A Book Apart

Get to know Sharina Wunderink

Jun 15, 2022

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A Black woman smiles and looks to her left. She wears a dark purple sweater.

Meet the Team

Next up in our Meet the Team series is Sharina Wunderink. She tells us about the dreamy mountain view from her office, how thinking about her own story helps ground her in moments of self-doubt—and she shares a bunch of great reading recommendations!

ABA: What do you do at ABA? (What did you do prior? Or if part-time, what other work do you do?)

Sharina: I’m a contract dev editor, which I love, and when I’m not doing that I mostly work with a ton of fiction indie authors and I’m a writer myself. I spend a LOT of time inside fictional worlds. More than anything, I’m a creative person, so I’ve had a lot of jobs in the creative field: photography, graphic design, art school director.

ABA: Where do you live and what do you love about your home?

SW: I’ve lived all over the world, but right now we live in the Appalachian Mountains! Which, as you can probably imagine, is an extremely beautiful place. We live on top of a hill and our backyard is a mountain with a valley and a forest, just beyond where a lot of wild forest animals come to life. We have deer, bunnies, foxes, groundhogs, coyotes, and a flock of colorful birds. I may or may not have named one bunny Dash—because come on, how cute is that?

ABA: What’s the first thing you do every morning to start your day on the right foot?

SW: I wish I could be a morning routine person, but usually my day starts with hearing a “Mom!” from the other room. When we’re all awake, I grab a matcha and scramble some veggies with eggs and get going.

ABA: When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your time?

SW: Some days it feels like there is no time when I’m not working. From homeschooling my kids (ages 7, 5, and 2), freelance editing, and running my own business, things are pretty busy all of the time. However, I love to paint! If I can get my hands on a canvas and some paint, I’m pretty happy. Otherwise, I’ll take an Apple Pencil and Procreate and call it a day. I’m also addicted to Supernatural and listening to the same songs on repeat.

ABA: What’s your favorite thing to come home to after a long day outside of the house?

SW: The fireplace, my Spotify playlist, and Thai takeout.

ABA: What book have you read and loved lately?

SW: I’ve read twenty-five books so far in 2022, not including manuscripts.

The Dark Dark by Samantha Hunt has been on my mind non-stop since I closed the last page. I’ve never immediately wanted to reopen a book right after finishing it, but I may have to just to tab it all. I also read The Seas by S. Hunt and I’m still thinking about it two years later.

I also recently finished The Lady’s Handbook for Her Mysterious Illness by Sarah Ramey; it’s been so refreshing to me to read a book that reassures me I’m not misunderstanding my own body.

Some other notable fiction books I’ve enjoyed:

  • Broken Earth Trilogy (and all other books) by N.K Jemisin
  • See You Yesterday by Rachel Lynn Solomon
  • Book Lovers by Emily Henry
  • Memphis by Tara M. Stringfellow
  • Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
  • If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino
  • Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

ABA: How do you make working remotely work for you?

SW: This one is tough, but easy at the same time. The last time I worked in an “office” was 2013! Most of my work has always been remote.

I think working remotely works for me because of my personality. I tend to be an introvert who thrives on deadlines and great work. I give myself space to know when too much work is on my plate, and I take a step back to organize it all. I prioritize my family first and make sure that they’re taken care of before I dive into work, which usually means I work mostly in the evenings and on the weekends. And yes, I do give myself a “weekend,” it’s just not always on a weekend day.

ABA: What is your favorite thing about your workspace?

SW: You remember those mountains I mentioned? I like staring at them through my office window. But right now my favorite thing is my novel manuscript all planned out neatly on the wall. (Yes, I’m that audacious plotter author with notecards all over the wall). Even when I’m not writing, it inspires me to never lose my creative side.

ABA: In moments of self-doubt, how do you recharge and rally to keep going?

SW: I think of my story. Not the one I’m writing—at least not yet—but the one I’ve lived. I didn’t grow up in the United States, in fact, English is not even my first language. So when I look at what I’m doing now, what I remember I’ve wanted to do since I learned to type on a typewriter, I’m proud of myself for getting here.

I also think of my kids, as distracting as they are, who get to watch their mom break a lot of stereotypes assigned to me by my past social status, gender identity, and my race.

ABA: Is there anyone you’re following the work of right now, who you’d recommend others pay attention to?

SW: This is probably the hardest thing as a dev editor. I work with so many incredible authors, but until their stories are done, I can’t share! We in the fiction world tend to get a tiny bit protective over our stories.

ABA: Is there a piece of professional or life advice you’ve gotten that has always stuck with you? What is it?

SW: “Don’t build a taller fence when you can build a longer table.”

I honestly cannot remember who said this or when in my life it was said to me, but they are words that resound in my head over and over again as this life unfolds. It’s as much professional as it is personal because it’s all about how we view others and how we view ourselves. I always want to be the person who invites, teaches, and learns. That only happens when I create the space.

PS: Check out our newest Starter Pack! Expand your career by using your voice with the Career Growth pack—order it today!