Sunday, 24 February 2013


What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
Wendy Scott, born in Invercargill, New Zealand. I’ve lived and worked in New Zealand and Australia. Currently residing in Hokitika, New Zealand, on a 3 acre plot in an off the grid house (solar powered).

When did you first consider yourself as a “writer”?
When I’d completed the first draft of my first novel (~100,000 words). Fortunately, I’d worked at a winery so I had some lovely wine to celebrate this achievement with.

Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
I have a New Zealand Certificate in Science (Chemistry) and have worked in a variety of laboratories in NZ and Australia.
During my years of writing I’ve worked fulltime (including commuting 3 hours a day - which I utilized for writing by quoting into a voice activated recorder), been a stay at home Mum, in a house truck with a baby, dog and partner (wrote on a solar powered laptop at night by candlelight), worked a 4 on 4 off rooster with 12 hour days opposite my partner so we could manage childcare, and Monday to Friday 9 to 5 work. During all these different scenarios I figured out ways to squeeze in my writing.
In March 2012 I gave up my fulltime job as a Dairy Laboratory Supervisor to focus fulltime on my writing career and to spend more time with my family while our son is young. Luckily, my partner fully supports this move (he actually instigated it).
While it’s often quoted to authors, “Don’t give up your day job!” this move was the right one for me.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
Lodestone, Book 1 Witch-Hunt Series.
To stop Lauren’s Order invading her homeland, Sabrina, a healer-witch, must destroy the Lodestone and restore magic to Valloaria.

Who is your publisher? Or do you self publish?
Both. I write under three pen names. Wendy Scott for fantasy (adults), WJ Scott for children’s and Wendy Jayne for romance (or dark fantasy romance).
Self published adult fantasy e-books under Wendy Scott.
The Windflowers Trilogy. Book 1, Ferrasium. Book 2, Golden Scarab.
Lodestone, Book 1 of the Witch-Hunt Series.
I have plans to expand into print with Create space at a later date.
Pear Jam Books will be releasing my children’s book, Tails, mid next year in print, e-book and audio book under WJ Scott.
I have yet to release works under Wendy Jayne, but they are in process.

What can we expect from you in the future? I.e. more books of the same genre? Books of a different genre? Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
There’ll be quite a mixture as I’m working on several projects.
Due for release 2013, Pyramidion, Book 3 of the Windflowers Trilogy by Wendy Scott.
Due for release mid 2012, Tails, by WJ Scott. (Children’s junior novel)
 In process.
A dark fantasy romance, working title – Masquerade by Wendy Jayne.
Tiger House: The First Chronicle of Jairus Tanner. Fantasy by Wendy Scott.
Hieroglyph. A children’s novel by WJ Scott. This novel was selected for one of ten places by the New Zealand Society of Authors for their MS Assessment programme and was further selected for one of five mini-mentorships.
Prophesy and Pirates (working title): Saviour series. Fantasy by Wendy Scott.
Next in series
Witch-Sniffer. Book 2 Witch-Hunt Series. Fantasy by Wendy Scott.
Heart by WJ Scott, following on from, Tails.
I have exercise books overflowing with other storylines. So many ideas that it’s difficult to decide which one to do next.

What genre would you place your books into?
Fantasy, but they are action adventures full of suspense with romantic elements.
The Children’s novels are junior fiction (middle grade).

If you had to choose to be one of your characters in your book/books which would you be and why?
I’d choose Kalli from the Windflowers Trilogy. I love her feistiness. The Bera-Bera tribe have a saying – Destiny Decides, but Kalli likes to make up her own mind. Also if I was Kalli I’d get to kiss Sakhir and that alone would be worth the role playing.

Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them? ie Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
All my books are sent to an external editor for proofreading/review. After I’ve finalized changes I send the MS to an avid fantasy reader(s) for their comments and final proofread. I always get someone else to read the final draft as I’m too familiar with the work and may not pick up errors.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
Yes. I’m often on the hunt for reviewers. Readers can contact me via the contact page on my website if they’d like to be considered as a reviewer for my books.

