SEVERAL MONTHS AGO a group of published authors in the Des Moines area met over lunch to form a support group we call the Published Authors Liaison (PAL). The group has grown since and how has its own blog. One of the really neat people in the group is Wendy Delsol, whose YA novel STORK was just released. Wendy and her husband Bob live in Waukee, Iowa with their two teen aged sons.
Mike: Thank you for joining us today, Wendy, your latest book, STORK, was just released as a YA book. What is the story?
Wendy: Borrowing from Norse mythology, STORK is the story of Katla LeBlanc, a sixteen year old who—following her parents’ divorce—moves from L.A. to her mother’s small Minnesota hometown of Icelandic heritage. With the school year already off to a bad start, Kat’s world is further upended when she is mysteriously summoned to a meeting of the local Stork Society: white witches with the responsibility of matching the undecided of hovering souls with the right mother. Kat is their newest—and youngest ever—member. As if this discovery wasn’t burden enough, Kat soon meets Jack, an aloof classmate to whom she senses an inexplicable connection. Additionally, when Kat finds herself in more than one life-threatening situation, she suspects that someone or something wants her out of town.
M: Was your character Kat patterned after anyone?
W: No, not specifically. I imagine all characters are composites of our friends and family. Kat’s sense of humor, for example, I owe to my extended family (of British descent). Our holiday gatherings were loud and raucous with highest marks going to whomever supplied the punch line.
M: Is this for boys or girls? Have your two sons read the book?
W: My sons have read the book. To quote my fifteen year old, “It’s good for that kind of book.” A virtual Pulitzer coming from him. Nonetheless, with a female protagonist and a strong love-story subplot, I would classify STORK as “for girls.”
M: Do you have a follow-up to STORK?
W: When complete, STORK will be a trilogy. Its sequel, FROST, is finished and moving into the copy edit phase. It will be released, again with Candlewick Press, in September of 2011. The third as-yet-untitled book is still a very rough outline. Guess what I’ll be doing this winter?
M: You also write women’s fiction. What is in the works with it?
W: I began my foray into novel writing with women’s fiction. As a reader, I’ve always been drawn to the family saga genre. THE McCLOUD HOME FOR WAYWARD GIRLS was the book I wrote prior to STORK. It is the story of three generations of women who run an Iowa bed and breakfast and the shocking family secret that surfaces following the death of the town matriarch. It is in the editorial phase and scheduled for publication by Berkley Books, an imprint of Penguin, in August of 2011.
M: Tell me a little about yourself and how you got into novel writing?
W: I was born in Canada to British ex-pats and grew up in Michigan. After graduating from Michigan State, I moved to Los Angeles where I lived for twenty years. I’m married with two teen sons. My husband’s job brought our family to Des Moines five years ago.
|PAL Authors, Mike (L) Wendy (R) with Alice Meyer (4th from L) of Beaverdale Books|
Following a medical scare just before my fortieth birthday, I vowed to chase a long-secret dream: writing novels. I began the quest with writing classes through the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. Once in Iowa, I attended the University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival, joined a critique group, attended writers’ conferences, and wrote—and wrote—and wrote. STORK, my first book to sell, was my fourth completed novel.
M: Can you give me a little insight on your writing habits? Do you write in the morning, evening, after the husband and kids are in bed? How do you do it?
W: I generally write while my kids are at school. When in first-draft mode, I work with a word goal of 500 per day. If a deadline is looming, I up that to 1,000.
M: I understand you are an avid tennis player; is there anything about tennis that helps you with your writing?
W: Well, I do claim that there are days when it feels essential to take a good whack at something. Beyond that, it’s a fun and social way to stay fit.
M: How can people get in touch with you? Do you have a web page, e-mail?
M: What is the best way to purchase your book?
W: Locally here in Des Moines, the book is available at Beaverdale Books, Barnes and Noble and Borders. Nationwide, it seems that Borders is the most reliable outlet. Of course, it’s available online through Amazon. It is also the Midwest Booksellers Association October Pick for their Midwest Connections Program so many indie booksellers through out the Midwest are carrying it.
M. Wendy, thank you very much for taking time with us today. I've posted the Amazon link for Wendy's book here: