Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Slightly Married by Wendy Markham
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
"WENDY MARKHAM" is a pseudonym for Wendy Corsi Staub, the New York Times bestselling author of psychological suspense. Her latest thriller, DON'T SCREAM, spent five weeks on the New York Times, USA Today, and Barnes and Noble Top Ten bestseller lists in May 2007. Under contract with five publishers, she will release thirteen books in the seventeen month period between February 2007 and July 2008. Her new young adult hardcover paranormal suspense series, LILY DALE, has been optioned for television. As Wendy Markham, she writes chick lit, romantic comedy, time travel, and paranormal. She is the recipient of two RWA Rita Awards, two Washington Irving fiction prizes, a Romantic Times Critics Choice nomination, a Waldenbooks Top 100 Fiction listing, five RT BookReviews Magazine Top Picks, and the RWA-NYC Golden Apple Lifetime Achievement award. She lives with her husband and children in New York.
Visit her website at www.wendycorsistaub.com
Why did you become a writer? Was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
I think I was born a writer--it's in my blood. My father and grandfather were terrific verbal storytellers and my mother was a voracious reader who instilled in me a love of books. I decided in the third grade that I would become a published author, and I never strayed from that goal.
What do you love about being an author? Is there anything you dislike?
I love just about everything about being an author. Perhaps my favorite thing is setting an example to my children that childhood dreams do come true with hard work and patience. I love their being inspired to follow their own dreams by watching me immerse myself in my creative passion every day of my life. Pretty much the only thing I dislike is reading negative reviews from readers, which happens very rarely, thank goodness!
How do you balance your personal and writing time?
I don't claim to balance it at all. I have precious little personal time and what there is belongs to my children first and foremost. Most of my time these past few years has been spent writing.
How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story?
Usually with my suspense novels, the glimmer of an idea--a "what if"--will pop into my head. With the chick lit and romance, it's more character-driven as I mainly write ongoing installments in my Tracey Spadolini series for Red Dress Ink and my Chickalini family series for Warner.
What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
I write suspense and young adult paranormal suspense as Wendy Corsi Staub and chick lit, romantic comedy and romantic time travel as Wendy Markham. I guess I am just instinctively drawn to both the dark side and the light side--can't immerse myself in one or the other 100% of the time.
What is the biggest misconception about being an author?
That authors are always looking elsewhere for ideas. If I had a nickel for every time someone has said, "I have a great story idea for you to write," I'd be richer than JK Rowling. My head is swimming with plenty of ideas of my own; I always tell people that if they have a great story idea they should give writing a whirl.
Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
My characters are all fictional, but once in awhile there are elements of real people I have known. I ever lift a person from my personal life and plop them down in a story, though.
Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
I love Lucinda Sloan, the psychic who is introduced as a secondary character in my upcoming May 2008 thriller DYING BREATH from Zebra Books. She'll be the heroine of the sequel, DYING LIGHT. Paranormal elements always captivate me, and I love that Lucinda is from a blue blood family who thought she was some kind of freak because of her visions, so she basically turned her back on it and now lives a very simple life helping police find lost children. She's very real and very flawed: she has a weakness for junk food and the wrong men.
If you were writing a script for the big screen, who would you want to act in your movie?
I actually am writing a script for the big screen, with my husband and our screenwriter friend. It's a romantic comedy I'd describe as a Nora Ephron movie meets a Farrelly Brothers movie. I see Drew Barrymore, Kate Hudson, or SNL's Amy Poehler as the heroine--wacky and loveable.
What would you want readers to take away from your books?
Having escaped the real world for a little while. That's pretty much what I do when I write them!
Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book?
Remember that it's hard, hard work. I think people are under the impression that it's easy to sit around spinning tales on paper. But it's complicated and time-consuming to produce a 500 page manuscript and create an entire fictional universe. It's not going to happen overnight.
Who are your favorite authors?
Mostly authors I read as a child, because I don't have much time for reading these days. Laura Ingalls Wilder, Lenora Mattingly Weber, Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, RIchard Peck, Mary Rodgers, Francine Pascal.
What are you reading right now?
I was reading Joy Fielding's PUPPET on vacation, but I had to put it aside now that I'm home and writing again. I can't read fiction while I'm writing it. I read a lot of nonfiction--I particularly love historical true crime and biography.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
One small step for Tracey, one giant leap for the groom.
After three years, the man who bought a lifetime subscription to Tivo without trying it finally committed to a lifetime subscription to Tracey Spadolini.
All Tracey wants is to get hitched without a hitch--but as the calendar marches toward her late-October wedding date, suddenly she and her fiance can't agree on anything. From where to get married (New York City or Buffalo?) to how many attendants they're going to have (she's already asked eight, he was thinking of just a best man). Meanwhile, Tracey's friends are caught up in their own dramas. There's newlywed Raphael, who just had his gay wedding; newly pregnant Kate, trying to adjust to impending motherhood; and Buckley, who is acting inexplicably strange. When Buckley unexpectedly calls off his own engagement, all but leaving his fiance at the altar, Tracey is stunned to discover that he might be in love with her.
With plenty of snafus to keep them distracted, is being Slightly Married the road to happily ever after, after all?
