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Sheldon Rusch ~ Interview & giveaway!

March 16, 2009
Woo hoo! My first interview! =) drey's library is absolutely thrilled to have Sheldon Rusch stop by for a visit! Sheldon is the author of a series of crime-fiction novels - For Edgar, The Boy with Perfect Hands, and Separated at Death.

About the author:
Sheldon was born in Augusta, Georgia. He left after his first year and did the rest of his growing up in Wisconsin, most of it in a suburb of Milwaukee called Wauwatosa (Native American for “where the fireflies gather”). Sheldon received a degree in Communication Arts from the University of Wisconsin. A career as an advertising copywriter and creative director followed. He is married to Katie, an accomplished poet and musician, and they have three phenomenal kids - Shannon, Michaela and Jackson. Sheldon has also practiced yoga for nearly twenty years, and is an instructor in the Iyengar style (since 1998).

D: Hi Sheldon! Welcome to drey's library, and thank you so much for doing this interview. I'm just going to jump right in and ask - Why write? Did you always want to write? How did you figure out that it was time to write? I mean, you must have a busy life already...

SR: I’ve always written. Since I was a child I just kind of knew it was something I would do. And then when I started sharing some of my writing – again as a child – I was quite impressed with the power of words, the affect words and written ideas could have on people. I think people who write tend to have minds that form thoughts in detailed phrases, with fairly complex construction. And I think it’s just the demand of those thoughts to be expressed. Then you throw in a visual imagination and there’s really not much that can stop it from happening.

I wrote poems, short stories in high school, then I worked as a copywriter in the advertising field for many years. I toyed with the idea of writing a novel for probably five years before I actually started the first one. Now I’ve written four – one of which has only been published in Germany so far. I still work in advertising. I’m married, with three children. I write whenever I can. Mornings. Lunches. Weekends. I try to write fifteen polished pages a week. In a year’s time I have a fairly polished draft. Then I spend about six months editing and finishing. It’s funny, I never really think about the process. It’s just something that goes on.

D: Was Elizabeth Hewitt a character that's been percolating around for a while? Or did she just show up and knock on the door one day?

SR: With Elizabeth, it’s kind of like when you meet a person and befriend them immediately and there’s a sense that you’ve kind of known them – or certain aspects of them – all along. She’s no doubt a composite of women I‘ve known and been close to. She’s also my feminine alter ego. I don’t know if all men who create female leads would admit that. But it’s pretty clear to me that’s what goes on. I think male authors who create female leads without tapping into that would be creating some fairly robotic and predictable characters. I guess I’ve seen that. Anyway, people seem to like the character. So I guess at some level, they also like me – or would if we ever met at a cocktail party.

D: How do you come up with the crimes for your books? Some of them had me wondering "where did he get this from??" Should I be worried that you know who I am? *grin*

SR: Well, I don’t know where you live. So you can take comfort in that. You know if you want to see the darkest side of humanity just look at the great works of fiction from time immemorial, The Bible included. It’s not as if Stephen King and Thomas Harris were the first ones to ever go there. I mean my goodness, Poe. And with Poe, it’s no coincidence that his works were the basis of the crimes in my first novel. I remember reading him in eighth grade, being smitten with the outrageousness of the thinking, the imagination, the audacity he had to spend time in those dark places of the soul and bring it into the candlelight for everybody else. And when I decided I would try my hand at psychological thrillers…well, I guess the first rule of writing psych thrillers is you have to thrill readers with things they’d never conceive of, much less carry out – not even on their worst hair day.

People are surprised when they find out this mild mannered guy with kids who practices yoga writes the kind of darkly thrilling material I write. But to me it’s kind of like an actor playing a role that requires delving deeply into that darker side of the personality. Hey, but I also coach my kids’ basketball teams. And if you saw me standing in line at Baskin Robbins, you’d think I was just another guy who likes sugar cones with a single scoop of Jamocha.

