Schenkel, S. E.

Mysteries have always captivated me.  Any kind.  Mysteries of faith, creation, people.  The mystery of an empty house, trap door.  A neighbor's weirdness.  But I didn't start writing mysteries until two events collided: a power outage and working under the dictatorship of the manager of a grocery store.  The outage and its subsequent boredom handed me pen and paper, and my boss supplied the drive to write a story titled - "Murder in the Meat Department".  From that day until now, writing has been right up there with oxygen and chocolate.

Numerically, I'm grandmother to eight, stepmother to four, and sibling to five.  I was a member of a missionary group (aka nun) for seventeen years, worked for ten of those years in Africa, have been married for over thirty years. And if you can't figure out my age from that, you and I have equally appalling math skills.

As for my personality, what I feel, think, value...  You may  find clues to that in my mysteries. 


Interview S. E. Schenkel


Dee Carey


  1. What drew you to writing? Was it always with you or did you discover the talent late in life?

Writing was something I started on a whim in my middle years. No real reason other than being bored. The whim turned into a whirlwind love affair with the written word. That was over twenty years ago and I’m still enamored with writing.

  1. When you are asked what do you do, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Such as “I’m a mother, wife or accountant or actor.” Is writing a driving force in your life?

 When you’re obviously at the age of retirement and beyond, people tend to spare you that question. As for writing being a driving force, let me just say that it gets me up every morning around three and in a happy mood, and keeps me entertained for at least six hours.

  1. What led you to write mysteries? Please tell us about your current release. Where did you get the idea for it? Have you ever written any other type of book? Is there a reason you write mysteries?

 I have always loved mysteries. I think it’s part of never losing an appetite for the suspense and surprise a child feels on making the acquaintance of God’s creation. My current release is titled: The Paper Child. The idea came out of a file I keep of everything that ever comes to mind that would make for a good mystery. When I’m ready to start a new story, I get this file out, start reading and wait for something to jump up and offer itself.

  1. Do you have another “day job?” Does it aid you in your writing? If it were a perfect world and money didn’t matter what would you do?

 Other than writing, I see to the needs of my family. I took care of my father for the last ten years of his life. All of that is a mother lode of material for pen and paper. And I am doing what I would do if it were a perfect world.

  1. Are you drawn to a particular genre? If so please tell us why. If not,explain your varied tastes in books. Who is your favorite author?

 Mysteries seem to be the only genre that grabs my interest. I think it’s because I love to figure things out and writing mysteries includes deciding where to hide clues and how to play fair with the reader. As for my favorite author, that would be John D. McDonald.

  1. How do you feel the industry is accepting e-books? Do you see a future where books are viewed on devices rather than in an actual book? Do you own a reading device?

 There is always a future for change. E-books seems to be that vehicle currently. Who knows, maybe it will lead to something else in the way that writing led to the printing press. And, no, I don’t own a reading device. Just haven’t felt the need for one.

  1. What are you doing to promote yourself?

 Ah… I’ve been working on that forever and getting nowhere. I’ve tried newspaper articles, posters and hiring a PR person. I’ve even had magnetic signs made and passed them out to family and friends to put on their cars. To no avail. I’m not giving up, but I’m glad the thrill of playing with words isn’t tied to getting thousands of others to read what I write