Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Today I have romance author Wendy Ely who I met through one of the various online romance writing and reading communities I'm a member of. She contacted me about being on my review blog and I was happy to have her because she has her debut novel, Jesse's Brother, with Lyrical Press, Inc. on Monday, September 21. This Thursday she will be back to share how she came to write her debut novel, Jesse's Brother, as well as give a sneak peek into the novel with an excerpt. And don't forget next Thursday, September 24 I will be chatting live with Wendy on my live podcast show TAMFA—Phoebe Jordan about what she feels now that her debut novel, Jesse's Brother, is finally released as of Monday, September 21. I have exciting news and that is that I was gifted with an advance copy of the novel and will be reviewing it for Wendy soon so keep coming back to find it before it's release date. Now onto my interview with Wendy:
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Phoebe Jordan: When did you know that writing romance was going to be the thing that you would do with your life? Which author inspired you to start writing romance? Wendy ElyWendy Ely: Until January of 2008 I thought of my writing as a hobby. I thought long and hard about my writing and what I wanted to do with it. It was at that time I decided I wanted to be published. Katherine Stone inspired me at that time. Every single book of hers touched me in some way. Rachel Gibson inspires me now. Phoebe: Did you know what type of romance you wanted to write about or did you experiment with different genres before you chose the one that you felt was for you? Wendy: I started with contemporary but have moved onto romantic suspense. Phoebe: What was the first fiction you ever wrote? And do you still have it with you? Wendy: I started my first romance novel at age thirteen. I don’t remember what it was about but I remember writing it between classes in junior high. My math teacher asked me one day what I was doing. “Writing a book,” I had told her. She smiled and asked if she could read it someday. I never let her but as an adult I found out she’d been a creative writing teacher as well. Phoebe: How much research do you have to do for your novels and does it take you a long time to gather that research? Wendy: It depends on which book I’m working on. I think suspense requires me to do a bit more research. At the end of one of my books I had to figure out how a rattle snake strikes. I watched you tube videos to figure it out. So sometimes it takes a long time. Other times, it’s just a few minutes. Phoebe: How did you come up with the concept for your debut novel, Jesse’s Brother? Wendy: I was dating two guys at once. They both knew about each other. One night I was on a date with one of the guys. He’d gone to the bathroom when the other guy called me on my cell. I answered but kept the call quick. The plot popped into my head then. Phoebe: How did you come up with the concept for your upcoming novel, Confessions? Wendy: I came up with the character first. She evolved the plot into what it is today. Phoebe: How do you come up with each of your characters for your novels? How do you choose their names out of so many names out there? Wendy: Sometimes I’ll see someone out in public and think they’d make a wonderful character or I might think of a name first and let the image just come to me. Phoebe: Do you have a favorite character that you really enjoyed writing about in your debut novel, Jesse’s Brother? Did you have a character that you felt you could really relate to in your debut novel, Jesse’s Brother? Wendy: I was surprised by Jesse’s character in Jesse’s Brother. He started out a lot nicer but changed into a whole new character. It was fun though! Samantha. She feels sort of lost in her life, not knowing where she fits in. I’ve felt that in the past. She had to figure out who she was just as I have. Phoebe: Do you have a favorite character that you really enjoyed writing about in your upcoming novel, Confessions? Did you have a character that you felt you could really relate to in your upcoming novel, Confessions? Wendy: My favorite character would be Chelsea. It was a journey watching her go from someone hiding to exposing all the secrets about her life and accepting them. I think I could relate to Jordan in a way. I had someone disappear in my life without saying a word. He left all his things behind and I had no idea what had happened or why. Phoebe: Do you have a process of how you start to write your novels? Wendy: I do not plot. The first draft is done without revisions without editing. I edit several times once the first draft is done and then send it off to my critique partners. Phoebe: Have you ever considered writing a series or are writing stand alone novels your preference? How would writing each be different for you? Wendy: I like writing stand alone novels. However, Confessions, is the start of a romantic suspense series. I hadn’t planned it that way but Allison (Chelsea’s sister) was such a strong character so I decided to give her, her own story. Phoebe: What process did you have to go through to get your first book published and did it take you