Posts Tagged 'Sheri Lewis Wohl'

Five Things I learned from Comic Con

BY SHERI LEWIS WOHL

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The invitation was quite unexpected and it took all of about three seconds to say “yes.” Would I consider coming to the Long Beach Comic Con to participate in a panel on LGBT issues in fiction? No need to ask twice, I booked my airline ticket, reserved my room at the historic Varden Hotel, and waited with great anticipation for the day to arrive. I was going to my first Comic Con.

Now given what I write you might wonder why it was my first one. Oh, I’ve wanted to go in the worst way and yet was always too chicken to make the venture. For me, the greatest risk I’ve taken is to write my books the way I want to write them and create the characters that make me happy. Everything else about my life is pretty conservative from the day job to the city I live in to my leisure-time activities. It’s simply the way I’ve always rolled.

Yet inside me is the wild woman longing to be set free. Lately I’ve been listening to that woman and slowly, she’s finding a bit of freedom. It probably started with my novels then moved to going out on a limb with some extra work on Z Nation. Then a play. Then dancing in a short film. And finally accepting the Comic Con invitation.

Walking up the steps to the entrance of the Long Beach Convention Center was a moment filled with joy that was also mixed with trepidation. I mean, let’s face it, I’m not a kid anymore and did I really belong there? Had this ship passed me by while I huddled beneath my conservative cloak pretending to the world that I didn’t want to be different? My answers were just inside the glass doors ahead of me. All I had to do was take a deep breath, open the doors, and walk inside.

And so I did. By the end of the first day, five things became very clear to me:

  1. You’re never too old to let your dreams soar. Comic Con isn’t just for kids. It speaks to every age, race, and gender. Dreams come alive inside those doors no matter who you are.
  2. You’re not alone. You might think you’re the only one who finds Steam Punk awesome but you’re not. You might think you’re the only one who believes Princess Leah is hot but you’re not.
  3. Live for the moment, you’ll not regret it. Joy is in the air the moment you step inside. Drink it in and let it nourish your soul.
  4. Be brave. Not everyone will understand why Comic Con is important to you. Walk through those doors anyway because inside are lots and lots of people who do.
  5. Top hats are cool. No explanation necessary…you either get it or you don’t!Twisted Whispers

Comic Con was an experience filled with things I never imagined. I met great people, witnessed incredible artistic talent at every turn, and was surrounded by positive creativity. As I now sit and write my stories of psychics, werewolves, vampires, and ghosts, I know without any reservation that out there in the world are those kindred spirits who get it and maybe, just maybe, I’ll see them again at the next Comic Con.

And next time…I’m wearing my top hat.

http://www.sherilewiswohl.com

Alone in the dark: A mountain & my muse

BY SHERI LEWIS WOHL

Sheri Werewolf

Sheri Werewolf

 

The air is turning cold and the only light is a sliver of moonlight filtering through the towering pines. A small stream flows past like a whisper while off in the distance the crack of a branch snapping makes me jump. Inside the flaps of the dark green tarp strung between two trees, I lay on the hard ground huddled inside my sleeping bag. On the side of the mountain, I’m alone. Well, not technically all alone, there are others tucked inside their own makeshift shelters scattered throughout the wooded mountainside. But here near the swiftly moving stream, I’m by myself. It’s the perfect mood setting for a paranormal writer.

But, I wasn’t there as a writer. No, I came to the mountain that particular night to participate in an overnight mock search and rescue exercise. As a member of a K9 search and rescue team called out by the Sheriff’s Department where I live, we periodically converge to run through search scenarios and keep our skills sharp. This was a particularly interesting exercise for it was held on Halloween weekend. As I was running a half-marathon earlier in the day, I got to the mountain after the teams had been deployed. Rather than act as a searcher in this one, I had a different job. I was one of the “lost” persons the teams had to find. Except this time, in this exercise, those lost were a little more than lost…we were preternatural as well. There was one Skeleton, one demon, and me…a werewolf!

The search exercise was a rousing success and not only did we learn a great deal, but we had fun too. Though it was deep darkness on the side of that mountain by the time the searchers located me, when their lights hit my face, their reactions were priceless. The searchers, you see, weren’t in on the unique nature of the lost that night.

I came to the exercise that night loving the idea of being a lost werewolf but also pleased to be able to utilize the skills I’ve spent so much time learning and refining. The search and rescue community is a wonderful group to be associated with and the support of law enforcement in our area, incredible. This night though, it gave me even more. Think about it: a paranormal writer alone on the side of a mountain dressed like a werewolf? Oh yeah, I’m talking imagination nirvana!

The next morning as we packed out many were cold and tired, not having slept well in their shelters. It was cold and a light snow had begun to fall. It didn’t dampen my mood, I was grinning. My shelter had been great, I’d remembered to charge my radio, and my GPS had worked perfectly. Best of all, my muse shared the little shelter with me that night and when I hiked out, my head was filled stories of things that go bump in the night. I could hardly wait to get home to my computer.

Every writer is asked one question again and again – “Where do you get your ideas from?” For me on that Halloween weekend they came from inside a green tarp on the side of a mountain.

Vermilion Justice 300 DPI

Five Things I’ve Learned From Vampires

BY Sheri Lewis Wohl

Scarlet Revenge 300 DPI

Not long ago I was musing about vampires. I mean, I write about them…a lot…and people ask me why…a lot…so I decided perhaps a little introspection was in order. Why DO I write about vampires all the time? Is there some deep-seated, unresolved psychological issue that compels me to always tread on the dark side? Nope—nothing that Freudian. Don’t get me wrong, I have my share of baggage but not enough to put me into permanent therapy. Am I really a Goth chick hiding beneath a prim and conservative exterior? Maybe—if I was a couple decades younger! Somehow I just don’t think that look would work for me at this age. Do I long for eternity? Not so much. The seasons of life make it rich and beautiful. I can’t see trading that for a forever without family or friends. Do I find the vampire’s power and strength sexy? Well, yeah I kind of do but that’s more of a perk than an explanation for my obsession.

No, as I thought about it, I decided the main reason I fixate on vampires is because of what I learn from them. Forget the folklore. Forget the legends. Forget the fiction. Get down to the essence of vampires and there is much to discover. My top five go something like this:

1.  Don’t give up. It might look like the end but it could just be the beginning of something new and exciting.

2.  Don’t be afraid of the dark. No matter how dark it might seem, the light will always come again.

3.  Don’t be afraid to make friends. A true forever friend may walk into your world at any moment.

4. Don’t be intolerant. Despite differences in race, religion, sex, or sexual preference, beneath it all we’re the same: human beings.

5.  Don’t wallow in self-pity. Just because something happened to you that isn’t fair and changes your life, don’t let it destroy you. Stand up, dust yourself off, and find a way to live in your new reality.

So there it is: five things I’ve learned from vampires and just a few of the reasons I’m drawn to them in my writing. It’s true, vampires might be the stuff of legends, good horror movies, and classic novels, but you know, once you get beyond the superficial, they might just have something to teach us all.

It’s called Imagination…

BY SHERI LEWIS WOHL

I love books. I love writing them. I love reading them. I love holding them. I love talking about them. There pretty much isn’t anything I dislike about books. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a writer and the day I sold my first manuscript was huge. Did I get a big contract? A giant advance? A whirlwind release tour? Nope. Did it matter? Not in the least. My dream of becoming a writer came true and that single reward was the only thing that counted.

I still get just as much satisfaction out of writing books. I get better at it with each one. I become a little more successful with each one. The work is hard, long, and sometimes tedious. The satisfaction of having put in the work immense. But the biggest joy is talking with people who read my books. I love their enthusiasm, their comments, their willingness to talk with the shy writer who usually hangs out in the back of the room.

That said, there’s one question I get asked routinely that always has me scratching my head. Oh, I get the typical—where do you get your ideas? Why do you write about vampires? Who is your favorite character? All standard questions for a novelist and all easily answered. But there’s another question that pops up again and again:  Have you done all the sex you write about?

That one makes me smile. Why, you ask? Well, as I typically answer that particular question with a question: “At least one person dies in every single book I’ve written and no one ever asks me if I’ve killed someone so why do you think I’ve tried every sexual encounter I write about?” It boils down to one single thing regardless of what I’m writing about: imagination. It’s the guiding force in every book and every scene. It’s what makes writing and reading so very much fun.

Today, I’ll let you in on a little secret. It’s true I haven’t tried everything I write about when it comes to sex in my books but it’s possible, just possible, I write from a combination of experience and imagination. I’ll let you decide which is which. Let your imagination soar.

Sheri Lewis Wohl’s latest release, Scarlet Revenge, is available now at www.BoldStrokesBooks.comScarlet Revenge 300 DPI

Learn more about Sheri at www.sherilewiswohl.com, www.sherilewiswohl.wordpress.com, www.sheri26.blogspot.com, and on Facebook and Twitter

Shades of Paranormal

From Crimson Vengeance to Burgundy Betrayal, Bold Strokes Author Sheri Lewis Wohl offers a unique take on paranormal fiction.

The Heart of the Story

 by Sheri Lewis Wohl

In a week, my latest paranormal thriller/romance comes out. It’s not my first but it is different in a way– the lead character is a five-hundred-year-old lesbian. Crimson Vengeance is the first in a four book series that will feature lesbian romances. I didn’t really think too much about it when I began to write Crimson Vengeance, it was simply a vampire love story that spoke to me and something I wanted to write. As it evolved, I was intrigued by the character of Riah Preston more and more. That the central romance was non-traditional wasn’t really front and center in my mind. It was more about a story I enjoyed writing, and one I was very happy with when it was all done.

In all my books, I like diversity. It probably started when I was about seven and thought I could swim. I couldn’t and I was to find out in an almost tragic way. At a crowded public pool in Ontario, Oregon, I decided that I could not only swim but could dive. So, I climbed up the ladder of the diving platform and proceeded to make my inaugural swan dive. It was my first and very nearly my last. Despite the fact that the pool had two lifeguards, no one seemed to be paying attention to the twig-thin blonde who was now bobbing in the deep end. No one that is, except a young black man who, as I was going down for the third time, dove in and pulled me to safety. Though I never knew his name, I’ll always remember his face and the feel of his arms as he saved my life.

I often think of that moment. Not of the terror of the water trying to claim my life but rather the feeling of being pulled to safety. There was no barrier standing between us, no black vs. white, no boy vs. girl. There was no place for thoughts of race, gender, religion, or sexual preference…it was a moment devoted to the simple act of one person helping another. That’s what I remember. So when I write it’s from that standpoint whether it’s a skinny white Canadian psychic, a tall handsome Spokane Indian shape shifter, a sexy black scientist, or a centuries-old lesbian vampire. All are different, all are special, all bring a beauty to the world that would otherwise be missing.

Thus, the story of Riah Preston begins. She is a vampire, she is a medical examiner, and oh yeah, she’s a lesbian. Most important of all, she’s an interesting character that lives (even though she’s technically one of the undead), loves, and tries to do the right thing. And, isn’t that after all the heart of a good story?


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