Hello and welcome to “WHO’S ON THE SHELF?” with yours truly, Nonnie Jules! Since we are a book club, you know we had to offer something that included a book shelf. A lot of interviews merely cover an author’s work or an individual’s career stories. Here on this “SHELF,” we get down and dirty and ask the questions no other interviewer dare ask. We ask the questions that you want to open up a book and find the answers to on your favorite authors and fellow book club members, but, no one has dared to cover them. WE get personal! Because when you sit on this “SHELF,” YOU are an open book! Even if I have to pry you open!
Today we have a very special guest on the SHELF with us, member, WENDY SCOTT. Wendy is our “SPOTLIGHT” Author for the month of June and we are celebrating her all month long. This week, she gets to sit on the shelf with me!
(Now that looks just like Wendy, doesn’t it?)
NJ: Before we get started, how do you like the design and feel of my new shelf? We’ve made it more comfortable in 2017, in that we want all of our guests to feel at home…that’s if they’re coming from a nice and neat one, and we also wanted the lay out to be a bit safer….you know, we’ve had a few accidents up here on this shelf. So, comfy?
Wendy: I don’t have a great sense of balance so I appreciate the addition of the padded stirrups. Wonderful view of the RRBC book shelves, filled with highly acclaimed authors like John W. Howell, Gwendolyn Plano, Harmony Kent, Beem Weeks, and a few signed copies by Nonnie Jules.
NJ: WOW! Impressive! (That’s a sure way not to ‘almost’ have an ‘accident.’ … throw my name in there, too).
Wendy, Let’s start by confirming whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name?
Wendy: I use different versions of my name for various genres. Wendy Scott for Fantasy, WJ Scott for Children’s, and Wendy Jayne for Romance. So I suppose that makes me a split personality.
(A split personality? Really, Wendy…don’t you think I get enough of dealing with ‘personalities’ on a daily basis, as it is? I’m gonna need you to keep that in check during this interview, OK?)
NJ: Tell us where you were born? Do you still live there now? If not, what city and state are you calling home these days?
Wendy: I was born in Invercargill, (the frozen bottom of the South Island), New Zealand. When I was nine we moved to the tropics: Blenheim, (top of the South Island). In 1999, I crossed the ditch and lived in Adelaide, South Australia, for five years (wine country). Currently, residing in Hokitika, West Coast, New Zealand on our 3 ½ acres of paradise.
NJ: Married or single?
Wendy: My partner and I have been best buddies for over 25 years. One day we may wed on a Hawaiian beach or a Vegas Elvis Chapel, but hey you can’t rush these things.
NJ: Any kids? What kind?
Wendy: Two kids; the one with hooves, horns, and startling blue eyes is Iron the goat (mother’s name Maden, sister’s name China). The human kid, our preteen birth child is Layk, named after our favourite lake: Lake Kaniere.
NJ: If you’re not there already, when you’re old and cranky, which one will keep you at home to care for you themselves, and which one will immediately throw you into a nursing home and only visit you at Christmas?
Wendy: Layk has All Black (NZ rugby team) aspirations so here’s hoping he can keep us in the style we wish to become accustomed to. He has offered to build us our own shack.
NJ: Any pets? What kind?
Wendy: Many four-pawed friends. Two dogs, Boss (SPCA well behaved dog) he’s the size of pony with the heart of a teddy bear, and we inherited Zuki, a Bichon Frise, the size of a teddy bear, with the mentality of a Rottweiler (who barks when people are leaving???). Two SPCA rescue cats (reject Russian Blue brothers), Zippy and Zappy.
NJ: Zippy & Zappy…Hahahaha! I love those names. So, Wendy, what’s the food that’s so good to you, you go to bed dreaming about it, and you forego breakfast just to get to it? I expect that this is also the food you’ll be sharing in our upcoming RAVE SOUP FOR THE WRITERS’ SOUL “Good Eats” Cookbook, right?
Wendy: Raspberries and chocolate. Mmmmmmm.
NJ: OK. That, you will never have to worry about coming up missing out of the board member lounge fridge. So, what’s your favorite color:
Wendy: Purple, of course.
NJ: Of course? That one went over my head, Wendy, but let’s move on to your favorite sport. I hope there’s not an ‘of course’ attached to that, too.
Wendy: Watching my son’s rugby. I still don’t understand all the rules, I’ve been barred from running onto the field, but I can wear the team’s hoodie and yell from the sidelines. Go Kiwis!
NJ: Favorite TV Show…
Wendy: SciFi Geek: Firefly /Stargate (yes, I’ve watched all 10 seasons more than once, and Stargate Atlantis).
NJ: Yep, you won’t have to worry about me calling to talk about that show with ya! So, how about your favorite Actress and Actor…
Wendy: Morgan Freeman and Jodie Foster.
NJ: I like Jodie Foster, too. She is such a star! I used to like Morgan until he did that ‘thing’… now, I don’t care to watch him in anything anymore. But, anyway, do you like to exercise to stay fit OR do you not mind just letting it all go?
Wendy: I believe you lose it if you don’t use it. I hike, bike, and hit the gym for Body Combat and Box Fit (something very satisfying about putting on boxing gloves and smacking things).
NJ: Wendy, I so agree. My pink ones keep me out of the slammer, for sure!
Biggest pet peeve that makes you want to spit nails? (For the record, NJ does not condone violence, but she does believe in being honest so she admits that there are those times and there are those people, who do cause her to want to spit a few nails in the direction of their foreheads. Hey, just being honest. It’s the only way I roll).
Wendy: Some people’s inability to master the engineering feat of changing a toilet roll. Seriously, it’s not that difficult, and it’s just plain good manners.
NJ: Uh, is this how you do it? Wendy, be careful who you ask to change the toilet roll, OK? So, are you neat or messy?
Wendy: I’m a writer not a domestic goddess. I thrive in chaos.
NJ: OOOOOOOOK, so you weren’t at all bothered by the puppy and the mess above? Got it. Facebook or Twitter?
Wendy: Twitter, I love the randomness.
NJ: We’ve come to realize that the internet is giving way to tons of budding friendships. Who would you say is the one person you’ve connected with the most…your internet BFF or buddy?
Wendy: I’ve reconnected with a girl friend from our teenage years and it’s like the missing years never occurred.
NJ: Well, good for you! Wendy, here’s the most serious question of the entire interview…who do you favor most: Nonnie Jules or WonderWoman? Be honest, now. You don’t have to worry about Wonder Woman…she’s at the movies right now.
Wendy: Is this a trick question? I was under the impression they are one and the same. Wonder Jules!
NJ: Hahaha, Wonder Jules! I love it! I like that one better, let’s start using it instead! We all know that Wonder Woman has her truth lasso and Nonnie has…well, just her truths, in the no-nonsense way she forces us to be honest and tell it like it is, whether it makes others uncomfortable or not. In your opinion, which one does a better job of making the world a better place? You can be honest here, too.
Wendy: I suspect Nonnie’s truth lasso is like an electric dog collar. Wander too far from the truth and you get zapped!
NJ: I love it! And you’re so right. I do like to remind folks when they act as if they’ve forgotten. Name two favorite INDIE books that you’ve read:
Wendy: Jazz Baby by Beem Weeks, and Finding Katie by Harmony Kent.
NJ: OK. ONE good INDIE book you’ve read that was so good you wished the entire world would read it…
Wendy: Silvana The Greening by Belinda Mellor.
NJ: Great! Written by an RRBC member, too! What was so great about it?
Wendy: I wish I’d written it! Fantasy literary story telling at its finest.
NJ: Oh, my! I may have to pick that one up! Wendy, after you read books, do you post reviews?
Wendy: Yes, for those books I read through to the end.
NJ: What do you think readers should base their reviews on?
Wendy: Their reading experience of how the story and the characters engaged them. I expect well edited books with believable 3 dimensional characters, a gripping storyline, and a satisfying ending.
NJ: Are you one of those who are afraid to be honest in their reviews lest the author gets upset with you, or is honesty your best policy, especially in reviews?
Wendy: I choose books to read that I expect to enjoy, and I’ll often check out the opening sample to review the writing style. I believe you can tactfully state improvement suggestions. I don’t award 5* lightly, to gain my 5 stars the story has to be exceptional. My reputation as an author is on the line.
NJ: Read any poorly written books lately?
Wendy: My time’s too precious to waste on poorly written or edited books, I abandon them, and read books that capture and hold my attention.
