I'm so happy to have Sharon Shrock on the blog today for an interview and debut her book, CALLIE.
How much of yourself do you write into your characters?
I don’t, intentionally, write any of me into my characters. That doesn’t mean you won’t find a little piece of me in all of the women. Callie teaches Sunday school and loves her guacamole, Terri is looking for God’s will in her life and arguing the whole way, Pam is learning lessons in forgiveness. Yep, there I am.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
Believe it or not, I went to bed one night, a normal person, and woke up the next morning determined to write a book. I know, now, where that came from. It was more than a little weird at the time.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love a good courtroom drama. Fantasy when it’s well done. By well done, I mean it has to completely draw me into a different world. Mysteries, and Romantic suspense are devoured at my house like chocolate covered cherries.
How do you keep your sanity in this crazy fast paced world of ours?
I guess I’m a product of our environment. I like being busy. Even on a vacation I have to consciously tell myself to slow down and enjoy the moment. Sanity…I’m a writer, that option took a hike a few years back.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I’m going to assume you don’t mean raising terrific daughters. Really? This book. Not just for the validation or a sense of “I can really do this”. But because I feel like it represent me, finally finding God’s place for me.
What is your favorite food?
I have two rules when I cook. If it’s sweet add chocolate. If it isn’t sweet add cheese.
Why do you write the kind of books you do?
It has to be a God thing. I wake up with these stories in my head, things I would never see or think of on my own. He gets all the credit.
In what ways has being published changed your life?
Besides making me busier that I used to be? The jury is still out on that one. Ask me again in a year or so.
What is your current work in progress?
I’m working with my editor to get Terri’s story complete. Pam’s story is close to being at the word count I want. Then I’ll start the serious editing process for her. Samantha is knocking…
If you could invite a fictional character to dinner who would it be and why?
Oh, can I pick two? Merlin and Spock. Merlin because I’m captivated by the whole knights in armor, Arthur, slaying the dragon thing. Spock because…well…because the idea of extraterrestrial life interests me. If we ever find life out there, I’d hope they would be wise and beneficial sort like Vulcans. Not the I’ve come to destroy your world we see portrayed 99% of the time.
Of all the current technological marvels, which is your favorite and why?
My GPS. I don’t navigate. Now I don’t have to.
My GPS. I don’t navigate. Now I don’t have to.
If you could have a do over on one day in your life what would you pick?
Fourth of July, 1996. It was the last day we spent with our little grandson before he was murdered. I wish I’d spent more time with him that day.
Where was the location of the best vacation you ever had?
Now you’ve opened the flood gates. For the last 7 years I’ve taken one of my grandchildren on a special vacation. We’ve been on cruises, been to Hawaii, visited The Grand Canyon and Vegas, Spent a week in Cozumel, Done the whole Disney thing in Orlando…God has placed a special blessing on these trips. They’ve all gone off without a hitch and there is no way to just pick one.
If you could travel back in time when and where would you go?
King Arthur’s court. I wouldn’t want to stay forever, I’d miss my hot rollers, but I think there was a elegance to life then that we don’t have any more.
What is your favorite season of the year? What’s special about it for you??
I only have three seasons to my year. Summer, Spring, and SWEATER. I have a serious sweater addiction, so Sweater is my favorite.
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
That sometimes we spend too much time beating ourselves up for something God has already forgiven and forgotten. That we do a disservice to ourselves and others when we indulge in those feelings.
What is something that very few people know about you?
I’m a serious Trekker. I have my own uniform.
What is the hardest part in writing a story?
Editing and Editing and Editing….
What is the funniest, strangest, or most interesting thing you have learned when doing research?
That I don’t like research. Does that count? Seriously I write contemporary fiction so I don’t have to do a lot of research. I’d never goggled anything til about a year ago.
What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: ipod, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair)
My Kindle. It’s just the most amazing machine.
Do your characters ever give you surprises when you are writing? Can you give us an example if they do and if they don’t do you know why?
My characters constantly surprise me. Their individual determination to be front and center in my brain is relentless. I’m a SOTP writer. I don’t work with an outline, so I can’t give you an example of where I planned to go one way and they insisted on taking their own way, but I continue to be amazed.
Do you have a favorite scene in this book and what would it be?
I think where Pam, Karla, and Terri come to Callie’s house with groceries and stuff for the girls. That is exactly like it would happen, has happened, in my life. Our church family is so generous. I have been on the giving and the receiving end of help.
What three things about you would surprise readers?
My favorite pet of all time was an iguana.
I hate reality TV
I love to mow the grass
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who
would it be and why?
Nora Roberts. I would pick her brain completely dry.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
A lack of time. I don’t think there is a way to overcome it until I retire. I just have to deal with not enough hours in the day.
Which character in your book are you most like? What have you learned about yourself in writing this story?
For this book. Callie, of course. I didn’t really need to learn the life lesson that Callie had to learn, but writing the story taught me so much about persistence, trust , and patience.
If you could go to any place in the world to research/write a book, what setting would you choose?
Australia. It’s on my bucket list. I’ll make it someday, God willing.
What was your favorite book as a child and now as an adult? Is there a connection between the two?
That is an impossible question to answer. You’ve heard about being born with a silver spoon in your mouth? Well, my mom must have had a terrible time giving birth to me with a book clutched in each hand. I can’t remember a time when reading wasn’t a priority. Picking a favorite out of 50 years worth of books…impossible.
As a writer how have you had to grow and stretch out of your comfort zone?
You are looking at it. Learning the craft, editing, and revising were easy compared to putting myself in the path of perfect strangers and begging for their attention. I’m a pretty solitary person. If I had my way, I’d write the book and pay a look alike to go out and face the public.
Three dire circumstances. Three desperate prayers. One miracle to save them all.
Callie Stillman is drawn to the evasive girl who’s befriended her granddaughter, but the last time Callie tried to help a child, her efforts backfired. Memories of the tiny coffin still haunt her.
Samantha and Iris Evans should be worried about homework, not whether they can pool enough cash to survive another week of caring for an infant while evading the authorities.
Steve Evans wants a second chance at fatherhood, but his children are missing. And no one seems to want to help the former addict who deserted his family.
For Steve to regain the relationship he abandoned, for his girls to receive the care they deserve, Callie must surrender her fear and rely on God to work the miracle they all need.
The book is available through Pelican Book Group, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.
Sharon Srock lives with her husband, Larry, and two dogs in Rural Oklahoma. She is a mother, grandmother, and Sunday School teacher.
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. Sharon
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