Author Interview: Wendy May Andrews

Author Interview with Wendy May Andrews

Why did you become a writer…was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?

I was an avid reader from the day I learned to read. I LOVE words. I’ll read the cereal box. I really love historical plaques on buildings. My husband’s sister lives in Maryland and I have made my husband pull over and read every historical sign from Toronto to their house. And the house could explode around me and I probably wouldn’t notice if I had my nose in a good book. My husband, not an avid reader, doesn’t appreciate that particular skill and didn’t love how I would ignore him while reading. He also considered it a waste of time. He felt I should try to write a book. I really didn’t think I could but then he turned it into a dare – I had to write a book before I could read anymore. Well, that did it. I sat my butt in the chair and wrote my first book (Tempting the Earl). It took me about a year to write. (Don’t tell my husband but I certainly didn’t go a year without reading) That book was published in 2010. And a new passion was born. I love writing almost as much as reading but it isn’t quite as absorbing so my husband doesn’t feel as excluded. Because it takes much longer, he can feel a part of it as I discuss the characters and the story as it develops.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

A little bit of both, I would say. Names, especially, come from real people. It is very cathartic to name a villain after someone you don’t like ;-)

What was the most interesting research you had to do for any of your books?

All the research is fascinating. I write books set in Regency era England so I have to do a lot of research to ensure they’re historically accurate. I don’t like to have real historical figures in my books but I like them to be on the periphery. For example I wrote a few books where my villain (Sir Broderick) is friends with Tallyrand – a real person who it depends on your perspective whether he was good or bad. Then there are the descriptions – architecture, clothes, etc. Research is needed to make sure these are accurate. We go to a lot of museums…

Where do you go to do your research?

Thankfully the internet is stuffed with information about the Regency period so I can do a lot of my research from the comfort of home but we have also gone to England a couple times for research. Exactly one year ago we went to England for nine days purely as research. It was wonderful. My husband was so supportive! Normally we plan trips together, compromising on what we’re going to see. But for that trip he let me pick everything. He only stepped in when I was unsure if we would be able to do everything I wanted to pack into each day. Every square inch of England feels like inspiration for a story, I love it so much, so that trip was amazing

Sounds like such a fun trip! Are you currently working on any new book projects?

Yes! Always :-D I recently started two new series in two different time periods! Both historical. I have the first draft of the first book in one series done and am 2/3 of the way through the first in the other. I want to have two written before publishing. The first series is my first time writing set in America and about 50 years more recent – 1850’s. I have three books planned in that series. The other one is another Regency series that was inspired by our research trip last year. The possibilities are endless for that one. I’m really excited about both stories.

Do you have any advice for beginning writers on how to write a book? Do you have any advice for them regarding promoting that book once published?

It’s a constant learning process so I don’t know if I have much wisdom to offer, sadly. The primary thing is to write the very best story you can and then hire a good editor. Everyone says the very best promo is to write the next book. I agree with that wholeheartedly although it is such a crowded marketplace that you do have to do some promotions. The really great thing is that you can find supportive fellow authors that can give you a hand.

How did you find your publisher? What was your journey to publication like?

After I finished my first book I went to the book store and looked up publishers accepting unagented submissions. My first publisher was on that list. Then they got bought out by another publisher and I was orphaned. It took me a couple years of querying agents and publishers before I found another home for my books. In the meantime I kept writing so I had a backlist of books to publish once I found a good publisher. It was a little bit of a bumpy ride but I learned so much along the way. Now, I’m what’s considered a hybrid author – most of my books are with publishers but I am also trying out indie publishing.

How have your friends and family received your career as an author? Are they supportive?

My friends and family have been very supportive. My parents will read every word I write. They even want to read each draft! It’s kind of hilarious. My husband loves that I’m a writer and supports it as much as he can. He follows along the journey as each story develops. He is very entrepreneurial so he is particularly excited about my indie activities and is so proud of me as I learn the ropes.

