This is an excerpt from a 

letter Sharnessa wrote to her Aunt Pat

(one of my sisters) late 1999.  It's kinda like

having a little chat in the livingroom near

a nice glowing fire.

Since it gives a good nutshell

story of her life at that time, I asked

for permission from both of

them  to put it here.

(Hey, why re-invent the wheel?)


Things with the band are really picking up!  We are signed to Essential in Nashville, they have bands like Jars of Clay, Plumb, etc. They are under Zomba, a huge secular record company who have Backstreet Boys, Steps, N'sync, 5ive, Brittany Spears, etc.  And since they're under Zomba, our guys went to the head guy there (who is not a Christian) to show them our stuff, and he said, "Sign these girls! Don't let them go!"  So that was quite cool! 


Anyhow, we'll be touring the States for all of June and July, doing festivals, gigs, and things like GMA in Nashville and DC/LA! We start recording vocals for our single next month, which we will then send over to the States, where our guys send it to Christian radio stations around the States, and then on February 29th it will be released to the public! 


We just had a photo shoot last week for promo (magazines, etc.) in the States, starting for next month, I believe.  We had a temporary stylist, which was nice, but we still had to do the shopping, which probably sounds a bit dodgy that I'm complaining, but when you do 11 hours one day and 8 the next, it's a bit tiring!  But, hey!  At least we weren't spending our own money! Lucy and I each got a large amount from Essential for that shoot. =Although, come to think of it, it's a bit sick that we had that much to spend on clothes for a shoot, but we're all having to live so tight!=  [Instead of this, you might say something like:  "Just so you don't get the wrong impression, we aren't living extravagantly! In fact, we're living pretty much on a shoestring right now. I don't know if we'll ever "make it big," but that's not what I got into it for. If it happens, though, great!]


See, "V*Enna" got an advance from the company, which was good, and actually quite amazing, considering the fact that they've never seen us perform, etc. (The deal we got was very rare for a new band.)  But well over half the advance goes to the production of the album, and the rest is already nearly half gone because of expenses (flights, paychecks, a van for gigs, etc.). But the record company pays for the photo shoot stuff separately, so that's good. It's non-recoupable, which means, unlike our advance, the record company can't take it out of our royalties to first pay themselves back. But as I was just sitting here thinking about it, it really is so funny that that's how it works!  That's the music business for ya, though, isn't it?!  I don't know if any of that made sense! I was just thinking on-screen. (Instead of out-loud. HA! HA!  Sharn, you are SOOOO funny!) ANYWAY, yeah. 


So we had a blast at the photo shoot. We had a make-up artist, the same guy that we had at our first shoot!  So that was fun!  And now, guess where I'm going on Saturday for 5 days?  PARIS!  We're having another photo shoot, this one will be for the single, though.  Bob Beeson, the main guy at Essential, is coming over with his wife 'cause he wants to be there with us for this one!  And this time our stylist is Brittany Spears' stylist!  (I don't know if you know who she is, but she's one of THE biggest names in pop music right now. Her style is very risqué, but Mark (my manager) already knows my stands on all of that, and Beeson is very conscious about the modesty as well.)  So yeah! That's the latest with the band stuff in a nutshell!
Everything with Sam is just lovely!  He's been pastoring a church in
Covent Garden for the past couple of months, and is doing a BRILLIANT job!  I'm so proud of him!!!  He's filling in for a pastor who is on leave 'til Easter. 


But Mark, my manager, has offered Sam a job up in Manchester with us!  Mark manages a few bands, so Sam would take on the role of attending more personally to us!  He would be our more immediate manager, would help develop the band into a ministry, would do administrative-type stuff, would speak in churches to get financial supporters (because until the CD is released next summer, and unless it's a huuuuuuge success, we will need the help), help run the gigs and get things in order for them, as well as being our pastor when we're touring!  We'll have a pastor here, but since we'll be on the road for up to a few months at a time, it will be very needed to have him! 


So Sam has been praying about it thoroughly for the last week, has talked with our parents (his and mine), as well as other spiritual mentors in his life, and REALLY feels good about it!  I mean, he's been praying about it off and on for the past few months, as Mark suggested this months ago to me, when I got the job, really. But it's quite cool because none of us wanted to do it merely out of convenience.  It almost seemed too easy; too perfect!  But we all really wanted it to totally be God, and not because Sam wanted to move up to Manchester to be with Sharnessa!  So it feels sooooo very good!  God is so good!  


You always have wise things to say, Aunt Pat, so any advice concerning that?  Or anything for that matter?!  I will never forget when I first moved to New York and you called me on my birthday (that meant SO much to me), and you told me just to hang in there. And you also said to me, which really stuck, and I try to remember to say every day, "Lord, what do you have for me today? What do you want to do with me today?"
Sam and I just went to Sweden again a couple of months ago!  I had to leave the country and return in order to activate my working visa, so I got a free trip to Sweden!  (The band paid.)  We had a lovely time!  His family is  so lovely!  Oh!  And they threw an engagement shower for us!  They have those in Sweden!  So it's quite fun because they don't really have wedding and lingerie showers in Sweden, so we're getting to experience and enjoy each others' cultures!  


Another neat thing is that in Sweden the man gets a ring at the time of engagement as well as the woman!  It's the same one he'll wear once we're married, but I'll have something engraved inside it just before the wedding to make it more special for our wedding!
Well, I suppose it's time for Sam to walk me home!  (He's been fast asleep while I've been writing to you.)  When I come down to London I stay in a spare room at the student house I lived in last year. Sam lived there last year as well (on a separate "guys" floor), but had to move, as everyone else did, because we're not students anymore!  But he still lives in Notting Hill Gate, so it's only like a 3-minute walk to where I stay! 




I got this background at: