Saturday, October 1, 2011

Guest Post by GSP Author Sheila Deeth



Shelia Deeth is a fellow author at Gypsy Shadow Publishing, and one of my very supportive blogger friends. She has a new release out:



Which you can buy here!

She's written a great guest post on how she got the idea for Flower Child and her writer's group. Enjoy!

Take it away Sheila...


They say you can’t write entirely on your own—you need support, readers, someone to make sure what you’re writing keeps making sense. I don’t know if it’s true. But a few years ago I joined a local writing group. We meet in the library once a month, all sitting at tables laid out in a square. Sometimes a local author will come and speak to us. Sometimes one of the group shares lessons learned—how not to self-publish, where ideas come from, have pen and paper will travel, etc… We eat snacks (an important part of every meeting) and do group critiques of work submitted by willing (or mostly willing) volunteers. And we run monthly competitions. A prompt is shared, then everyone tries to write a story or poem which gets posted on our private website where only members can read them. When the competition closes we leave comments and vote for our favorite three.

A while ago the prompt was to write a story based on music. I don’t listen to music when I’m writing—there’s no point since I’m typically dead to the world and wouldn’t notice if the music stopped. But I like to enter every competition, so I took the first song that came to mind—John Denver’s Rhymes and Reasons—tied it together with a slightly weird childhood memory and started to write. Half an hour later I had around 500 words—enough for my entry—and a feeling that maybe this story could go further.

I didn’t write any more at the time; just typed “to be continued” as my excuse for the lack of ending, then emailed the file to the contest host. It didn’t win—I don’t think it even placed. But another member of the group came up and asked me, “So, have you continued it? Can I read the rest?”

You probably can write entirely on your own, but sometimes it takes someone telling you this is good enough, someone wanting more, someone believing you’re capable of writing more, to keep you going. My slightly odd few paragraphs on children and flowers (with hints of sisters and brothers) grew into Flower Child, and now it’s a newly released ebook from Gypsy Shadow. The weirdest thing is my previous two releases from Gypsy Shadow grew out of prompts from the same writers’ group. I think they must be good for me.

For my sins, I now have the post of “fearless leader” in our little group, but that’s the least I can do in thanks for all the inspiration they’ve given me. Meanwhile my internet friends remind me, even when the local group’s not in session I still don’t have to write alone.

I’m really grateful to Aubrie for inviting me to her blog—she’s definitely one of my friends who inspires me to write. Aubrie inspired me to send my first submission to Gypsy Shadow; she inspired me to take a greater part in other people’s blog tours; and now she’s inspired me to go on a tour with my own book. Thank you, Aubrie.

About Flower Child: When Megan miscarries her first pregnancy it feels like the end of everything; instead it’s the start of a curious relationship between the grieving mother and an unborn child who hovers somewhere between ghost and angel. Angela, Megan’s “little angel,” has character and dreams all her own, friends who may or may not be real angels, and a little brother who brings hope to her mother’s world. But Angela’s dream-world has a secret and one day Angela might learn how to be real.

Where to find Flower Child: http://gypsyshadow.com/SheilaDeeth.html#Flower

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 sons, 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

Thanks, Sheila for visiting today!

554 comments:

1 – 200 of 554   Newer›   Newest»
Cherie Reich said...

Congrats for your newest release, Sheila!

That's really neat your writers group does prompts and holds contests once a month. Prompts can be great writing exercises. My writers group mainly focuses on critiques. The actual writing may be more solitary, but it really does take others to make it into something more. :)

Sutton Fox said...

Sounds like you're part of a great writer's group, and you've made some great friends there.

Congrats on your release. Enjoyed the interview!

Sheila Deeth said...

Thanks Cherie and Sutton. Our local writing group is certainly a great help to me. I hope some of them might visit here today.

Sheila Deeth said...

Thank you Aubrie too! You really are an inspiration and a good friend.

Anne Petzer said...

Congrats Shelia. Your writing group sounds really supportive. Thank you for the encouraging words.

A. F. Stewart said...

I think maybe your readers need to send your writer's group a nice thank you note. Congrats on the new book.

Sheila Deeth said...

They're a nice group. We're a real mix of ages, styles and intentions, but we all have writing in common. Meeting once a month is a great way to remind us ourselves we're writers.

Ruthi aka abitosunshine said...

Awesome post, so I thank both Sheila and Aubrie for a great start to the tour!

Sheila, I envy you this great group of writing friends you meet with monthly. I need to make an effort to find myself a group offline to participate in, as I know it is something that would be beneficial.

Ever so proud of you!

Dawn Colclasure said...

Congratulations, Sheila! That's wonderful the writing prompts gave you the inspiration for your books. Writing "to be continued" at the end definitely sets a writer up for being approached by someone who wants to know what happens next. :) It can be a good motivator!

Sheila Deeth said...

Our prompt for this month insisted that all entries end with "to be continued." There should be some interesting stories come out of this one--and some interesting comments about suggested endings I expect.

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