Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Visiting writer Heather Sharfeddin

By Tory Brown ’13
College Relations Intern
Heather Sharfeddin will share excerpts and insight from her most recent work as part of Randolph College’s Visiting Writers Series Oct. 24 at 8 p.m. in the Alice Ashley Jack Lounge in Smith Hall.

The Visiting Writers Series allows Randolph students and other community members to hear published and up-and-coming writers read their works aloud and talk about the writing process. Each year, the program invites six writers to visit campus, present a public writing, and visit writing classes.

Sharfeddin, who is from McMinnvile, Oregon, has recently published four novels, including Blackbelly, Mineral Spirits, Windless Summer, and Damaged Goods. All of her books are based in the northwestern United States

Heather Sharfeddin
Sharfeddin began her career with the hope of entering the field of visual art. “I found that the storytelling process is much more difficult through visual arts and not as holistic,” said Sharfeddin.

After trying her hand at writing, Sharfeddin soon found her calling. She gets inspiration from the idea of “underdogs” or ordinary people who get to shine through in the end. “I think people step out and do something extraordinary all the time, so telling that quiet story is important to me,” Sharfeddin said.

She enjoys sharing her craft with college students. “I encourage them to understand what drives them to write,” she said. ”Do you want to write because you want living out of it? Or do you want to write for the art?”

For her, the joy is being able to do both, and she works hard to refine her craft. A fan of the unconventional, Sharfeddin said she often gets her better ideas while visiting cemeteries. “I really love catching those quiet stories,” she said. “You can laugh, talk, or cry, and no one will bother you.”

Sharfeddin wants her readers to connect with her stories. “I want the characters to resonate with them,” she said. “Maybe later, they will be charitable to people they meet who are like my characters.”

For more information, see www.sharfeddin.com.