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Wednesday, 16 January 2008
Getting to Know Sheila Crosby
Topic: Author Interview
Sheila Crosby the person

1.      What three words do you think describe you as a human being?

Kind, opinionated and disorganised.

2.  How do you think others would describe you?

My best friend describes me as a saint, but I know better.  And recently someone I thought was a friend made it obvious that she sees me as a complete idiot.  So I guess they all have different opinions.

3.  Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.  

My family, and keeping the planet habitable for my son.  C'mon guys.  It really wouldn't kill you to turn stuff off when you're not using it.

4.  Do you have any pets?  If so, introduce us to them. 

We have two black cats, called Inky and Bib.  For some mysterious feline reason, Inky follows me around and Bib follows my husband. 

5.  What is your most precious memory? 

My son's birth of course.  But my first fiction sale runs it pretty close. 

6.  What is your most embarrassing memory? 

I'm not going to tell you because it's far too embarassing!

7.  If you weren't a writer, what would you be doing with your life?

Getting very frustrated.

8.  In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

She spent the first forty-five years of her life flitting between projects like a butterfly.  Then she pulled her finger out and started writing a book a year for the rest of her life.  And the quality just kept getting better and better.

Sheila Crosby the writer:

9.  Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a "real" writer?

When I got my first acceptance for a paying market. I got the email at work, so I went into the ladies so I could jump up and down in private.

10.  What is going on with your writing these days?

I'm writing my first novel, a whodunnit set in the astronomical observatory in the Canary Islands where I used to work.  It would probably go faster if I could give up short stories, but every now and then one sort of bursts out.

11.  What are your future goals for your writing?

To earn enough money to give up other paid work and employ a cleaner, so I can WRITE.

12.  Can you describe a typical writing day for you?

I drop my son off at school at 8:30 a.m. then come home and do about an hour's housework, before I sit down at the computer.  I read my email, and start work at about 10 a.m.  Around 11:30 I have a break from writing to do a bit more housework.  I usually produce my daily word quota before I have to pick my son up from school at 1:30 p.m, but I frequently go back to the computer in the afternoon to do a bit more, or to submit a short story.  The rest of the day seems to vanish, mostly on stuff like cooking and cleaning.

13.  Why do you write? 

I have two main reasons.  The noble one is that I want to be a weapon of mass construction, by making people wiser and/or happier.  The less nobel one is  to make people miss their stop on the train and burn their dinner.  I think at some level I'm just writing "Sheila woz here" on the toilet wall of life.

14.  What writer most inspires you?  Why? 

Terry Pratchett.  I started reading him for the humour, which I still love.  But now I love the profound observation of human nature even more.  Like the people charging into battle yelling, "Remember the atrocity committed four hundred years ago which justifies the atrocity we're going to commit today!"  You look at the Middle East or the Balkans, and you see it's so true that it makes your toes curl. I also love Ursula LeGuin.  Both the discword and Earthsea feel like places I've been on holiday.  I'd love to be able to do that.

15.  How do you define your writing? 


16.  In one sentence-what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?

" I like Sheila's stories so much that I'm saving a few of them for when I'm going through a rough patch."

Sheila Crosby the details:

17.  Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website?  Blog? 

My main website is,

and my blog is

Please visit!

18.  Is there a place where readers can reach you?

Via my website.

19.  Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them? 

I've sold lots of short stories, but no books yet.  You can see a full bibliography at

20.  For new readers-what can they expect when they read your book(s)?   

Funny little black marks on dead trees.  Quirky entertainment with plenty of surprises and hopefully a few belly laughs.

In conclusion:

21.  Take as much space as necessary to speak to our readers-what would you like them to know about you and your writing? 

I'm British, but I live on a small Spanish island off the coast of Morocco.  I originally came here to work at the astronomical observatory at the top of the mountain here, so I know the setting of my whodunnit really well.  That job lasted 11 years before I was downsized, by which time I'd aquired a local husband and a son.  I taught English for a while, but when my Dad died, I could afford to stop.  Since my son needed more attention and my novel was going nowhere, I did stop.  I've never been happier, even if I am doing my own cleaning again.




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