I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce WENDY STORER who has graciously agreed to be the first person in the HOT SEAT as I interview her;
Robin Leigh Morgan: Please introduce yourself.
Wendy Storer: I write fiction for children and young adults, inspired by real life – although of my two current works in progress, one of them is a novel for women (also inspired by real life). I am interested in human drama with positive outcomes, which I guess relates to my past life as a hypnotherapist and creative writing therapist.
I live in the beautiful Lake District in England, and as well as writing books, I teach writing and help other writers through Magic Beans. (www.magicbeans.co.uk)
Robin Leigh: Tell us about your latest published novel.
Wendy: My latest published novel is a YA story called ‘BRING ME SUNSHINE’. It’s the story of Daisy, a teenage girl, whose dreams of being a drummer and running off into the sunset with the gorgeous Dylan are thwarted by her Dad’s fading mental health. She’s a young carer, and finds herself looking after dad and little brother Sam, while her own life is put on hold.
It was runner up in the Mslexia Children’s Novel Competition last year and was mentioned on The Guardian newspaper readers’ recommended list of indie published books.
Robin Leigh: You’ve published two novels so far, can you tell us a little bit about the other one?
Wendy: ‘WHERE BLUEBIRDS FLY’ is the story of Ruby, a teenage girl grieving for her grandmother. She’s fallen out with her dad, and when she hears that her parents may be getting back together she goes completely off the rails. As a result, she is sent to live in a residential school for girls with problems at least as bad as hers. It’s a story about making friends with your enemy, dumping your past, and daring to hope.
Robin Leigh: What can you tell us about your current writing endeavor?
Wendy: My main work in progress – Still Breathing Air – is about a drunken loud-mouthed woman who is serving a community sentence after punching a pizza delivery boy, a year after her son has supposedly committed suicide.
My other WIP is another YA – How to Be Lucky – and it’s really only sat there waiting for me to find the time to do a final edit. This is a story about luck, friendship, and grabbing your chances while you can.
Robin Leigh: What was the inspiration for BRING ME SUNSHINE?
Wendy: I’ve worked with young carers at different points in my life, and have tremendous admiration for carers (of any age, actually) because they really do a wonderful job and make the world a better place for all of us. So I already had the idea for Bring Me Sunshine (then called Ladder to the Moon) when I read Eckhart Tolle’s book, The Power of Now. His belief is that, “In the Now, the present moment, problems do not exist. In the Now, we discover that we are already complete and perfect…” The two ideas (of caring for another person and living in the moment) sort of combined, and Bring Me Sunshine was born.
Robin Leigh: How did you decide what the title of this book would be?
Wendy: The title came to me whilst working on one of the rewrites. First and foremost it’s a song title (as are all the chapter headings in Bring Me Sunshine), but it seemed so very relevant since the book is set in the UK’s very rainy Lake District, and rain is constant in the story; so it works as a metaphor. But it’s also about focusing on something positive – about asking for something good to happen, rather than complaining about the bad stuff.
Robin Leigh: In Bring Me Sunshine, who’s your favorite character male/female? Tell us why.
Wendy: That has to be Daisy’s little brother, Sam, because he’s so quirky and funny and sharp.
Robin Leigh: Would you consider yourself to be a plotter or a pantser?
Wendy: Pantser – veering towards plotter… but I’ll never give up the pantser approach because I think that’s where so many creative ideas are born.
Robin Leigh: What made you decide to become an author?
Wendy: I’d written stories and been a regular at writing groups for years, and it just wasn’t enough anymore. When I read The Illustrated Mum by Jacqueline Wilson, I was inspired. Here was a book about real life, about young people with problems (like the kids I was working with at the time) and I thought, this is the kind of thing I want to write too.
Robin Leigh: Do you set aside a specific amount of time to write, write/answer emails, and market/promote your book[s]?
Wendy: I wish I could be that disciplined.
Robin Leigh: Do you read books outside the genre you write in? What are they?
Wendy: Although I mostly read YA contemporary fiction, I do venture into other areas – paranormal, women’s, comic… anything that grabs me.
Robin Leigh: What must you have around you when you write; food, drink, music, etc?
Wendy: Silence – I can’t work with a noise. I do like coffee. Food is good too, but I’m whimsical what and when I eat. Depends on my mood and how the writing is flowing…
Robin Leigh: When you were an aspiring author you needed advice. What advice would you give to those aspiring author in those shoes today?
Wendy: Two things:
- Stop aspiring to be something you can be today. Just write. Authors are molded from the number of words they write and the number of hours they put into the job.
- Find yourself a group of fellow writers to share your work with, and take criticisms with an open mind; they are the stepping stones to success.
Robin Leigh: Is there anything else you’d like to briefly tell us about your book, your writing, or yourself.
Wendy: My favorite color is violet.
And thanks for interviewing me J
Where can we find your books?
Where can we find you on internet:
READ THE OPENING CHAPTERS of BRING ME SUNSHINE: http://www.wendystorer.ws/index.php?id=bmsopeningchaps
FACEBOOK FAN PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/WendyStorer.Author?ref=hl
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/WendyStorer @WendyStorer
WEB PAGE: http://www.wendystorer.ws/
Wendy THANKS for taking time out of your busy schedule to allow me to interview you.