About P. E. Sibley:
For P. E. Sibley (a.k.a. Pat Sibley) writing is a passion, or perhaps a compulsion.
She was born, raised, and educated mostly in Orange County, California. A voracious reader as a child, she became interested in writing early on. She wrote her first short story in second grade about an ant. It ended rather abruptly when the ant was smashed by a foot.
She graduated from the University of California, Riverside with degrees in medieval history and technical theatre (both guaranteed to keep her employed in other areas). By the time she reached her mid-twenties, she was living a near-gypsy existence, moving from one city to another. She traveled to Europe several times (Scotland is the preferred destination) and to the Middle East, and tried numerous occupations including climbing telephone poles, picking oranges on a kibbutz in Israel, and managing a bookstore.
She returned to school for a Teaching Credential from Cal State University, Long Beach mostly because they had an exchange program whereby she could do her student teaching in Hampshire, England.
She moved numerous times more—mostly eastward and northward to San Francisco and then Sierra Nevada mountains—and now resides in rural Eastern Washington State with her husband, a wolf-canine mix, a cattle dog, and a cat that believes she is really a dog.
What inspires you to write?
Writing is something I’ve felt compelled to do since I was young. I quite literally feel as if I must write. I can only think the inspiration comes from reading. My main reason to write is to create characters and stories I can’t find in other books; I make up my own.
Tell us about your writing process.
My novel ideas usually start out as a single scene that I can’t get out of my head until I get it down on paper or on the computer. Then I build around that one scene if it has momentum. Sometimes it gains momentum without really trying.
As hard as I try to outline, my novels never quite turn out exactly as I imagine them. My characters have been known to take over and I’ve learned not to fight them when they want to go in a direction I’ve never considered; they are almost always right.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
From the statement above, you can see that I do listen to my characters. I interact with them, talk to them, argue, cajole, even dream about them. I’ve even pulled over while driving to take notes.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write, write, and write some more. I find writing to be the easy part. Editing, proofing, publishing, marketing are so much harder, but just get the words in your head onto the page. The rest will come.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
My decision to publish was made in the 1990s. I signed with a literary agent but he didn’t do much with my first novel. I sent him the second, and he did even less. So when I heard about Amazon’s program, I jumped in with both feet. I now have three books, paperbacks and e-books, with a fourth I hope to have published this summer.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
There are still the traditionalist who like holding a real book in their hands, but I think this will change very slowly–perhaps in five or six generations!
What do you use?: Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Science fiction, mystery
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print