Monday, May 24, 2010

Q&A WITH AUTHOR WENDY WAX & CONTEST





Meet Author Wendy Wax

I was born in St. Petersburg, Florida and grew up on St. Pete Beach within spitting distance of the Gulf of Mexico. I went, appropriately enough, to Sunshine Elementary School where recess and art class sometimes took place on the beach, and the highlight of every school year was the annual fish broil.

It’s hard to be a type-A personality when you grow up in such a laid back environment, but I managed. Convinced that you were expected to know
how to read BEFORE you showed up for school, I forced a neighbor friend to teach me to read at the age of five. I’ve been reading ever since.

Books, in all forms, are one of my greatest pleasures and best forms of escape. And they’ve had a major impact on my life.

I went to the University of Georgia after reading Gone with the Wind one too many times. For a while I re-read Margaret Mitchell’s classic yearly, saw the movie whenever it played within twenty miles, and could quote large passages from memory. Today I have a growing GWTW collection, and speaking at the Margaret Mitchell House last year was an incredible thrill.

After college I worked in radio, television, and film. Like Olivia in 7 DAYS AND SEVEN NIGHTS, I’ve done live talk radio. I hosted a show in the eighties called Desperate & Dateless, and while I was never locked in an apartment for a week with a webcam rolling like she was, I did fall in love. Happily, the man who swept me off my feet consults with financial types and understands the bottom line. Unlike Olivia’s nemesis, Matt Ransom, my husband has never, to my knowledge, advised anyone to ‘love the one they’re with.’ We live in Atlanta with our two sons.

Wendy's Website




Book Description:

Mallory, Tanya, Faye, and Kendall are best friends-and veterans of the cutthroat world of New York publishing. So when Kendall’s life falls apart and she can’t deliver the last novel she owes her publisher, they all collaborate, using their own lives as fodder. And what a bestseller the truth makes.

Q&A With Author Wendy Wax

Wendy I would like to congratulate you on your May 25th release of The Accidental Bestseller and welcome to Romance Author Buzz. I just took a peak at Amazon and your book is getting incredible reviews…..congratulations!

Is there a back story to The Accidental Bestseller?

Wendy: Thanks so much. Oh yes, there’s definitely a back story! There’s ALWAYS a back story. Actually, I had wanted to write about a group of writers, especially a critique group, for some time. I have a longtime critique partner, and in my opinion no one understands what a writer’s going through like someone else who’s on the same path. Your family and non-writing friends may know and love you, but they don’t necessarily relate to the unique highs and lows that are a part of staying afloat in the publishing business.

Almost four years ago I went through a somewhat turbulent time professionally that made me take a long hard look at the industry and what it takes to be a working writer. I knew the time had come to write that book.

It’s dedicated to ‘every writer—aspiring and otherwise—who has a story to tell, a love of the written word, and a burning desire to see the fruit of their labor on a bookstore shelf. In a prime position. Cover out. With full publisher support behind it.

Do you plot your stories or let your characters lead you?

Wendy: My stories are definitely character driven. It’s almost always the characters, or at least one primary protagonist and her story that first grabs my attention. Everything else grows and evolves from there.

I use plot to drive the story and the characters’ growth.


How long have you been writing and what was your call story?

Wendy: I probably first started thinking about writing a book almost sixteen years ago. Because I had a two-year-old and a newborn at the time, each step of writing that first book and then selling it felt as if it took forever.

I only realized much later how lucky I was to sell that first book. It was a short contemporary called Love Talk and was about a woman who hosted a radio dating show called Desperate & Dateless like I did in the same city where I lived. Like most first books, it was largely autobiographical—except for all the really great sex!

What are you currently working on?

Wendy: I’m currently writing a story about three women who lose almost everything in a Bernie Madoff-style Ponzi scheme and are left with only a third ownership in a derelict beachfront mansion.

It takes place primarily on the Florida beach where I grew up, which has been a lot of fun. It’s currently titled The Sand Castle and is due out next May.

Of all of your characters, do you have a favorite you identify with and why?

