Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Author Interview: Wendy Andrews

Wendy Andrews
author, The Duke Conspiracy

Give us a bit of your background (where are you from, your family, traveling adventures)

I am from the east coast of Canada but now live in downtown Toronto. I am a middle child but the only girl. I totally believe in the psychology of birth order, but while I am typical middle child in certain ways, I think being the only girl gave me enough of a self identity that I don’t fit the stereotype completely. My parents are my biggest fans when it comes to my writing. While my husband is totally supportive of my writing, he has not been nearly as thorough as my parents in reading everything I have written. But my husband is my traveling companion which has been great for my writing. I think you need to be exposed to new people and cultures to have a deeper understanding of people, which is vital to be able to get into your characters’ heads.

Most writers are readers. What are some of the books you have on your nightstand and/or on your "must read" list? 

My first love in the romance genre was Georgette Heyer and I still love to reread any of her books. These Old Shades is on my must re-read list.

Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?

Since all my books are set in England, I would love to go back and do some more exploring. When my husband took me to England a few years ago we stuck to London but next time I would like to explore other places like Bath and all the towns between London and Bath. There are many old estates still set up like they would have been in the Regency period so it would be wonderful for research.

What is your favorite genre to write? What is your favorite genre to read?

My favorite genre to read and write is Regency set Historical Romances. I love everything about that time. I wouldn’t necessarily want to live then, but it’s wonderful to read/write about. I am rather attached to my modern conveniences but people seem to have gotten along quite well back then without them.

What got you started on your writing journey?

Unlike me, my husband is not an avid reader. He cannot quite understand my love of books and the fact that a train could drive through my front door and I would barely notice if I was stuck in a good book. So one day he said, “Why don’t you write one of those things instead of reading them all the time.” At the time I scoffed at the thought, thinking I would never be able to. But I rose to the challenge and wrote my first book, which was published in 2010 by Avalon Books. And I’ve been grateful to him ever since as I love writing almost as much as reading.

Why do you choose to write clean/sweet romance?  Do you write steamy romance as well?

I don’t think steamy and romance are automatically synonymous. For me the emotional journey the hero and heroine embark on is the main reason I love romance novels and the steam is unnecessary to portray that journey. I only write clean/sweet. I never want to be uncomfortable to show my words to my mother

What other things do you have planned with your writing for the rest of the year 2015?

Now that I have discovered CleanReads (formerly Astraea Press) I am looking forward to dusting off all my unpublished manuscripts and submitting them, hopefully getting them published over the next year. I am also in the midst of finishing the novel I started during NaNoWriMo2014. So I have many books on the horizon.

How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?

I had skipped this question but after answering the question below, five words to describe my character, I had to laugh as I realized those same five words could describe me. I would have said that not too much of my life experiences make it into my books as they are set two hundred years ago, but clearly I am still learning about my writing

Where do your ideas come from?

For me ideas come from everywhere. Sometimes I’ll be watching tv or a movie and think this plot would be fantastic set in a Regency era novel. Or I’ll overhear a snippet of conversation that will spark an idea. I have no shortage of ideas, it’s finding the time to get them all on paper that’s the problem.

How many books have you written, and how many of those have been published?

I have written six completed manuscripts. The first and the most recent have each been published. The middle four are still waiting.

Please share about your book 

My book, The Duke Conspiracy, is about childhood best friends who grew up on neighboring estates but a feud between their families tore apart their friendship. My  heroine, Rose, has just returned from Vienna where she had been assisting her diplomat father. At a social event Rose overhears two men conspiring against the duke, her former friend, and is faced with the dilemma about whether or not to tell him about the plot. Rose and Alex have to overcome their personal problems in order to thwart their enemy.

If you could sum your main character into five words, what would they be?

Rose is determined, loyal, slightly stubborn, optimistic, and spirited. Sorry, that’s a little more than five words…

Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?

The Duke Conspiracy is a fun, entertaining read that will have you rooting for the perfect happily ever after.

Do you have a favorite character you have written so far? 

My favorite characters are always the ones in my current work in progress since they are the freshest in my mind. But I will always have a soft spot for Emily and Phillip, the heroine and hero in my first novel. That book took me the longest to write so I spent the most amount of time with them.

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