BECOMING AN AUTHOR

You'll Never Know Where Your Next Story Idea Will Come From

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HERE’S WENDY STORER

I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce WENDY STORER who has graciously agreed to be the first person in the HOT SEAT as I interview her;

Robin Leigh Morgan: Please introduce yourself.

Wendy Storer: I write fiction for children and young adults, inspired by real life – although of my two current works in progress, one of them is a novel for women (also inspired by real life). I am interested in human drama with positive outcomes, which I guess relates to my past life as a hypnotherapist and creative writing therapist.  

I live in the beautiful Lake District in England, and as well as writing books, I teach writing and help other writers through Magic Beans. (www.magicbeans.co.uk)

Robin Leigh: Tell us about your latest published novel.

Wendy: My latest published novel is a YA story called ‘BRING ME SUNSHINE’. It’s the story of Daisy, a teenage girl, whose dreams of being a drummer and running off into the sunset with the gorgeous Dylan are thwarted by her Dad’s fading mental health. She’s a young carer, and finds herself looking after dad and little brother Sam, while her own life is put on hold.  

It was runner up in the Mslexia Children’s Novel Competition last year and was mentioned on The Guardian newspaper readers’ recommended list of indie published books.

Robin Leigh: You’ve published two novels so far, can you tell us a little bit about the other one?  

Wendy: ‘WHERE BLUEBIRDS FLY’ is the story of Ruby, a teenage girl grieving for her grandmother. She’s fallen out with her dad, and when she hears that her parents may be getting back together she goes completely off the rails. As a result, she is sent to live in a residential school for girls with problems at least as bad as hers. It’s a story about making friends with your enemy, dumping your past, and daring to hope.

Robin Leigh:  What can you tell us about your current writing endeavor?

Wendy: My main work in progress – Still Breathing Air – is about a drunken loud-mouthed woman who is serving a community sentence after punching a pizza delivery boy, a year after her son has supposedly committed suicide.

My other WIP is another YA – How to Be Lucky – and it’s really only sat there waiting for me to find the time to do a final edit. This is a story about luck, friendship, and grabbing your chances while you can.

Robin Leigh:  What was the inspiration for BRING ME SUNSHINE?

Wendy: I’ve worked with young carers at different points in my life, and have tremendous admiration for carers (of any age, actually) because they really do a wonderful job and make the world a better place for all of us. So I already had the idea for Bring Me Sunshine (then called Ladder to the Moon) when I read Eckhart Tolle’s book, The Power of Now.  His belief is that, “In the Now, the present moment, problems do not exist. In the Now, we discover that we are already complete and perfect…” The two ideas (of caring for another person and living in the moment) sort of combined, and Bring Me Sunshine was born.

Robin Leigh:  How did you decide what the title of this book would be?

Wendy: The title came to me whilst working on one of the rewrites. First and foremost it’s a song title (as are all the chapter headings in Bring Me Sunshine), but it seemed so very relevant since the book is set in the UK’s very rainy Lake District, and rain is constant in the story; so it works as a metaphor. But it’s also about focusing on something positive – about asking for something good to happen, rather than complaining about the bad stuff.

Robin Leigh: In Bring Me Sunshine, who’s your favorite character male/female? Tell us why.

Wendy: That has to be Daisy’s little brother, Sam, because he’s so quirky and funny and sharp.

Robin Leigh: Would you consider yourself to be a plotter or a pantser?

Wendy: Pantser – veering towards plotter… but I’ll never give up the pantser approach because I think that’s where so many creative ideas are born.

Robin Leigh: What made you decide to become an author?

Wendy: I’d written stories and been a regular at writing groups for years, and it just wasn’t enough anymore. When I read The Illustrated Mum by Jacqueline Wilson, I was inspired. Here was a book about real life, about young people with problems (like the kids I was working with at the time) and I thought, this is the kind of thing I want to write too.

Robin Leigh: Do you set aside a specific amount of time to write, write/answer emails, and market/promote your book[s]?

Wendy: I wish I could be that disciplined.

Robin Leigh: Do you read books outside the genre you write in? What are they?

Wendy: Although I mostly read YA contemporary fiction, I do venture into other areas – paranormal, women’s, comic… anything that grabs me.

