I’m honored to have author Sharon Hinck answer a few questions about one of her two upcoming releases, Symphony of Secrets.
Beth: Tell us about your newest release, Symphony of Secrets.
Sharon: I’m very excited about this story. It’s a new contemporary fiction coming out with Bethany House Publishing and was oodles of fun to write. It’s got a single-mom/teen-daughter relationship with a bit of a Gilmore Girl vibe, some light mystery, a hint of romance, and it’s set in the professional orchestra world. Amy was a fun character to write – an obsessed musician with some ugly secrets, few people skills, whose only god is music – but she made me root for her. And I loved watching how God wooed her through the beauty of music.
Here’s a summary: “Talented flutist Amy Johnson’s dreams come true when she wins a spot
with the Minneapolis Symphony. But this amateur sleuth has trouble concentrating on the notes as she begins to see devious motives behind her fellow musicians’ many mishaps. Meanwhile, her musically talented daughter wants to give it all up for-gasp-the cheerleading squad! What’s a musical mom to do? Can Amy fine-tune her investigation before the symphony is forced to close and she loses not only her dream job but her promising new relationship with its conductor?”
Beth: Are you musically gifted? What was your inspiration for this story?
Sharon: I play piano, guitar, and a very bad clarinet. Was a church organist for some years (studied pipe organ in college), sang with a variety of groups, deepened my crush on my hubby when we sat next to each other in high school band (although he switched to saxophone) and have always appreciated the power of classical orchestral music. So when I wanted an interesting career for my character, professional music was something I understood. Amy shares the neurotic-artist tendencies I’m so familiar with, as well as the passion to create something of beauty. I’ve also always loved Dorothy Gillman’s Mrs. Pollifax books (a retired garden-club woman joins the CIA) and Jill Churchill’s Jane Jeffrey novels (a suburban mom solves murders) so I thought it would be fun to make Amy a bit of an arm-chair detective (at least in her own mind). It made for a fun combination.
Beth: To date, most of your books have all been from a mom’s point of view. Do you see that changing in the future and if so, how?
Sharon: I love exploring the heroic in people the world considers “ordinary” – like moms. So many of my protagonists have been moms. The Becky Miller books focused on the specific challenges women face in our culture (although I’ve heard from men who related to the depiction of family life, too). The Restorer’s heroine was a mom; however, her journey wasn’t about her family life. In The Restorer’s Son, the main protag is a single man, and in The Restorer’s Journey, the protagonist is a college age youth. In Symphony of Secrets I’m back to exploring a parenting relationship – but the dynamics of a young single mom with a teen daughter are an interesting new twist. Stepping Into Sunlight (a fall 2008 Bethany house contemporary fiction) again includes a woman who is a wife and mom. Those roles add extra challenges and conflict to the struggles the heroine faces.
Beth: What do your kiddoes think of their famous author mom?
Sharon: LOL! They groan when I make an easy baked-potato meal for supper AGAIN. They wonder when I’ll get their jeans washed. They know enough to not be impressed – which is good. But they also show their support in surprising and tender ways. They’ve all participated in book launch events, given book marks to friends, read some of the books, patted my arm and reassured me I’m not THAT bad of a writer on those days I think every word I write is pathetic. They are a joy.
Thanks, Sharon, for joining me!
You can visit Sharon’s website at www.sharonhinck.com