Today, No Vacation from Speculation welcomes its very first interviewee: Wendy L. Young. Like me, she loves tackling all kinds of genres and story lengths, but her current focus is on mystery & suspense. So, if you're not on your best behavior, I have no doubt Wendy could fictionalize your disappearance...perhaps even your murder...So let's all be good rabbits and learn a little bit about what makes this diverse writer tick.
Personally, I love developing the characters in suspense stories. How much personal experience did you put into developing Will and Laura Harmon from Come the Shadows?
In my short story "One Final Night" I wrote about a marriage at the breaking-point. My own marriage is very different and I decided to pour a lot of that into my book. Much of the banter between them can be traced back (sometimes verbatim) to conversations my husband and I have had through the years. Laura herself shares some qualities - good and bad - with me as well but overall she's her own woman.
She sounds like a strong character, and I can definitely identify with putting actual conversations into your stories. What famous literary character do you think would be Laura's best friend?
I don't think Laura would have a best friend, per se. She gravitates toward people to people in need and she has ambition that is just beginning to find an outlet. It's not a good recipe for a BFF.
As a couple, I think Will and Laura are somewhere between Jack and Cathy Ryan (Tom Clancy) and Sam and Rosie from The Lord of the Rings. They are down-home people and can relate to both ends of the spectrum.
You gotta love those down-home people. I'd love to live in the Shire, drinking beer, smoking pipe weed, and eating good food. Yes, I'd love to be Sam---er, Rosie. I mean Rosie. Let's switch gears, shall we? What do you love most about being a writer?
I love the act of creating a brand new story - breathing life into the characters and taking the reader along for the ride. Something is vital is missing from my day if I end it without writing something new.
I can absolutely agree with that. It's really magical to create something from nothing. Do you read the same genres as you write?
No, not at the moment. My short story is a dramatic tragedy and I find those very hard to read. My novels are in mystery/suspense/thriller (I love all 3 and can't really separate them!). I have read many over the years - John Saul, James Patterson, Andrew Gross, Dan Cook, Mary Higgins Clark, and more - but I also gravitate heavily toward fantasy, sci-fi and classic works. I have a particular love for historical fiction.
I love Mary Higgins Clark. "Loves Music, Loves to Dance" is one of my favorite books ever. I still remember the first time I read it. Ah, what a perfect story for a 12-year-old. :) There's no doubt that it had a hand in developing my love of writing morbid scenes. What kind of scene is the most fun for you to write?
Thrill-packed and/or suspense scenes, without a doubt. The later half of Come the Shadows, where the pace never lets up, was so much fun! And there's more of that in book 2, which I am editing now. I may have to take some out to give the reader a break......or not!
Nah! Keep those readers constantly on the edge of their seats....until they fall off. Then, you might need a break. What was your favorite book as a child? What is your favorite as an adult?
I don't remember re-reading anything as a child or teenager. I was always focused on devouring a new book. I do remember that I quickly gravitated toward older, adult works like Stephen King and romance novels no ten year old should get her hands on. But I think the market was very different then. This whole young adult genre makes me feel old simply because it's so different now. I remember Beverly Cleary being huge to kids my age, along with very 'clean' adventure books that sparked the mind without being too adult. I kind of miss that but at the same time I was a kid who craved something more adult, without a doubt. I would have devoured offerings like we have now.
As an adult, there are two things I will (and have) read over and over and over and never lose my enthusiasm in the journey - Diana Gabaldon's epic historical fiction series, which begins with Outlander, and Douglas Adams' The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
I am with you on the YA thing. I also started reading Stephen King at a very young age, but I was also hugely into the Ramona Quimby books. And you can NEVER go wrong with Douglas Adams. Speaking of events that are a little "out there", be a hoopy frood and answer me this:
A freak accident gave you super writing powers. Describe the accident.
I have found a charm that will grant me one amazing power but it is highly sought-after. While being chased by baddies who want to steal it - I drop it, it breaks, and it gives me the first power that comes to mind. Unfortunately it is not healing the sick or creating world peace with just a word.....but suddenly I can write amazing stories about how others should do it. :)
Are you willing to share that power? Oh, fine, you can keep it for yourself. ;)
I'd like to thank Wendy L. Young for being my guest today. It was a blast! Please check out "Come the Shadows" and keep an eye out for the forthcoming sequel "Red Sky Warning". Have a great day, droogies!
Wendy L. Young has been writing for more than twenty years. She loves to write in many genres and publishes both novels and short stories, with a focus on mystery/suspense. Her first mystery Come the Shadows is out now and the sequel, Red Sky Warning, will be published November 29th. Follow her online at http://www.twitter.com/wendyyoung and http://www.facebook.com/wendylyoungwriter.