It's an interview with Wendy May Andrews! She's introducing us to Sophie today and also talks about her favorite thing to do outside, what moves her to tears and the actor she loves to watch on the Big Screen.
SJJ: I'm so glad to have you on the blog today Wendy! I can be pretty random when it comes to interview questions. I like to give readers a quick glimpse into the life of the author, so here we go!
First, why don't you tell us a little bit about when you started writing and what you hope readers will find in your books.
WMA: I’ve been writing pretty much since I learned to read when I was five years old. Of course, those early efforts were basically only something a mother could love 🙂 I put writing aside after I left school and stuck with reading. I am an avid reader. I love words. I will read anything, even the cereal box, signs, posters, etc. But my true love is novels.
Eight or nine years ago my husband dared me to write a book instead of always reading them. I didn’t think I’d be able to do it, but to my surprise I love writing. Those early efforts eventually became my first published book – Tempting the Earl (published by Avalon books in 2010). There were some ups and downs in my publishing efforts. My first publisher was sold and I became an “orphan” author, back to the drawing board of trying to find a publishing house. It has been a thrilling adventure as I learned to navigate the world of publishing.
I believe firmly that everyone deserves a happily ever after. I want my readers to be able to escape from the everyday for a little while and feel upbeat and refreshed when they get to the end of my books.
SJJ: I love that your husband dared you to write a book! It is so great to have someone in our lives that will challenge us ❤ What a great story.
It seems that I’m always coming across a podcast or blog post interview where someone is asked about their morning routine which I find of interest. What does your morning routine look like?
WMA: It really varies from day to day. I’m not yet a “full-time” writer so I still have a part-time job outside the home. On those days I have to be out of the house by 7:30 so my mornings are a bit of a blur ;-) I try to start the day with an HIIT workout (High Intensity Interval Training). I’m not sure if I believe the hype but I love the possibility that 20 minutes of effort is going to do a great deal of good. And it does make me feel good even if it isn’t really budging the scale. I’m a little bit concerned about the sedentary nature of being a writer so I’m trying to offset that. On my writing days, after I send hubby off to work, I sit down at my desk with a big cup of faux-mocha (I’m not supposed to drink coffee so I found a chicory based drink that’s almost a substitute but without the caffeine. I add in a scoop of hot chocolate powder = delicious). I’m a big believer in finding inspiration for my writing everywhere and I’m strangely fascinated by other people’s problems so I start my desk day by reading Dear Abby. And then I try to get right to my word count but I’m easily distracted by social media. But my daily goal isn’t unreachable so even when I go down rabbit holes online I can still usually reach it.
SJJ: That's great that you get yourself moving. I'm not familiar with that particular workout, but I believe 20 minutes of effort would do everyone some good!
What is your favorite way to take a break from writing?
WMA: Reading, of course 🙂
SJJ: But of course! It's a great way to take a break from anything 😉
What are the things that inspire you?
WMA: EVERYTHING!! Movies, conversations, something I might overhear, my own questioning of “what if.”
SJJ: I know, right?! I was sitting in my truck waiting for my mom to get in at a yard sale one time, and this brother and sister wanted to go down the street to a friend's house. I heard their mom say, "Cameron, you stay with her," and I was reaching for my pen and notebook! It was just the way that she said it. I can still hear it. There's a story in there!
What current song (or old favorite) has you turning up the radio and singing along?
WMA: Most of them if I’m in the car. I love singing along to the radio when I’m driving. I’m kind of contradictory in that way. At home the house is quiet. But when I’m in the car, the music is cranked.
SJJ: My house stays quiet, too, since I can't write (or read) and listen to music with words at the same time. Although, I do pull up YouTube sometimes and take a "song break." 😉
What was the last movie, TV show or book that made you cry or tear up?
WMA: This Is Us. Oh my goodness! I needed a box of tissues for every episode!
SJJ: I don't watch very much TV and I had only heard of the name of that show up until a few months ago. I thought it was a comedy 😳 I searched for it on YouTube one day and I watched one of the clips that came up.
I needed a box of tissues! From just a clip! I'm sure I'm probably the last person to have seen this, but in case there is someone out there who hasn't, here you go .
So, it was just a bad dream, right? I know that has been done before, but I'm waiting to hear that it was all just a bad dream. 😉
Okay. Next question. What actor or actress (or both) makes you more interested in seeing a movie just because they are in it?
WMA: Tom Hanks. It’s pretty much a given we’ll go see anything with him in it.
SJJ: Yes! And he is one of those actors that plays in the kind of movies that a person can watch over and over again, like, You've Got Mail, Castaway and Forrest Gump to name a few. Oh, and I can't forget to mention all the Toy Story movies ❤
What is your favorite thing to do outside?
WMA: Hike. My husband and I love to hike. We’ve traveled all over the place for some great trails. Our most recent “big” hike was climbing Mount Whitney. That was amazing. This coming fall we’re going on another hiking vacation. We’ll be visiting Zion National Park and The Grand Canyon. I can’t wait.
SJJ: That sounds awesome! I love hiking, too! You've inspired me. I've only gone on day hikes while camping in North Georgia and North Carolina and while living in Washington State. I need to branch out!
Thanks for answering all my random questions, Wendy!
And, thanks to all the readers for stopping by!
Don't forget to stay in touch with Wendy on her website
and on social media, so you won't miss her other
upcoming releases in The Orphan Train Series! I've included those links below.
But before you go there, let's meet the latest character that she has brought to life!
"His pursuit of her threatens everything - except her heart."
Sophie Brooks has lived at the orphanage since she was ten years old. Now nineteen, she’s not only a resident, she works there as well. It’s the only true home she can remember and she’ll do whatever it takes to keep it safe.
When her budding relationship with the son of one of the orphanage’s benefactors threatens the charity’s funding, Sophie must choose between her loyalties and her heart.
Sophie is a 15,000 word short novella set in 1854 New York City. It is a prequel for a series that will follow three young women as they accompany a train load of orphans as they travel to their new lives out west.
You can read Sophie for free on Kindle Unlimited or buy it here for $0.99!
Here's an excerpt:
She was just pinning what she hoped was a gracious smile back onto her face while scanning the gathering crowd, looking for the rest of her group, when her gaze collided with that of the most handsome man she had ever seen. His blue eyes were so clear and bright, they reminded her of the Atlantic on a sunny day. His dark hair was almost black and was clipped short. It looked as though it would have a tendency to curl if he had not controlled its length. His square jaw and high cheekbones should have looked fierce, but his lips quirked up in the corners as though he had a propensity for smiling or laughing. Sophie’s breath caught as she tried to take it all in and once again found herself hoping her mouth wasn’t hanging open.
He strode toward her, as she was frozen in place. There wasn’t much space separating them, so he was beside her in a few paces.
“Good evening, miss. I haven’t had the pleasure of making your acquaintance. I just saw you talking with my mother.”
Sophie blinked and almost turned to look behind her before she remembered that she had just been speaking with Mrs. Rexford. Feeling a blush stain her cheeks, Sophie tried to achieve coherent speech, but nothing intelligent came to mind so she merely offered him a slight curtsy like she had done with his mother.
Sophie – the Prequel
Book 1 in the Orphan Train Series
by Wendy May Andrews
Connect with Wendy May Andrews!