Lisa Frank Sinnock, is wife, mother, and aspiring author. She has been writing a novel of her own of edgy Christian fiction. Learn more about her at Frankies Stories and add her on Facebook.
Lisa Sinnock, have you been writing you’re whole life? Or was it within a few years you decided writing was the career for you?
I always wanted to write. I remember ‘getting the bug’ when I was in elementary school. Life sort of crowded it out, however, so I never did the writing that I wanted to. It has only been the last 6-8 years that I’ve really begun working in earnest.
You are hoping to self-publish your work, why?
I think the first reason was because I thought maybe I was just not good enough (yet) to publish through a publishing company. But the 2nd reason is because I don’t have what it takes, in my life right now, to handle deadlines. Once you sign on, you have to produce. My family is my first priority. No publishing deadline can top that. 3rd, I did not like the idea of someone else going through my work and making me take things out. I hooked up with Edgy Christian Fiction Writers because I saw that there were others who felt this way. The Christian publishers won’t allow certain topics or topics that are ‘too graphic’ – but they are often a part of life that we need to address. If the Christians can’t address them, how will the world know the better perspective? Then the secular publishers often tell Christian writers that their work is ‘too Christian.’ I guess I just want to write because I have something to say. If others change it, then it may end up being something other than what I wanted to say. And 4th, I’m seeing a great trend toward self-publishing. It is no longer the publishing mode for those who can’t get anyone to accept their work. Good writers are self-publishing. It’s cheaper, it’s faster and, it turns out, it’s more expressive of the individual.
In your personal opinion, what is today’s Christian market lacking?
Realism. Life doesn’t always turn out the way we want. Sometimes there are people in our lives we can’t reconcile with. Sometimes there are dark forces working against us and they wreak havoc with our peace. Sometimes Christians get caught in pornography addiction or alcoholism. I think that Ted Dekker and Frank Piretti are breaking trail in this area, and they are finding a high measure of success with it. People want to read things that catch them by the throat. And they want to see that God can work with THEM even though they have scars that will remain.
What is the hardest thing about being an unpublished author?
Overall, I think it’s the lack of an editor to come along side. I’m sure I can hire one, but I currently don’t have the funds for that. This is one of the benefits of going with a publishing company – they stay with you on the editing. I have readers, but they are not professional editors. My self-publishing package only allows for one editing run, so I have to finish first and then get it edited. Also, for me, since this is not my main occupation, I get frustrated sometimes that life won’t let me focus on the story I want to write. It’s always going, in my head, but the time to type is limited.
What is your favorite piece of literature, and has it inspired you in any way? If so, why?
I think The Outsiders is one of the books that hooked me. The story was so compelling and so heart wrenching that I was left with an impression that has stayed with me all these years. I read it when I was a teenager. I knew then that I wanted to tell a story that caught others by the soul and left an indelible impression.
Can you tell me a little bit about your current novel you’re working on? If not, would you be willing to tell me of any other pieces of your work you wish to have published?
My current novel…Stoning the Crows is about the effect of street drug addiction on an entire city. Teenagers, parents, teachers, youth workers, policemen, dealers…they’re all affected by this nebulous, insidious darkness. The phrase, ‘Stoning the crows,’ comes from possibly Australia, or old England. It’s meaning, currently, is one of extreme surprise. “Well, Stone the crows!!” someone might say. But originally, it really meant to stone crows. The sheep farmers would send their children out into the fields to throw stones at the crows, because these vicious birds would kill and eat the newborn lambs. My premise is that God sends out his children, some who know Him and some who do not, to stone the crows – to keep the evil predators away from the youth. These heroes work to ‘hold the line’ in the city and try to keep the carnage to a minimum. They know they can only do so much, but it would be wrong to turn a blind eye.
Which topic is most interesting to you to write about? And why do you feel you are drawn to it?
I have a variety of topics, actually. Alzheimer’s, a medieval story about a princess who is thrown into ruling her country because of the death of her father, the king, a rogue police officer who works under cover, a man who becomes a fire fighter in order to get away from his inner demons, but finds that he has to face them in the flames, to name a few. I also like to take old ballads or Western songs and write them into stories. I am drawn to some stories because I have, in some way, lived them. I grew up with abuse. For me, a lot of my stories deal with heroes – simple people who do what is right, just because it is right. For other stories, it is simply the challenge to write something that I’ve never tried. I am driven to write. I simply can’t NOT write.
Is it difficult to get agents/publishers to look at your work because you are a first time author?
I have not tried. I chose self-publishing before I even got into the game.
Is there a certain someone who you can count on to be a good sound board for your ideas in your novel or future work?
Yes, I have several. As I work on my current novel, there are police officers that I’ve ridden with, one who is also a writer, and I find that there are certain people who are particularly interested in certain characters I write. I have them read about those characters and give me feedback. There is not ONE person, currently, however. I think I would like one person who was my primary reader, but I find that having several provides good input from several directions and perspectives. One of my readers is a grammar guru. I give him scenes to read and he goes on ‘dangling modifier patrol.’
What inspired your current novel (and other work you plan to write)? Why?
You know…I’m uncertain. The novel takes place in my home town, Chula Vista, in my high school, by another name. There are characters who resemble people I grew up with. But I never got into the drug scene, so this is not a life experience story, from that perspective. To be honest, I think this story grew out of a romance…one that had no substance, but began to spiral outward, picking up solid form as it spun. Romance, by itself, is rather boring. But as this one played out, intrigue, danger and uncertainty wove its way into the story line. Currently, it has about 40,000 words, and very little of it is based on the romance that is, of course, still there. J The premise of the story, again involving heroes, is perhaps my grown up experience of looking back and seeing the Hand of God at work, even when I gave Him no heed.