D: Hmm, you still know who I am, though... Doesn't take more than Google to find me, really... Ok, back on track. =) What's next? Is there another turn-on-all-the-lights-or-only-read-in-broad-daylight Liz Hewitt book in the works? How long before our desire for another toe-curling, hide-behind-the-fingers, thriller, is sated?

SR: Okay here’s a deal: I’ll promise not to peek into your windows if you promise not to peek into mine. As for the next Liz Hewitt book, it gets a little tricky. It also rolls into your next question. A fourth Hewitt book already exists. It’s called Mother of God. I wrote it before I wrote For Edgar. It was the book that introduced the Hewitt character. It was never published. That is, until my books started doing well in Germany. It was recently published (as a prequel to For Edgar) under the title S├╝ndenmord in German-speaking countries. We are hoping to have the book released in English at some point. Or would that just make too much sense? In any event, I have a fourth and/or fifth Hewitt book already developed in outline. And, just to complicate things even more, I’ve written the first half of a suspense novel outside the Hewitt series that could become a series of its own.

D:Why is one of your books only published (& sold?) in Germany? (What do they have that we don't?)

SR: I think I answered some of this in the last question. For people who really want to read Mother of God, it isn’t fair. What does Germany have that we don’t? Well, the simple answer is more buyers of my books. I sell more books over there than I do here. If people really want to read Mother of God someday (and it is, by the way, my favorite of all the books), send your requests to Berkley Books.
And to finish off, a mini-Proust list:
  1. What is your idea of earthly happiness? Being comfortable in my own skin. Having a purpose. Adding more than I subtract.

  2. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Disconnection from the capacity to love.

  3. Who is/are your favorite heroine(s) in fiction? Penelope in The Odyssey – that was a long time to wait.

  4. Who is/are your favorite heroine(s) in real life? Mother Theresa – she had her doubts, but she never lost her purpose.

  5. What sound do you love? The breathing sounds of my children when they sleep.

  6. What sound do you hate? The barking dog that startles me when I go out for my newspaper.

  7. The quality you admire most in a man? Sensitivity.

  8. The quality you admire most in a woman? Soulfulness.

  9. If not a writer, you would be a… teacher/basketball coach.

  10. What is your favorite swear word? Unfortunately, the f-bomb.

Sheldon, thank you so much for taking the time to indulge us (me? definitely me!) by doing this interview. I know you're a busy fella, and I truly appreciate the effort that went into answering these questions. For all you new fans, Sheldon can be found online at his website.

Now, because he's a nice guy, Sheldon says I can do this awesome giveaway. Are you ready to hear what it is? Are you? Are you? (yes, I'm geeking out - I heart giveaways!)

One lucky, lucky reader will receive a three-pack from Sheldon. That's the mother lode of Liz Hewitt books! & if it needs 'splainin' - that's For Edgar, The Boy with Perfect Hands, AND Separated at Death.

BUT WAIT! We're not done yet. For every twenty people entered, 1 copy of Separated at Death is will be up for grabs, and there's up to 5 copies to be had. So tell everyone!

Next question - How do you win? Why, read on...

Can I win? This is open to anyone in the United States or Canada. No P.O. Boxes, please.

How do I win? Easy-peasy. Comment and ask Sheldon a question (please keep it clean!). One entry per question - please be nice and don't ask something someone else already asked... He'll be popping in on-and-off and responding. The guy does work full-time, so don't get upset if he's not answering your question 3 minutes after you asked it, ok? =)

What's the deadline? You have until 10:00pm on March 27th to enter. Don't forget that I'll need some way to get a hold of you if you've won, & if I don't hear from you within 3 days of posting winners I'll ask Randomizer for a replacement.

How do we get extra entries? The usual: +1 for following, +2 for sharing this interview & giveaway with everyone you can think of! =) And that's +2 for EVERY share. So tweet it. Blog it. email it (cc me). Come back & let me know what & where...

Too impatient to wait? Each book cover links to, where you can get your very own copies.

