Interview with Wendy Wax

Jen: We are excited to have Wendy Wax as our guest this weekend. Wendy, will you please share a short bio with us?

Wendy: Well, I spent twenty some years working in broadcast and film before deciding to try to write fiction. I worked for a PBS affiliate, on feature films and did voice over and on camera work. My claim to fame during that time was hosting a live radio call in show in the Tampa Bay area called ‘Desperate & Dateless’ when I was both.

My writing has evolved from straight romance and then romantic comedy into what I would call women’s fiction in that my books are largely about women’s journeys of self discovery and generally appeal to a female audience (although men are allowed to read them!)

Jen: Tell us about Ten Beach Road and where it can be purchased.

Wendy: Ten Beach Road is a story about three women– strangers to each other– who lose everything to a Ponzi scheme and then spend a sweat soaked summer trying to bring the derelict beachfront mansion, which is all they have left, back to life. Like all of my books, Ten Beach Road deals with inner strength, self discovery and getting by with a little help from your friends.

You should be able to find Ten Beach Road wherever books are sold.

Jen: At what age did you discover writing? When where you first published? Tell us your call story.

Wendy: I began trying to write fiction back when I was home with a two year old and a newborn. I chalk this up to post pregnancy hormones and lack of sleep! I had no idea how hard a task I’d set for myself. The first novel, a category romance that took me years to complete, was released in 1997. My sons are now 19 and 16 and Ten Beach Road will be my ninth published novel so you can see how long a journey it’s been.

Jen: Describe your writing in three words.

Wendy: Deep, Poignant, Funny

Jen: How do you approach your writing? Do you plot or go with the flow?

Wendy: When you write professionally ‘going with the flow’ can be very stressful and unproductive. It allows one to wander—sometimes away from the story you’ve agreed to write. I, and my editor, always know where I’m going when I begin but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for discovery and diversion. The more time you spend with your characters, the more real they become, and the more the story grows and opens up. That’s what keeps it interesting.

Jen: Do you struggle with deadlines? How do you deal with the pressure?

Wendy: Last year, when two of my family members in another state were very ill and I was traveling back and forth every month, was the first time I had to ask for an extension. For me, the way I deal with the pressure is to allow a reasonable period of time and do my best to work at a steady pace.

Jen: Would you still write novels even if you didn’t get paid?

Wendy: I’m not sure. I hope I never have to make that decision. But I will say that the ability to reach readers is the greatest motivator for me. If no one else would ever read what I wrote I’m not sure I’d feel particularly moved to put my thoughts on paper.

Jen: Have you noticed your writer’s voice has changed over the years due to experience? If so, how?

Wendy: I think my ‘voice’ has remained very much the same, but I like to think it’s become richer and fuller over time and books.

Jen: How much of your actual life gets written into your fictional stories? Have you ever written yourself into a story?

Wendy: I think all of my characters carry bits and pieces of me and my experiences, but I never forget that I’m writing fiction. For me it’s much more fun to create something from nothing, to make things up—the truth can be too confining.

Jen: If Ten Beach Road was made into a movie, which actors would you cast as the main characters?

Wendy: Hmmm…I don’t really picture existing people as I’m writing a character—I tend to see them more from the inside. Now that you’ve got me thinking about it, I could see Diane Lane as Madeline, Cameron Diaz or Gwyneth Paltrow as Avery, and maybe Kim Cattral as Nicole, but I’m open.

Jen: What has been the highlight of your career to this point?

Wendy: I think simply having the opportunity to write for a living has been pretty stellar. Hearing from readers how much they enjoyed a book is an ongoing highlight. There’s nothing like someone telling you your story kept them up all night reading. Having The Accidental Bestseller up for a RITA last year was incredibly exciting—it’s probably the most personal story I’ve written—it’s about four writers who help each other survive the publishing industry. It actually begins at a conference remarkably like RWA with a writer up for an award remarkably like the RITA.

Magnolia WednesdaysJen: What’s next for you?

Wendy: I’ve just started a new book, tentatively titled Reality Check, which centers around two estranged friends. It’s due out in June 2012.

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?

Wendy: I’m at www.authorwendywax.com and on facebook. I’ve just started on twitter as Wendy_Wax.

Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?

Wendy: I’d love for you to be in touch and let me know how you enjoyed my books after you’ve read them.

Jen: I understand you have a couple contests to tell us about.
Wendy: Yes, I’m giving away a copy of Ten Beach Road and the just released mass market edition of Magnolia Wednesdays to one lucky winner. It’s open to US and Canada residents.

In addition I have a contest running April 30 through May 21 if you ‘friend me’ at www.facebook.com/AuthorWendyWax you’ll have the opportunity to win a Kindle Wi-Fi with a copy of Ten Beach Road loaded on it. It is restricted to entrants from the US and Canada.

Jen:  Readers, to enter Wendy’s contest, you need to first leave a question or comment for her.  And then to finish your entry, be sure to leave your email address in your comment so we have a way to contact you.  The winner will be chosen on Sunday, May 8.

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