Sheila Deeth grew up in the UK and has a Bachelors and Master in mathematics from Cambridge University England. After college she wrote computer code then moved on to write Bible story books available from Cape Arago Press, spiritual speculative novellas e-published by Gypsy Shadow Publishing, and various novels, including Divide by Zero from Stonegarden.net Publishing, and Love on a Transfer coming soon from Willow Moon. Now living near Portland, Oregon, Sheila loves the bookstores and coffee-shops of the Pacific Northwest, reads voraciously, writes incessantly, and enjoys interacting with other readers and writers through the internet and writing groups.
What inspires you to write?
I’m a mathematician who can’t add up and a reader who can’t spell. If my brain were a Venn Diagram, writing would be that area of intersection that holds me together. Anything and everything inspires me and, without the chance to let the stories out, my would probably explode.
Tell us about your writing process
If I’m not doing something else, I write at the computer. If I am doing something else, I write in my brain instead. Sometimes I use paper but the fact that I can’t read my own writing is a bit of a problem. I might be driving to the station one day and imagine great wonderful chapters which I lose by the time I get home but that’s okay–I know they’ll come back. Though, of course, they’re rarely as great or as wonderful as they seem in imagination–or perhaps should I let my readers be the judge of that?
Once the first draft’s complete I try to get more organized. I make notes in the margin to remind me what color eyes my characters have, what date they were born, how old they were when they met, and things like that. Afterward I create timelines, look for continuity errors, and generally make sure what made sense to me has some vague chance of making sense to others.
And then I edit. I love editing. It’s like sculpture. It’s the bit of the writing process I have the most control over, the satisfying bit when I blend liking to read with liking to write.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Mostly my characters talk to me. Writers’ block is their way of telling me I’m taking the story in the wrong direction. Then I go for a walk and let them set me straight. It wasn’t so bad when we still had a dog of course. People would think I was talking to her as I wandered around the green. Now I walk and talk alone and hope they don’t think my imaginary conversations are proof of madness.
What advice would you give other writers?
Aim high and celebrate baby steps with chocolate.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I heard you have to have an internet presence to get a publisher to look at your work. So I self-published my Christian storybooks to give myself an internet presence. Everyone says you have to be strict and organized about submitting things to publishers, but organization is not my greatest skill. I’m pretty good at persistence though, and I progressed from self-published to short stories in e-zines, to e-published novellas, to a novel in print and two under contract (plus many more on the back burner). And now those first Christian storybooks have been picked up by a publisher too!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I don’t think paper books will go away. But I do think e-books will continue to grow more popular. I imagine a world where bookstores and coffee shops offer something to read with that mocha and loan out e-readers or print out the novel on the spot.
What do you use?
What genres do you write:: childrens, contemporary adult, spriritual speculative, Christian, YA, romance…
What formats are your books in: Both eBook and Print