Guest Blogger—Sharon Hinck

I have the privilege of kicking off a unique book tour for Sharon Hinck, who will be making appearances via interviews, reviews, or guest blog posts at various sites throughout the month of June.

    Sharon Hinck

Sharon’s debut novel is one I can’t help but have some interest in. Besides bearing my name (though the character and I, in fact, share nothing in common), The Secret Life of Becky Miller (Bethany, 2006) is a unique cross between women’s fiction and fantasy.

    Secret Life

I intended to post an excerpt from the first chapter—a wonderful beginning to the story that hooks a reader at the same time that it displays Sharon’s strong writing and interesting voice. But the very portions I intended to display are the same ones Sharon has at her web site. Take a minute to click on the link at the bottom of her post and read a brief sample of The Secret Life of Becky Miller.

Rather than repeating the novel excerpt, let me pass along what Sharon has said about her character and the struggle she faced:

She felt that as a Christian (with God’s
strength at her beck and call) she should be able to perform at a superhuman
level. She demanded it of herself.

Yet when God calls us to rely on His strength, He’s not inviting us to take His place. To try to BE God. He’s promising the resources we need as His little children doing our humble, clumsy best for Him.

I look forward to more of Sharon’s work, for several reasons. If you haven’t already, I think you’ll see why as you read what she has to say about her first novel.
——
Hi, Becky! [That would be me, the real one. 😉 ]

Thanks for inviting me to kick off the June blog tour for my debut novel, The Secret Life of Becky Miller.

I appreciate your help in building buzz for The Secret Life of Becky Miller, because as a first-time novelist, it’s a challenge to spread the word.

I enjoyed meeting you at Mount Hermon, where we both talked about our passion for Christian fantasy and speculative fiction. My first writer’s conference I brought my first manuscript—a fantasy novel. It was discouraging watching the faces of editors when I’d tell them about the project. As soon as I said the word “fantasy” they stiffened and began to explain how difficult it is for them to get their publishing boards to look at a fantasy genre in the current market climate.

They were all very gracious, but encouraged me to explore other genres while I waited for opportunities in the CBA to open more fully for fantasy. In spite of that, I wrote two more books in my fantasy series while my agent circulated the first book and I began my collection of rejection letters.

Then I decided to compromise, and write a book where I could weave at least an element of fantastical thinking into a more marketable genre. I’ve always loved the short story, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” and decided to play with the idea of a soccer mom with wild daydreams of dragons and castles, Scottish moors, secret agent missions, and battles with ninjas. That manuscript got the enthusiastic support of Bethany House, and the book is releasing this month. It’s mom-lit with a bit of a twist. Here’s the back-cover blurb:

Faster than a speeding minivan, able to leap piles of laundry in a single bound. It’s a bird, it’s a plane. It’s Supermom!

Move over, Walter Mitty. Here comes Becky Miller. A young mother with grandiose daydreams and a longing to do “Big Things for God” searches for direction amid the chaos of daily life and the disappointment of failed opportunities.

Becky’s rich fantasy life helps her cope with the pressure to be a Wonderful Wife and Marvelous Mom. But she keeps hearing the tape play:

“Your mission, should you choose to accept it: support your husband when he loses his job, nurture an eccentric circle of friends, raise perfect Christian children, live a life full of grand Purpose, all while standing on your head and whistling Dixie. Your fantasy will self-destruct in five seconds.”

You can read an excerpt at my website. 🙂

I thought it was VERY appropriate to kick off my month-long blog tour with Becky Miller’s namesake. Thank you for sharing your name with my character, and inviting me to your blog today.

Please post any questions or comments you may have, and I’ll stop by again later today to respond.

Blessings!
Sharon

Have a blessed day!
Sharon Hinck …
…stories for the hero in all of us
The Secret Life of Becky Miller (Bethany House, 2006)
website: www.sharonhinck.com
blog: http://www.sharonswriting.blogspot.com/

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Published in: on June 1, 2006 at 5:00 am  Comments (16)  

16 Comments

  1. It’s so fun visiting, Becky! I forgot to mention, I’m running a contest on my site for future “Becky Miller” titles. You’ll particularly love the ones my agent suggested so far. Readers can stop by and suggest their own Becky Miller titles and all entries will be put in a drawing for a prize!
    Be sure to stop in at my “Just for Fun” page on my website for a good giggle. 🙂

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  2. I can relate to this character! This sounds like a great book.

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  3. Doesn’t sound so much like a fantasy as real life…I’m crabby mom today, sorry!