Meet Jack Candell, the man who bought a lifetime subscription to Tivo without first trying it out, yet spent six painstaking months in possession of an heirloom diamond engagement ring and no clue how--or when--or, I suspect, if--he should propose to me.
But all that excruciating Will-He-Or-Won’t-He suspense is behind us now. Jack has finally committed to a lifetime subscription to Tracey Spadolini, live-in-girlfriend of two-plus years.
What can be more romantic than getting engaged on Valentine’s Day?
I’ll tell you: getting engaged on Valentine’s Day on the heels of your best friend’s gay wedding while wearing a red and black brocade bridesmaid’s gown, your scalp coated with sleet and the Aussie Spritzed remnants of an elegant up-do, as your fiancé kneels in the slushy gutter on West Broadway.
Maybe you had to be there.
Well, I was, and believe me, hearing Jack’s long-awaited, heartfelt proposal--and saying yes--was the most romantic, exhilarating event of my life.
The afterglow has lingered all the way uptown on the subway and throughout the short walk home to our building from the 96th Street station. At this point, I’m bursting with joy, anxious to share the news and show off the ring. Too bad Jimmy, our favorite doorman, is off duty most Saturdays.
In his place tonight is Gecko, a dour old chatterbox who, if you say anything more than a polite hello in passing, will hold you captive in the lobby for hours with his ongoing monologue about his gout and his diverticulitis, what he can and can’t eat these days, and graphic detail about the effect on his various bodily functions if he disobeys the gastro-enterologist’s orders.
I wisely keep my hand in my pocket and my afterglow to myself as we pass him.
But the glow resumes as Jack and I cuddle and kiss on the journey up to our floor, even though we’re sharing the elevator with a trio of yapping terriers and Quint, the effete neighborhood dog-walker, clad in what looks suspiciously like lederhosen.
You know how some things in life can never quite live up to the anticipation? Like Christmas, losing your virginity, and biting into your first Hostess Twinkie after a week on Atkins?
Well, for once, I’m not even slightly disappointed. I’m pleased to report that so far, being engaged is every bit as exhilarating as I thought it would be.
I walk on air toward the door to Apartment 9K with a marquis-cut diamond newly twinkling on the fourth finger of my left hand and my future husband--husband, people!--by my side.
My mental string orchestra is launching into yet another lilting version of “Isn’t It Romantic” when my beloved glances down, grimaces, and informs me, “My feet are soaked. They’re going to stink to high heaven when I take off these shoes.”
Yeah, well, better stinky than cold, I think, undaunted, and my private orchestra plays a little louder to drown out any other unromantic proclamations Jack might be inclined to spout.
At least he hasn’t informed me that he has to piss like a racehorse, which is a frequent mood-dampening line of his.
Jack retrieves his keys from the pocket of his overcoat as we cover the last few steps to our apartment. I do my best to focus on the afterglow lest my thoughts wander to his potentially stinky feet or my own throbbing ones crammed into fugly bridesmaid’s shoes.
You’re getting married! You’re finally engaged!
Amazing. Does life get any better than this?
I imagine that from here on in, everything is going to be different. Food will taste more delicious, sex will be more fulfilling, plans of any sort will be more meaningful.
Watching my fiancé--I so can’t wait to use that word out loud--literally unlock the door to our one-bedroom apartment, I can’t help but feel as though he’s figuratively opening it to our future together.
As we cross the threshold, I prepare to see our place in a whole new light.
Not that there is much actual light, this being a sleet-drenched February dusk.
Everywhere I look are signs that we raced out of here at the last minute this morning. My pajamas are in a heap on the floor in the doorway of the bedroom. The jelly and butter are still out on a crumb-littered counter top. On the small dinette table amid piles of sorted and unsorted mail and newspapers sit two untouched mugs of tea with the bags still in them.
Tea...for two...two...for tea, plays the jaunty orchestra in my head.
“Home sweet home,” Jack announces with a contented sigh, tossing his keys on the table and throwing his sopping trench coat over the nearest chair.
“Uh-huh, we’ve got to move,” I can’t help but blurt in response.
This isn’t an impulsive inspiration. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for awhile now.
Nor is this the first time I’ve shared the thought with Jack.
His gaze is promptly steeped with panic, same as it always is when I bring up trading our little love nest for something a little less–well, nesty.
Not that I have anything against nesting. Hell, I’m all for it. But I’d prefer a two-bedroom nest, at the very least. I’d love a heating system that isn’t prone to clanging or wafting the aroma of other people’s ethnic cooking. A view would be nice, too. Doesn’t have to be of Central Park or the river, even–just something other than the ugly, claustrophobically-close building next door.
"In her comical tale about the trials and errors encountered along the road to the biggest day in a young woman's life, Markham successfully weaves together colorful characters--ranging from the fabulous gay friend to the uptight future sister-in-law to a bothersome old flame. Readers will delight in the main character's triumphs, share in her pain and overall enjoy the ride."
-- Jennifer Madsen, RT BOOKreviews
"In this wonderfully written story, Wendy Markham creates some fun along the way to saying I do. Her colorful cast of characters spin a wedding about relationships and the woes of planning that keep the reader entertained. This chick-lit is an amusing tale."
-- Coffee Time Romance
Slightly Married by Wendy Markham
Publisher: Red Dress Ink
Release Date: June 2007
Genre: Chick lit
$11.16 from Amazon.com
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