|Photo by Dan Carmody III|
**Giveaway is now closed**
A type-A personality from the day she was born, Wendy Wax was absolutely convinced that you couldn’t start school without knowing how to read, so at the age of five she strong-armed a neighbor into teaching her how. She hasn’t stopped since. As she grew into more advanced reading, she fell in love with "Gone with the Wind," and the sweeping epic was part of the reason she decided to attend the University of Georgia! She now boasts an impressive "Gone with the Wind" collection and actually got to do a book launch at the Margaret Mitchell House for one of her own novels: "The Accidental Bestseller." Wendy has worked in radio, television, and film, but really found her niche with writing. Eight fantastic novels later, we would agree! Her latest novel is "Ocean Beach," which was published at the end of June. Wendy currently lives in Atlanta with her husband and two sons.
Thanks to Penguin we have one copy of "Ocean Beach" to give away to some lucky reader anywhere in the US.
Visit Wendy at her website, Facebook and Twitter pages.
What inspired you to want to become a writer?
I’ve always loved to read and so for me, writing was a natural extension of that. I think it was probably the first time I read "Gone with the Wind" that I thought seriously about how fabulous it must be to create something so mesmerizing. There was just something about the way Margaret Mitchell told that story and the way those characters touched me that made me want to give it a try. It wasn’t until many years later, when I had a two-year-old and a newborn that I finally began writing a first novel. (I chalk this up to post pregnancy hormones and lack of sleep!) Apparently, like some of my characters, I thought I was superwoman… alas, I can assure you, I’m not!
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
I’m not sure if I can pinpoint just one rewarding experience, but I can say that I have had fans approach me at a book signing or reading and tell me how much they related to a particular character in one of my books or how they read my books during a tough time in their lives and they appreciated the laughter and friendship they found there. There’s nothing better than that.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
When I was growing up, I wanted to be a reporter. I loved the idea of being on television or on the radio and getting the chance to share stories with viewers and listeners… and lucky for me, I did actually get to do all of that. But I was never that comfortable with ‘hard news’ and my claim to fame during those years was hosting a live radio show called ‘Desperate & Dateless’ when I was both of those things. Not long after that I realized that it was the storytelling aspect of journalism that I loved the most, so transitioning to fiction was a natural progression.
If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose?
That’s another tough one! There are a few that come to mind right away: Margaret Mitchell is one of them of course, given how much I love GWTW. But then, there’s a character in OCEAN BEACH named Max who was inspired by the Vaudevillian/comedian George Burns. George and his wife Gracie were on my mind the whole time I was writing OCEAN BEACH. I’d love a chance to meet them and find out if they were as in love with each other as they seemed and what it was like to be a star back in the day.
Tell us what male movie star makes you go gaga.
I’m not sure I’m the gaga going type… but I wouldn’t turn George Clooney away if he knocked on my door!
If "Ocean Beach" were made into a movie, who would you cast in the lead roles?
Is it weird that I have given absolutely no thought to this? I’m literally going to go with the first names that pop into my head here. I can see Reese Witherspoon as Avery with Diane Keaton as her estranged mom, Deirdre. Maybe Julianne Moore as Nicole. And then I’m thinking maybe Amanda Bynes as Kyra. For some reason, Maddie is the toughest for me to cast. A slightly older and suburbanized Sandra Bullock could be great. I mean, that’s what makeup and wardrobe departments are for, right?
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I’m about to become an empty nester, so it will be interesting to see if I actually have free time when that happens. For the last twenty years, if I wasn’t writing, I was mostly busy with my sons (who both play baseball) and my husband and our house, etc. Oh, and you might also catch me grabbing lunch or a glass of wine with a girlfriend… and maybe doing a little shopping.
What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Finish the book. Lots of people say they want to write a book. Not nearly as many actually do it. So finish the book, and then worry about how to sell it!
Special thanks to Wendy for chatting with us and to Penguin for sharing the book with our readers.
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US only. Giveaway ends August 6th at midnight EST.