Here is the first of what I hope will be an ongoing writer interview series. Today I’m featuring, new author, Wendy Toliver.
Wendy’s first book: The Secret Life Of Teenage Siren was released in December of 2007.
Here’s a teaser:
Geeky to gorgeous in sixty seconds… Roxy’s about to turn sixteen, but life isn’t so sweet. As a band geek, Roxy can barely get the cute guys to notice her, much less go out with her. Then, on her birthday, Roxy is transformed into a siren: seductively beautiful with the power to control all men. She thought sirens were an ancient myth, but suddenly Roxy can get any guy she wants with just a few notes on her flute. There are only two rules: don’t tell anyone about being a siren, and don’t fall in love. When she starts dating Zach, the guy everybody’s crushing on, Roxy realizes she could get used to this siren thing…but how can she keep herself from falling in love?
First off, congratulations on the debut on you first book, The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren out with Simon Pulse this past December.
What made you want to write for this Young Adult age group? Do you feel a certain kinship here?
Yes I do! I had a wonderful teenage life myself and I love reliving it through writing. One of my favorite things about being a published author is speaking to junior and senior high schools, getting to hang out with teens.
What made you decide to take on writing novels as a career? Is it something you always dreamed of or did you fall into it sideways?
LOL! I definitely fell into it sideways. I had a fun experience about 5 years ago that I thought would make a good chick lit novel so I started writing it out. It became a manuscript and I sent it out to agents and received offers for representation. The thought of being a novelist always intrigued me, but I can truthfully say writing was just a hobby, something I could do as a mom of three active little boys, and it’s just an added bonus that I’m finding some success in it.
Can you give of a brief overview of your road to ‘overnight’ success? (I laugh as I ask this one) and what has being a member of RWA meant to you on your way to publication?
Ha! Yes, there were definitely a bunch of ups and downs en route to becoming a published author. I might not have been writing (with the intent of being published) for as many years as some authors, but let me tell you, it hasn’t been easy. I’m still in the mindset that if something wonderful happens, I stand back and take a breath or two, making sure it’s real before I let loose and celebrate. On the flip side, writing YA seems to be a natural fit for me, as The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren is my first attempt at writing YA. So I guess I can’t complain!
RWA has been very important to me because it has educated me in the craft as well as the world of publishing, offered me support, introduced me to amazing writers who’ve become some of my closest friends, and given me the inspiration necessary to keep writing. RWA rocks!
What’s your writing process like as a stay at home mother of three small boys?
I have a mommy’s helper who comes for about 6 hours a week, and though that might not sound like much writing time, I get a lot done because I have to. I try and think about whatever project I’m working on while I’m doing other things (like laundry, dishes, and changing diapers) so when I do sit at my computer, I’m ready to write.
What are you working on next?
I’m working on edits for my second YA with Simon Pulse. It’s called Miss Match and it is about a teenage matchmaker who is hired to fix a new guy up with her sister, only to discover that she’s crushing on him herself. I think it’s scheduled to come out around Valentine’s Day of 2009. I’m really excited about it!
Thanks so much, Wendy and best of luck with your next book!