Blaine woman pens book on faith in workplace
By Elyse Kaner on December 26, 2012
A Blaine woman has written her first book and it’s getting national attention.
Shari J. Harris has written a book on stories of hope in the workplace. Photo submitted
Shari J. Harris recently had interviews on “Walking in Faith: Stories of Hope and Encouragement in the Workplace” from such places as Sacramento, Calif., Albany, N.Y., and Atlanta, Ga.
In her 125-page collection of short stories, Harris shares personal scenarios of her struggles in the business world. She hopes readers will learn from her mistakes, she said.
Harris’ life took a positive turn when a co-worker, a person of faith modeling ethical behavior, shared her faith with Harris.
“I just want to encourage other people,” Harris said about her reason for writing the book.
The inspirational book, a compilation of stories Harris had written for a website, was first released locally in April 2011. The book underwent a second launch, this time nationwide, in November.
Harris describes book sales as “strong.”
Short and personal
Harris, who was raised in Brooklyn Park, had always wanted to write a book. It was her mother, the late Darlene Harvatine, who encouraged her to follow her dreams. Harris dedicated the book to her. Unfortunately, she died four months short of the book’s release.
Harris said people are enjoying the book because the stories are short and personal. “I’ve gotten a lot of feedback,” she said.
“They’re genuine, they’re real and they’re raw,” she said about the stories of her struggles and overcoming obstacles in three workplaces. Struggles with hurt feelings and unforgivingness, for instance. “Finding God helped,” Harris said.
But for Harris, who now works in human relations at a large Twin Cities medical device company, the reason behind writing the book is to get people to be themselves in the work place and to dialogue with and encourage each other.
“That’s how we can help each other. By talking,” she said.
A ‘new frontier’
For Harris the best part of writing “Walking in Faith” was sharing her story. “It’s rewarding and fun,” she said.
Writing serves as an outlet to process her thoughts, Harris said.
As for challenges, the editing process was a “new frontier” for her, more rigorous and involved than she had imagined. Also, sharing her personal stories in a publication took courage.
“I don’t get it all right,” she said. “I’ve made plenty of mistakes.”
Most information on workplace behavior reads like a textbook. But by using personal scenarios, her book is more reader friendly, Harris says.
“People are saying they can really relate,” she said.
It is her hope that her book will “touch lives, change lives, shift thinking that it’s OK to bring faith into the workplace,” Harris said.
“Walking in Faith” by Shari J. Harris can be ordered through Harris’ website at www.sharijharris.com. Soft cover, $11.95 + S & H; Hard cover $28.95 + S & H or ebook, $9.99.
Elyse Kaner is at firstname.lastname@example.org