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Saturday 1 December 2012

Blog guest: Wendy Steele

Today sees off the start of what I hope will be regular guest spots on my blog - and with places filled until January, it's looking promising. With a combination of interviews, book features, and guest posts, I'm sure there will be something for everybody to enjoy.

Kicking things off on this crisp December morning is Wendy Steele, and seeing as I like to write following the three act structure, it seemed like a good idea to treat my interviews in the same manner. And we've all heard of 'twenty questions'.

So, without further ado, I'd like to offer a warm welcome to Wendy. And don't worry about the weather, she'll soon have you warmed up, just check out her special birthday celebration offer!

ACT ONE – all about you…

1) Have you always been a writer or is it something you fell into?

My first piece was a poem aged 10, after visiting the Tutankhamen exhibition in London and, ever since, I've come home from new adventures and committed my thoughts and experiences to paper. My first piece of published (and paid!) writing was an article for the Dancing Times, after attending my first day of belly dance workshops in London, eight years ago. After attending Swanwick Writer's Summer School, I launched my career as a writer with the release of Destiny of Angels

2) Do you have a particular writing style or ritual?

I like to wake up, make a cup of tea...and write! That's a perfect day for me. My characters write my books. I know them very well and when they get together, the story flows.

3) Is there a book or an author that has influenced you in your writing?

Having a brother seven years my senior, I was surrounded by books as a child and read Brave New World, The Hobbit, Animal Farm...anything I could get my hands on! I used to walk to the library every Saturday morning and select my three books, read them in a week and be back again for more!

This year, I've been introduced to many new Indie authors and am enjoying trying new books but the author who has influenced me most at this point is Terry Pratchett. He is the master storyteller and when I want to relax and be stroked with perfect words and phrases, his are the books I turn to.

4) Can you tell us three things about yourself that we probably don’t already know?

Oooo tricky one! I learned to read music at the age of four when I learned to read words. I drive a green Subaru Forester. I'm already a lady who wears purple!

5) What five luxury items or gadgets would you hate to be without?

I think mobile phones are a brilliant invention....though I use mine for calls, texts and photos only! My laptop (bought second hand from my daughter) is my most valuable tool at the moment as I launch my writing career.

Hot water on tap is a luxury as I love an aromatherapy bath. My car, as already mentioned, is 'an oldie but goodie', fabulous in all weather and always starts first time. Dance thongs...they protect my feet when I'm spinning and help me grip so I wobble less!

6) The festive season is looming large, do you have a particular Christmas tradition that you like to indulge in? And what about New Year’s resolutions, will you be joining in the madness for 2013?

We visit the Remus Horse Sanctuary around 12th December when they hold a carol concert in the barn with the animals. We take gifts, carrots, cat food, jar of 5ps we've saved, bin liners, cold meats and sing along to a rickety old electric organ while the donkeys and dogs join in. When my children were small, this was the beginning of the festive season as we would come home and put up the tree.

We celebrate as a family at Yule now....and do it all again for the 'olds' on the 25th!

I've never been into NY resolutions...if you want to do it now!

ACT TWO – all about your new release…

7) I gather you have not one, but two new releases to tell us about?

I'm launching my first non-fiction title Wendy Woo's Year – A Pocketful of Smiles – 101 ideas for a happy year and a happy you. It's a book that does exactly what it says in the title! It's packed full of ideas that I have used, or still do, to bring a smile to every day. Too Hot for Angels is a little book of six extended, sexier scenes from Destiny of Angels. Following feedback from readers, I felt this was a fun accompaniment to the Lilith Trilogy and I shall be bringing out a similar one when I launch the second book Wrath of Angels.

8) Did the stories flow from your finger tips or did some scenes take a bit of cajoling?

Most of the scenes in THFA are between Angel and Aidan and these were easy to write as they are a loving, sexy couple. I loved writing Smiles, being able to share with my readers those things that have brought happiness to my own life.

9) How long did it take for the initial spark of the story to make it onto the page and then onto the publisher’s desk?

I wrote A Pocketful of Smiles in four months as I waited for my house to still hasn't sold! Too Hot For Angels was written the moment I had the idea...I just couldn't wait to get the words onto the paper.

10) Do you have a favourite paragraph or sentence from each title that you would like to tantalize us with?

Too Hot for Angels

Fire leapt around them as they rolled around the floor and the white light around Aidan expanded until it filled the room. He felt his muscles bulking and his strength growing as he took the object of his desire and played with her like a rag doll until she screamed. His energy flooded her whole being, pouring from him like a swollen river until the storm subsided. Sated, Aidan's power diminished, the light surrounding him weakening until he rolled off Angel onto his back, panting and licking his lips.

Wendy Woo's Year – A Pocketful of Smiles – 101 ideas for a happy year and a happy you

16. Be a child again

Either alone or with friends, light a yellow candle (or white if that is what you have to hand) and take your mind back to happy, child hood memories.

One of my favourites is crabbing on the beach with my Dad. Balancing from rock to rock, we'd journey to a land of tiny islands. Once they surrounded us, we'd dip into the rock pools between, carefully turning the stones to find the crabs beneath. My Dad was an expert. He'd talk to the crabs as they emerged and he knew how to pick them up gently. Soon, other children from the beach would join us and he became the crab man, encouraging everyone to handle them carefully, study them, talk to them, take them to show their parents in their buckets but then return them to a suitable pool. I can see my Dad in his beach sandals and shorts, smell the breeze from the sea and feel the slimy seaweed beneath my feet.

Immerse yourself in childhood bliss.

Now, go be a child. Climb a tree, make a den, have a pillow fight or dance for the fun of it. Watch a favourite children's film. Enjoy the sense of fun of being a child again.

11) Over to you, what can you tell us about these books to make us rush out and buy it?

As a celebration of my fiftieth birthday, you can download all five of my books for free from 1st - 5th December. I would love for as many people as possible to download my books and explore my writing, both fiction and non-fiction. (Pssst... scroll down for buy links!)

12) What can we expect from you next? Is there something you are working on right now?

I'm writing the second book in the Lilith Trilogy, Wrath of Angels and will be focussing on this as my writing project for next year. I'm also putting together three non-fiction books for the future, A Bucketful of Moonbeams, Here comes the sun and Wendy Woo's Tummy Friendly Cook book.

QUICK FIRE ROUND – it’s pop quiz time…

13) Plotter or pantser?

I have an idea, I start writing!

14) Secret Seven or Famous Five? (please tell me you know them!?)

Famous Five

15) Digital books or print books?

I love paper books! However, I can also see the benefits and worth of digital and I've been dropping hints at home that a kindle would very much be appreciated for my birthday! The publishing industry is moving forward as the music industry did before it and I believe it is important to encourage everyone to read, whatever device they choose to use.

16) Tea or coffee?

Rooibos or green tea

17) Cats or dogs?

Cats...we have Tiggy, Olly and Rowan now after our beloved Merlin went to the Summerlands this year.

18) Extrovert or introvert?

I am an introvert but trying to embrace some extrovert qualities to raise my profile as a writer.

19) Save or spend?


20) Facebook or Twitter?

Facebook...just can't get my head around twitter. I've only been online since March 2012 but I've met and made friends with some lovely people on Facebook. 

Thank you ever so much for taking part Wendy. Many happy returns for your birthday and I wish you continued success with your endeavours.

Don't forget, you can download ALL FIVE of Wendy's books between 1st - 5th December as part of her birthday celebrations. As promised, here are the links...

Buy from my Amazon aStores
UK (Amazon) or US (Amazon)

You can keep up with Wendy via her blog as well as her author pages on both and

If you would like to be a guest,

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