    Congratulations to Sharon on her success! Chris

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  4. Yep, that’s the beauty of it, Chris. Sharon has such a great way of melding Becky Miller’s superhero daydreams with real life. I felt like I was a fly on the wall in that home. No, more than that, because I also knew … KNEW … what was going on inside that woman. Really masterful.

    It’s still early enough for the day to turn around, right? Hopefully the crabby-mom syndrom is veeerry temporary.

    Becky (the real one 😉 )

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  5. Nice interview Becky (um, the author, Becky) 🙂

    Sharon,
    Just stopped by to wish you Godspeed on day 1 of your tour. See you on June 9!

    Julie Carobini

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  6. Super job, Becky. Have a great tour, Sharon. I saw your book front-and-center in our LifeWay store. It was in the “New Releases” section. I got really excited for you.

    Grace and peace,
    Deeanne

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  7. Loved the book! The review is available at http://www.novelreviews.blogspot.com Sharon really raised the bar with this book and I can’t wait for the next one! Besides a fun read, there are some wonderful spiritual truths in it.

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  8. Hi, everyone!
    Just popping in to say hello. Feel free to ask any questions, because i’ll be stopping by again later.
    Thanks for all the encouraging comments! I think authors need tranfusions of caffeine, chocolate, and kind words like life’s blood. 🙂

    Chris, I totally relate to “crabby mom days.” I wrote Becky Miller with an attempt at authenticity, and like you (and my character Becky), there are days I don’t WANT to be reminded of the authentic parts of my life. That’s okay. 🙂

    Deeanne, I was at SAMS club last night and saw A Bride Most Begrudging and bought it (my contribution to the Wal-Mart/Sams distribution of Christian fiction). I can’t wait to meet you at ICRS. I’ve already read the first few chapters and LOVE IT. I learned yesterday that Wal-Mart bought a “test purchase” of BECKY MILLER…so I’m praying it does well in that venue.

    Okay, back to work on my rip-out and restitch of my Work In Progress. See you later!
    Love, Sharon

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  9. Hey Becky! Love your blog! Thanks for the comments on mine! Be seeing ya! =)

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  10. I read the book for a review at Infuze (not posted yet). My thoughts when I first started the book were:”Egads. When did Sharon Hinck get into my head?” lol. I haven’t had preschoolers for years, but her writing brought back the memories with a vengence. (At this point in time, with one just graduated from high school, one entering her junior year, and one entering sixth grade, I’ll take the teen years over the preschool years any day. Yeesh!) A book I’d recommend without hesitation.

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  11. What a great idea, Sharon! I red The Secret Life of Walter Mitty when I was in elementary school. I later wrote a similar story from a boy’s point of view (and a few more twists). I hope the book does well!

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  12. Hi, Cheryl!
    My kids are now older, too. It’s true there are many ways the teen years are less physically exhausting (I don’t have to carry them on my hip, or get up five times a night) but in other ways, every bit as challenging for me.
    Come to think of it, the teens love to save their “deep talks” for after midnight…so I guess sleep will always be a rare commodity no matter how old our kids get. LOL!

    Hi, Jason!
    I’d love to read your boy-version of Walter Mitty. Sounds awesome. Isn’t it amazing how short-stories and literature from school years can stick with us?
    Thanks to everyone who stopped in and posted comments. Thank you especially, BECKY MILLER!!! 🙂 I enjoyed visiting so much!
    Blessings!

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  13. Yeah, I still have many stories that I red back in school and they’re still fun to read. In fact I’d love to make some time to read them again. I read Hardy Boys, Laura Ingalls Wilder books, Star Trek books, James and the Giant Peach, to name a few.

    My story actually tweaks the idea by having my character enter his imaginary world. I thought it’d be a fun twist. When I was little I would imagine myself having adventures in outer space or something like that, so I wanted to pen an ode to creativity. If you click my name, you’ll find the Amazon.com entry for it. This story took me about five years to do!

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  14. This is so cool! Wanted to stop by and encourage you on the blog tour and invite you to mine (whenever you get a chance). Congrats to Sharon for a great first novel. Loved the excerpt and hope to read it soon. May I link you two to my new site for writers? God bless you both.

    hugs,
    Vicki

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  15. Vicki, I stopped by your site. Really nice! I’d love to have you link to A Christian Worldview of Fiction, and I’ve already added Light for a Writer’s Soul (great name, BTW) to my blog roll.

    Hope you stop by again.

    Becky

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  16. Hi – My name is Becky Miller and I am reading the book right now! I really love it! It is so good I can barely put it down.
    I am glad to hear you are writing a new one. I would love to come to a book signing.

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