Friends are always surprised and excited to find out that I’m an author. Most people don’t know writers in person so it’s fun to see people’s reactions.

What’s the most challenging aspect of writing for you? ~ POV issues; using too much passive voice and not enough active voice; trouble creating active and engaging dialogue; using too many similar words in starting sentences; or something else?

Can I say all of the above? :-D I’ve just published my seventh book. I’ve come a long way as an author. Thankfully my editor’s job is getting easier. When I wrote my first book, I didn’t even know how to divide for chapters! And I head hopped all over the place. Now I write most chapters half in the hero’s POV and half in the heroine’s. And those –ly words will be the death of me. I use them extensively in my own speech so it’s hard to get rid of them. Hilariously, each book has its own particular word that crops up all over the place. Apparently I use the word dubious way too much…

I enjoyed chatting with you! Thanks for sharing with our readers today.

About the Book

The Duke of Wychwood seeks retribution from the Earl of Pickering. When he finds out the earl has a beautiful young niece, the duke thinks to involve her in his feud, but is shocked to discover he is attracted to her.

The orphaned niece of the earl, Lady Victoria, serves as governess to four of his children and is made to feel like an interloper in her own home. A chance encounter with the duke affords her the opportunity to enter Society, but to take it means risking what little security she has.

Revenge and love don't sit well together, to have a future can they learn to give up the past?

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Book Excerpt

“Who is that ravishing creature entering the devil’s lair?” Bryghton Alcott, the fifth Duke of Wychwood, asked his friend, his gaze arrested by the slender figure climbing the stairs to a midsize townhouse as they rode past.

Turning in his saddle to gape at the young woman, Lord Lynster grinned, thrilled to know something his powerful friend did not. He turned back to face the duke. “You don’t know who that is?”

“Would I be asking you if I knew?” Bryghton said, with a wry twist to his lips.

His left eyebrow tilted at a somewhat haughty angle, the young baron finally answered with a touch of dramatic flair, “That, my good fellow, is the devil’s niece, Lady Victoria Bartley.”

“Really?” the duke asked, incredulity now echoed in his voice. “How did I not know that the devil had a niece? Surely this information could be used to my advantage.”

“I have no idea how you could have researched your enemy so thoroughly and yet not know that he is living in his niece’s house. I never thought to mention it since it seemed to be a matter of common knowledge. Of course, the lady was a child when the devil inherited her father’s title, so I suppose you took no note of her existence.”

Alcott’s face held a far-away expression for a few moments before his gaze sharpened on his friend’s face. “You said the devil is living in her house. What do you mean?”

“The earl only inherited what was entailed. The previous earl doted on his only child and left everything that was unentailed to his daughter, including the London townhouse we just rode past. The new earl, the young lady’s uncle, is her guardian until she gains control of her own fortune. As such, he and his family live with Lady Victoria when they are in Town. She lives with them in her former home when they are in the country.” Alfred, Lord Lynster, “Fred” to his friends, looked at Bryghton with a touch of anxiety, unsure of how his friend would use this information to his advantage. “The young woman faced much tragedy at a tender age, losing both her parents in that terrible carriage accident that made the devil the earl.”

“Yes, and no doubt she could use a friend, being stuck in the same house with Bartley and his family as she is,” concurred the duke, his handsome face darkened by a sinister cast.

About the Author

Wendy May Andrews has been in love with the written word since she learned to read at the age of five. She has been writing for almost as long but hasn’t been sharing those stories with anyone but her mother until recently. This is Wendy’s fifth book with Clean Reads.

Wendy can be found with her nose in a book in a cozy corner of downtown Toronto. She is happily married to her own real-life hero, who is also her best friend and favorite travel companion. Being a firm believer that every life experience contributes to the writing process, Wendy is off planning her next trip.

She loves to hear from her readers and can be found at her website, on twitter or Facebook.

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A special thank you to Wendy May Andrews for guesting at Pandora's Box Gazette today.

Hope you all can stay for a bit to chat with Wendy.

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