Please join me in celebrating a wonderful friend's debut medical romance WHEN ONE NIGHT ISN'T ENOUGH. Welcome to the Veranda, Wendy. I'm so glad you're here to share your writing journey. *Pop* pouring champagne....
Hi Christine! Thank you so much for having me at your blog today. You’ve been through so much lately and I’d like to start off by saying how thankful I am that you and your family made it through such horrific storms without injury.
So let’s get started.
How did you end up becoming a writer?
Unlike a lot of writers, I didn’t pen stories in my youth. And to tell the truth, I wasn’t much of reader, either. That came about later in life, at a school fundraiser, when I found an old Harlequin Superromance in a box filled with children’s chapter books. I purchased it and threw it in the car to pass time while waiting for my children to finish with their dance/gymnastics/baton/soccer/baseball/hockey practices. With that first book I got hooked ravenously reading every romance I could get my hands on. Then came the inevitable terrible – in my opinion – book and I thought, I can do better than that. So I started writing.
Oh, I love Harlequin Superromances. They are fabulous stories. When you write, are you a plotter or do you follow the muse?
When I start a story I loosely plan out the beginning and end. That’s the extent of my plotting. Sometimes, in the murky middle, I curse myself for not doing more.
Ah, the dreaded middle! I know it well. When you're not writing, what do you read? What are your favorite genres? Who are your favorite authors?
I read contemporary, historical, and some light paranormal romance. There are so many authors whose work I enjoy. But if I had to limit it to, say, five, they’d have to be Robyn Carr, Susan Mallery, Victoria Dahl, Lisa Kleypas, and Suzanne Brockmann.
Fabulous authors. I love them all. Do you have any new releases?
On May 1, 2011, my debut Harlequin Medical Romance, When One Night Isn’t Enough, went up for sale in the UK on the Mills and Boon website. In June it goes up for sale in UK bookstores and in July it goes up for sale in Australia and New Zealand bookstores and online in the U.S.
I read the reviews on the Mills and Boon web site and the readers love it! I have to get the book today. Wendy, how long were you trying to get published before you got ‘the call’?
I started writing in 2007, at night after my family went to sleep, and I sold in October 2010.
Was ‘the call’ an actual phone conversation?
Yes, two actually. My agent called me first then told me to wait for a call from my editor who works in England. I was totally stunned and don’t remember much of either conversation. Luckily my editor followed up with an e-mail so I had confirmation it wasn’t just a dream.
What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Practice and perfect your craft. Take classes. Go out into the writing community and mingle, don’t just lurk. And most important, read the types of books you like to write. Stay current on what’s out there and what’s selling.
What encouragement can you give writers who face rejection?
That’s a tough one. All I can say is rejection is a part of the publishing industry. You don’t have to like it but you do need to learn to deal with it. I’ve heard of multi-published authors who have had proposals and even finished books rejected by their editors. It hurts. And it does NOT get any easier. My suggestion is scream out your frustration, preferably when alone. Then get in touch with some of those friends you’ve made in the writing community for support. (You’ve been a great one for me!) And indulge in something that makes you happy. But only for twenty-four hours. Then shake it off and move on. The editor/agent who is a perfect match for your manuscript is still out there, and you have to get back to work trying to find him/her.
Thank you for your kind words. I completely agree that a writing support community is vital to keeping a writer motivated and in the chair. What is the most difficult part about writing for you?
Avoiding distractions while I write. I am constantly hopping on the Internet, checking my emails, and Twitter. I wouldn’t spend near as much time on the computer if I’d just stay focused and write for a solid three hour block of time. I just can’t seem to do it.
Tell me about medical romance. Do you have to be a nurse to write it?
I write for Harlequin Medical Romance which is published out of their Mills and Boon office in England. The circulation is international. Right now the U.S. is one of their smaller markets which is why medical romance books are only available online to U.S. readers. But I’m hoping as more Americans become familiar with the line and realize what great books we put out, that will change. And no, you do not have to be a nurse to write for medical romance. While our stories take place in medical settings with medical personnel as the hero and heroine, like all category romance, our focus is on the primary romance relationship, not blood and guts or sickness and injury. In fact we’re told not to get too technical and to keep the medical scenes in the background. If you’re good at research, you can write medical romance.
I think Medical Romances are wonderful. I order them online all the time. Of course, your book is next in line! I hear you’re running a contest. Would you tell my followers more about it?
As part of my blog tour I’m running two contests with four chances to win gift cards to Amazon. Please visit my website: http://WendySMarcus.com for more information. While you’re there, check out an excerpt for When One Night Isn’t Enough. And please, check me out on Amazon. My U.S. release should be up for pre-order soon.
Now to get the conversation going. Have you ever read a Harlequin Medical Romance? If yes, what did you think of it? If no, why not? And would you consider making mine your first? I’m happy to answer any questions you may have about medical romance, and one lucky commenter will win a copy of my 2in1 UK release which includes a full novel by Author Janice Lynn.
Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us today, Wendy. I love your cover!! Very sassy. I think a lot of people will want to learn more about these stories!! And if you want to beat the rush to order Wendy's book here in the USA, go to the Book Depository where the book will be offered as of June 3!! Woohoo!!