Author, blogger, editor and writing coach Stacy Hawkins Adams is taking a break from an intentional fiction-writing sabbatical to gift readers with a holiday short story.
Tell me about your short story, The Sentence Between Us.
The Sentence Between Us shares a day in the life of two new-to-each-other family members Melody Claytor and her successful sister-in-law Octavia. Melody eloped with Octavia’s brother, Justin, before the two ever met, so when Octavia comes to visit for the first time Melody realizes that it’s just a matter of time before Octavia realizes they aren’t strangers. The two women have shared an encounter in the past that was not so pleasant, and it’s from a time in her life that Melody is ashamed of. Melody worries that if Octavia figures out the connection, she’ll not only shun her, she’ll also turn the rest of the family against her. The story is a reminder that acceptance and forgiveness are the greatest gifts we can give others, during any season.
Why did you decide to write it?
I love to write stories that help readers see themselves in the characters, while also understanding others better. I am a former newspaper reporter and spent a decade covering social issues that allowed me to gain insight about people from all walks of life. Due to this, I value introducing readers to characters who reflect people who are just as lovely or in need of love as the next person, but who may be stereotyped, misunderstood, judged or cast aside. I’ve found that with the proper care, attention and support, just about anyone can blossom. I wanted this story to remind readers that this kind of unconditional love can be life-changing for all involved.
What do you want readers to learn from the story?
I wrote about the issues Melody was grappling with to show (or remind) readers that at the end of the day, we’re all the same in the ways that matter most. Both Melody and Octavia come to this realization in their own time and in their own ways. I hope their journey is a reminder to readers to look beyond the surface and connect with others at a heart level.
If you could pick another profession, what would it be and why?
I’ve wanted to be an author since I was eight years old, so I’m grateful that this dream has come true in a way that allows me to both entertain and inspire readers.
And I actually do have another profession: In my “day job” I serve as the Director of Communications for the largest private school in the city in which I live, and I love this work as well. In this role I oversee strategic marketing, community engagement, storytelling, editing and more for our school community; and these responsibilities afford me opportunities to do many of the things I do in my author role – tell (or oversee the telling) of powerful stories about our students, teachers and school leaders that make a difference and engage with our local community in supportive and meaningful ways. So I am doubly blessed! (And prior to this, I loved my work as a full-time journalist – another avenue for telling powerful, true stories.)
I also love to mentor other writers through a membership community (Focused Writers Membership Group – www.authorinyou.com/focusedwriters), lead writing workshops and speak and teach at writers conferences around the nation.
If you mean what other profession I would have chosen, outside of writing, I would have been a child advocacy lawyer. I love championing policies and programs that support children and families and have been a huge fan for years of Marian Wright Edelman, the founder of the Children’s Defense Fund. In another life, I would have practiced law and followed in her footsteps.
What’s the best part of being an author?
The best part of being an author is hearing from readers how a book or blog post or essay that I’ve produced has touched their life in some way. I’ve heard from readers who have made life-changing decisions (for the better) as a result of reading my fiction, and from readers of my nonfiction work who say it inspires them to keep going and to believe in themselves. All of that is so humbling to me, and I give thanks every day for being one of God’s vessels.
What’s the worst part of being an author?
Having to go into my so-called “writer’s cave” and shut out the world for stretches of time. Once I get started, I get excited to live in my characters’ worlds; but I also miss the social outings and time to just hang out with family and friends while I’m immersed in a book project. When I reach “The End” on a project, however, all of that sacrifice is more than worthwhile. I have this “book baby” that I can share with the world, for years to come.
What’s next for Stacy Hawkins Adams?
I’ve been on an intentional “sabbatical” from writing fiction for the past few years, and this short story is my way of tip-toeing back toward it. Lol I’ll begin drafting a novel sometime in 2019 to see where the story leads. In the meantime, I’ll probably write a few more short stories; I’ll be releasing a book of inspirational quotes in early 2019, and I’ll be issuing a few of my older books in ebook form for the first time in 2019. I’ll also continue to grow my blog, www.LifeUntapped.com, and encourage other women to celebrate the power of their stories in this special place. And I’ll continue freelance writing and editing for others. I’m excited to continue producing pieces for Our Daily Bread, as well as for a few general market clients.
Do you have anything you would like to add?
I’d simply like to thank the readers who have followed my books since 2004 and my journalistic work much longer than that. Writing is not only my gift, it’s my passion, and to be able to share it with the world is an honor. Thank you also, Chandra, for featuring me!
Use my affiliate link to purchase your copy of The Sentence Between Us.
To learn more about Stacy Hawkins Adams, visit her website or connect with her on social media.