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A Few Moments with Wendy K: An Interview with an Aspiring Fiction Author

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Wendy KenzellThe first time I heard the name Wendy K Moments, I immediately thought of high end greeting cards. Can’t you just see it? You’ve got Hallmark, American Greetings, Shoebox, Blue Mountain, and then on one of those spinny wire racks right up by the register, a beautiful array of sentimental cards by Wendy K Moments. Each one features a breathtaking landscape and the sort of touching, heart-wrenching message the will leave you sniffling and digging for your tissues. It’s perfect, right? I think so; but it turns out Wendy is actually an occupational therapist as well as an aspiring fiction author. I don’t know why she’s not following her destiny but maybe we can find out.  She was kind enough to answer some of my questions.

 

Q: How do you think your work as an occupational therapist ties into your writing?

A: As an occupational therapist I help people who think they can’t shift to a position so they can. In this role, I bring hope and empowerment.  

 As I am writing, I ask the same questions that I ask as an occupational therapist.  

*        What if we made changes to the environment?

*        What if we made changes to the task?

*        What would happen if this individual gained more skills?

 

My vision for the characters, and the communities they live in, stems from examining the possibilities that could occur if the “what if’s” were implemented.

 

Q:  In your Twitter profile, you say your stories “spotlight moments of valuing the undervalued, of laughter and wow,”  What does that mean to you and what would you like it to mean to your readers?

A: First, the undervalued are those that society frequently ignores.  In society, we tend to actively dismiss those who can’t keep up, can’t talk their way around a problem, don’t look right or can’t perform tasks in a typical manner.  

You can see from this example that I connect to a broad, complex definition of value.

You know I value you when

  • I listen to you even if you can’t speak
  • I try to help you discover and pursue your dreams, your hopes, your goals
  • I believe in your potential
  • I am both inspired and delighted by who you are and what you do today

 

This is by no means an exhaustive description!

As I write, I try to capture those moments of valuing someone that is typically undervalued by many in society.  While this may not be the main event in my stories, I anticipate that elements of valuing the undervalued will be in each of my stories.

 

Q:  What types of books do you most enjoy reading?

A: I like to read books that tilt reality onto its side, so I typically land in the science fiction section.  When I write, I like to explore the what-if’s which question society’s assumptions.

 

Q:  So is your book sci-fi as well?  If so, what sort of world have you created?

A: I have an epic sci-fi novel lurking that hasn’t yet spilled from my head onto paper!  So my current work in progress isn’t sci-fi, but one of suspense with a bit of romance.

 

Q:  If you were told you had to write in a particular genre, which would be the most difficult for you and why?

A: Interesting question. I haven’t had this experience yet.  I write what I want.

 

Q:  How would you describe your writing style?

A: My writing is accessible, vivid and hopeful.  I am currently exploring writing using the technique of deep point of view.

 

Q:  Do you have a timetable for completion and publication?

A: I should have a new, revised draft up for editing by September 2015.  Then, I am planning on querying literary agents.  The process of refining the hook, pitch and synopsis, as is needed for the literary agent, can help me sharpen my elevator pitch for promoting my book!  If I am lucky, a talented and resourceful agent will become my enthusiastic champion.  Then, I will have one more person on my team to introduce me into this world of publishing fiction.

 

In the meantime, as I am revamping my old draft, I will continue to access the blogs of my twitter buddies who create insightful posts and recommendations on the writing and revision process.  They have already inspired me to:

  • Join and attend a writers critique group in person
  • Improve my pitching skills (thanks #PITMAD)
  • Improve the quality of my revising and editing skills.

Thank you twitter buddies for helping me to gain insights!  Thanks also to you others who read parts of my work and explained to me, “Yes, this applies to you, too…” while pointing me in the direction of other great resources.

And, thank you, Michael Sova, for giving me this opportunity to express my passion for how I hope to create wow for others!

 

Q:  I couldn’t help but notice that you sort of side-stepped my question about which genre(s) would be most difficult for you to write.  Let’s go at that one a different way.  What would you say is your biggest weakness as a writer?

A: I just read a  book about Deep Point of View by Jill Elizabeth Nelson.  I am in the process of re-drafting my novel to incorporate this idea.  Wow!  What a challenge it is to stay inside the character’s brain, heart and body to consistently show, not tell, the reader what is happening!

 

Q:  What’s your greatest strength?

A: I’m a holistic thinker; I automatically consider the layers of influence for each character.

 

Q:  How would you describe your writing technique?  Are you an outlier, a discovery writer or do you fall somewhere in between?

A: For years, I have been waking up in the middle of the night, and writing down possible first lines to books. I didn’t start writing this novel, until I visualized the goals and motivations of three main characters and an idea for the ending.

 

Q: Would you publish independently if your attempts to find an agent and traditional publisher are unsuccessful?

A: I have felt the urge to publish.  It’s like a mosquito bite demanding to be itched. 

My backstory?  I self-published a non-fiction e-book (a travel memoir) and made all the mistakes that the on-line community counsels against while self-publishing. This experience has given me some perspective. I am not against publishing independently.  Independent authors are gaining an increasing presence in book sales.  This is an exciting time for authors in terms of accessibility to the consumers and redefining elements of a book that sells.

Life is filled with experiences, I want to experience the traditional route. I also want to learn about the business side of publishing books, such as working with editors, cover designers, etc.  It’s all good.

 

Q:  Who is your favorite fictional character and why?  If you can’t narrow it down to just one, try to describe in general terms the types of characters you best associate with.

A: In Bujold’s Vorkosigan series, I enjoy Miles Vorkosigan who always ends up with a bigger mouthful of responsibilities than he expected.  Born to a powerful family and labeled as a “mutant” because of  his physical disabilities, Miles quests to prove he is more than what he appears to be.  Through this process, he sees other’s clearly for who they are and ignites them into performing beyond their own expectations.

 Overall, the Vorkosigan Series delivers underlying themes of valuing the undervalued, in laughter and wow.  

 

Follow Wendy on Twitter @wekup2me

 

If you like what you’ve read, please subscribe to this blog or my Turn the Page book reviews blog. You can also visit michaelsova.com, or find me on Facebook, and on Twitter @Micsova. Please pick up a copy of A SHOT AT REDEMPTION, my debut mystery novel.  

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