Sharon Srock, Author of Women of Valley View Callie, Talks Writing & Offers #Giveaway

My guest today is Sharon Srock. Sharon 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.

Anne – Welcome to Piedmont Island, Sharon. I’m still scratching my head about that one and three-quarters job, but never mind...let’s talk writing! When did you first realize you were destined to be a writer?

Sharon - 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 25 years ago, we were in a revival. The evangelist, who didn’t know me from Eve spoke a word of prophecy over me. In Para phrase…  “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. 

Three and a half 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.

Anne - Tell us about The Women of Valley View: Callie.

Sharon - 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.

Anne - Of the characters you’ve created, does one hold a special place in your heart? Why?

Sharon - Probably Callie. She’s the one I’ve lived with the longest. The one I know the best, and the one most like me.

Anne - How many rejections have you received? Was one more memorable than others?

Sharon - I was blessed to only be rejected 3 times. That does not include the “If you don’t hear from us, we aren’t interested.” Which I think is just wrong.

Anne - Any words of advice for struggling, unpublished writers?

Sharon - Believe in yourself and be teachable. The words might come naturally, but the mechanics don’t.

Anne - Outside of writing, what accomplishment are you most proud?

Sharon - I have two wonderful daughters who are great mothers to their own kids. I’ll take some of the credit for that.

Anne - Would you share an excerpt of The Women of Valley View: Callie with us? 

Sharon - Here’s the first page:

Callie Stillman dabbed raindrops from her face with a linen napkin as Benton dodged a server with a loaded tray and took his place across from her. She smiled into her husband’s blue eyes and reached across to wipe water from his beard. “We’ll both have pneumonia if we don’t dry off soon.”

Benton took the napkin and finished the job. “I’ve been told the food is very good. A few sniffles should be worth it.”

Callie’s gaze roamed the room. “It’s….” Recognition slammed into her chest, forcing the air from her lungs. The man crossing the room behind her husband nodded and continued to his table. Was that the bailiff? Do you swear to tell the truth…. She gulped for breath and fought the familiar darkness that crowded the edges of her vision.

Callie ran a finger around her collar, tugging the neck of the blouse away from skin suddenly dewed with a fine film of sweat. Too hot. She took a sip of water, dismayed at the tremor in her hand as she lifted the glass to her lips. Not here, not tonight. Callie closed her eyes and practiced the breathing techniques she’d learned over the last six months. In through her nose, hold for a few seconds, and out through her mouth. Concentrate only on the current step in the process, the next breath. The tightness in her chest began to fade away. Thank you, Jesus. She raised her water again and held the cold glass to her flushed cheek.

Anne - Quick. Your five favorites – author, actor, movie, song, quote.

Sharon – Author: Nora Roberts, actor: Harrison Ford, movie: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, song: I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas, quote: “There are always possibilities.” Spock of Vulcan

Anne – LOL. You truly are a Trekkie! Where can readers find you online?

Sharon – They can visit my blogConnect with me on Facebook and Twitter. I’m also on Goodreads

Anne - What kinds of books you enjoy reading.

Sharon - 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.

Anne - You’re offering a giveaway copy of your book to one lucky reader. (Print or e-book to US address, E-book to international winner.) What question would you like them to address in a comment to be eligible for the draw?

Sharon - I have two rules when I cook. If it’s sweet add chocolate. If it isn’t sweet add cheese. What is your favorite food?

Anne – Fun question, Sharon! As a special bonus readers can email Sharon to receive a FREE 39-page introduction to Women of Valley View: Callie. Just click HERE to receive your pdf copy

Good luck to commenters re Sharon's giveaway draw. The winner will be announced here on Nov. 13.

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