Monday, September 19, 2011

Partner on the Path--WJ Smith

In the time since this lovely Partner on the Path agreed to an interview, she's gotten herself published. You'll find the links to her novel, Where To Belong, below. Congratulations, Wendy!

What resources have you found most helpful on your writing path?
The best self-help book I found so far is “Writing Fiction for Dummies” by Randy Ingermanson & Peter Economy. Writers' blogs have been a treasure trove of information.  Web-casts have also been informational.
What’s the most encouraging thing you’ve experienced along the way?
The first big help I had from a writing community was with NaNoWriMo. The folks organizing and taking part in the program were very positive. Since then, conversations with writers on Twitter have been supportive. Taking part in programs like Row80 has given me the push I need to keep moving with my writing.
Favorite children’s books? Authors?
My favorite book as a kid was Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson.
What keeps you going when you feel like giving up?
I don't like leaving things unfinished. I've had times where I get mad or frustrated with writing projects, and I have to walk away. But, so far, I've always come back to them because I need to see them completed.
That and the support and encouragement from the family and friends who know of my hobby. They're good at keeping tabs on me.
If you could choose to live any place on the planet, where would it be?
I would be one of those people with two homes. One for the summers in upstate New York near the lakes. A small cottage in the country or tiny town. The second would be on the beaches of South Padre Island in Texas. For the winters, of course. The problem would be shipping my Jeep back and forth between the two ...
Describe your fantasy writing space?
I've discovered the beauty of a massive monitor, so that would be a given. I need a stack of post-its for quick thoughts. There would probably be a mini fridge and microwave within reach.  Endless supply of iced tea and V8 Splash. Music. Lots and lots of music.  Oh, and an air-fresher to make it smell like Starbucks. 
What obstacles have you overcome in order to keep writing?
My biggest obstacle is myself. While I said earlier that I don't like to leave things unfinished, I am my own worst enemy when it comes to writing. I can easily convince myself that I am wasting my time and to hide my work away for no one to see. I have called it quits three times. In those three times, I deleted and threw out every word I had written. I some how come back to it and start over. Now I have my work saved in multiple places and I would probably exhaust myself before I could manage to delete it all. 
What one word describes your writing process?
What do you appreciate the most about being part of the writers community?
I am reminded that I am not the only one out there working to get a story out of my head.  Every writer out there knows the ups and downs of the writing, rewriting, editing, critiquing and submitting process. Always some one there to celebrate with and vent to.
Best writing advice you’ve been given?
Don't look back at what you've written. Once you have a segment finished, move on.  Breathe and take some time before you look it over. You have to be removed to be able to see where to make improvements.
What do you like to keep in mind while drafting a story?
I have to remind myself that it is only a draft. I shouldn't expect it to be perfect the first time around. The goal is to build the base of the manuscript. Don't sweat the little things.
How will you celebrate the publication of your first book?
Probably something small and quiet. Somewhere along the lines of sitting at the corner table in the local coffee shop with a few friends and family.

And now we can help her celebrate and buy that book here:

Social media presence? 


  1. Congratulations on your new book!

    I am totally with you on having people to vent to/celebrate with/motivate each other. Writing is such a solitary pursuit, but this is one place where the internet is truly life-changing.

    Thanks for sharing your path!

  2. Great interview, guys! LOVE Wendy's fantasy writing space, from the massive monitor (have one, can't live without it) to the Starbuck's air freshener. Yes!

  3. Gosh do that make that air freshener? A starbucks air freshener and a horse smell air freshener would make me super happy.

  4. She needs two jeeps -- one for NY and one for Texas :)

  5. Yay, Wendy!!! I agree - when your book takes off big, then two Jeeps it is. Great interview. And I love your blog and tweets - encouraging and realistic. I can't believe you deleted all your writing three times. Good lord!! Don't do that ever again - or else!

  6. Big "Thank you"s to everyone! Yes, the on-line support of fellow writers makes a big difference. I think someone needs to make that air-freshener and retire on the proceeds. And I usually don't do the mass deletions anymore, though I have been tempted... But now that I know I have Girl Parker keeping her eye on me, I will behave. :)

    Again, thanks everyone. See you around!

  7. Good grief, you've deleted things three times?? I'm with Girl Parker, I'm watching you! Seriously, I've done the same; my parents found copies of a lot of my early stuff and sent them to me last year.

    I'm glad that you've come out into the virtual writing world. It's a great group of folks out here!

  8. Awesome interview! I also don't want to stop because I hate the thought of giving up!

  9. Great interview and awesome advice! I love Wendy's fantasy writing space :)

  10. Congratulations, Wendy! :)

    Loved the interview. (Totally agree about remembering "it's only a draft"!) Thanks, Wendy and Angelina.

  11. Yay for the book deal WJ!

    So why is it that all us writers are so down on ourselves from time to time? As horrible it is, it's comforting to know I'm not alone in that:)
    Thanks for another great interview Angelina!

  12. Good luck on your new book. Congratulations. I still love reading Bridges to Terabithia out loud to kids. It's a beautiful story.

  13. Really interesting interview,I can identify with so much of it!

    Congratulations on publication too. ;-)

  14. Great interview! And congrats to Wendy for her upcoming debut.

  15. Great interview. I'd love a larger monitor and I've been meaning to read Bridge to Terabithia.

    Congrats on your book.

  16. Congrats on the new book. Wonderful interview.

  17. That's so scary!! I can't believe you were able to reboot after deleting everything. That's always my fear, that if I ever give up, I won't have the stones to start over again. Good for you! And congrats on the new book.

    P.S. That air freshener would drive me insane and I'd have to drive to the nearest Starbucks for a salted caramel mocha STAT. lol.

    Thanks for the interview.


Tell me what you think: