Today I have the privilege of sharing an interview with Wendy Paine Miller. Wendy is a wife, a mother of three girls, and a published writer. She has written several short stories, has appeared in many publications, and she also contributes to the Word Serve Water Cooler site. She is a gorgeous lady who comes off quirky, creative, and passionate in her words. She is very talented, and I expect to see novel publication in her near future. You can find more information about her by hopping on over to her blog: Thoughts That Move. I hope you enjoy what she has shared here as much as I have. Thanks a bunch Wendy!!!
KJ: Wendy, when did you know that you wanted to write, and when was the moment that you knew you were a writer?
WPM: One of my older sisters took to poetry and I admired her a great deal at the time. I began writing as a way to slip under her shadow. I looked up to everything she did. It wasn’t until college that I fell in love with writing in earnest and found a way to step out of my sister’s shadow and find my own light with words.
KJ: Tell me a bit about your genre and why it suits you.
WPM: I write upmarket women’s fiction. I’m in love with this genre. I have such a passion for women, the blend of tenderness and fierce strength we possess, and the beautiful ways we bond in relationships. Every time I sit to write I gravitate to this genre. I love the journey that all women go through at unique stages of life. At the same time I’m trying to better understand women and my relationships with women and the best way I know how to understand something is to write about it.
KJ: What about your journey to publication? I noticed you have published several short stories, have you published any novels?
WPM: No novels…yet. I was fortunate in that the short stories and essays I sent out early on got accepted quickly. I’ve written six novels (or is it seven…I’m losing track) and with each one I’ve gained clarity about how to weave a story together.
KJ: How long did you write before your first publication?
WPM: I was entirely blessed to be published in an anthology within months of when I first began taking writing seriously over three years ago.
KJ: What is different about writing short stories vs. novels? Is there a completely different approach that you use, or is it relatively similar?
WPM: Completely different. For me, short stories and novels are two different ballparks. The key for me is having a keen eye for the character(s). How well I know them makes or breaks a story, short or novel-length.
KJ: What is your most favorite writing project/ publication? (Of yours)
WPM: Tough question. I happen to think all my babies are beautiful. ;) There are certain characters I think about more. I wonder how they are and remember how much I enjoyed writing them. I’d say I have an affinity for some of the characters in my more recent books. I knew how to write them better so they splashed on the page with more depth, and a more palpable pulse.
KJ: Can you tell me your top three favorite reads? (And, just curious- do you write in your favorite genre to read?)
WPM: Such a hard question. Peace Like a River, The Outside Boy, and The Help. And even though two of my answers are outside my genre, yes, I do write in my favorite genre to read. (Oh, and I love The Book Thief…just had to get that in there.)
KJ: Do you ever struggle with finding balance between writing and family life? How do you find a happy medium, or does one actually exist??? :)
WPM: Ha! Do I struggle with balance? (Still laughing.) Of course, but no I don’t believe a happy medium exists. I believe something has to give and for me it’s often something related to cleaning.
KJ: Have you ever been in a season where you felt that your writing was on hold? If so, how can you keep growing through this?
WPM: Yes, I dealt with this for the first time after my father passed away over a year ago. I went through a terrifying stage when I feared I wouldn’t even want to return to words and that made me even sadder than I was.
But then I sat. And I wrote, and slowly my voice showed up again and reminded me it’s there for good. Sometimes I just have to be willing to hunt for it.
KJ: What advice would you give to novice writers, especially those who are wearing more than one hat? (Mothering, wife-ing, writing...)
WPM: Decide what you value, how hard you want to work, adopt a business-like approach with a personal flair, and know who you write for.
Wendy Paine Miller writes women’s fiction, crafting stories with the hope of poking brains and moving thoughts. She is not afraid to admit she regularly engages in triage living. Her life is a constant balancing act between her role as a wife, mom, writer, soccer coach, and volunteer. She graduated with a BA in English from Wittenberg University, where she earned an Honor of Distinction for her accrued knowledge of literature. Wendy feels most alive when she’s speeding in a boat, reading, writing, refurbishing furniture, running, and trusting God.
Thanks sooooo much Wendy!!!