I’m delighted to welcome Crime Writer Wendy Clarke to my blog
Hello Wendy, I was so pleased when you said you were able to join me on Arabella’s Blog and Chit-Chat this week as I know how busy you must be writing and promoting your books.
But ... before we get to know about your latest release, What She Saw, here are a few questions which will hopefully give your readers an insight into some of the things that matter to you.
Arabella: Are there any organisations, writing, or reader groups, you belong to? And, how do they support or help you in creating such wonderful, inspirational novels?
Wendy: I belong to the Crime Writers’ Association and the Romantic Novelists’ Association. My debut psychological thriller, What She Saw, went through the RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme and the suggestions and encouragement I had from my critique reader gave me the confidence to go forward and find a publisher.
Arabella: Where do you read? Sofa or bed or ____?
Wendy: I read anywhere and everywhere. My favourite place to read is in bed with a cup of tea with the swing chair in the garden coming a close second!
Arabella: In your latest release, What She Saw, who is your favourite character and why? Wendy: I think it has to be Beth, Leona’s teenage daughter. She struggles to find her place in the world and her individuality makes her a target for school bullies. I like her because she is creative and has a sensitivity that makes the reader root for her.
Arabella: When writing a novel, how do you work? Are you a plotter or pantser?
Wendy: That’s an interesting one. If you had asked me this question a few years ago, when I was writing stories for magazines, I would definitely have said a pantser. Now I’ve moved on to novels, I’ve found that having a basic plan helps me stay on track. Also, my publisher asks to see a synopsis of my novels before I write them, so I’ve had to force myself to edge into the planning camp. I have a mind map App on my iPad which I use to brainstorm ideas before linking them to make a story. Then it’s all systems go!
Arabella: Which would you prefer to do: 1) spend a morning vigorously working out at the gym, 2) be pampered from head to toe at the spa and beauty salon, 3) indulge and pile on the pounds with a romantic dinner for two?
Wendy: Absolutely not number one – I’ve never been to a gym in my life and don’t intend to. I get my exercise in other ways: dancing, pilates, badminton and dog walking. A spa day is nice for an occasional treat, but you can’t beat a lovely meal with your husband… so number 3.
Arabella: Which do you prefer to wear: beach shorts and top, a long evening skirt and blouse, pyjamas and slippers?
Wendy: Not the second (unless I’m ballroom dancing), not the third as I don’t wear pjs and don’t possess slippers, so it will have to be beach shorts and a top… unless it’s winter of course. If I could add a fourth choice, it would be jeans and boots.
Arabella: We all have a long list of books we keep meaning to read but never have the time for --- which book is a must read for you this summer?
Wendy: This would have to be ‘The Family Upstairs’ by my favourite suspense writer, Lisa Jewell, which, by coincidence, is coming out the same day as my second psychological thriller, We Were Sisters!
Arabella: What about your future plans? Any books or series in the making?
Wendy: My second psychological thriller, We Were Sisters, will be published in August and I’m about to start my third. Can’t wait!
Thank you for joining me on Arabella’s Blog and Chit-Chat, Wendy. I’m certainly going to have to check out the Mind Map App you mentioned. I’ve never heard of such a thing (I’m not terribly computer/app savvy) and this app sounds fascinating – especially if it helps an author to plan and plot a novel.
Best wishes and happy writing, Arabella Sheen
About Wendy Clarke
Wendy Clarke is a full time writer of women’s fiction. She started writing when the primary school she taught in closed down and after completing two creative writing courses, began writing short fiction for magazines.
Since then, she has sold over two hundred short stories and her work regularly appears in national women’s magazines such as The People’s Friend, Take a Break Fiction Feast and Woman’s Weekly. She has also written serials and a number of non-fiction magazine articles.
Wendy lives with her husband, cat and step-dog in Sussex and when not writing is usually dancing, singing or watching any programme that involves food!
Apart from three collections of her short stories, she has now been contracted by Bookouture for her first two full-length novels.
Blurb: What She Saw
How far would you go to keep your daughter safe?
Everyone knows Leona would do anything for her daughter, Beth: she moved to Church Langdon to send Beth to the best school, built a business to support them and found the perfect little cottage to call home. They hike together, shop together, share their hopes and fears. It’s the relationship every mother dreams of.
But Leona never talks about why they moved to the Lake District.
She’s never told Beth anything about her father.
She says Beth should never speak to strangers. She says Beth doesn’t need friends.
She’s only trying to protect her daughter.
But sometimes the person closest to you is the person you shouldn’t trust.
Blurb: We Were Sisters
I turn to where I left my baby in his pushchair and pull up short. With a racing heart, I look around wildly, fear gripping my stomach. I only looked away for a moment. The pushchair and my baby are gone.
Kelly is taking her twin daughters to their first day of school, ushering them into the classroom, her heart breaking to think they might not need her any more, when she turns around and sees her newborn baby is gone.
As a desperate search ensues, baby Noah is quickly found – parked in front of a different classroom But when Kelly reaches forward to comfort him, she finds something tucked in the side of his blanket. A locket that belonged to her sister Freya. A locket Kelly hasn’t seen since the day Freya died.
And then Kelly’s perfectly-ordered life begins to unravel…