long? Jesse's Brother by Wendy ElyWendy: I got a request for a partial and a full from one publisher and one agent a month after I started submitting Jesse’s Brother. A year later I got my contract with Lyrical Press, Inc. Phoebe: Do you ever get writers block? What do you do to get rid of it so you can get back to writing your novels? Wendy: I sure do! I usually get blocked by stress totally unrelated to writing. I deal with my feelings or the situation (depending on if I can fix it) so I can continue to write. If the block is because of what I’m writing, like if I’m stuck, I’ll chat with my critique partners and see if they have any ideas for my novel. Phoebe: What is your biggest reader pet peeve, if you have any? (stock characters, unresolved endings, predictability, everything wrapped up hurriedly in the end, etc.) Wendy: Lots of description. I think it’s important to describe the surroundings and characters but pages? That bothers me. Phoebe: Which aspects of writing do you enjoy the most and why? And what is your biggest writing pet peeve? (overuse of exclamation points, adverbs, bad guys named Wayne, etc.), if you have any? Wendy: I like writing the first draft the most. It puts me into a different frame of mind. I get to sit back, relax, and let the words flow from my fingertips. My biggest pet peeve is the word was. It’s because I’ve had to change so many sentences that contained the word while editing my two novels. Phoebe: What is the one writing tool can you not live without? Wendy: The find and replace option in my computer program. It makes writing so much better once all the extra words are taken out! Phoebe: How do you handle your writing schedule and your personal life without going insane? Wendy: I’ve been asked a lot lately if I actually sleep. I sure do and love it! I attend college full time, am a single mother, run a childcare, and now write as much as possible. I get a break while the kids are sleeping so I use the time to write, edit, book promoting, or do school work. My evenings are spent with my kids and when they decide they’ve had enough mommy time, I work some more until bedtime. The weekends provide me with a lot of writing time. When I feel the pressure building, I’ll take the entire day off and do something fun with my kids. Phoebe: What do you do to relax after having spent a long while writing? Do you have any hobbies? Wendy: Reading and swimming are my hobbies. Once I’m drained from writing, reading is the last thing I want to do so we head out to the pool. If we don’t feel like swimming, I’ll curl up on the couch or my bed and watch TV. Phoebe: Is there any advice that you would give to an aspiring romance writer that you wish someone had given you? Wendy: Find a good critique partner. A good partner is priceless. Phoebe: Is there any writing tips, research tips, promotion and marketing tips that you would give to an aspiring romance writer that you wish someone had given you? Wendy: This was told to me before I got my first contract but I’d like to share it anyway. Even if you’re not published yet but are working on a book get a website now. Start meeting people (other authors) and getting your name out there. Phoebe: Do you have a favorite genre you like to read? Who is your favorite author(s)? Wendy: I like contemporary romance and suspense. Combine the two and I’m in heaven. There are so many authors I love so I’ll just put a few down. I love Rachel Gibson’s books in the romance genre. In suspense, I couldn’t pass up James Patterson book. Phoebe: What are you reading now? And what do you plan to read after that? Wendy: I’m reading Daisy’s Back in Town by Rachel Gibson. I don’t know what I’ll read after that… I have a ton of books on my TBR bookshelf.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks. A really interesting interview - and inspiring. I guess I'll keep trying.

    ReplyDelete

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Phoebe Jordan
I'm a part-time aspiring romance novelist, book reviewer and blogger. I've always wanted to travel the world and learn everything I can about other countries. Learning the Italian language is one way of trying to make that dream come true. Traveling will help me with my writing because I'll be learning about the history of the U.S., Latin America, England, Italy, and Ireland, the countries I find so fascinating while reading the romance genre.
 
I read and review romance novels of almost every subgenre along with erotic romance, mystery, sci-fi/fantasy and young adult novels. You can find the reviews at my blogs, Talk About My Favorite Authors and Phoebe Jordan's Reviews. I’ve also started a live podcast show called TAMFA | Phoebe Jordan hosted on Blog Talk Radio. This show is dedicated to everything I love about romance and young adult novels. I love having romance and young adult authors live on my show to be interviewed and showcase their books.

I plan to write contemporary romance, romantic suspense, erotic romance, paranormal romance and young adult when I get my writing career started with help from Keta. I'm not sure what genre I'll write to begin with since I love to read so many different romance genres.
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