Wendy: Kendall Aims, the writer whose life and career fall apart at the beginning of The Accidental Bestseller, is probably the most like me personally. My career issues inspired hers, though I heaped much more on her than I faced. And, of course, she does live in the Atlanta suburbs like I do. She also has a longterm marriage and two children. Just like me.

People who know me and who’ve read The Accidental Bestseller often look at me oddly and then ask whether I’m still married. Happily, the answer is yes.

What is the best thing about your job as an author? What is the hardest thing?

Wendy: The best thing is probably getting to create people and the worlds they inhabit, out of nothing. It’s an incredibly challenging and rewarding exercise.
I also really appreciate the flexibility; as long as I meet my deadlines, how, when and where I write is up to me.

Althuough the flexibility is great, the work is always there waiting for me. I can’t walk by my office door, which I do constantly in any given day, without feeling like I should be in there writing. And, of course, when I’m writing I feel like I should be taking care of my family, or organizing everyone’s lives. Like most women, I’m constantly juggling the hats I wear, and I often feel like something is not getting the attention it deserves.


Describe a day in the life of Wendy Wax.

Wendy: Typically, I get up between 6:30- and 6:45, drink as much coffee as possible in order to wake all the way up, make lunches and get my two teenaged sons off to school. Shortly after that I sit down at my computer to work. Once I’ve checked email, facebook, and anything else I can think of, I start writing. I learned when the children were small not to waste writing time, because you never know when someone might stay home sick and need attention, or get injured and have to go to the doctor—or any of the millions of things that might need to be taken care of.
Assuming none of those things happen, I usually work until about three and then go to the gym or head out to take a walk. Sometimes the exercise doesn’t happen, but I always have it on the schedule. (It’s a shame that good intentions don’t burn calories!)

Generally, once the boys get home from school at about 4:00 when it’s not baseball season, we start homework, activities, dinner, etc. During baseball season, I have a lot more afternoon time. Games start right about 6pm.

In the evening after dinner, I might do non-writing related work like critiquing or take care of promotional commitments. Or I might be attending a book club in person locally or via speakerphone for out of town groups; there are always things that need to be dealt with. I can do things at night, but I am most creative in the mornings, which is when I like to write.

What is something you definitely want readers to know about you?

Wendy: How impressive and resilient I think women are. I’m drawn to writing about women discovering who they are and what they’re made of. I’m fascinated by what we’re capable of. My books feature multiple protagonists on important life journeys—with a healthy dose of humor.

When the time comes for you to retire from writing, what would you like your readers to remember the most about you and your writing?

Wendy: I hope I never have to retire. As long as my brain and fingers stay nimble enough, I plan to continue.

But when I do retire, I hope I’ll be remembered as a writer who was not only funny but insightful. Walking that line can be really tough, and each new book and cast of characters present unique challenges.

What are you currently reading?

Wendy: The Art of Racing in the Rain.

Before I let you go is there anything I forgot to ask that you want the readers and fans to know?

Wendy: Gosh, I think you’ve been really thorough! I would like to invite readers to take a picture of themselves on a beach reading The Accidental Bestseller and submit it at www.authorwendywax.com. I’ll be posting the photos on facebook and drawing a winner who will receive a beach bag full of some of my favorite books.

Wendy, thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview with me!

Wendy: Thank you!

CONTEST – USA and Canada Only

For a chance to win a copy of The Accidental Bestseller please follow Wendy on Facebook
here ans tell her what you thought of her interview, here at Romance Author Buzz. Or you can email Wendy directly at wendy@authorwendywax.com. Return here to the blog and tell me where you posted and please leave your email so that you may be contacted should you win. Winner will be announced June 30, 2010.

4 comments:

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

No need to enter me. I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you.

Trish Morey said...

Thanks so much for the interview. I'm going to hunt down a copy of The Accidental Bestseller right now. Sounds fabulous!

Nancye said...

I "like" Wendy on Facebook. I enjoyed reading the interview, especially about how you structure your day to get a lot of writing done. You sounds VERY organized to me! (I wish I was half as organized!) Thanks for the chance!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

Nancy you're the winner. Emailing your for your details. Thanks to all for entering.

 

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