Let's welcome Wendy May Andrews to the blog today. Tell us a little about yourself.
I’ve been writing pretty much since I learned to read when I was five years old. Of course, those early efforts were basically only something a mother could love J I put writing aside after I left school and stuck with reading. I am an avid reader. I love words. I will read anything, even the cereal box, signs, posters, etc. But my true love is novels.
I believe firmly that everyone deserves a happily ever after. I want my readers to be able to escape from the everyday for a little while and feel upbeat and refreshed when they get to the end of my books.
Those sound like my kind of books. I can handle some sadness in the book but I want someone to get their happy ending when it is all over. Will you share a short excerpt from your novel?
She was just pinning what she hoped was a gracious smile back onto her face while scanning the gathering crowd, looking for the rest of her group, when her gaze collided with that of the most handsome man she had ever seen. His blue eyes were so clear and bright, they reminded her of the Atlantic on a sunny day. His dark hair was almost black and was clipped short. It looked as though it would have a tendency to curl if he had not controlled its length. His square jaw and high cheekbones should have looked fierce, but his lips quirked up in the corners as though he had a propensity for smiling or laughing. Sophie’s breath caught as she tried to take it all in and once again found herself hoping her mouth wasn’t hanging open.
He strode toward her, as she was frozen in place. There wasn’t much space separating them, so he was beside her in a few paces.
“Good evening, miss. I haven’t had the pleasure of making your acquaintance. I just saw you talking with my mother.”
Sophie blinked and almost turned to look behind her before she remembered that she had just been speaking with Mrs. Rexford. Feeling a blush stain her cheeks, Sophie tried to achieve coherent speech, but nothing intelligent came to mind so she merely offered him a slight curtsy like she had done with his mother.
Wendy, what brought about the idea for this book?
I started planning this series after friends of mine adopted a little boy. I was fascinated with the history of adoption. While there are plenty of horror stories, my research brought me to Mr. Charles Brace, one of the founders of the Children’s Aid Society and his efforts to send orphans from New York City out to farms in the Midwest on the train. He had a noble goal and accomplished much good.
It sounds like an intriguing story. Adoptions stories always pull at my heartstrings. Where do you see yourself in five years?
With my bookcase groaning under the weight of the books I’ve written J
Currently, what are you working on?
I’m writing a series with nine other authors centered around one theme – Proxy Brides. Proxy brides are much like Mail Order brides except that they’ve already married their new husbands by proxy before they even meet. What could go wrong?? ;-)
Wow nine other authors, that sounds like quite the undertaking. Good Luck! What has been the best compliment you have received?
“I lost sleep because of your book – I stayed up all night reading.”
Wendy, what kind of research do you do before you start a new story?
I’m lucky in that there is tons of information online for both my time periods – Regency era England and American Westerns – 1855-1875. So I can start online with my research. I also like to visit the places I write about even though I write in the past. And I study old maps to figure out which roads or routes would have been used by my characters.
Do you have people read your drafts before you publish? How do you select beta readers?
Yes, I have four beta readers that read all my books before they go to the editor. They are familiar with the genres I’m writing so they know when something is “off”. They look for plot holes for me. My beta readers are avid readers that I trust.
I don't think I could live without beta readers. I have a couple of really good ones, but I hope to find one or two more. Four seems like a great number. Who designed the artwork for your cover? Or did you design it yourself?
My covers are done by a lovely person I met on Fiverr.
How do you handle criticism when it comes to your writing?
I try to avoid criticism :-D I make sure I have supplies of chocolate before I go onto any sites containing reviews of my books. But I appreciate constructive feedback, especially BEFORE the book is published. Afterward it’s a bit of a pain since it’s already out there in the world.
I totally get it. Is there something you learned from writing your first book?
I learned so much from writing my first book! For one thing, I learned that I CAN stick to it and actually finish writing a book if I put my mind to it. I also learned that I needed to learn a whole lot more than that. Character arcs, show don’t tell, goal/motivation/conflict… There are so many things to learn in order to be able to craft a good story. But there are also tons of good resources to learn and other authors are usually kind and generous with their knowledge, willing to share some of what they know with those still learning.
I have been amazed at how helpful other authors have been. Its nice to be in a business with so many generous and giving people. How many times do you think you read your book before going to print?
It feels like a million but it’s probably about ten times.
Wendy, thank you so much for stopping by and sharing with us today. Be sure to check out more from Wendy at the links below. Happy Reading!!
Link to my series on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07HKK4TML