Contributor Spotlight: Sarah Wheeler

“Blodeuwedd,” a short story by Sarah Wheeler, appeared in Issue 24 and can be read here.

We’d love to hear more about this story.

My story was inspired by Welsh mythology. The original Blodeuwedd was a beautiful woman crafted out of flowers so a hero could get around a curse that he’d never have a human wife. While he’s off on hero business, she falls in love with another man, conspires to murder the hero, and it goes downhill for her from there. 

What sparked the story for me was the question: would a woman who’s made out of flowers know or care who she was married to? What would a flower-woman really want on a primal level?

What was the most difficult part in writing this story?

I had two major challenges with this piece. 

The first was the time-span. I have never tried to write a character’s complete life in so few pages – I had to keep tightening and tightening the story. 

The second challenge was this was the first story I wrote in my MFA, and it was very different from what my classmates were doing. They were all completely generous and receptive, but I had to get over a serious mental hurdle that I wasn’t writing the “right” thing. 

Recommend a book for us which was published within the last decade.

The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa. It’s the perfect time to read a quietly disturbing book about losing something vital… and being trapped at home.

If you could have a drink with any living author, who would it be? Why?

I have always wanted to pick George Saunders’ brain. 

What are you working on now? What’s next?

I’m nearly done with the final edits of my first novel, which is both a huge relief and a  little unnerving – it’s been with me so long I’m worried I’m going to feel unmoored once I let it go. Once that’s done-done I think I’ll focus on my short stories for a while. 

Our thanks to Sarah for taking the time to answer a few questions and share her work. Read Wheeler’s story, “Blodeuwedd,” here:


Sarah Wheeler has an MFA in Fiction from George Mason University and have been published in Mid-American Review, Gone Lawn, Haunted Waters Press, and elsewhere.

“Blodeuwedd” by Sarah Wheeler won the 2020 Editor’s Reprint Award (fiction/nonfiction) and was originally published by Haunted Waters Press.