Interview with Sheryl Westleigh

When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm a professional artist and jewelry designer so a lot of my time is spent creating or running the business end of things. In my free time I have a lot of geeky pursuits, things like playing D&D, watching Doctor Who, obsessing about what Joss Whedon will do next to torture fans.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
No, but I do remember the first story I ever shared with anyone else. I wrote a story in 7th grade that was a Dune fanfiction that I liked enough to show one of my teachers and she was very encouraging. It's still the only fan fiction I've ever written since after that I really wanted to create my own worlds.
What is your writing process?
I hand write all my first and second drafts, pen and paper just feels more flexible to me, I like being able to do things like make margin notes.When I'm ready to write I grab my binder and a couple pens, put on some music and write. I do keep my laptop close so I can do quick research if I need it but I try to stay off it as much as possible so I don't get distracted. I usually write at night before bed, it's my way of unwinding.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
No. I do remember my mom reading the Wizard of Oz and the Hobbit to me and my brother when we were really young. They are still two of my favorite books and gave me my love of fantasy.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read a wide variety of books, if it can in any way fit the science fiction, fantasy, or mystery genre I'll probably give it a try. Even if it doesn't fit one of my favorite genres if a book is recommended by someone whose taste I trust I'll read it.
Describe your desk
I don't write at a desk, I usually sit on my bed or couch. Occasionally I write in the bath.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in rural Maine and never lived anywhere bigger than a small town until quite recently (and Portland, Maine, isn't a big city by any stretch). I've never written a story that takes place in a big city because I can't relate to it. I also have more experience with livestock, horseback riding, and archery than the average person which can come in handy when writing.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Getting to know my characters and seeing how they will develop.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on my first novel. I've written a lot of short stories and a few things are long enough to be considered novellas but pushing myself to write something over 50k words is a big challenge for me.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have too many but a short list would be: H.P. Lovecraft, J.R.R. Tolkien, Mercedes Lackey, Lois McMaster Bujold, Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, and Arthur Conan Doyle.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Caffeine and not starving to death.
Published 2013-10-23.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Chance Meeting
Series: Blood Mage Verse. You set the price! Words: 6,100. Language: American English. Published: January 2, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
Calliope Bránán was just looking for a fun night out with friends to get her mind off losing her job. Lots of music and dancing, maybe the chance to meet a guy. What she didn't expect was who she would meet. They both have secrets they hide; to protect themselves. This isn't the world most people think it is.
The Blue Lady
Series: Blood Mage Verse. You set the price! Words: 7,080. Language: English. Published: May 10, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
Calliope Bránán is a Blood Mage. It's not always easy to balance your life between the magical and mundane world but she does her best. The fact that her boyfriend, Lucas, is a vampire and she has her work for the Guardians keeping the peace in Maine makes it that much more difficult. When a friend asks her to help find a missing little boy she and Lucas have to hurry to rescue him.