That's it. Thanks for swinging by and reading Sheldon's interview. Now, go read his books! =) And oh yeah, good luck!


Unknown said...

Hi Drey, what a great interview. I am embarrassed to say I have never heard of Sheldon :(. I think that the interview did its job. If it wasn't for a certain challenge joined (wink, wink) I would run out to day to buy the books. As it is, I'll wait for the end of the event to see if I won and if I don't, I'll rush to the library to find it.
Now the question for Sheldon is:

You already answered why Mother of God is published in Germany only but my question is: why do you think it sells better there than it would here? Have you had a chance to talk to the German fans about it and 'compare notes'? I know that European writing is quite different from American one and I am just curious if maybe you transcend this difference in styles?

Bingo said...

Congratulations on your first interview! You did an awesome job and isn't it fun?! I also have not heard of him but your interview made me want to read his books! Did you interview in person, Drey? My question for Sheldon is "What advice do you have for young people as I teach young gifted middle school age (12ish) avid readers and writers?
I follow and thanks for the giveaway!

Bingo said...

Oh and I posted about your first interview on BOOKIN' WITH BINGO!

Rebecca Anne said...

Fantastic interview full of insight, thank you~ My question is this, do you outline an entire book before you start? Or do you start with a sentence the general idea and go from there? The whole chicken or the egg sort of inquiry here.
Thank so much,

Anonymous said...

I lived in Wauwatosa a long time and never knew what it meant!

My question is, do you ever wonder if you are giving thoughts or feelings to your female protagonist that are not gender-realistic?

Rebecca Anne said...

Ok, one more. A friend and I were discussing this last night so I'd be interested in hearing what you have to say.
When you finished your book (s) did you feel 100% satisfied or do you wish, even to this day you had done something differently or tweaked a page here and there? How did you know when to say, "It's finished" ........
Thanks so much to you and Drey,

Anonymous said...

I follow you on Google Reader!

email (forgot to add on previous post)

nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

Anonymous said...

I tweeted about this contest on @rhapsodyinbooks.

nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

drey said...

Wow, you guys! Great questions!

Bingo ~ If only! I haven't actually seen Sheldon in 6 years - I crashed the yoga class he was in. =P (LOVE Catherine, & I so miss class!!)

rhapsodyinbooks ~ You lived in Tosa? Have you left WI?

lilly ~ I'm sorry!!! Read faster! =P

nfmgirl said...

Great interview! I usually have a hard time making it through the whole interview, but I really enjoyed your interview with Sheldon. And Sheldon came off as very "human" and conscious of his place in this world and his impact on it.

I figure there's going to be lots of questions for Sheldon about his writing process and inspiration and such. Not me. I'm an animal lover. So my question for Sheldon is simple: Do you have any pets at home? If so, what are they and what are their names? (Lame question, huh? Hey! The relationship that people have with animals is very telling! Don't underestimate the power of the "Do you have pets" question!)

Kat Bryan said...

Great interview and the books sound great, too.

I wondered if Sheldon's wife gives him any input on his stories. Does he ask her if he's getting the 'female' part right?

Anonymous said...

Drey, I lived in Wauwatosa, I lived on Prospect Hts, I lived on Oakland, I lived in around 8 other places there too! And we go back to Wisconsin around 5 times a year to load up on cholesterol. Milwaukee/Wauwatosa - the only places in the world where you WANT to call the Kopps!!!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Awesome interview, Drey!

No need to enter me, as always -- although Sheldon's now on my wish list. I've got this posted on Win a Book for you. Thanks for the e-mail!!

Unknown said...

Congrats Drey!!

Hi Sheldon,

I was wondering which of your books you are most proud of? That way I can start with that one:)

Dixie said...

My qustion is "If you ever choose to turn For Edgar into a screenplay, who would you want to play Elizabeth"?

Dixie said...

I am a follower.

Dixie said...

I tweeted here.

CherylS22 said...

Great interview - makes me want to read all these books!

For Sheldon: Are there any contemporary writers you enjoy reading? Do you even have time for extracurricular reading???!

megalon22 at yahoo dot com

scottsgal said...

I was wondering who or what are the biggest influences on you becoming a writer? Loved the interview - would love to read the book.

msboatgal at aol dot com

housemouse88 said...

Great interview.


You are already on my to buy list. Do you ever get tired of having to promote yourself?

I'm a follower. Have a great day.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your first interview, it was great!

I'm sorry to say I haven't heard of your books before, but now, after reading this interview, I'm definitely eager to try one of them. My question for you is: What advice do you have for someone hoping to be published? Is there a best way to go about finding a publisher? Thank you!


Anonymous said...

Not only did I like your interview, I really liked your responses at the end of the interview!! WOW, please enter me in the giveaway. Thank you!!

cyeates AT nycap DOT rr DOT com

KR said...

I loved the interview. I really feel as if I know Sheldon now!
I teach kindergarten. You said you'd like to teach if you couldn't write. What would you like to teach. Why?

Pissenlit said...

Go Badgers! Okay, not really. I'm Canadian but I have relatives from Madison and some cousins who went to that university. Somehow I ended up with at least two sweatshirts and a t-shirt with Bucky on 'em.

So, I've got two questions. When you write, do you do so straight on the computer or do you put pen to paper, first? Secondly, 'cause I'm a bit of a stationery-freak, what is your favourite type of pen?

darbyscloset said...

I can't believe this is your first interview, it's awesome!!!
My question to Sheldon, with your author hat on, what is the question you wish others would ask you about being an author? My other question is, what is your full time job and does it add to your writing? If so how? Sorry I guess that was 3 questions, yet at least I didn't post them separately!
Thanks so much,
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

Hi Drey great interview it really sold me on wanting to read Sheldon's books. Question for Sheldon: Do you ever frighten your own kids with the writing that you do? I am a follower. Thanks Sheldon and

Anonymous said...

Question for Sheldon: what authors do you read just for fun?

kalea_kane said...

First things first, Drey, you are an excellent interviewer! I am really impressed.

My question for Sheldon: Since you are writing on the darker side, do you find that you need to decompress after getting into your novels or does your active life with a wife, three children, and a full-time job do that for you?

Thanks for doing us all a favor and doing this interview!

Keep it up, Drey!!!! Great job, really!



Oh I am also a follower.

loves6cats said...

Loved the interview.
What is the first book that you truly enjoyed reading and why?
Thanks for the chance to enter.

kalea_kane said...

I tweeted your interview and giveaway!


drey said...

Whoa, y'all! I count 20 people, so there's now 1 copy of Separated at Death up for grabs. =) Thank you SO MUCH for the compliments - it's easy to put together a good interview when you have someone willing to put in the effort when answering. I can't thank Sheldon enough for doing that. Speaking of which, he'll probably pop in at the end of the day to a) freak out at how many questions there are, and b) answer them in the best way possible, for him. =)

Michelle Kuo said...

Yay congratulations on your interview, drey! Ah sad to say, I never heard of him until now! :( But now I definitely want to read his books, because I'm looking for some thriller books.

To Sheldon: Do your kids or anyone in the family ever help you with ideas for a story? Or do you ever incorporate any of your wife's poetry into your books? And also do you listen to music when you write? If so, what kind?

Okay, so I guess that ended up being 4 questions, but if Sheldon is too busy he doesn't have to answer them all, seeing how there are at least 20 other questions out there ;)


+1 I'm already a follower

Anonymous said...

Wow. I've got some work to do. Thank you so much for all the great comments and questions. And a huge thank you to Drey for giving me the opportunity to meet all of you. I will address all the posts; it may take me a couple of days to get to everyone. So please check in. I tend to think about my answers for a while rather than just firing off the first thing that comes to mind. So thanks for your patience. And if one of my novels finds its way into your hands, I hope you enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

For Lilly -

As far as selling better in Germany, it really began with my first book, For Edgar, in which Hewitt tracks a psychopath who is emulating the works of Poe in the commission of his crimes. Turns out Poe is very highly revered in Germany. More so, apparently, than in the US. So the subject matter created quite a stir over there. And then the publisher really got behind the book with promotion. So the other books enjoyed the momentum built from that.

In terms of style, I tend to get deeply into the psychology of the characters, with internal dialogue and pretty much a window into the soul of each character. Plus there's the highly atmospheric style to the writing. My editor and translator tell me these are the things that are appealing to the German readers, as well as the pacing and plotting.

Anonymous said...

For Bingo -

Advice for young writers... Read, dream, think out loud, keep a notebook, write everything down. And listen, listen, listen - to the sounds of nature, the sounds of the city, music, the ways people talk. It's so important, because auditory memory really helps trigger all the other senses. And someday when you sit down to write a scene, you'll know what that place and those people should sound like. Then all you have to do is imagine the pictures.

Anonymous said...

For Rebecca Anne -

I start with a very general outline. I kind of know my major plot points. But I leave lots of room for improvisation. And there are times when I totally surprise myself with a plot thread or twist. I figure if I'm surprised by my own plotting, the reader will have to be too. I think the danger of outlining in too much detail is that you can begin to "telegraph" the plot.

As for your second question... I know when I'm done with a book when I reach a point in editing where I start reversing the last set of edits to the way they were previously. That tells me I've done everything I can to make the book as good as possible. There will always be things you could have done better. I mean I've actually done readings where I'll stop after a paragraph and comment about what I might have done differently. It usually gets a laugh. But it just shows how the mind wants to keep working the material. I know that when I get the box of books the day before a new release, I have this pang of regret that now it's written in stone.

Anonymous said...

For rhapsodyinbooks -

One thing I know for sure is that if I hit a wrong note with gender thinking/actions, my female readers will be quick to point it out to me. Fortunately that hasn't happened much. I am very careful about making Ms. Hewitt as believable as humanly possible. By now I've spent so much time with her, it's almost become second nature in determining what she'll say or do in a given situation.

Here's a funny one - my literary agent sent For Edgar to a film agent (a woman) who in her comments (good ones) kept referring to the author as "she." That she was me, and I couldn't be more proud.

Anonymous said...

Time for bed. More tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

For nfmgirl:

Our family had a bichon poddle. But I had an allergy problem (i know they're supposed to be less allergenic as a breed). Anyway, my dad - who lives nearby - was able to take him in. So the kids can still visit him. They do want another dog. Maybe we'll have to consider the hypo-allergenic dog the Obama family has.

Anonymous said...

For Kat Bryan -

As far as consulting my wife during the writing process, I do to some degree. But she's very busy with her own stuff. More than anything, I try out ideas at the very beginning, when I'm starting to put the story and situation together. She usually reads the first draft and provides feedback - and finds all my typos.

Anonymous said...

For Bridget3420:

I guess I'm most proud of For Edgar, because that was the book that final broke through for me. It was also named a best mystrery of the year by Kirkus Reviews - so that was kind of cool too.

Anonymous said...

For Dixie -

It's funny, I have a real hard time imagining/envisioning anyone playing her. I guess in my mind I have an amorphous picture of what she looks like - so, of course, no actress out there looks like her. She's late thirties - smart, sensitive but very tough when she has to be, and funny. Any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

For Cheryl S -

Truth be told, I don't have as much time as I'd like for pleasure reading. I tend to read nonfiction while I'm working on a novel. I find that if I read fiction - especially something in the psych thriller genre - I can be influenced by the other author's style without even realizing it. That happened to me when I was reading Dennis Lehane's Mystic River. In the last year I read The Godfather, Siddhartha (again), and David McCullough's biography of John Adams.

Anonymous said...

For scottsgal:

The two greatest influences on my becoming a writer: My mom, who read to me from a collection of condensed literary classics starting when I was about four years old - and who encouraged me at every turn. And, my third grade teacher, Mrs. Angelo, who recognized my ability and gave me extra credit for keeping a creative writing journal that I shared with her.

Anonymous said...

Housemouse 88:

Self-promotion isn't my favorite thing to do. But it's a necessity. My favorite thing is just the process of writing. I'm happiest when I'm doing that. But I also love to communicate with readers and other writers. And, as you can probably tell, I enjoy taking and answering questions - online, at store appearances, at book clubs, etc.

Anonymous said...

For olympianlady -

Getting published... In most categories, you really need an agent to get your manuscript read. There are lots of agent listings you can reference. They'll usually tell you what kinds of books they're looking for. It's the tried and true query/cover letter/writing sample approach. Otherwise, if you have any connections to agents through friends, co-workers, etc. take advantage of that. And look for book fairs where you can meet agents and publishers. The most important thing is to keep writing and keep after it. Godspeed.

Anonymous said...

For MJ -

I'm glad you enjoyed the interview. Drey made it really easy. I'd really like to teach creative writing as well as writing for other media such as broadcast and film. Ideally, I'd like to teach a couple of elementary school clases in the morning and a middle school and high school class in the afternoon. Then I'd coach basketball after school. Do you know of anyone who has such a position open?

Anonymous said...

Great interview, Drey.
Sheldon, Do you find writing a totally solitary endeavor or are you in a writing group?

Rebecca Anne said...

Drey and Sheldon,
I just came by to check and read the questions and answers. Thank you so much for answering my questions Sheldon, it's must appreciated and helpful as well!
I hope you're both having a great day,
Rebecca Anne

Unknown said...


Since Mother of God is only sold in Germany, why not ask Berkeley to give you back your rights in the US (since it's "out of print", in essence). Then release it yourself on the Kindle.

I follow the blog.

kolists a/t gmail do\t com

elizabeth said...

Great interview! I love thrillers and I will definitely look for your books now. My question is why/how did you come up with a female main character?

elizabeth said...

I'm a follower

Anonymous said...

For pissenlit:

As a Wisconsin alum, I congratulate you on your Bucky apparel. I actually write longhand, pen to paper until I have a stack of notebooks -about 100 pages at a time. Then I put it into my laptop and that's my first edit. I then repeat the process. My favorite pen? A Pilot G2 #7. Nothing fancy, but a great flow of ink. Thanks for your questions.

Anonymous said...

For darbyscloset:

A question I'd like to receive from another writer... How do you deal with the solitude of writing, the times when there's too much of it? I'd like to be asked that question so I could turn it around and ask the other writer the same thing. As for day job, I'm a creative director/copywriter for an advertising agency. It's creative work but entirely different in process from writing fiction, so they're actually pretty compatible.

Anonymous said...

For wheels209:

My kids are too young to read my books, so they haven't had a chance to be frightened by them. I'm sure they'll read them eventually. I just hope they won't be frightened of me.

Anonymous said...

For Terri:

As mentioned in an earlier post, I don't have a lot of time for pleasure reading. When I do, I tend to read history and biographies, some contemporary fiction, and now and then a great classic that's been on my list - an example of that would be Fitzgerald's The Last Tycoon.

Anonymous said...

For kalea_kane:

Great question. Spending time on the dark side does create the need to get back to the lighter side of life. That's why I practice yoga and do things that are at the opposite spectrum like coaching my daughter's basketball team. It's important not to let the darkness follow you around. One shadow per person is enough.

Anonymous said...

For loves3cats:

I mentioned Fitzgerald in my last post. The first book that really grabbed my heart, mind and soul was The Great Gatsby. I read it in high school and it really set things in motion for me. I was already writing, but Fitzgerald's work showed me the shining castle at the top of the mountain - or should I say a diamond as big as the Ritz?

Anonymous said...

For Michelle Kuo:

My kids never really consult directly, but I certainly tap into our experiences when I create young characters in the books. No, I haven't incorporated my wife's poetry into the novels. It's an interesting idea, though. And yes, I like to listen to music when I write. Atmospheric, impressionistic classical music like Debussy and Vaughn Williams is my favorite.

Anonymous said...

For stacybuckeye -

I don't belong to a writers group per se. But I have enough interaction with my agent (she's my main reader) that it's not totally solitary. Plus I do a lot of my writing at coffee shops where I know people and that keeps me connected with things.

Anonymous said...

For Karen in TN -

Thanks for the suggestion about Mother of God and Kindle. I'll bring it up with my literary agent.

Anonymous said...

For Elizabeth -

How did I come up with a female character? The first novel I wrote, The Songbirds, featured a male detctive as the lead character. The novel was never published. (Maybe it will be someday) After my first attempt didn't sell, I decided to try a female lead, Elizabeth Taylor Hewitt. People just liked her right off the bat. And I've stayed with her ever since. Nice name by the way.

drey said...

Sheldon, I owe you lunch or something, for taking the time to answer all these questions! I sure hope everyone appreciates it, I know Rebecca Anne does! =)

Anonymous said...

Hi Sheldon,
Great answers to some great questions. I look very much forward to reading all your books. I am a big Poe fan and it will be interesting to see how you honor his memory in For Edger. Thanks again. All the Best,

Nicole said...

Great interview and questions so far.
My question is:
Who is the first person who reads your finished manuscripts?

Pissenlit said...

Wow Sheldon, thanks for answering my questions! I'm now tempted to ask about the notebooks but I'm going to stamp down on my stationery-freakiness seeing as how you've had more than enough questions.

Hey, I just realised that this year is the 200th anniversary of Poe's birth. Neat! Good year to pick up your first book. :D

kalea_kane said...

Two Things...Thank you so much again to Sheldon for answering our questions here. I really enjoyed coming back and not just reading the answer to my question but the answers to everyone's questions. I appreciate the time Sheldon took to do this.

Second thing, I already tweeted this, but I blogged it too here:

I don't need an additional entery (though hey, I'll take it if you want to givev it) I just really liked the interview and that Sheldon took the time.

Thanks again to you both. :)


Anonymous said...

crwm ~ Fantastic interview drey! Thank you so much for the insight into your world Sheldon. I'm curious, do you practice other forms of yoga or are you dedicated to Iyengar style only?


Anonymous said...

My question for Sheldon is about his writing; In your mini-bio it says you wrote a lot of poetry when you were younger. Do you still pen poetry, and to what extent?

Thank you for this entry.

Dixie said...

Just dropped by to check out the questions and answers.:-) re: Sheldon's comments for my question-I have no suggestions-and you know, it is funny but as a reader, I also form a mental picture of the characters as I am drawn into the story, and I am usually just a teeny bit disappointed when I see them portrayed on screen.
This is probably why I enjoy books so much more than movies.

windycindy said...

Hello! My question for Sheldon is: If you watch any television, what type of shows do you enjoy the most?! Many thanks, Cindi

windycindy said...

I follow your blog!
Again, many thanks for the chance to win this author's fabulous books. Cindi

Anonymous said...

Back for a few more answers to your questions.

Anonymous said...


The first person who reads my manuscripts is my agent, Paula Balzer. She reads the pages as I complete them, usually 100 to 150 pages at a time.

Anonymous said...


Oops. I see you said [finished] manuscripts. The answer is the same - my agent - only by then she's had a sneak preview.

Anonymous said...

For Anonymous:

Thanks for your yoga question. I do practice other forms of yoga such as Astanga/flow. But since Iyengar is based on alignment and accuracy, the Inyengar work carries over into any other form.

Anonymous said...

Also Anonymous:

Yes, I still write poetry on occasion. When I do it's usually written for someone I know.