Robin Leigh: What must you have around you when you write; food, drink, music, etc?

Wendy: Silence – I can’t work with a noise. I do like coffee. Food is good too, but I’m whimsical what and when I eat. Depends on my mood and how the writing is flowing…

Robin Leigh: When you were an aspiring author you needed advice. What advice would you give to those aspiring author in those shoes today?

Wendy: Two things:

1.Stop aspiring to be something you can be today. Just write. Authors are molded from the number of words they write and the number of hours they put into the job.

2. Find yourself a group of fellow writers to share your work with, and take criticisms with an open mind; they are  the stepping stones to success.

Robin Leigh: Is there anything else you’d like to briefly tell us about your book, your writing, or yourself.

Wendy: My favorite color is violet.

And thanks for interviewing me J

GENERAL_INFORMATION

Where can we find your books?

US -  http://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Storer/e/B00AFX1LSM/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1397389325&sr=8-1

UK -  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wendy-Storer/e/B00AFX1LSM/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_3?qid=1397389543&sr=1-3

Where can we find you on internet:

READ THE OPENING CHAPTERS of BRING ME SUNSHINE: http://www.wendystorer.ws/index.php?id=bmsopeningchaps

BLOG: http://wendystorer.blogspot.co.uk/

FACEBOOK FAN PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/WendyStorer.Author?ref=hl

GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5831804.Wendy_Storer

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/WendyStorer @WendyStorer

WEB PAGE:  http://www.wendystorer.ws/

Wendy THANKS for taking time out of your busy schedule to allow me to interview you.

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GHOSTLY WHISPERS # 14 - JULY 25, 2012

“So Mary, what do you think about boys?” asked Samantha.

Given her experience with Jonathan and kissing him, Mary didn’t know what to say.

Boys. Boys. What can I tell them about how I feel about them? I definitely can’t tell them about my kissing Jonathan. They don’t know anything about me. I guess I’ll have to lie.

“Boys? You want to know what I think about them. I feel the same way you do. Doing things with your relatives, including your brother is okay, but not with any other boy.”

“I guess we’ll have to wait until we get much older to kiss any of them or to have any of them kissing us,” remarked Emma.

Wow! It seems I’ve already kissed a boy and none of them have. I’m glad I didn’t tell them about Jonathan. If I did, they’d ask me a ton of questions. And I definitely can never tell them about George kissing me.

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GHOSTLY WHISPERSS # 13 - JUNE 30, 2012

At bedtime, Mary’s mother tucked her for the night. She said, “Don’t worry if you have trouble falling asleep. You’re in a new room, and it’s normal to have problems sleeping the first few nights.”

Her comment made Mary feel a little more relaxed and the fact she had Suzy sleeping next to her, helped as well.

Mary was resting comfortably, when around three o’clock, she felt a faint kiss on her forehead. She awoke, startled at seeing a very faint shadow of light quickly float around the room until it disappeared into the closet. She might not have seen anything had it not been for Suzy barking as it drifted around the room.

Yikes! Is this a ghost? But there’s no such thing as ghosts. Ghosts are imaginary all year round, but especially at Halloween.

But, Mary did see something, and Suzy barked at it, so there had to be someone or something in her room. Putting the incident aside, Mary went back to sleep with Suzy sleeping next to her.

The next morning when Mary looked around her room, she saw nothing had changed. Yet she still felt as if something had.

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GHOSTLY WHISPER # 12 - MAY 24, 2012

Determined to find out about the ghostly figure she saw the two previous nights, Mary grabbed her bedroom lamp and placed it on the dresser in the closet. She then took the inflatable mattress in the closet, blew it up, covered it with a sheet, and then got her blanket.

Keeping the closet door open, Mary turned off the light and fell asleep with Suzy at her feet, but this night didn’t wake at three o’clock came.

When her ghostly figure made its appearance this night, it floated around Mary’s bedroom three times as usual and not seeing her it drifted inside the closet and found her sleeping on the mattress there; it paused for a moment and sat down on a nearby chair.

