Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Break out the Bubbly and the Dark Chocolate: Celebrating Wendy S. Marcus's Debut Novel WHEN ONE NIGHT ISN'T ENOUGH

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!!
                       

27 comments:

Anne Gallagher said...

Congratulations Wendy, that's so exciting.

Question -- Did you have an agent before you submitted to M&B or did you submit and then find an agent?

Thanks Christine for another great interview.

wendy said...

Hi Anne!
Thanks !

Have you heard stories of a writer getting a request from a publisher and an agent in the same week? That was me.

I'd entered a Harlequin pitch contest for medical romance and I was one of 5 winners. They requested my first three chapters and then the full. I was thrilled.

At the same time I'd had the first three chapters in with an agent. I e-mailed her about Harlequin's interest in the book and within 24 hours I received a call that she'd read my submission and loved it and wanted to represent me.

I'm so sorry I haven't been to your blog in a while. How's everything with you?

Gail Hart said...

Congrats Wendy!

Do you know if we can order your book through the Book Depository? I was able to get a friend's U.K.-only book that way, but I don't know if Mills & Boons plays with them.

Wendy S. Marcus said...

Hi Gail!

Thanks for asking. YES! The UK version of my book is available for pre-order at the book depository! My U.S. edition is being released in July. It will most likely have a different cover and will be available in paperback and hardcover from Amazon and eharlequin.com.

I hope you'll check it out!

Anne Gallagher said...

That's a great story about your book. Magical even.

Everything's fine with me, thanks for asking. And don't worry about stopping by, unless you have the time. I know how busy you are.

Wendy S. Marcus said...

Thanks for stopping back, Anne!
Please, eat some of this chocolate. Christine put out way too much!

And I'm glad you're doing well!

Wendy S. Marcus said...

Oh, and Christine had trouble posting my promo picture and book cover. Please check them out on my website: http://WendySMarcus.com

Carol Burnside aka Annie Rayburn said...

Wendy, your story is inspiring. Congrats on your success!

I have a critique partner targeting M&B Medical Romance. Any advice/tips for her on writing for the line?

Christine said...

I just don't understand why my pictures aren't showing up on the blog. I can see them here in Alabama -- isn't that strange? Well, I'm glad you all are looking for Wendy's book. I can't wait to order mine from the Book Depository.

:-)

Wendy S. Marcus said...

Hi Carol aka Annie!
Thanks!

As far as medical romance is concerned, despite what people may think, the editors are not looking for highly technical medical scenes. They like for the medical scenes to be realistic, but in the background. The story must focus on the hero and heroine, how they help each other or gain new respect for one another. Also, medical romance does NOT like too many secondary characters. This was a big problem for me!

Other than that, tell a good story in a good voice. Use lots of dialogue and keep your heroine and hero on the page together as much as possible.

Please have your friend stop by. I'm happy to answer any questions she may have. Mills and Boon is great to work for!

Thanks for visiting!

Wendy S. Marcus said...

Hi Christine!
Thanks so much for having me here today - pictures or no pictures. And thanks for adding the Book Depository link! (Why didn't I think of that???)

Your followers are a warm and friendly bunch!

Carol Burnside aka Annie Rayburn said...

Thanks for the advice, Wendy. I'll relay it and let her know you're here today, but she's probably working the dreaded day job with limited access to the 'net.

Wendy S. Marcus said...

Hi Carol!
I'll check back tonight just in case she stops by. Or tell her to visit my website and send me an e-mail.

Christine said...

Thanks Wendy. But I haven't given up -- I'm going to try to post them one more time. Gaack. Yes, I love my friends and followers. They're all super encouraging.

:-)

Wendy S. Marcus said...

Yay! My picture! Thanks Christine!

Christine said...

Hey Wendy--you're welcome. I tried to put the cover picture in but it kept going all weird and green when I transferred the file to the blogger file. But at least we all know what you look like now :-)

Nas Dean said...

Congratulations Wendy on the release of WHEN ONE NIGHT ISN'T ENOUGH!

It sounds an interesting story from the excerpt and I'll be sure to get it as I love reading Medicals!

Thanks for the fantastic giveways.
All the best!

Katherine Bone said...

Hi Wendy! You've made so many interesting points about writing. I get beginnings and endings too, but then the panster pops out and wants me to channel the story through to that end.

Your book sounds great! Can't wait to read it.

What about this industry do you like most and least? ;)

Wendy S. Marcus said...

Hi Nas!
I really hope you enjoy it when you read it!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wendy S. Marcus said...

Hi Katherine!
What I like the most: Social networking. Interacting with other writers and readers. Blogging and haunting the loops.

What I like the least: Revisions. And while I know they're necessary and my books are so much better because my editor pushes me to dig deeper, it's so hard to make changes and envision a story differently after I've worked so hard to get it set in my brain.

Thanks for stopping by!

Christine said...

Hi Everyone! Wendy is picking a winner today and I'll announce it on my blog tomorrow. Exciting times!!

Thanks for coming to the Veranda to meet Wendy and to learn more about the Medical Romance genre!

:-)

Regina Richards said...

Great interview, Wendy! Love the tip about screaming it out when you're rejected. I'll try that some time while the family is at work and school. Knowing the dogs they'll join me in a howl so hopefully our combined rejection-angst won't scare the neighbors.

Nas Dean said...

Hi Wendy,

You gave some great insights into writing for Harlequin Medical.

And regarding the tip after getting "R", really good...but..the shake it off and move on..that's so hard.... to move on!

Wendy S. Marcus said...

Hi Regina!
Hope you enjoyed your scream. Feels good, doesn't it?

Hope you're feeling better - physically I mean.

Wendy S. Marcus said...

Hi Nas!
Shaking off a rejection and moving on is extremely difficult. I agree. But it is necessary if you want to move on to become a published author. And when I say move on, I don't mean move on from the manuscript that was rejected. Maybe take that manuscript, give it another read, and look for a new home for it. Maybe with Carina or The Wild Rose Press. Just because one publisher passes on it doesn't mean another will.
Good luck!

Nas Dean said...

Hello again Wendy,

Thanks for this fantastic advice, about looking for a home elsewhere for our mss, rather than let the doubt crow beat us.

Congratulations on your debut release WHEN ONE NIGHT ISN'T ENOUGH and I sincerely wish you many, many sales success!

Calisa Rhose said...

I'm running trying to catch up! My regular schedule of programs was unexpectedly interrupted by several events! WOOO On your release, Wendy! I m really hoping Medicals return to American shelves. I remember as a teen being able to find them everywhere. Now, not so. t will take a lot of writer participation and maybe more reader awareness to bring them over so we can see these beautiful books on a physical shelf. Maybe readers should email and bombard M&B with requests?

Again, congrats Wendy!