June 21st, 2010

Public Shame Writing Challenge: Week 3 check-in!

In June I'm finishing the first draft of The Forthcoming Novel With The Fabulous Secret Title by June 25 and sending it to my CPs by June 30.

In Week 3 I said I would smooth it out through Chapter 13.

Well, I don’t know what I was thinking. I did write 10,000 words, but I don’t know where the hell Chapter 13 is.

Note to self: I do not write in order.

Note to compadres: Supportive Jenn is on vacation. Please meet scatter-brained, disorganized, not-really-all-that-supportive Jenn On Deadline.

I have a lot of writing to do in Week 4 and Week 4.5.

How about you?

Your name

Your goal for June

Your goal for Week 3

Your achievement for Week 3

Your goal for Week 4 (check-in is Monday, June 28)

The Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit presents Wendy Toliver!

The Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit is a webring of YA novelists. Check these postings for the latest releases!

Being Bad Never Felt So Good.

Poppy Browne had never stolen anything in her life before moving to Pleasant Acres, Texas and meeting Mary Jane and Whitney. But when Poppy walks out of the mall with her two new friends and her first pair of stolen jeans, she’s hooked.

Before long, Poppy is lifting whenever she gets the urge—it’s never about the merchandise, it’s always about the thrill. But when her secret gets out, the girls in Poppy’s clique turn on one another. As she watches her life collapse around her, Poppy must decide where her loyalties lie … and how far she’ll go to protect herself.

Jenn: What’s your favorite gizmo advertising your book?

Jenn: Why was it important to you to write this book?

Wendy: I’ve written two romantic comedies for young adults (as part of the Simon Pulse Ro-Com line) and though those were really fun, I wanted to try something entirely different. I really wanted to challenge myself. And challenge myself I did. This baby took a good two years of work, sometimes up to 20 solid hours in a single day. I was constantly trying new angles, researching (mainly topics like shoplifting and addiction in general, as well as details for my setting), and reworking. I feel like I know my characters and have put so much of myself into creating something special for the world to read.

Jenn: Where is this book set, and what does the setting mean to you?

Wendy: It’s set in Eastern Texas, in an imaginary town called Pleasant Acres. I wanted it to be deep in the Bible belt and be a character in and of itself. Though I’ve never lived in Eastern Texas (Houston is the closest), my grandparents (on both sides) live(d) in Kilgore and Longview, and my dad and his new wife recently moved back to Kilgore. When my grandfather died, I went back to East Texas for his funeral and I was really struck by the beautiful scenery (so green and hilly), how the overall pace is slower than other places I’ve been, how people dress up, and how most everyone goes to church regularly. It was a perfect setting for a book about shoplifting! :)

Jenn: My May release, Endless Summer, is the sequel to The Boys Next Door, and it’s the first sequel I’ve written. How do you feel about sequels and series versus stand-alone novels as a writer, and as a reader?

Wendy: My WIP (work in progress) happens to be a series, but I’ve never written one so I am still learning from the writer’s prospective. As a reader, I really like them because I tend to get attached to the characters and want to know what they’re up to after I read the final page of book one. Then again, I don’t like when a story feels “watered down” by the time I get to later books in the series, so it’s important for me as a reader for the story to be deep enough to keep my interest for more than one book.

Jenn: What good books have you read lately?

Wendy: Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick was very good I thought. I’m in the middle of The Help and I’m really enjoying it.

Jenn: When readers tell you they’ve read and loved all your books and they want recommendations for similar books to read now, what do you say?

Wendy: When it’s one of my ro-coms (The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren or Miss Match) that they loved, I recommend all of the Pulse Ro-Coms, especially those by a certain author named Jennifer Echols.

Jenn: *snort*

Wendy: Since I haven’t heard this particular question in regards to Lifted yet, I think I’ll probably mention Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak, Allison Van Diepen’s Snitch, Sara Zarr’s Story of a Girl, Sara Hantz’s The Second Virginity of Suzy Green, or Emily Wing Smith’s The Way He Lived.

Jenn: What’s next for you?

Wendy: I can’t really say, but I’m working on a paranormal YA right now.

Jenn: Wendy, thanks so much for stopping by!