Thursday, June 17, 2010

WELCOME TO MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR, SHEILA DEETH

Sheila Deeth is a very versatile and talented author of Christian books, drabbles, prose, and poetry. Her books are available on Amazon and on Lulu.

Sheila Deeth grew up in the UK and has a Bachelors and Masters in mathematics from Cambridge University, England. She moved to the States with her husband and three sons in 1996 and now lives near Portland, Oregon, where she enjoys reading, writing, drawing, telling stories, and wishing she still had a dog to walk with. Her books draw on her experiences as an English American, She also describes herself as a Catholic Protestant, a mathematician that can't add up, and a writer that can't spell.

Some of her books are listed below. If you have any questions for Sheila, please post them in comments.

Also be sure to check out her interview with me, today.



Do you think your birthplace influences your writing?



Some friends say they hear my English accent when they read what I’ve written, so I guess maybe my birthplace has some influence. I suspect it also affects the way I see things and people; perhaps moving to a different culture makes me look and listen more closely, so hopefully it makes me a better observer.


Do you have a book in progress?



I can’t seem to restrict my reading or my writing to one book at once. I’m editing my e-book for Gypsy Shadow, working on book 3 of my Hemlock series while reworking books 1 and 2, and I’ve just started on Joshua’s Journeys, the next of my children’s Bible story books.


When and why did you begin writing?



One day my elementary school principal put a huge tape recorder in front of me. She said, if I wouldn’t learn to write, she’d just have to record my stories. I decided the pencil was less scary than the microphone.


When did you first consider yourself a writer?



On-line friends told me “You’re a writer if you write.” Before that, writing was just something I liked doing.


What inspired you to write your first book?



When my husband and I both lost our jobs, I decided to try doing what I’d always wanted for a while. I think I was hoping to make money at it – a fairly forlorn hope.


Is there a message in your Christian series that you want readers to grasp?



I want people to read the Bible for themselves and find out what’s really there. Faith and popular interpretation don’t always have to agree, just like faith and science don’t have to disagree. And asking questions is always okay.



What do you find the hardest part of writing?



That moment when you let someone read something you’ve written and realize you’re letting them see into your inmost thoughts…


Did you learn anything from writing your books and what was it?



I learned something from the first novel I wrote. I’d just completed a scene and it felt wrong, so I took the dog out for a walk. The neighbors might have thought I was crazy, talking to someone who wasn’t there as we wandered round the green, but perhaps they just believed I was talking to the dog. By the time I got back, my character had completely redesigned the scene. I learned to listen to the “voices in my head,” and to wait for them when they’re not talking.


Do you have any advice for other writers?



Don’t be afraid to throw things (and scenes) away (see previous question.) Writing is a bit like talking – you don’t always manage to say it right the first time. But it’s worth trying again.



Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?



You mean I have readers? If I have, the first thing I’d say to them is thank you, and the second is please look out for more of my books. If you’re reading my Christian books then I’d remind you to keep reading the Bible too and keep asking questions. I suspect God loves two-year-olds who say “Why?” just as much as any other parents do, especially if they stick around to hear His answers.

14 comments:

  1. What an interesting interview, ladies! I liked the anecdote about mentally revising a scene on your walk, Sheila. The rhythm seems to loosen things sometimes. I'm more stationary, playing back the scene I've just written as if I'm watching a movie on the back of my closed eyelids.
    How do you incorporate science into your narratives? This math prof's wife wants to know!

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  2. Mary this is just so totally too cool that words can't describe how proud and happy I am for you.

    I love your book Flickertail and Paint and can't wait to see many more of your books being published.

    Keep on reaching for your dreams.
    Your Friend and Fan,
    Debi

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  3. Thank you so much for doing this Mary. I certainly enjoyed interviewing and being interviewed by you. And like Debi, I'm looking forward to seeing more of your books out there.

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  4. Hi Cheryl. Fun to find out that you're a math prof's wife. I guess math comes out in my writing because I love to play with symbolism and repetition. And I like things to be logical, even if it's my own slightly odd sort of logic.

    I love to read about scientific and historical research, particularly related to the Bible and philosphy. Then I try to include what I've learned in the way I picture the historical world - global warming at the time of the flood; that kind of thing.

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  5. What an inspiring interview, Mary! It's always fun to learn more about Gather friends. I enjoy reading Sheila's drabbles. Haven't written one myself lately. I should do one. It's fun and challenging! Good luck to both of you with your writing careers!

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  6. Thanks Marianne. (And thanks for the reminder that I need to post a new drabble:) )

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  7. Thank you for stopping in Marianne. I'm a big fan of all of Sheila's writing. I call her the Queen of Drabble. :)

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  8. The way you conflate elements reminds me of how I put together a poem, Sheila.

    So, ladies-what is a drabble? Is it one of the Gather things I have yet to figure out?

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  9. It's a story told in 100 words, usually fiction but not necessarily. I love writing them. They are a great exercise for learning to write concisely. It's amazing how much one can say in just 100 words.

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  10. Oh, I see. A type of flash fiction? Cool.

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  11. Hi, I'm new here. I found your post on twitter. As far as what motivated you to write, I think it's necessity that motivates a number of people to try something new or different. Thank goodness there are options out there.

    Interesting interview.

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  12. Great interview. Loved the image of you walking your dog and talking to your characters. Don't worry about the neighbors. They'll get used to it.

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  13. Nice to meet you Karen. And nice to know someone looks at Twitter too:) I think I spent this afternoon discussing characters with weeds in the yard, since it finally stopped raining. I did get the odd strange look from a neighbor, and some very strange looks from the weeds.

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  14. LOL, Sheila. My weeds are pretty strange looking anyway.

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