A Novel Idea: Sheryl Monks: Monsters in Appalachia

About the Author:

Sheryl Monks currently calls Winston-Salem home; however, she grew up in the foothills of North Wilkesboro and has family roots in the mountains of West Virginia. Sheryl earned her MFA in creative writing from Queens University of Charlotte. She has published short stories in a number of literary journals, including The Butter, The Greensboro Review, storySouth, Regarding Arts and Letters and Night Train, to name a few. Sheryl has also received a number of awards such as the Reynolds Price Short Fiction Award and was a finalist for the Hudson Prize, sponsored by Black Lawrence Press. She was a recipient of a North Carolina Regional Artist’s Project Grant as well.

Monsters in Appalachia is Sheryl’s first book of short stories. She currently has a novel in process, set in the 1960s during the war on poverty.


As a child, Sheryl recalls listening to love ballads, those songs of dire desperation and circumstances that usually ended with death or murder made popular for example by The Kingston Trio’s Tom Dooley. The stories about the hard life of folks in the mountains and coal mining regions are part of her background that she, in turn, shares with her readers in her Southern Gothic style.

About Monsters in Appalachia:

Monsters in Appalachia is comprised of 15 short stories, set primarily in the mountains of West Virginia and western North Carolina. True to her Southern Gothic style of writing, each tale has moments of “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” The stories have a twist to them that is chilling, a little creepy and life changing to the characters. Ever wondered about the snakes handled in some churches? Why they’re not more aggressive? You’ll find out. Sheryl lets her readers draw their own conclusions to the outcome with cliffhanger endings. Does Rita get the baby to the hospital in time? Who are those guys following? Pick up your copy of Monsters in Appalachia. Each story is unique in its own right and will keep the reader on edge.

Where to Find Books by Sheryl Monks:

Monsters in Appalachia is available wherever books are sold (Barnes & Nobles, Scuppernong Books in Greensboro, Amazon, etc.).

Sheryl Monks will be at Salem College on Friday, March 10th. The Center for Women Writers is sponsoring a reading and book-signing event at Huber Theater located at 601 South Church Street at 7pm. BookMarks will have Sheryl’s book, Monsters in Appalachia (published by Vandalia Press/West Virginia University Press) available for sale. Plan to attend this free-to-the-public event and meet Sheryl.

On March 24th, Sheryl will be at the Virginia Festival of the Book, held in Charlottesville, Virginia. She will be speaking during the “Landscapes of the Heart” session at 2pm held in the library along with Julia Franks and Elizabeth Cox.

This summer, Sheryl will be at the NC Writers’ Network Squire Summer Reading Residency. The event will be July 13th-17th at Appalachian State University in Boone.

Follow Sheryl on social media (her website — sherylmonks.com), Facebook or Twitter.