S. M. Wheeler spent the first 13 years of her life on a slow-motion tour of the United States, following her father’s work in the telecommunication business, with a brief side trip to Jamaica. Settling down at last in Upstate New York when her parents purchased an inn, she spent a difficult year attempting to adapt to the small local school and the company of her agemates. Ultimately, Wheeler’s family made the decision to educate her at home. Some of her time came to revolve around the business, which grew to include a bookstore and restaurant; some of her attention went to the school textbooks from which she learned. Mostly, she read and wrote.
Fantasy, science fiction, myth, folklore --- Wheeler favored the unreal in reading and told the same sort of stories as soon as she could articulate those ideas in words. This became an important tool when she developed several chronic health problems in her adolescence. Rather than using the world of fantasy to escape from these, she normalized them by creating disabled characters within the familiar landscapes of the fantastic. One o’ clock in the morning with an unruly mind and aching joints was best faced with characters whose hallucinations and missing limbs were oversized projections of her own difficulties.
Wheeler flew out of Upstate to California for college with one suitcase of clothes and ten boxes of books. She is now living with family while attending the University of San Diego, where she is pursuing an English degree, a Classics minor, and all excuses to write fiction.