Welcome to Sharyn Kopf, a fellow-writer from here in Ohio, and a friend. Her debut novel is releasing late this month. I asked her to share a bit about her writing journey to publication. Read on . . .
A New Dream
I stood in my friend’s kitchen, watching her stir spaghetti sauce, trying not to cry. The man I’d fallen for wasn’t interested. It was over and my singleness stretched before me like a desert highway.
The first time I met him, I stumbled into a crush like a high schooler. We sat in a circle on a carpeted basement floor with about 20 other singles, playing Catch Phrase, and he made me laugh. And if there’s one thing I find irresistible, it’s a man with a sense of humor and a spark in his eyes that tells me there’s more where that came from.
Over the next few years we became friends and, for a moment, I thought we were moving toward something more. We flirted like teenagers, laughed at inside jokes, winked and smiled at each other, and I touched his arm every chance I got.
Then, just like that, it was over. He wasn’t into me and I was trapped in the emptiness.
“Why?” I asked my friend. “Why can’t I move past this?”
She tilted her head, studying me, as if she wasn’t sure how much I could handle. “You’re grieving something you’ve lost, Sharyn. It’s OK to be sad.”
Isn’t it funny how one moment can change how you look at your life? Well, maybe not ha-ha funny but making-sense-of-the-ridiculous funny. In that one comment, I realized I wasn’t just grieving the end of a relationship I now know never would have worked out, I was grieving the loss of my dreams for marriage and a family of my own.
A few years later, another dream ended—or was, at least, postponed—when I put aside the romance novel I was working on and started a nonfiction book about grieving singleness after 40. Though I fought the nudge to write about what could best be described as my deepest wound, I couldn’t ignore the feeling that not only was this what God had wanted me to write about all along, but that it might be why I’m single in the first place.
So, I started chronicling the pain, slogging my way back toward hope. Words turned into pages that turned into chapters and, eventually, a book was born. It was, I’ve told anyone who asks, cathartic.
After years of working on this manuscript, though, I felt completely wrung dry. The most vulnerable writing of my life and it wasn’t going anywhere. I had to put it aside . . . until the day I took the concept and turned it into a novel, which I submitted to the One Hope Contest with Write Integrity Press.
And won. The prize was a writing contract. When my editor learned the book had started out as nonfiction, she asked to read the proposal, then decided to publish that one too.
Both books—Spinstered: the Novel and Spinstered: Surviving Singleness After 40—will now release through WIP’s sister imprint, Pix-N-Pens Publishing, at the end of the month.
I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was five years old. My dream of publication always involved writing romance . . . until God brushed that dream aside and gave me a new one.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t write a melt-your-heart kissing scene when the situation calls for it.
In January this year, I started a new blog with four other writers specifically for single women over 40. If you want to know more about this single journey—and find out when my books will be available—please visit me there at www.girlsnightin40.com.
Sharyn Kopf knew she wanted to be a writer the moment she wrote her first poem at the age of five. She still considers it one of her best works.
After college, she made good use of her degree in communications by writing for newspaper, radio, TV, marketing and public relations. Most recently, Sharyn has made her living as a freelance writer and editor. Her work included co-authoring/editing Coping with Traumatic Brain Injury: One Woman’s Journey from Death to Life (published by BookJolt, 2012).
Then in February 2013 Sharyn won the Write Integrity Press One Hope Contest in fiction. Her first novel, Spinstered, will be published by Pix-N-Pens Publishing this month, alongside a nonfiction version titled Spinstered: Surviving Singleness After 40.
In her spare time, Sharyn plays the piano, makes the best fudge ever, rages against unnecessary uses of the Oxford comma and watches too much HGTV. She lives in Bellefontaine, Ohio, where she moved in 2013 for the sole reason of being close to her family.
Connect with Sharyn here:
Business Website: www.route1manuscripts.com
BOOK BLURB for Spinstered: The Novel
Three friends. Three stories. Three women trying to figure out how they ended up over forty and still single.
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.