Saturday, January 19, 2013

"I go barefoot whenever I can." - Author Interview with @wendythewriter

What is your name?
Wendy Miller

Tell us about you.
 I'm a single mom. I have two sons that I homeschool, along with working from home as a writer. When I'm not hanging out with my kids or writing, I enjoy reading (any genre, as long as the writing is good), listening to music (anything except rap), watching movies (some favorites are Dirty Dancing, Riding in Cars with Boys, and Grease) and TV (2 Broke Girls, How I Met Your Mother, Sons of Anarchy, Justified, Nashville), cooking, and baking. During the summer, I like swimming, hiking, camping and even the occasional fishing trip - though I don't bait my own hook, take my fish off the hook, or clean my own catch. I love all the environments in the world, but the beach is my favorite. I love dolphins - their physical beauty as well as their incredible intelligence and their history with man.

Tell us about your book.

Meadow’s marriage to Sander Hanson wasn’t the stuff of fairy tales, but she didn’t think it was all that horrible. It's only after his death that she finds out that he was keeping secrets. It starts with unexplained credit card charges, and women’s names in a little black book. Then there’s the secret bank account.
Stetson Christensen had been in business with Sander for many years, but he’d stopped liking the man personally a very long time ago. So when Meadow approaches him and asks for help, he has no problem doing what she asked.
Time spent in close proximity brings their long hidden desire for each other to the surface. Stetson doesn’t want a relationship, and Meadow knows it’s not the right time for one. But they can’t keep ignoring their attraction, and they can’t get away from each other.
Uncovering the dead man’s secrets shows them a depravity that neither of them had realized existed. The more they learn, the more they begin to realize they could be in serious danger. They have to find all of Sander’s secrets in order to protect themselves, and the only ones they can trust are each other.
Will they find everything they need to know in time? Or will Meadow and her children pay for Sander’s sins?

What inspired you to write this book?

It's kind of hard to explain this without giving too much away. I gave in to the Fifty Shades of Grey hype and read the trilogy. The subject matter, the BDSM and the struggle to accept and integrate it, was intriguing. And when I'd finished, I just kind of had the thought "what if?" I learned from the book, and a few other books and some research, that one of the core tenets of the BDSM lifestyle is consent - everything is consensual. So my "what if" was along the lines of what if someone wanted to ignore that tenet? How would they do it, why would they do it, and what could happen as a result of it? Could things end well or was a bad ending inevitable?

What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment as a writer?

So far, I think my greatest accomplishment is actually having people purchase my books. With the relatively new ability to self publish our work, readers have a wealth of options when it comes to choosing what to read. They can choose from the established, traditionally published authors as well as those of us who are new to the scene and doing it all ourselves. The fact that some of them choose me is a huge deal to me. It excites me, and I also feel honored.

Who is your favorite author and why?

My favorite author is a toss up between Stephen King and Lisa Jackson. They both have such vivid imaginations, incredible writing, and can draw me in with nothing more than a title. I love Lisa's work for a good, realistic scare, and Stephen's for the real terror that comes with books like "It."

Do you have any suggestions for writers just starting out?

I can only think of two off the top of my head.
1. Don't give up. Sometimes you'll get halfway through and feel like your idea is fizzling. Or you'll write your character into a corner and not know how to get him/her out of it. Maybe your planned ending blows up and you aren't sure how to end it now. There are so many things that will get in your way and have you thinking "Oh, crap, I should just give up and stop/start over." Don't, though. Go back over what you have. Sometimes just changing one sentence or even one word can be enough to fix whatever problem you're having. And if you really think walking away from it is best, then set it aside and start something new, but never, ever throw away what you've got so far. You just might come back to it later with fresh eyes and a fresh mind and discover that now you can write it to the end.

2. Never stop reading. I know for me as a writer, I can get so caught up in writing that I ignore the books I'm reading, the shows I watch, etc. But those things, particularly the books, can be such an enormous help to your writing. First of all, they can help show you what to do - or not to do, as the case sometimes is. Reading a variety of authors shows you their different writing styles, which can help you in finding your own voice. It also helps you see the different ways to write descriptions, dialogue, etc. Sometimes what works in one book doesn't work in another, and by reading a variety of books, you might find that one that clicks and makes you go "Aha! That's how I should write that scene so it works!" Second, they can inspire your own ideas. Sometimes a word or a phrase will spark an idea for you, other times an entire plot will motivate you to think "what if?" and send you off on your journey to write out that "what if" alternative. Plus, it's just nice to take a break from you own words and read someone else's for a while. 

What does writing mean to you?

Writing means everything to me. It's my career, so it means income and livelihood to me. It's my passion, so it means pleasure and fun. It's an outlet for my creativity, so it means peace and contentment.
Writing is my chance to escape the real world, with all it's problems, and live in a fantasy world for a while. My worlds are no less problematic than the real world, but at least in my worlds, I know that within a few hundred pages, the problems will be resolved. Being in control of that resolution, as well as just the problems themselves (knowing I can eliminate and change them as I see fit) gives me a sense of peace, of power.

Tell us 5 random things about you the person, not the author:

1) My favorite book is 11/22/63 by Stephen King
2) My favorite song is "Stand By Me" by Ben E. King
3) I graduated high school almost a year early
4) I hate shoes - I go barefoot whenever I can
5) My guilty pleasure is watching Sister Wives

Where to connect online

Twitter: @wendythewriter

FEATURED BOOK:  The Secrets He Kept
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Buy on Amazon