Thursday, 4 October 2012

Being a Storyteller: A Guest Post From Sheila Deeth

Today we welcome talented author, Sheila Deeth, as she stops by on her blog tour for her new book, Divide by Zero.  She chats about her writing, her book and...

Being a Storyteller  

I love to write but, more importantly, I love telling stories. I’ve been telling stories since long before I learned to put pen to paper or finger to keyboard. In elementary school the teachers of older classes would send students to “borrow” me, so I could keep the class quiet with a story while the teacher stepped out of the room. I imagined all sorts of exciting lives for an every-changing cast of characters ranging from cats and dogs to superheroes and angels and saints. Then in high school a teacher asked for an essay on whether I’d prefer a short exciting life or a long boring one. Which one would you choose?
Short and exciting seemed like the obvious answer. After all, if I didn’t want a short exciting life, why did I keep telling short exciting stories? But I’d learned the joy of making people cry somewhere along the line. (My teacher said it’s much harder to make them laugh, but I was working on that.) Class-mates cry when heroes and heroines die. And short exciting lives do tend to end in haunting tears.
I’d already started my essay but I turned it around. No, I thought, I don’t want a short exciting life. I want a really long and boring one in which I can write a million books and live and die vicariously through the characters I create.
Of course, in school I had a captive audience for those tales. I still remember the faces of elementary students as I perched precariously on the teacher’s chair. I still remember high-school friends sitting silent while the teacher read out one of my stories. But real life, long and boring, was soon joyously filled with the excitement of growing children. My new captive audience was my kids and I told them exciting stories while delighting in their lives. Now they’re grown. I’ve started writing those “million books” and I wonder if anyone will read them. My precious needling words hide in a haystack as big as the world or, at least, as big as the internet. My teacher’s chair sits in front of a blank computer screen. And I can’t see my audience.
Will you read my book? If you do, I just might make you cry, like I did in school. I hope I’ll make you laugh a bit as well. And I hope you’ll feel the time spent with my characters was well-employed. For the most part, they’re just living their everyday lives, joyously filled with the excitement of growing children, and haunting overshadowed by the past. But even some relatively boring lives get cut short. And excitement might be less important than knowing how to move on.
Divide by Zero creeps into the heart of community, then watches a small boy’s innocence and wisdom set that heart beating again after trauma intervenes. I hope you’ll read it but, more importantly, I hope you’ll like it.

Divide by Zero

It takes a subdivision to raise a child, and a wealth of threads to weave a tapestry, until one breaks.
Troy, the garage mechanic’s son, loves Lydia, the rich man’s daughter. Amethyst has a remarkable cat and Andrea a curious accent. Old Abigail knows more than anyone else but doesn’t speak. And in Paradise Park a middle-aged man keeps watch while autistic Amelia keeps getting lost.
Pastor Bill, at the church of Paradise, tries to mend people. Peter mends cars. But when that fraying thread gives way it might take a child to raise the subdivision—or to mend it.

Divide by Zero is available from:
And more.

Author Bio:
Sheila Deeth grew up in the UK and has a Bachelors and Masters in mathematics from Cambridge University, England. Now living in the States near Portland Oregon, she enjoys reading, writing, drawing, telling stories and meeting her neighbors' dogs on the green.

Sheila can be found on her website:

Or connect with her on:


Sheila Deeth said...

Thank you for inviting me to your blog Anita, and for being such an encouraging fellow "storyteller."

John J Beck said...

Yes, you're one of my favorite storytellers, Sheila. Best wishes with the success of "Divide by Zero".

Sheila Deeth said...

Thank you John!

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