It’s a great pleasure to welcome the writer who has taken People’s Friend by storm. Wendy has become a regular writer, with a story published in most issues, and the specials and seasonal issues of the Friend as well.
Hello Wendy, thanks for taking time to share some of your writing experiences with us on my blog.
It’s lovely to be here, Susan – thanks for inviting me.
S/ Have you always written short stories, or is this something relatively new you’ve started?
W/ Unlike a lot of People’s Friend writers, I would be lying if I said I had spent my life writing short stories. In fact, until I was made redundant and started an online writing course three years ago, I hadn’t written a story since I was in school. I was lucky to have an amazing English teacher who I wanted to please and he was very complimentary about my writing – my mother still knows him and recently gave him a pile of my magazines to read and he said he wasn’t surprised I’d become a writer – I was so proud! When I became an English teacher myself (in a primary school) I was always saying to the children, “Ooh, I wish I could write that…” whenever I set them a story. Now of course, I can’t imagine stopping – it’s part of my life!
S/ You have recently started writing under a different name. Is there any special reason for this?
W/ I write under my own name but my editor at The Friend wanted to use two of my stories in the Summer Special and they don’t like to have a name used twice, so asked if I’d have a pen name for this occasion. It’s only happened once so far but I felt rather pleased to be asked. The other magazines I write for are happy to have multiple stories by the same author using their own name (my record is three in one issue). The only downside of having a pen name is that if you particularly like the story, you feel as if your fictitious author has taken the glory!
S/ You are a great help to me, and other writers with your informative blog. How important is social media to you and your writing?
W/ Thank you, Susan – that’s lovely of you to say so. I started my blog, Wendy’s Writing Now, when I had my first sale at the end of 2012 and I wanted it to chart my journey from that day to wherever my writing career would take me. I also wanted it to be helpful to other new writers – when I first started writing, I spent a lot of time reading other writers’ blogs in search of answers to my writing questions and wanted to give something back. Also, writing can be a lonely business and without social media, I wouldn’t have been able to meet other lovely writers such as yourself . As for Facebook, I avoided it for ages and then succumbed in April of this year – but purely for writing purposes. I have to say it has been immensely useful for information. I expect I shall have to join Twitter soon as well. Anyone tell me how?
S/ How does writing for the People’s Friend differ from the other popular magazines that you write for?
W/ I write for Take a Break fiction Feast and Woman’s Weekly as well as The People’s Friend and enjoy the different style of writing required for each. If I’m writing a twist story, I’ll probably send it to Woman’s Weekly and if I have written something more contemporary with say a teenager as my main character, then I would send it to Fiction Feast. Romances and historical stories, I always save for The Friend. Having said that, there is definitely a cross-over between the magazine. What I particularly like about writing for The People’s Friend is working with my editor. He has been like a mentor to me, encouraging and guiding, and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that my writing has improved since I started working with him two years ago.
S/ I know you’re working on a novel. Do you see yourself writing a pocket novel for People’s Friend? If so, in which era would you set the story?
w/ Ha ha -don’t mention the novel… I haven’t started it yet! After saying on my blog that I was thinking about writing one, I started writing a serial instead… and then another one. I’m not good at doing two things at a time. I don’t think I would write a Pocket Novel because if I’m going to write that many words, I may as well write more and do a whole novel. If I did, though, it would be historical – probably set in the mid nineteenth century. What I shall be doing in the near future, though, is putting together a collection of my published stories – watch this space.
Thank you so much for inviting me to be a guest on your lovely blog, Susan, and for being such a big supporter of my own.
It’s been a pleasure hearing more about your writing journey Wendy, and keep those lovely stories flowing….