Anonymous said...


I probably watch more television than I should. My favorite shows are on premium cable. Once I get hooked on a series, I'm toast. Recent favorites are: The Tudors on Showtime, Big Love on HBO. Also liked Rome on HBO and a show that only had one season on HBO called Tell Me You Love Me (I think that was the title). I've also watched every episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Anonymous said...

For Everyone:

If you enjoyed this Q&A, feel free to drop me a post at I always answer. Thanks again.

Sue W. said...

This was a great interview. Also loved the picture of Sheldon Rusch. Where did you start to come up with your ideas for your very first book?

Anonymous said...

Sue W.:

Glad you liked the picture. As for where the ideas came from for my first book... I guess all my ideas for these books really originate in the play between the light and the dark, the good and the evil in the world - and all the shades and variations in between. That's where the conflict for these stories always originates in its most basic form. Then it's all about taking that into the characters and the situations. No one's ever asked me that question before. Thanks for making me think about it.

Anonymous said...

How do you get into your "zone" for writing? Do you have a routine that you follow before you start for the day or does inspiration just hit and you roll with it?

Anonymous said...


It starts with coffee and a muffin. Then I read the last page of what I wrote the previous day. A lot of times I'll sketch notes at the end of a session for where I want to go next. So I'll check the notes from the previous day and use them to get kick-started. That's an important part of it for me. To leave a few notes-to-self to help me clear the fog of the new day and get rolling. Great question.

The Book Resort said...

What question have you never been asked in an interview, but think you should have been?

Oh, bagel or croissant? Fresh squeezed or Concentrate?

Melissa said...

Great interview! Sheldon, thanks so much for answering these questions. I've had a great time reading all the answers.

My question is, when do you pick the title for the book? Is it something you have an idea of while you are writing, or is it something that gets decided at the end?

Cackleberry Homestead said...

I'm not good at questions, but these books sound good. I'm a follower.

Cackleberry Homestead said...

I also tweeted: My Tweet

Sage Ravenwood said...

For Sheldon: On the topic of how you come up with crimes for your books. I've always believed if it can be imagined, it can be a reality. For me the biggest real to life monsters out there wear the guise of human skins. Do you think evil is prevalent for everyone, it's a matter of choice or fate turning that corner and becoming one of the monsters in human guise? Some people believe there are those who don't have any choice it's DNA. How do you feel about that?

Drey, Thanks for the opportunity once again! Indigo

Sage Ravenwood said...

Oh, and of course I follow you dear friend! (Hugs)Indigo

Anonymous said...


Titles. It varies. With my first book, I had the idea of calling it For Edgar from the very beginning. The second title, The Boy With Perfect Hands, came to me toward the end of the process. The third title, Separated At Death, came from the editorial people at the publisher. I have final approval of the title, but in the last case, I was fine with what they came up with.

Anonymous said...

To The Book Resort:

I wish just once an interviewer would ask me if I'd like another glass of wine.

Anonymous said...


It's questions like yours that have me asking for another glass of wine. That's the really disturbing thing about it - the fact that we all have dark thoughts, bizarre thoughts. The difference is that almost everyone has the ability to toss aside or override them, or see them for what they - just thoughts. When we have a crazy dream, we don't actually think that we've gone crazy once we wake up. Similar with imagination. The thoughts themselves are harmless. Stephen King has said something to the effect that he writes about the things he writes about as a way to get the things that scare him out of his head. What happens when a person acts out on the dark thoughts? Is it a decision or an uncontrollable response? Is evil always present, just waiting for the right conditions? Are there "evil genes" that switch on? Difficult questions all. I believe it's a combination of trauma (most of the time in childhood) and biochemistry - all held under the heat lamp of stress and circumstance. Will all people under the same conditions become serial killers? Of course not. Why do a handful of them take evil to the ultimate expression? God only knows.

drey said...

Hey Sheldon ~ You ready for that glass of wine yet? =)

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