Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wendy Wax takes us back to the beach, plus a book giveaway

Photo by Dan Carmody III
Introduction by Gail Allison

**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.

How to win "Ocean Beach":
Please comment below with your e-mail address. (Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page or blog if you can receive messages there.)

Bonus entries (can be listed all in one post):
1. Please tell us: What is your favorite beach-themed song, movie or TV show?
2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. Please read our posting guidelines as well. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)
5. Add a friend to our Facebook group. (Tell us who you added.) Be sure to remind them to edit their settings.

US only. Giveaway ends August 6th at midnight EST.


susieqlaw said...

Beaches - what a great movie

I follow CLC on Facebook, twitter, and the blog.

I tweeted about the contest @susieqlaw

sendsusanmail AT gmail DOT com

Unknown said...

I follow CLC.

I would love to read and review this book. The cover is awesome! The story looks good!

opesopinions (at) gmail ( dot ) com

EFC Chrissy said...

I love a good summer read!

I follow your blog!

Tea said...

I follow your blog.

My favorite beach song is Under The Boardwalk by the Drifters.

I tweeted the giveaway.

Thanks for entering me.

Tamara said...

Fav Beach song- Under the Boardwalk (Bette Midler version)

I Tweeted about your giveaway (rockstar1023)

I also blogged-


Tamara said...

I also follow your blog- forgot to put that in my first comment.


Unknown said...

1) Right now, I am loving Revenge, set in the Hamptons!

2) I follow, tweet & like

Love Wendy Wax! I've read all her books and met her at a signing, she's so sweet.



Maureen said...

When I think of beach songs I think of the Beach Boys, songs like Surfin' USA
I follow on GFC
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Cyndee said...

"Blue Hawaii starring Elvis is a favorite "Beach" movie.
I am a follower on RSS, CLC Group on Facebook. I shared on wall/facebook page.What a great cover. Its a good summer-must read.
Cyndee Thomas

Jencey Gortney said...

Beaches would be my vote!
I follow ClC on Facebook, Twitter, and GFC
I will tweet giveaway. @Jenceyg

jenceyg at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

Surfin' USA... how could you not love it? Of course, I am a California girl born & raised.

I am a GFC follower

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

Ohhh, Beaches gets me every. single. time. (now I want to go watch it)

I'm a follower of the blog on FB, CLC blogger and Twitter.

missamberljohnson at gmail dot com

Susan @ The Book Bag said...

Love, love, love the movie Beaches - I watch it whenever I can.

I follow CLC on FB and the blog


BRN2SHOP9 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BRN2SHOP9 said...

Royal pains

i follow via gfc, twitter and facebook

brn2shop9 at gmail dot com

Bridget O'Neill said...

I know almost everyone else has this answer too-but Beaches!

I follow the blog

I'm a member of CLC on facebook

bn100 said...

Surfin' in the USA

I follow the blog.


Tiffany Drew said...

I'm gonna go with Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin. I know it isn't completely themed on the beach, but some of the best moments take place there :)

GFC follower Tiffany Drew
Facebook Tiffany Drew


leonel said...

Only beach movie I can think of: Grease (well, it starts at the beach!)

Follower FB member

leonelescota At g mail

Allison said...

Royal Pains-- fav beach tv show!

I'm a follower of CLC.


eclairre said...

id love to win! eclairre(at)ymail(dot)com