In this installment of the Author Showcase we speak with Sheri Lewis Wohl. Sheri Lewis Wohl

grew up in northeast Washington State and though she always thought she’d move away, never has. Despite traveling throughout the United States, Sheri always finds her way back home. And so she lives, plays, and writes amidst mountains, evergreens, and abundant wildlife. When not working the day job in federal finance, she writes stories that typically include a bit of the strange and unusual and always a touch of romance. Her novel Twisted Whispers was a 2016 Golden Crown Literary Award winner for Paranormal/Horror, and Twisted Screams is a finalist for a 2017 Golden Crown Literary Award.

Q What stories got you inspired to begin your own writing?

The Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell got my imagination soaring when just a kid, and I began to write my own stories of adventure, danger, and triumph. As I grew older, it shifted to classics such as Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Tell-Tale Heart that urged me to find my own voice. It was the novels by Dean Koontz that inspired me to embrace my own brand of paranormal, thriller, and romance. His stories always include a bit of all three, and it occurred to me that perhaps I could do that too.  

Q    Do you have any habits you use to get into the headspace to write your novels?

Walking, running, and cycling are prime headspace times for me. I love the quiet solitude as I work out because it helps me to think through ideas and plot twists. Like the time I was riding my bike through Riverside State Park and the plot to Burgundy Betrayal was born. Cycling along a hillside, I looked down and thought it would be a perfect place to drop a body. My next thought was who would drop a body there? The answer came immediately, a werewolf, of course! By the time I finished the ten-mile ride, I had the whole story plotted out in my head and I was ready to write.  

Q You did your master’s thesis on Carmilla and I saw you were a member of the Transylvanian Society of Dracula, what about vampires and death holds a fascination for you?

As a child, I was terrified of the dark and the dangers, in my perception, that lurked around every corner. Vampires represent powerful rulers of the darkness, afraid of nothing. Given the vivid imagination I’ve always had, younger me wasn’t a hundred percent sure they didn’t actually exist. 😊 The lingering fascination stems from that child who wanted to face the night unafraid and impervious to danger. Thus, I often write characters who are female vampires, or in other words, female characters who kick ass and take names.  

Q    You also write screenplays, do you approach the process differently? Does it affect your writing to know you are handing your creation to others to interpret the work?

The processes are essentially the same for me whether writing short stories, novels, short plays, or working on a screenplay. I don’t think about how someone else might interpret but rather write from my own imagination and heart. I’ve had short plays produced and it was thrilling to see them come to life through the talent of the directors and cast. That they might interpret differently than my thoughts behind the stories doesn’t bother me. In fact, it’s exciting to think that there are more layers to the work than I ever imagined. It’s the creative process that stretches and grows.  

Q   I saw that besides being an author you work as a K9 search and rescue team with your German shepherd, how did you get started doing that and do you think it has affected the stories you tell?

Although I retired this year from search and rescue, it was one of the best experiences of my life. A friend introduced me to the search and rescue K9 team in my community when my German shepherd, Clancy, was a pup. She thought he might be suited to the work. Though a very good boy, as it turned out, he was not a SAR dog, but I was hooked. My next pup, Zoey was suited to SAR and worked successfully for a number of years as a human remains detection K9. As any handler will tell you, doing this kind of work develops a partnership with you dog at an incredibly deep level. It’s built on mutual hard work and trust. Working with my search dogs, Zoey and Deuce, as well as the search and rescue community in Washington and Idaho, enriched my life in ways that are hard to explain. It touched all aspects of my world, including my writing. You will find search dogs scattered throughout my novels because they are wonderous and important, and a piece of my heart.  Zoey was even the cover model on my novel, Necromantia!  

Q    You have a new book coming out in August, Witch Finder, could you give our readers a quick rundown on the story? What inspired the story?

What inspired the story is my love of the classic battle between good and evil as well as themes on love and forgiveness. The wonders of the natural world that surround me here in the Pacific NW seemed like the perfect place to wage just such a classic battle. The Witch Finder captures it all. The Keeper, a white witch tasked with protecting the Book of Darkness, a grimoire with the power to destroy the world, is in jeopardy. A Black Faction Witch Finder is coming with the intent to kill her and take possession of the grimoire. With the help of a warrior from the White Faction and several friends with a little magic of their own, the Keeper faces off with the Witch Finder. There’s magic, danger, friendship, and, of course, love.  

Q} if people want more info about you or your projects where should they go?

 My website at: www.sherilewiswohl Facebook at: Sheri Lewis Wohl Instagram at: Sheri Lewis Wohl My publisher’s website at:  

Final four questions –we ask everybody
Q) When the zombies take over the world where will you be? 

Well, having played a zombie on TV (yes, you can find zombie Sheri in season one of Z Nation), I’ve given this much thought. After looking at all the options, I’ve determined the best place to be is right here in NE WA state setting up my fortress along with my crossbow and my trusty K9 companions. Together we will defend the fortress against the undead hordes.
Q )  What is your favorite Fandom? 

It’s Star Wars all the way for me. In 1977, I stood in a line that snaked all the way around the building to see a movie everyone raved about. I knew nothing about it really but went with friends anyway. It was amazing. First time I’d ever seen a woman play leadership role like that. I was hooked. Princess Leia became a role model for strong, powerful women. I’ve been part of the fandom ever since and was even a Star Wars panel member at Geek Girl Con in Seattle.
Q) What piece of art, be it in the form of music, a book, a film or picture, do you think people must experience before they die?  

For me, any painting by Mary Cassatt. What speaks to me about her work is that women are the focal point. She did not paint them as simply pretty objects, but rather as the most important element of each work. Her art embraced her advocacy for women’s equality and that continues to resonate to this day.
Q) Give one fact that most people would not believe about you? 

I am a die-hard fan of rock music and yet what surprises people is that when I sit down to play the piano, it’s classical all the way for me. I find it incredibly relaxing to play Bach or Beethoven or Rachmaninoff. Of course, I typically only play for the dogs just in case I hit a wrong note 😊

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