And thanks for helping spread the word about the book.

    And hello, Michelle and Nicole (waves from laptop)!

    1. You are very welcome, Sharon. I'm thrilled to spread the word for you. :D

  4. I really love the added content. I explained it to a friend that the difference is something like going to a movie, or going to a theater-in-the-round. In a movie setting, you sit and watch the story. In theater-in-the-round the actors will often sit with the audience and yell their lines back towards the stage, "kidnap" audience members to participate, and the stage raps around the audience so that the action happens in front, alongside and behind them.

    That's what the Restorer and The Restorer's Son do with the added content, they surround the reader with the tale and the adventure becomes immersive.

    So thank you Sharon! And thank you Marcher Lord! What fantastic gifts for readers!

    1. Michelle, I like how you describe the added content with your theater analogy. It makes me even more excited to read The Restorer & The Restorer's Son again.

      Thank you for visiting Spire Reviews!

  5. I was so excited to learn about the re-release and can't wait to return to Lyric for a new visit.

    1. Diane - it should be a fun return visit. :)

      Thanks for stopping by today.

  6. I still have to get on board but I'm looking forward to it!