NJ: So you see, people, some of us don’t even waste our time reading books all the way through if it’s clear that they haven’t been properly edited or, they’re not reads worthy of even having been published in the first place…because there was no care given to how important those issues would be to a reader. How many poorly written books have you read that you gave high marks to in your reviews, when you knew they were horrible? Be honest, I won’t ask you to name the books here in public.
Wendy: I don’t review them as I didn’t read them past the opening pages. If it was a specific request by an author I will send them a summary of the issues I encountered that stopped me continuing i.e. POV lapses. telling rather than showing, repetition, information dumps, too much backstory, pace, dialogue tags ,lack of character development etc. Usually this is obvious within the first chapter.
NJ: There are some INDIE authors who have come onto the scene and have given our literary playing field a new look. Can you name two INDIE authors who have done this in your eyes? And, how have they changed the field for us?
Wendy: Texas author, Jan Sikes, as Marketing Director of RRBC, is actively out there continually promoting RRBC books online and she and Nonnie are working to get RRBC books into bookstores.
Nonnie Jules created RRBC from scratch and within a few short years has steered RRBC into a dynamic and thriving author support network where honest reviews are encouraged.
NJ: Well, thank you, Wendy. It’s not every day we get to hear that folks think so highly of us. Are you an author? Are you a good one? C’mon, we love honesty here.
Wendy: I’m a multi-award winning author who strives to lift the bar with each successive book.
NJ: Well, good for you! How long have you been writing?
Wendy: My writing journey began in 2003 when I attended a six week course on ‘How to write a novel’.
NJ: Are you able to take constructive criticism of your written work?
Wendy: Yes, it’s part of the editing process, and with reviews I look for common themes to address with future works. I’ll always be a student of writing, continuing to grow my literary skills.
NJ: Name two books that you’ve written?
NJ: Which one do you think is the best?
Wendy: Hieroglyph has won multiple international book awards.
NJ: Do you have a blog or website? I love GREAT blogs, so would you say that yours is written well enough for harsh critics like me to enjoy?
Wendy: I have several websites and blogs catering to my different readerships.
My main website: http://www.wendyjscott.com/my-blog
Please come and visit you are always welcome.
NJ: Thanks for that open invitation. I think I will drop by each one. Wendy, which online resource or organization has helped you as an author the most?
Wendy: Drum roll …… and the winner is …..RRBC!
NJ: Noooooooo! I never would’ve ‘thunk’ it! LOL! How were you helped by this amazing club that I keep hearing so many great things about?
Wendy: So many different ways. At first I was blown away by all the features – there’s always something new on the go (interviews, tweets, awards, blog parties, trailer parties, book conference, RWISA, anthology etc). But the best part is the people, real authors, real stories, and real connections. This is a community I’m proud to support.
NJ: Have you come across any other online entities like it?
Wendy: No, RRBC is a unique global community.
NJ: Would you recommend it to your friends and family?
Wendy: Absolutely! I’m always encouraging authors to join RRBC.
NJ: Wendy, but we’re not just for authors. You should encourage readers to join, as well! What’s your most favorite program or place here within RRBC? (#PUSHTUESDAY, RAVE WAVES shows, Block Parties, Writers’ Conference & Book Expo, BOOKS OF THE MONTH discussions, “ON THE SHELF” interviews, etc.)
Wendy: How can I choose? I do love listening to all the RAVE WAVES shows and I’m honoured to join in as a host for BRING ON THE SPOTLIGHT.
NJ: This shelf is getting hard on my hiney, so we’re going to wrap this interview up. Any final words for our guests today?
Wendy: Thanks RRBC, Nonnie Jules, and the RRBC Board for befriending me!
NJ: Thank you so much for hanging out on THE SHELF with us today, Wendy! You are one of RRBC’s finest! If you all haven’t, you should take notice of how Wendy shares all the pages of our online catalog onto social media. I mean, there may be others doing it, but I’ve not seen anyone else doing it, so, we should all thank Wendy for sharing our books (and also, follow in her footsteps).
To my guests, please pick up a copy of one of Wendy’s books or all of them (you will not be disappointed!).
Have you joined RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB yet? Well, here’s your chance! And, since Wendy was on the “SHELF” today, tell them she sent you. Make it a great day, my friends…or not. The choice is all yours! We’ll see you next month, right here on the “SHELF” with another INTERESTING GUEST!!