I asked Wendi:
What was the thing that influenced you to start writing?
For as long as I can remember, I have loved to write - whether it was in a journal, notes, a diary, poetry, whatever. I would have to credit my parents, for encouraging me to read (from the age of five!) and a couple of outstanding English teachers, who encouraged journaling. I have lots of stories in my head waiting to be written, but I wrote The Long Engagement first because it is based on a true story - it’s about me reconnecting with my first love - and many of my friends told me I had to write it down. So I did!
Tell me your success stories in terms of publishing/self publishing?
This is my first book, so just the fact that I was brave enough to put it out there by self publishing (I think) makes me a success. I’m sure practically all my sales up to now have been to friends or friends of friends, but that’s okay. The fact that people have bought it makes me happy, and the great reviews it has gotten make the whole experience that much better!
What are your top writing tips for any aspiring writer?
Have a quiet, comfortable place to write. Eliminate distractions. And just do it. Write. But write what you know - whether it’s about yourself or your friends, places you’ve been or want to go, a dream you had. Start there, and then you can build on it by researching what you don’t know.
What are you working on now?
I actually have four books in the works. One is a sequel to The Long Engagement - because so many people who read it demanded it. And then I sat down one day and a whole different story started to come to life, so I just let it take over and wrote three chapters - it’s about a young woman who is determined not to end up like everyone else in her small southern town, pregnant and married right after high school. She sets out on a trip to Australia to try to figure out who she is and what she wants to do with her life. I’m thinking that it will end up being a little bit spiritual, because I studied Anthroposophy for several years and I’d like to incorporate some of that into the book. My third project is a book about hostess clubs in Japan. And then I started a children’s book that came out of a dream I had.
What do you draw on for inspiration?
First and foremost, my own experiences. I have had a pretty crazy life so far - I was born in Saudi Arabia, traveled extensively, and done some wild things (like trekking around Australia for six months after college). And then there is a strong desire to help other people try to figure it all out - who they are, why they’re here, what it all means.
Please tell me anything else you'd like the reader to know about you.
I am fascinated by this journey we are all on... .how it seems to be different for everyone. And I truly believe that in the end our experiences will somehow help us to figure out the reason we are here. For me, personally, writing is an attempt to unravel some of my own mysteries, and if it helps someone else with theirs, all the better.
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