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Introducing Sheila Deeth

29 Oct

Sheila Deeth has very kindly offered to be the first ever guest on my blog. Thank you Sheila for trusting me to present you. As this concludes my first month blogging and have mentioned my ‘firsts’, I thought it would great to get Sheila to share with us how she got started on the path to becoming an author. So Sheila, how did it begin?

My first book was written on scrap paper with multi-colored pens and tied up with string… My first book’s languishing in a cardboard box; goes out on queries from time to time but always finds its way home… My first book’s called Divide by Zero and comes out in paperback next summer with Stonegarden… My first books are self-published childrens’ stories based on the Bible… There are so many answers to that question, “What was your first book?” But Refracted was my first to garner an acceptance letter, the first of my three ebooks with Gypsy Shadow Publishing, Flower Child being my latest, newest release.
When Anne offered to host me on my Flower Child blog tour, she asked if I’d write about getting my first book published. So here’s the story of Refracted…
1. I joined a small local writers’ group. Some of the members said they sent their stories to magazines and got them published; I started sending stories out.
2. I went to (my one and only) writers’ conference. Everyone said you need an internet presence if you want to get published so I started a blog.
3. I couldn’t stand the thought of writing about me, so I self-published my children’s Bible story books and wrote about them on my blog.
4. I started visiting other blogs and leaving comments. Much to my amazement, one comment won me an ebook by Aubrie Dionne.
5. Feeling jaded about writing novels—so much effort, so little reward—and magazine stories—so many, many rejections—I realized Aubrie’s novella seemed the perfect length, then visited her publisher’s website.
6. Aubrie Dionne’s book was published by Gypsy Shadow; they were running a competition with a lovely dramatic picture for a book cover.
7. Our local writers’ group was asking for stories set in the past; and I was teaching a Sunday school class on the history behind Noah’s ark. Putting all three ideas together I ended up with Refracted.
8. I got an email saying Refracted had won Gypsy Shadow’s competition. I danced round the room. I phoned my Mum. I emailed all my friends.
9. Then I edited. Denise Bartlett at Gypsy Shadow is a really good editor. She taught me not to use “that” all the time, and to cut down on “ing” words. She told me which scenes were unclear and suggested ways to fix them. She asked questions that made me realize what I needed to change.
10. After several edits I learned how to track changes in Microsoft Word. Then the story went to Charlotte Holley who added a cover. The cover picture was the prompt, but Charlotte added those finishing touches to make it just perfect for my story.
11. I approved the cover and got a final pdf, with one mistake, which Charlotte immediately fixed—it’s amazing how those typos slip past no matter how many times you check with however many pairs of eyes.
12. And then… I had an ebook out and learned to call myself a writer!
Twelve being such a pleasingly symbolic number I’ll stop there. I suspect we all travel different paths to get that first book published. In the end the best advice I received was keep writing and keep sending things out, so good luck to any of you reading this and keep filling the page with your dreams.

Thank you, Anne, for inviting me to your blog. Thanks too to my writers’ group for inspiration, Lyn Hywela for awarding me the copy of Aubrie’s book, Aubrie Dionne for the introduction to Gypsy Shadow, Denise Bartlett for her editing skills, and Charlotte Holley for creating such great covers and being so good about giving the author a say in how each book looks.
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
On Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Flower-Child-ebook/dp/B005PGMT4O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1317398482&sr=8-1
on Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/91467
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

Sheila, thank you so much for being part of my blog and I you wish the best success for Flower Child.
Find out more about Sheila Deeth and Flower Child on Sunday with Jane Kirkpatrick on http://janeswordsofencouragement.blogspot.com/