Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Wendy Toliver - Author / Actress

Welcome to “Up Close & Personal.” For every interview I will be introducing a literary personality discussing her views and insights, as well as upcoming literary events around the world.

Today's interview is with Wendy Toliver, the author of 'Little Giant Encyclopedia of Wedding Etiquette' and 'The Little Giant Encyclopedia of Inspirational Quotes' and her upcoming novel "The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren." She is a successful actress and has performed in several 'indie' films, television productions such as ‘Touched by an Angel’ as well as commercials.

She’s one of the twelve contributors to a teen fiction cafe, by all accounts a new and exciting blog www.teenfictioncafe.blogspot.com. Ms. Toliver writes fiction and non-fiction for the teen market. Her first novel 'The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren' is scheduled for released fall of ’07 by Simon Pulse. She lives in Utah with her husband, three sons and their cat.

E. I. :. Thank you for doing this interview with us, Wendy. Would you please tell your readers what your writing day is like? Do you write more than 3000 words a day?

Wendy Toliver: I have three little boys so my writing is in spurts. I rarely write more than 3000 words in any given day, and most of my writing is done early morning or late at night, when everybody's in bed. As I'm running around doing everyday things, I am usually thinking about whatever project I'm working on, so that when I do get a few minutes in front of the computer, I can whip it out. I even dream about my characters sometimes.

E. I. :. How do you go about your research? Do you do it in person, or on the Internet?

Wendy Toliver: A little of both. I take every opportunity to rack people's brains, whether they're an expert in a certain field that I'm somehow highlighting in a MSS, or if it's a babysitter who's the same age as my target audience. The Internet is also a big help, but I'm careful not to take everything I read on the Internet as 100% factual.

E. I. :. Who were some of your literary role models? And why?

Wendy Toliver: I really love Charles Dickens because he can paint such a poignant picture with his writing. And I love Oscar Wilde for his humor and wit.

E. I. :. How long does it take you to write a book?

Wendy Toliver: It depends, but I'm pretty fast once I get going. I'd say I can have my full first draft in a month or two, and then hopefully my edits and rewrites will only be faster now that I'm getting experience in those areas. I'd estimate I could have a full 50,000 (approximately)-word MSS in three or four months.

E. I. :. Of all the fictional characters you have encountered in literature, which one would you most like to meet?

Wendy Toliver: I'd like to meet Willy Wonka.

E. I. Thank you for contributing to my blog. It has been a pleasure for me to get to know you, and your work a little better. Would you like to end our interview with a writing tip or advised to aspiring writers?

Wendy Toliver: I'm really into the "people" part of writing. Many authors are solitary creatures, but I'm one who really enjoys making contacts out in the publishing industry. My advice to young writers is to join writing organizations and critique groups, go to conferences, sign up for Internet loops that deal with whatever genre you're writing, take classes, and otherwise get yourself out there.

E. I. Ms. Toliver, thank you so much for the interview! I feel fortunate to be considered a peer among such accomplished writers. It was a lot of fun!

To learn more about Wendy Toliver, visit her at MySpace:
Blog: http://www.teenfictioncafe.blogspot.com
Website: http://www.wendytoliver.com

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