Sharon, describe yourself for our visitors.
Originally from Indiana, I now live in Florida where I’ve worked for the past 15 years as a newspaper journalist. In my spare time, I like hanging out with friends, watching live theater, walking on a nearby nature trail, taking bubble baths, and devouring Rocky Road ice cream. Also, as you might expect from a fiction writer, at times I love to sit and imagine things or just fantasize about life. Living in the Pink was the perfect way to channel all that daydreaming into something worthwhile.
Do you have a favorite Bible verse and or quote you wish to share?
I have several favorite passages of Scripture—it really just depends on where I am spiritually at any given time. One of my constants is Ephesians 2:10: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
That one has encouraged me through disappointments and low self-esteem and given me the oomph I needed to push on, knowing that God has already given me a purpose—something good to do—that will ultimately glorify Him.
Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?
I can’t say that I have a favorite author or book in particular. Just like Bible verses, a particular book might be my “favorite” at a given time because it touches me in a place where I need to be touched or because it reveals something new to me. It might be a Christian self-help book by Priscilla Shirer, Beth Moore or Joyce Meyer. Or, it might be a fiction novel by Toni Morrison.
Tell us about your journey to publication.
That was a journey, indeed, one marked with faith and perseverance. I initially launched a Living in the Pink website in 2009 and released short stories for free over the site each month. I would write a story and work with a friend who designed the website for monthly updates. I sent out a newsletter and devotionals to women on my contact list and to new subscribers. It was a lot of work that cost time, energy, and money, too. Yet, I saw it as a calling, and the positive response from a small group of women was enough to keep me going. After a year, I felt led to seek partnership with a traditional publishing house. That meant more work in crafting a detailed proposal and researching the industry for publishers that might fit. After choosing several, I sent off my proposal. Then I waited, and waited. After four months, I began calling and touching base with those publishers since I hadn’t heard from any of them. One company finally sent me a response: No. I never heard from another. But, thank God, Lift Every Voice Books (Moody Publishers) shared my vision for the project.
Tell us about your current book.
Living in the Pink is a collection of humorous and insightful short stories. They each explore temptations that lead women to straddle the fence on their spiritual journeys. My characters, for example, wrestle with issues such as adulterous relationships, drug-addicted children, church gossip, and jealousy. In short, they’re “living in the pink.” What does that mean? It’s simply the stage where so many women get stuck between what the Bible calls that “scarlet stain of sin” and striving to become pure or “white as snow.” They say they believe in God, but only enough to call themselves “spiritual” without having to make significant changes in their lives… They want to believe, just not too much. Laura “Sister Pinky” Pinkston is a central character, a wise “church mother” whose mission is to guide women out of their pinkish state and into God’s light.
What influenced you to write this book?
Inspiration comes from my own triumphs and pitfalls in living out my faith and in simply observing the world around me. I see so many women who are worn out, unhappy, and struggling. In my view, the problem is that we don’t recognize our potential in Jesus Christ. Too often, we complain and feel sorry for ourselves, blaming other people and our circumstances for life’s disappointments. None of that gets us anywhere. We’re still in the same ol’ place, doing the same thing, and feeling the same way. I know, because I’ve been there. Living in the Pink is about looking within to find how we can improve and ultimately be victorious, despite our circumstances.
Did you have a favorite character(s)? Who and why?
The main character, Laura “Sister Pinky” Pinkston, appears in most of the short stories. She is a wise “church mother” whose mission is to guide women out of their “pinkish” state and into God’s light. Sister Pinky is my favorite because she is a hodgepodge of older mature women, including my mother, who have spoken wisdom into my life.
What’s next for you?
I have a few projects under consideration. Readers should expect to read more of my work, although the “when” is still being nailed down.
Where can visitors find you online?
I’m at www.LivingInThePink.com. Also, you can find the “Living in the Pink” group on Facebook.