The Who, What, When, Where and Why with Wendy Wax

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By Jade Craddock

Wendy Wax is the bestselling author with more than ten novels to her name. Her latest novel, Best Beach Ever, part of the Ten Beach Road series, released yesterday and Wendy has popped by to offer her insights into her personal writing experience.♥

1. Who has been the most important person in your writing journey?

If I’m truly only allowed one I’m going with my husband, John, who has been so incredibly supportive from the beginning.

If I’m allowed to choose two it has to be my longtime critique partners Karen White and Susan Crandall without whom I would not like to be on this journey.

Writing is a very solitary thing. Having them an email or phone call away means everything. They push me to write better and dig deeper.

2. What motivates you to write? 

I’m laughing because I have a T-shirt from one of our writing retreats that shows a stick figure aiming a gun at the back of a stick figure at a computer. The caption above the figure with the gun is ‘WRITE THE %&!$@& STORY!’ The cartoon caption is ‘THE MUSE MOST OF US REALLY NEED.’

I write because I have stories to tell and characters I want to share, and I’m grateful to get to ‘make things up’ for a living. My goal is always to write an even better book than the last one, but every book is different and presents different challenges. Creating and delivering on a schedule is often stressful. When the words aren’t flowing, procrastination can rear its ugly head. (I once alphabetized my entire pantry!)

The cartoon, of course, refers to the ultimate motivator — a hard deadline.

3. When did you first start writing?

Like most writers I know I was making up stories from childhood and was always a voracious reader.  I also wrote while working in broadcasting.

However, I started writing my very first novel as the mother of a newborn and a two year old, a decision I blame on post pregnancy hormones and lack of sleep!

The timing couldn’t have been worse, but I needed a creative outlet. I felt extremely fortunate to be home with our boys fulltime, but I also needed something for myself, something that would remind me of who I was before I became a wife and mother.

Of course, if I’d had any real understanding of how hard it would be or how long it would take to build a writing career, I probably never would have started that first book.

4. Where do you write?

When necessary and on deadline I write wherever I have to. I’ve written in the car (almost never while driving!)  on planes, in hotel rooms, at the beach. But the place I feel most comfortable and productive is in my office in front of a large window and in complete quiet.

5. Why did you write this book?

Some very insistent characters made me do it.

I first introduced Madeline Singer, Avery Lawford and Nicole Grant in Ten Beach Road as strangers who wake up one day to discover they’ve lost everything in a Ponzi scheme. When the dust settles all they have left is shared ownership of a dilapidated beachfront mansion that they’re forced to spend a long, sweat soaked summer bringing back to life. In the process they bond, become friends and begin to rebuild their own lives.

When I finished writing Ten Beach Road I thought their shared journey was complete. But they didn’t seem to realize we were finished and kept clamoring for attention. (I’ve learned not to ignore characters when they’re speaking to me.)  I also kept hearing from readers who wanted to know what happened next.

Best Beach Ever is the sixth novel in a series I didn’t intend to write, but am incredibly glad I did. It’s been a great privilege and a pleasure to continue telling these characters’ stories. In fact, I’m having a bit of a hard time letting go of them.

Wendy Wax, a former broadcaster, is the author of fourteen novels and two novellas, including One Good Thing, Sunshine Beach, A Week at the Lake, While We Were Watching Downton Abbey, The House on Mermaid Point, Ocean Beach, and Ten Beach Road. The mother of two grown sons, she lives in Atlanta with her husband and is doing her best to adjust to the quiet of her recently emptied nest. Her next novel, Best Beach Ever is available now.

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