Welcome to my dear friend, Sharyn! It's a pleasure to introduce my readers to this author! Check out her books!
When did you first know you were a writer?
I knew I wanted to be a writer when I wrote my first poem at the age of 5. And, for the longest time, that dream meant being a romance novelist. In my 20s, I saw myself becoming the clean, Christian version of Kathleen Turner’s character in Romancing the Stone—enjoying a life of adventure and romance and lots of bestsellers.
So, did you change YOUR mind . . . or what?
Well, things didn’t turn out the way I imagined. (Do they ever?) On October 15, I turned 51 and, though I suppose I’ve had a few mild adventures, I’m still dreaming of true love and being such a popular novelist that even people in the jungles of Columbia have heard of me.
Then, in my 40s, I realized I needed to write about my single heart and broken dreams. When I started writing Spinstered, it was a nonfiction book about grieving singleness. I took the seven stages of grief—denial, disbelief, bargaining, guilt, anger, depression and hope—and applied them to what I was dealing with as a 40-something single woman.
A few years later, while at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, a friend encouraged me to focus on my fiction writing. As a result, Spinstered the Novel was born.
Do you feel your are a strong writer? Any particular strengths that show up in your work?
Years ago, I had the privilege to work for the in-house radio marketing department at Focus on the Family. I learned I not only love writing scripts and dialog but I’m pretty good at it. I even won a few awards while I was there. I’m also passionately committed to making my manuscript as good as I can. Though that can also be a detriment because I’m a bit OCD about it, which means I have a hard time letting something I wrote go until it’s perfect. And it’s never perfect.
So are there areas in your writing you need to develop?
Well, to be honest, I don’t write as much as I should. I think it’s a mixture of fear and laziness. Fear that what I write won’t be any good. And the laziness that comes from letting other things distract me from what I know needs to be done. Like spending too much time on Facebook.
How did you come about Indie publishing Spinstered?
That’s a long, sad story but suffice it to say I went through a disappointing contract experience that did not end with a published book. In the meantime, numerous interactions with singles fed the urgency I felt to get this book to the audience I know is out there.
My choice was to start over with submitting to agents or editors—a process that can take years—or self-publish. Since the novel had already gone through several rounds of edits, I knew I could have it ready within a week or two. In fact, I was able to make my goal of taking copies to the Labor Day Singles Retreat at Ridgecrest Conference Center near Asheville, NC. I sold several copies there and made some great connections. It also led to my first 5-star review!
Can you clue us in on what's next for your writing journey?
First, I hope to finish and self-publish the nonfiction version—Spinstered: Surviving Singleness After 40—in the next month or two. In addition, I wrote an unrelated novella titled Cold Read that I’d love to have available by the end of October. Finally, I have two sequels to Spinstered the Novel in the works. Book two will be titled Inconceived and I’ll probably name book 3 Altared. Of course, all of that could change. I’m open to whatever God wants to do!
Connect with Sharyn here:
Business Website: www.route1manuscripts.com
BOOK BLURB for Spinstered: The Novel
Committed to her job and pushing fifty, Catie Delaney has almost given up on her dream of love and marriage. Maybe, she tells herself, she’d be happier just embracing her singleness. Maybe that's been God’s will all along.
For social worker Jolene Woods, on the other hand, being on her own gives her time to pursue her passion—running a halfway house for women just out of prison. The only pothole is her best friend, Trevor, who has silly ideas about them being more than friends.
Then there’s Uli Odell, a graphic designer who’s only a month away from hitting forty. If only she can convince her boyfriend, Cole, to stop messing around and commit already. Desperate not to be a spinster, she guilt-steps her way from one dumb choice to another.
Into this mix of feminine angst walks Brian Kemper -- the latest GWP (Guy With Potential) to join their church’s singles group. But just as something seems about to happen between him and Catie, her world falls apart.
While Catie deals with her unexpected pain, Jolene and Uli face their own struggles.
Three friends. Three stories. Three women looking for hope.
To buy her book:
Spinstered is Sharyn Kopf’s first novel. Over the years, her work has included co-authoring a book about
traumatic brain injury, penning scripts for stage, and writing for newspaper as well as Focus on the Family radio.
Every Friday, Sharyn ponders the over-40 single life at www.girlsnightin40.com, the blog she shares with two other authors. For her day job(s), she works as a literary publicist for Route 1 Manuscripts and teaches high school English at a small Christian school.
She lives in Bellefontaine, Ohio, just five minutes from her favorite people in the world—her family. You can connect with Sharyn through her blog or on Facebook.