I wanted to introduce you all to another wonderful Oklahoma author, Sharon Srock. Sharon recently signed a contract with Harbourlight Books for two books in her series, The Women of Valley View.
Congrats on your recent contract, Sharon! What have you learned on this journey from aspiring to contracted author?
I look at those words "contracted author," and I look around to see who you're talking about. What have I learned? Oh wow, so much.
I've learned to listen. Not just to fellow writers, but I've learned to listen to my own heart. Mostly, I hope I've learned a new level of listening to God. I told someone that I'm just the funnel to the keyboard. I want what ends up on the page to be what He intended.
I've learned perseverance. I think Callie's story went through six complete re-writes in three years.
I've learned that an old dog CAN be taught new tricks.
Those are all great lessons! What was the best and worst advice you've received on writing?
I can't think of a single piece of bad advice so we'll skip right to the good. The first piece of good advice came from a good friend who isn't a writer, but believed that I could be. She found the website for ACFW and encouraged me to contact the local chapter. That first meeting was the first day I realized there were other people in the world with the same voices whispering in their heads. What a relief to know I wasn't alone!
The agent that now represents me was the first to reject me, but he pointed me in a new direction. His advice? Get some good critique. Good critique partners are a gift from God and I have one of the best. Beyond the one on one, I enjoy the group setting of a critique group. Our little group probably isn't the most faithful when it come to regular meetings, but the feed back I come home with is always solid and has pushed me to try things I wouldn't have on my own.
I completely agree. I don't know what I would do without great critique partners. Other than writing, what do you enjoy doing?
Reading. Nothing holds my attention quite like a good courtroom drama, or a brisk romantic suspense. I like to cook. Baking mostly. I love cookies, and I have a shelf full of cookie cook books. I enjoy going to NASCAR races and panning for gold. And I'm a HUGE Star Trek fan. Writing for Star Trek Fanzines and chapter news letters is where my early writing experience came from.
But my favorite hobby over the last few years has been traveling with my grandchildren. I take one of them on a special vacation every year. I'm working my way down from oldest to youngest. So far we've been to Hawaii, Cozumel, Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and several cruises. This year it's Disney.
Fun! Can you adopt me as a family member so I can go? :) Tell us a little about your book.
The Women of Valley View: Callie is about a woman wounded by the death of a child she tried to help and her reluctance to listen to God when he urges her to get involved again. Callie is afraid to risk her emotions a second time but finds she can't ignore the problems of the Evans sisters. When she steps out on faith to reunite the girls with the father who abandoned them ten years ago she finds herself rescued in the process.
It sounds wonderful! Where can people find you online and follow you on your journey?
I've become a computer junkie.
Twitter account: @SharonSrock
Facebook: Sharon Clements Srock
And my blog: www.womenofvalleyview.blogspot.com/
The blog is a great place to meet the Women of Valley View. The main weekly post is a running story just for readers. There is a page that introduces the main characters with pictures and short bios. Each of the women have their own page inside the blog. Callie does Bible lessons, Terri does author interviews, then reviews and gives away their books. Pam does recipes, and Karla's page is a this and that sort of thing. They would love it if you stopped by for a visit. I'd love it if you joined the page.
Here's a little more about Sharon:
Sharon Srock lives with her husband, Larry, and two dogs in Rural Oklahoma. She is a mother, grandmother, and Sunday School teacher. Sharon has one and three-quarters jobs and writes in her spare time. Her favorite hobby is traveling with her grandchildren. She is a member of the ACFW and currently serves as treasurer for her local chapter. Sharon’s writing credits include numerous poems and short stories published in science fiction fanzines.
Writers, what is the biggest lesson you've learned on your journey?