Get to know… Wendy Shearer

My name is Wendy Shearer, and I’m a mum to two amazing daughters and two incredibly cheeky kittens. I’m an author and professional storyteller, regularly performing traditional folktales, myths and legends at schools, festivals and institutions across the arts. 

Writing has been my constant love. As I child I scribbled away often, letting my imagination run wild across the page with stories that would never end. As a young adult, my career began with researching and writing scripts for TV shows whilst dreaming of writing my own books one day. 

When I came across the Writing Room, it was just what I needed –  a creative hub providing writing classes run by encouraging professionals. I attended Giovanna Iozzi’s Life Writing and Memoir class and loved it so much that I signed up twice. It was a wonderful opportunity to form a regular writing practice, make new friends and receive supportive feedback. And most of all, to have fun!

Giovanna gave us writing challenges that really stretched our minds and helped me find my narrative voice. A special Student Showcase evening was held at the end of our course, where we were invited to read one of our written pieces to an audience. It was both thrilling and nerve-wracking to share our personal work outside of our close-knit class. I remember everyone receiving our stories with warmth and praise – the perfect end to our course. 

This was all part of my creative writing journey which has led to the publication of my first two books:

1) African and Caribbean Folktales, Myths and Legends (2021)

2) Caribbean Folktales: stories from the islands and the Windrush generation (2022)

Here is an extract from one of the short stories in: Caribbean Folktales: stories from the islands and the Windrush generation (publication date 26 May 2022).


Extract from La Diablesse

On one typically blazing hot day, people were stretched out on their verandas, sighing in the shade. Watching nothing. Imagine a day so hot that even the air is languid, where each breath you take is a slow, dragging movement. Two young men, Kabenla and Ekoux, were sitting outside of their boarding house. They’d stopped for lunch after working all morning at the sugar factory and sat staring into the distance, watching nothing in particular. The sweet scent of mango hung in the air from trees dotted around the houses. Goats ambled across the paths, nibbling at leaves and long grass.

‘Kabenla, you notice how quiet it is today?’ Ekoux nudged his friend. Even though it was the middle of the day, with sunlight exposing every living thing, Ekoux felt a darkness creeping up around them. He glanced around. He had a sense that something was not quite right. Houses seemed hushed into silence with their shutters closed up. Trees appeared monstrous behind him, terror swaying with each branch.

‘Kabenla, did you hear me?’ Ekoux asked his friend again.

‘Ease me Ekoux, can’t you see I’m busy?’

Ekoux followed Kabenla’s gaze. Seemingly out of nowhere in the brilliant light of day, a tall, slender woman was striding through the village. Her pace was at odds with the sluggish heat of the day. Her long arms swayed back and forth, driving her body forward. Her colourful clothes draped unnaturally around her body, stiff and life-less. She wore a short-sleeved blouse and a long madras skirt that fell rigid to the ground. Glimpses of her white ruffled petticoat could be seen as she glided along. Her face was partially hidden by a wide-brimmed straw hat. She was dark, serene, and heading their way.

‘Look how her hips are swaying. You see her eyes?’ Kabenla said, in a daze. It’s true, she did have the most exquisite-looking eyes but they were not welcoming. They were cold and glassy. Set deep into her face like obsidian rock. She went past the boarding house.

‘Bonjou mesye, hello sir,’ she nodded firmly, without stopping.

‘Bonjou madanm, hello madam,’ Kabenla replied. He jumped up from his seat and quickly fell into step with her.



Twitter: @WCShearer

Insta: @WendyCshearer