Today on Finding Fiction Friday: HarperImpulse edition, we are very happy to get the chance to speak with Wendy Lou Jones, author of the HI title "The Songbird and the Soldier". Wendy talks to us about this and upcoming books and researching settings. But first, a bit about her in her own words ...
My name is Wendy Lou Jones. I was born and raised in West Sussex, England and moved to Birmingham to study Medicine at University, where I was lucky enough to meet my husband. We now live in a little village in Herefordshire with our two grubby boys. I discovered a love of writing not long after my youngest son started school. And if you were to ask me what it was that made me make the switch, I’d tell you quite simply, that it started with a dream.
Wendy, tell us about your journey with this book. When did you first think about writing for publication and how did it all come about?
I had been writing for about 5 years, but had no idea if I was any good at it or not, so I sent The Songbird and the Soldier off to Jefferson Franklin Editing and after a bit of a tinker, he loved it!!! You could have knocked me down with a feather! Having said that, I still had no luck getting an agent, so I decided to take the plunge and self-publish. It had been up and running for about 3 weeks when I was lucky enough to be picked up by HarperImpulse.
Tell us one thing about yourself that you think might surprise us.
I carried a severed head across a room once. My dad never got over that one. – It wasn’t his!!! Just to clarify. I told him about it.
|Available on Amazon|
So, please tell us about your book “The Songbird and the Soldier”.
It’s the story of one woman’s struggle to maintain a relationship across the miles. Torn between her old crush and a new admirer, Sam is put through the mill as she fights her very own battle of hearts and minds, while the soldiers are away fighting in Afghanistan.
There are two main settings to the book. Can you tell us a bit about how you went about capturing the differences between the two worlds (England and Afghanistan) that Andy had to navigate?
I tried to capture the peace and tranquility of the rural setting of England, and the carefree days around them and then set it against the harsh dusty heat of a war-torn summer in Afghanistan. MANY documentaries on the conflict were watched in the making of this book. J
|Available to pre-order |
Release Date June 5, 2014
You also have another book coming out with HarperImpulse very soon. Tell us about that and when it will be available.
By My Side is due out on 5th June. It’s the story of a hospital based romance between a grieving consultant surgeon and an A&E nurse and it becomes the tale told to a sad young woman at a funeral.
If there is one character you’ve written or are writing that you would really like people to meet, who would it be and why?
Oh, that’s tricky. I tend to be serially in love with all of them. At the moment I’m writing about a character from By My Side who has taken centre stage in the next book. Peter Florin. He’s a tortured hero who needs the love of a good woman – I do so love a tortured hero! But you can’t meet him. Not yet anyway. For now he’s all mine.
What about being published with HarperImpulse and the book industry in general has most surprised you?
I think the most surprising thing for me has been myself. Usually I’m very placid, but I seem to turn into a complete diva the moment my revisions come in. (When your editor says ‘Yes, I like it, but maybe it would be better if …’)
Is there someone you can point to as being your biggest encouragement in moving forward with this book and writing in general?
Probably my editor, Charlotte. Without her faith in me, I would be far more afraid to try.
What is next on your plate? What kind of stories do you have bouncing around up there?
I have just finished the third draft of my next book, the follow on from By My Side. It came about during the revision process, when I needed to understand more about another character and I fell in love with him too. Apart from that I have a set of country village stories on the back burner and a few quite ambitious ideas in my head. Let’s just hope I can write them.
To close the interview, I have ten questions for you, plus one. Here they go!
- What is your favorite word? Pillow
- What is your least favorite word? Fail.
- What turns you on? Eyes and voices.
- What turns you off? Swearing and smoking.
- What sound or noise do you love? Silence.
- What sound or noise do you hate? Metal wind chimes.
- What is your favorite curse word? Bollocks!
- What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Forensic Pathologist.
- What profession would you not like to do? Teacher
- If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? Come on in, Wendy; they’re all waiting for you.
- What question have you never been asked, that you wish someone would ask you? Can I offer you a £300,000 to publish your book?
Wendy, thanks so much for spending time with us. Can you let us know where to follow you, and where we can go to purchase your book?
Thank you for having me.
The Songbird and the Soldier is available now: smarturl.it/songbird (for the UK) And all major online retailers via http://www.harperimpulseromance.com/authors/wendy-lou-jones