After a few minutes of sitting there, it got up and floated over to Mary. Bowing down, it kissed her on the forehead, and like Sleeping Beauty, Mary woke from her sleep. The moment she did, Mary saw the spirit disappear through the wall behind the dresser.

This is weird. Did that ghost kiss me? It definitely felt like a kiss, but how could I feel a kiss from someone who is not here?

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GHOSTLY WHISPERS # 11 - MAY 4, 2012

Seeing a large carved pumpkin on the kitchen table, Mary asked, “Mom, where did the jack-o-lantern come from?”

“When I went to door to get my package from FedEx, I found it outside by the door.”

I don’t believe it. It’s impossible. This is the same pumpkin I just carved when George took me into the past. How did it get here? Mom found it on the spot where George left it.

“Mom. Did you find any roasted pumpkin seeds near it as well?”

“I did. Why are you asking?”

“No reason. I’m just curious.”

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GHOSTLY WHISPERS # 10 - APRIL 29, 2012

Miss. Adams told Jonathan to sit in Ashley’s seat and asked Mary to raise her hand so he would know where he’d sit for the remainder of the school year.

Mary did not like the idea of having him sitting next to her and wondered why Miss Adams couldn’t have him sit in the back row.

As Jonathan sat down he reached out to shake his hand with Mary.

“Hi I’m Jonathan Hudson, may I ask what your name is?

Mary didn’t know how to react. No boy had ever asked to shake her hand or had asked her a question in such a polite and formal manner, so she responded softly, “My name is Mary.”

Mary looked at him and thought he was kind of cute. She liked his hair; the clothes he wore and thought he had a pleasant voice. However the glasses he wore made him look a little like a nerd.

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GHOSTLY WHISPERS # 9 - APRIL 17, 2012

The moment her mother left, closing the bedroom door behind her, Mary turned toward George, “Why didn’t my mother see you standing next to me?”

“Ghosts can only be seen by one member of the family.”

After giving her this explanation, George disappeared—not through the wall behind the dresser as he usually did—but this time he disappeared right in front of her eyes, laughter echoing as he vanished.

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GHOSTLY WHISPERS # 8 - APRIL 7, 2012

Pulling on his arm to get him to move faster, Mary pushed him inside the playhouse and pulled two chairs together so they were facing each other. “Sit down.” Mary motioned for him to sit across from her.

Jonathan had a perplexed expression on his face, and Mary realized she had never acted so impulsively before. Once he sat down, Mary reached over, grabbed his hands, and looked sadly into his eyes as she started to talk.

“Thank you for liking me for being who I am. You’re the first boy who hasn’t made fun of me for being so plain looking.”

"Why would you say something like that? You’re not ugly.”

Mary’s eyes filled with tears so she dropped her gaze from him, not wanting him to see her cry.

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GHOSTLY WHISPERS # 7 - MARCH 26, 2012

A little later that night, Mary dropped a large pen on the floor, and Suzy ran away with it. Suzy dropped it on the floor under the dresser. When Mary tried reaching for it, she couldn’t. Then for some reason, she tried moving the dresser on the right side.

When she did, the dresser seemed to slide to the left along with the floor under it, revealing a small door in the middle of the wall. Mary peeked inside and, because it was dark, she decided to get the still-lit oil lantern from her desk.

Unsure of what lay past the doorway, Mary hesitated before stepping inside. When she did, the doorway she had just entered disappeared, and there in front of her stood her ghostly figure, no longer ghostly or opaque, but a solid living person. She glanced down at herself, no longer seeing her jeans, tee shirt and sneakers. Instead, she wore a dress, black shoes and short white socks—the same clothes she found the other day, only now, they looked new.

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GHOSTLY WHISPERS # 6 - MARCH 19, 2012

“How did Mary know about our idea? It’s too big of a coincidence for her to have dreamt about having a sleepover the same night we had planned it?” said Megan.

“I know what you mean. She couldn’t have known what we had quietly discussed while she was gone helping her mother,” replied Samantha. “And that could only mean one thing.”

“What’s that?”

“Her ghost told her. And this is the reason why we’ve decided to have the sleepover in the first place.”

“This means we’re going to have to keep our eyes open even more on Friday night, as anything could happen now,” said Alexis. “Agreed?”