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The Needs of Other Souls — Sheila Deeth Interview

Sometimes a story comes along that immediately connects with us in a secret place. Some way or other, this author, a stranger, has found out your inner workings and put them on a printed page. Even better, when a story makes you aware that those experiences we work so hard to hide or deny, are universal. You’ll find yourself calling a friend or turning to a spouse or chatting online, because a door has been opened. It’s like we’ve been given permission to explore, to speculate, to share and to cherish that which, of course, turns out not to be so hidden or secret after all.

Author Sheila Deeth’s latest novel, FLOWER CHILD, is one of those stories; a brave exploration of the “curious relationship between a grieving mother and an unborn child who’s not quite ghost or angel.” The novel begs many questions. In the midst of such loss, do emotions distort reality? Could you let yourself believe the impossible if it could restore the one you loved? You’ll lie awake contemplating to what lengths you might go to preserve your own life, and whether you’ve known love great enough to lay down that life for someone else? Deceptively simple and poignantly effervescent, this gentle novel speculates over the limits of memory, the fine line between faith and fantasy, and that place where intellect fails us, revealed only in dreams.

Recently, Sheila said something to me in an email that I believe will represent the wisdom and unique perspectives found in this beautiful piece of fiction.

“Sometimes I think reading is a window into the needs of other souls.”

I couldn’t agree more, Sheila. I’m so glad you’re here today for this interview. Welcome!

What is your favorite quality in a person?   Trust probably. I admire people who are trustworthy, and admire them more if they’re also willing to trust.

What is your least?  Always expecting the worst is probably my least favorite quality–in others and in me.

As a child, did you dream of becoming a writer?
Once I got over dreaming of being a trapeze artist (it was never going to happen) I decided to be a writer. Somehow I became a mathematician instead, but I still had dreams, and stories.

Who/what influenced you to pursue your dreams? My Mum influenced me a lot–she’s always been my greatest fan. My oldest son insisted that if I was going to tell bedtime stories they had to be in a book, so I guess he influenced me to believe it was worth writing something–not that he’d dream of reading my writing now. And the author Jane Kirkpatrick influenced me–oddly enough, I “won” an hour of her time a few years ago and she told me I was a writer. Her encouragement helped me keep going when the rejection slips stacked up.

What is your greatest love?  My faith I think. With a Catholic Dad and Methodist Mum it was something I always had to think about, and it always seemed to reward the time I spent thinking. I love reading the Bible. I love science and math and history. I love words. I love telling stories. Oh, and I love dogs!

What is your greatest fear?  Rejection–that’s a crazy fear to have as a writer–those rejection slips do pile up. But rejection’s always been my greatest fear. Of course, I’m also scared of spiders, moths, wasps and other such things.

What is your favorite place? Anywhere I can curl up with a book? My Mum’s favorite place is that path in Yellowstone where you stand right on top of the waterfall–not a good location for reading, but it’s probably one of my favorite spots too. And the glaciers in Alaska–I saw them for the first time last month. And the Grand Canyon… How many answers do you want? The advantage of curling up with a book is it can take me anywhere.

If you could give a bit of sage advice to novice writers, what would it be? Keep writing. Keep reading. And never be afraid to delete something.

Where to find Flower Child:
Her website
Amazon
Smashwords


About the author:Sheila Deeth grew up in the UK and has a Bachelors and Masters in mathematics from Cambridge University, England. Now living in the States with her husband and son, she enjoys reading, writing, drawing, telling stories, running a local writers’ group, and meeting her neighbors’ dogs on the green.
Sheila describes herself as a Mongrel Christian Mathematician. Her short stories, book reviews and articles can be found in

VoiceCatcher 4, Murder on the Wind, Poetic Monthly, Nights and Weekends, the Shine Journal and Joyful Online. Besides her Gypsy Shadow ebooks, Sheila has several self-published works available from Amazon and Lulu, and a full-length novel under contract to come out next year.

Find her on her website: http://www.sheiladeeth.com

or find her books at: http://sheiladeeth.weebly.com

October 29, 2011 - 1:33 pm

Kimberly Brock - Sheila, after reading FLOWER CHILD, I wondered how many people could say they’d felt the comforting presence of a loved one they’d lost, or been visited in dreams, or maybe had more visceral experiences. I know my family tells stories of their own encounters — usually tongue in cheek, but they are obviously cherished and mysterious memories because they come up again and again.

Did such an experience inspire FLOWER CHILD?

Anybody else want to share their experiences?

October 29, 2011 - 12:36 am

Mary Russel - Wonderful job, Kimberly and Sheila.

October 28, 2011 - 3:59 pm

Melissa Crytzer Fry - Lovely interview, Kimberly (and another dazzling intro). Wow – Sheila – you are a woman after my own heart. Your favorite reading places are some of MY favorite places (Yellowstone, Grand Canyon). Would love to read among Alaska’s glaciers (visited Sitka, Alaska while doing client work and fell in love!)

Your novel sounds hauntingly beautiful.

October 28, 2011 - 3:37 pm

Sheila Deeth - Thank you Hope!

October 28, 2011 - 3:36 pm

Sheila Deeth - Thank you Kimberly! Your review brings tears to my eyes! And thank you for the interview too. I’ve really enjoyed “chatting” with you over emails.

October 28, 2011 - 2:53 pm

C. Hope Clark - Thanks for this nice interview. I admire someone with a strong faith, and the fact you mentioned it as your greatest love, Sheila, tells me you probably practice it, too. And I love “never be afraid to delete anything.” Amen to that!

Hope Clark
FundsforWriters.com

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