"The Restorer's Son" & "The Restorer's Journey"
by Sharon Hinck
Last year Sharon's first book "The Restorer" won in the Most Life Changing category and I did an interview with Sharon then, you can read that here. I have rarely been as excited about a sequel in a series as I was when Restorer's Journey arrived in the mail - I was like, "Everybody leave me alone! I'm reading Restorer's Journey!" It's always bittersweet of course when you read a book that you know might be the last, you have to savor every word, so I did. My biggest concern is that a lot of you out there haven't read these books yet. That dismays me.
So enter with me into Susan's world... she is a soccer mom, married to a wonderful man with great kids and just a desire to maintain her sanity and try to walk a little closer with God. (Seems pretty usual so far, right?) Her precious husband turns part of the attic into a little haven for her where she can retreat to read the Bible and have her quiet time... wait... what is that in the corner of the attic... why is there a magnetic pull... where am I?!?! And thus Susan is sucked out of her own world into the world of Lyric. Now she must learn how to survive in an unfamiliar and most times unwelcoming place all while trying to figure out why she is "The Restorer" and what exactly she is supposed to restore so she can go home to her family. Moving on into The Restorer's Son we find a new Restorer has taken up the reins since Susan has left. Now there is a different enemy to deal with and this Restorer is even more reluctant than the last one!
I'm trying not to spoil anything here... In the Restorer's Journey we have another Restorer and yet another enemy - though some enemies never seem to really go away. We see most of the same characters in each book which I love and the overall setting stays the same - but situations and circumstances sure change. In every book Sharon packs the storys full of amazing allegorial pictures (the people of Lyric have the Verses (a version of our Psalms), the Rhusicans use mind poisoning to torment and kill people (our negative thought life) and much more). These books will make you think, let you escape, and thouroughly entertain you! They are too good not to read -
Now let's meet Sharon...
1. I picked The Restorer as one of the Most Life Changing Books of 2007 and while The Restorer's Son and The Restorer's Journey could have easily garnered the same title this year I decided that they should instead receive the title of Most Entertaining because above all else this entire series is designed to sweep you away to a different world and into a place where you wish you were but would be kind of freaked out to be. Is Susan based on you?
I think every character has some shadings of myself. There are elements of Susan that I identify with. I’m a wife and mom who struggles with the journey of serving Christ being more painful than anticipated, and also has felt the joy of surrendering to His purposes. But I haven’t ventured through any portals into alternate universes.
2) In books 2 & 3 Susan is no longer The Restorer, the mantle is passed on. How did you pick the next 2 Restorers? Was it obvious to you or did you have to think it through first?
I’m a “discovery” writer. I have a sense of where the story is going, but it often surprises me. I didn’t see either of those Restorer’s coming until it happened. It was one of those fun novel-writing moments, where I lifted my hands off the keyboard, read what I’d just typed, and said, “Wow!” And even though it surprised me, it felt like it had been meant to be all along.
3) In The Restorer series you make parallels between Susan and the Old Testament judge, Deborah and Kiernan and the judge Gideon. Did you model Jake after a judge ( a young, handsome, 18 year old judge)?
I was inspired by young David. He was the one voice ready to stand up to the Philistines when the seasoned warriors were afraid, he was a poet with a tender heart for God, and he had a difficult relationship with King Saul.
4) There are different enemies in the books (Rhusicans, Kahlareans, etc...) are they modeled after anything (or anyone) in particular?
When I was developing the Rhusicans (Rhus is the Latin botantical name for poison), I had been pondering the modern marketing industry. It targets people’s insecurities and seeks to exploit them to create a need. I wondered what it would be like if an enemy used that technique on a very personal level – probing, twisting, and literally poisoning people’s minds.
5) Is the Sword of Lyric series over or will we get to see what happens next in the land of Lyric?
For me, the adventures continue. I have more stories in me set in that world. I’m praying that if God wills it, I might one day have an opportunity to write more stories in the series.
6) What do you have in the works right now - so I know what to be looking forward to?
I’ve been busy the last few months with the release of “Stepping Into Sunlight” - a new contemporary novel about a Navy chaplain’s wife and her journey toward healing from PTSD.
****Readers, I recently read "Stepping Into Sunlight" and it would not surprise me to see it on the 2009 Most Life Changing list. It is a wonderful book that will increase your empathy towards others, open your eyes to those hurting and give you insight into the minds of those that have dealt with painful things. It's a wonderful story that is full of moments that will make you stop and think and be grateful for what God has given you. *****
7) How can readers find you online?
I LOVE for folks to visit me at www.sharonhinck.com. There is encouragement for writers, for the faith journey, for families. Info on all my books. Fun video interviews. Audio clips of the music from The Restorer books. Lots to explore. :-) Thanks so much for your encouragement on these books that meant so much to me!!!!
Sharon won Book Of The Year in the fantasy category at the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference in Minneapolis this year - this is a picture of Sharon giving her acceptance speech. You can see the picture of the winning book "The Restorer's Son" in the background.
I love these books so much that I am going to give away a copy of "The Restorer's Son" from my own collection since I have two and some of you don't have any. Be prepared though... if you win and don't have the first one, then you must go buy it so that you can read them in order. This is one series where I think it's almost unacceptable to read them out of order *grin*. So you know the rules...
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