About S. J. Callaway

Writer S. J. Callaway on vacation in Colorado (2019)

    My name is S. J. Callaway and I am a fantasy writer and freelance editor.

    I was born and raised in Illinois, where I continue to live. My passion for reading started young and quickly developed into a passion for writing. I decided to commit to my dream of becoming a writer, despite the risks of such a pursuit, and studied creative writing at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana for three and a half years. I work as a contracted editor for Scarsdale Publishing and perform freelance editing work on Upwork. I am currently working on my first book, Shadows Above, Shadows Beneath.

    You can find me on Goodreads, Twitter, and YouTube with the icons to the left.

    If you would like to hire me for editing services, visit my Editing Services page.

    If you would like to learn more about my book and check on my progress, visit the Shadows Above, Shadows Beneath page.

    If you want a more personal idea of who I am, you can read the following:

    In fourth grade at my elementary school library, I was browsing for a book to read when I came across The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker.  If you’ve never heard of it, it’s the book that Disney’s The Princess and the Frog is loosely based on.  Before reading that book, I was already somewhat interested in reading–when I was really little I would make my mom read Dr. Seuss’s Fox in Socks to me every single day–but The Frog Princess was the first book that really got me into reading, and into reading fantasy in particular.  From there, I read Harry Potter, Twilight, Percy Jackson, Eragon, and many lesser known books that I’ve forgotten by now.  Growing up, I read at every opportunity, often forgoing outside play with friends in favor of reading, and reading at inappropriate moments, such as in class while the teacher was giving instructions.  I even read while waiting at the bus stop, and some nights I would stay up almost all night with the curtain over my head so that I could use light from the street lamp outside.  These days, I don’t get up to such antics, but I am still an avid reader.  I enjoy authors such as Naomi Novik, George R.R. Martin, Brandon Sanderson, and Patrick Rothfuss, among others. I have branched off into other genres as well, reading titles such as Jane Eyre and The Count of Monte Cristo, and Coyote America and The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs.

    In addition to reading, I love playing video games and watching movies and TV, I like camping and hiking, and I love learning new things.  I feel that my interest in so many different media and schools of knowledge has strengthened me as a writer and creative person.  Probably my favorite part about writing is world building, and I love going as in-depth as possible with the worlds that I create, even if it will never end up in the actual story.

    A little while ago, I took up the hobby of horseback riding. It is an expensive pastime, one that I cannot currently afford, but I’d love to return to the saddle someday soon. As a fantasy author, horseback riding will likely wind up in pretty much all of my books, and having personal experience with the activity will enhance my writing. Not to mention, it’s super fun!

    Writer S. J. Callaway and horse Moe (2021)

    In October of 2022, I bought my very first snake. I have always loved reptiles. Dinosaurs fascinated me as a kid, and it was exciting to see snakes or amphibians out in the wild. There are no lizards in my area, but I was always excited to see them whenever we traveled to areas where they are abundant. In recent years, I’ve fallen headfirst into the community of reptile keepers. Finally, after much research and money saving, I am happy to welcome Baltimore, the cornsnake x Arizona mountain kingsnake, into my family as my very first reptile. He’s joining Slippers, my pink toe tarantula.

    Baltimore the snake at the reptile expo I purchased him from (2022)

    I thank anyone who took the time to read through all of this.  Hello, and nice to meet you!  Your support of this website means so much to me, and I hope that you will be one of my first readers when my book comes out.  Until then, stay safe and keep reading!