Another Monday, but that isn’t all bad because we have a fabulous guest today.
Bold Strokes Books author Sheri Lewis Wohl is here to share about life, writing, zombies, the Transylvanian Society of Dracula, and her latest WALKING THROUGH SHADOWS. One lucky winner will receive an e-book copy. Details can be found below.
Before we begin, thanks so much for stopping by today for a chat.
Thank you so much for having me. It’s such a pleasure to be here.
You write about things that go bump in the night. Do you think growing up in northeast Washington, surrounded by nature, allowed your imagination to flourish?
I really do believe it played a large part in my crazy imagination. For instance, I tell people all the time about how I see things perhaps a little differently than most. I got the idea for Burgundy Betrayal, a werewolf novel, after riding my bike back and forth to work through Riverside State Park. While others see the beautiful trail, gorgeous trees, and the clear, blue waters of the Spokane River, it seemed to me to be the perfect place for a werewolf to run amok! After a couple of rides through the park, the story came together.
During the day, you’re a federal employee. How do find the time and energy to write after dealing with bureaucratic red tape?
After working over two and half decades for the government, it’s pretty much second nature to me. I can deal with red tape in my sleep at this point. That said, writing is such an escape because it takes me far, far away from my everyday environment. The worlds I create in my writing are so far removed from my day-to-day life, that I find writing after work not only refreshing but energizing as well.
Also, you participate in triathlons and you help out with local K9 search and rescue teams. Admit it, you’re a superhero. Do you own a cape? In all seriousness, sorta, what’s the one piece of advice you’d give to survive a zombie attack?
Well, I’m certainly no superhero but I am a classic ADHD personality. Triathlons are just plain fun and working with my dog is an amazing thing. What’s cool is that both activities give me an edge in the event of a zombie attack. You see, you have to stay in good shape to do triathlons and must actually pass a fitness test to be involved with search and rescue, with or without a K9 partner. In the event of a zombie attack, the best strategy in my mind is to out run them! Considering the fitness test for search and rescue requires carrying a 30lb pack, I figure I can outrun the zombies and bring food and supplies with me.
I read you’re a member of the Transylvanian Society of Dracula. I’m almost afraid to ask, but can’t help myself. What is that really and was there an initiation process?
The Transylvanian Society of Dracula is actually more of an academic society that studies both the historic Dracula and the fictional Dracula. In graduate school I studied Bram Stoker’s work (along with other 19th Century Gothic writers) and so it seemed a natural thing to cultivate fellowship with others of a like mind. Some great people in the group.
Your latest Walking Through Shadows involves witches. What inspired the story?
Witches have always fascinated me, particularly given that they are so often viewed as evil rather than individuals who have a great respect for the world, both seen and unseen. I often drive between Spokane, WA and Portland, OR and the landscape along the Columbia River to me is so interesting. Again, looking through the lenses that are skewed just a touch, the story started with a “what if” scenario. What if an hereditary witch went through some kind of wormhole? What would happen? How would the fates align? From there it was a quick leap back in time and the creation of a story that hopefully captures the imagination of the readers. It has things I really like: history, the paranormal, danger, and romance.
How much research do you do before starting a new project?
I do a fair amount of research before I get into the heart of the project. What I find, however, is that I have to keep researching as I go along. The research doesn’t end when I start to write. The story takes a turn I wasn’t expecting and I have to figure out the how, why, when, and where of it. I love finding details and reading about different people, places, and events. It’s part of the fun of writing the stories – especially when I get to take some tiny little historical detail and twist it ever so slightly. That’s exactly how the main character in Crimson Vengeance came to be. I was researching something completely different and came upon a nugget of information about Henry VII that made me stop and go… “Hey, what if…”
With your fondness for scary, do you have any special traditions for Halloween?
I love Halloween. The whole idea of the veil between the worlds being the thinnest is infinitely fascinating to me. Surprisingly, I have an extensive collection of skulls (and before anyone asks, no – none are actual human skulls). I have ceramic skulls in my office, skull rings, necklaces, and scarves. My office has come to expect to see me dressed in a suit with a lovely skull pin on Halloween. Who says you can’t dress professional and accessorize with skulls? If Halloween falls on a weekend, it’s my classic orange and black skull tunic. Everyone who knows me, knows what they’ll see on Halloween. In addition, all month long it is scary movie marathon and no one in the house argues…they know better! Like I said, I love Halloween.
What’s the last book you read that scared the crap out of you?
I just finished an older Stephen King book, Duma Key, and I loved it. It was scary and creepy and the characters quite simply spoke to me. I’m a little afraid to go stay in a beach house right now and anyone’s who has read the book knows why.
Finally, back to the zombie thing, what was it like being a zombie extra in a TV series?
Being a zombie was hands-down one of the most fun things I’ve ever done. It’s a hoot getting the special effects make-up put on and once they shout “action” it’s like being a kid again. You have no inhibitions and you simply go for it. During the shooting, they keep touching up your bloody teeth. I mean, seriously, how can that not be fun? Then when you’re cut loose for the day, you still have the make up on because you can’t really clean it up until you get home. Driving home in zombie make-up…priceless. If you ever get the chance to be a zombie – do it!
WALKING THROUGH SHADOWS
Release Date: September 12, 2017
Paranormal & Urban Fantasy / Romance
Molly Williams is a powerful hereditary witch who manages to keep her powers under control as she tries to be normal. Most of the time, it works.
An invitation from friends Winnie and Angus is just the diversion she needs right now, and she jumps at the offer to go backpacking along the Umatilla River in northeast Oregon. When a freak storm forces them to take shelter in a secluded, crumbling cabin, their trip takes an unexpected turn. The moment Molly touches a leather-bound book discovered in the floorboards, they’re transported back in time.
Only with the help of the mysterious and beautiful Native American woman Aquene do they stay one step ahead of a band of witch hunters. Will Molly find the right magic to get them home before the hunters find her? Or will she risk it all to stay at Aquene’s side?
MEET THE AUTHOR
Sheri Lewis Wohl lives in Northeast Washington State and happily writes surrounded by unspoiled nature, trying to capture a bit of that beauty in her work. No matter how hard she tries to write normal though it doesn’t work – something of the preternatural variety always sneaks in.
Enter here for a chance to win a copy of
WALKING THROUGH SHADOWS
Thanks so much Sheri for stopping by today.
Best of luck to everyone who enters the giveaway.