Author Spotlight: P.E. Sibley

Who is P.E. Sibley?pe-sibley

For P. E. Sibley (a.k.a. Pat Sibley) writing is a passion, or perhaps a compulsion.

She was born, raised, and educated mostly in Orange County, California. A voracious reader as a child, she became interested in writing early on. She wrote her first short story in second grade about an ant. It ended rather abruptly when the ant was smashed by a foot.

She graduated from the University of California with a Bachelor’s Degree in Medieval History and Technical Theatre (both very employable majors). By the time she reached her mid-twenties, she was living a near-gypsy existence, moving from one city to another. She traveled to Europe several times (Scotland is the preferred destination) and to the Middle East, and tried numerous occupations including climbing telephone poles, picking oranges on a kibbutz in Israel, and managing a bookstore. She went back to school for a Teaching Credential from Cal State University, Long Beach, doing her student teaching in Hampshire, England.

She moved numerous times more—mostly eastward and northward to San Francisco and then Sierra Nevada mountains—and now resides in rural Eastern Washington State with her husband, a wolf-canine mix, a cattle dog, and a cat that believes she is really a dog.

What motivated you to write your first novel?

A Sort of Justice (part of the Counter Terrorism Task Force series) was not my first novel. I wrote a novel in the late 80s as part of a mail order course I was taking. I didn’t try to shop it around, but I may try to publish it in the next couple of years.

What strange things do you do when you write? Do you listen to music? Watch television? Eat Cheetos?

The strangest thing I do is try very hard to stay off the internet. I began using a computer (really a word processor) to write in 1979 (yes, I’m that old), and I would hand write then edit as I typed it onto a 5 1/4 floppy disk. (Told you I was that old). I found I could write faster using a computer; I was a lousy typist on a manual typewriter, but could do almost 90 wpm on a computer. The draw back was I that I couldn’t carry the computer around with me back then. Now? I still like a full sized keyboard.

What was your greatest challenge writing this story and how did you overcome it?

The ever-changing technology. Every time I thought I was ahead of the game, I had to re-write some gadget!

If you could spend the day with one of the characters in this book, who would you choose and what would you do?

My main male character, Mark Praed would be my first choice. And I’d like to end up in bed with him–he can read minds; think how that would go.

What’s next for you and your writing career? 

I recently signed with a Canadian publisher, Dragon Moon Press, who will publish the series, of which I have 4 novels written with two more and sequel in various stages of writing. I’d like to get the series out to the public over the course of the next 2 years.

What inspires you? Where do you get your ideas?

My ideas come from a variety of sources. Most recently, I’ve had an idea about a novel from a couple of songs I heard. Combining the two would make a great story. Other places are people I see out and about, or movies and other books. “What if” is a constant inspiration to authors.

What is something you are not good at doing?

Math; almost any kind other than the basics. Also, it’s getting harder and harder to keep up with all the latest gadgets. I don’t have a FitBit, I don’t do Instagram; I’m lucky to have a Facebook page and Twitter!

What message do you want readers to get from reading the book?

No hardcore message really; I read for escape, so I hope people will find a good story with well-drawn characters and enjoy reading for reading sake.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Garden in the spring and summer; read year round–my day job allows me to listen to Audible while I work, and then I read a different book at night. I also enjoy photography–I live in the country with lots of beautiful views and wildlife. Right now, we’re feeding a large gang of wild turkeys, and watching them eat and fight over the corn is a lot of fun.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?

Just get it down on paper, in whatever form you like. It’s not writing if it’s stuck in your head.

What are your favorite characters that you have created?

As I said above, Mark Praed is my favorite. I enjoy writing about him, and enjoy the interactions with his partner, Alexandra Lansing, who is a good foil for him.

What is one piece of advice you would give to your teenage self?

Don’t be concerned about what other people think; they don’t own you.

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