What was the toughest/ best review you have ever had?
Best for Ferrasium - I received a lovely hand-written note on flowery paper which said, “I read a lot of fantasy! I’m rating this new author up there with one of my other favourites Juliet Marillier. I love the fast pace, it has you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. I couldn’t put it down (sorry family). Can’t wait for book 2!!!
I liked it so much I scanned it onto the Comments & Reviews page of my website.

How do you come up with the Title and Cover designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books?
Firstly, I assign a working title. Sometimes this changes as I write the book and the plot develops. Lodestone was originally titled Lauren’s Tragedy until feedback from a writing guru suggested this didn’t sound like a thrilling read. Tiger House was titled Survivor until a major structure alteration.
 My three e-covers to date have all been designed by Katrina “Death” Joyner of Writers for the Apocalypse. I send her the story concepts and excerpts and she works her magic. I’ve been absolutely delighted with her work and can’t praise her highly enough.

How do you come up with character names and place names in your books?
I have a well-thumbed Baby Name book containing over 75,000 names. I also use phone books and newspapers (but mix them up a bit). When I hear an unusual or cool name I jot it down in my notebook. I have a collection of history books on ancient cultures and I google.
For places I either use my imagination or get inspiration from an atlas or maps.

Do you basic plot/plan your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
I do both. For my longer novels, especially series, I plot extensively, but this is always flexible and often evolves during the creative process. Quite often I see my stories as if they were movies and all I’m doing is writing it all down. For shorter novels I sometimes just start with a character and a concept and see where they take me. I have an exercise book handy for each story and when I think of something I jot it down. I’m a fan of Aristotle’s incline and have written novels from nothing more than notes on the major plot points.

What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller?
I love a story to sweep me away, keeping me up until the wee hours with suspense and characters that capture either my heart or my imagination.

What do you do to unwind and relax? Do you have a hobby?
Stovetop espresso coffee and chocolate (yes they can be classified as hobbies rather than addictions!) Countered by walks on the beach with my dog, Boss (he’s the size of a pony, but has the heart of a teddy bear), biking, tramping, canoeing, zumba and spin. I love curling up in the hammock on our porch with a book or picnic days swimming at Lake Kaniere or lying in bed watching movies.

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that happened to you?
It usually happens the other way around for me. I write about something and then it happens. The main character in an earlier novel became pregnant and so was I by the time I’d finished the first draft! This helped immensely with my research on the subject. When I was writing, Tails, one of the secondary characters was this exuberant dog called Buster Boy. My son and I visited the SPCA tent at a children’s day at the park and we both fell in love with this puppy-soon-to-be-a-pony. I saw the echo of Buster Boy within this puppy’s eyes and thumping tail and knew we were destined to be best friends. My friends suggest I should write about winning the lottery.

Which format of book do you prefer, e-book, hardcover, paperback?
I love them all.

What is your favourite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
 The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.  This book was first published in 1988 and originally in Portuguese.
There are layers woven into this short novel. I’ve read it many times and every time it’s transported me on a magic carpet ride and held me spellbound. It’s a gem of a story.

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?
Ebony Hill by Anna Mackenzie. YA sequel to The Sea-Wreck Stranger. Paperback.
A gripping tale set in a post-apocalyptic world and if you also loved the Hunger Games I believe you’d enjoy this series too.

Do you think e-books will ever totally replace printed books?
No, I believe there will always be print books. There’s a sacred tactile connection made when a reader holds a book and hears the rustle of a turning page.

Do you think children at schools these days are encouraged enough to read? And /or do Imaginative writing?
The school my son attends is very proactive. He is currently taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge – this encourages children to read daily during the long summer holiday break. At school they spend time on descriptive writing and my son (8 yrs) has kindly agreed that I can share an example with you.
The sun looks like a ball bouncing high. Cheeky seagulls are like rockets shooting through the sky. The seagulls’ legs are like missiles. Feathers sparkling like crystals. Beaks like arrows shooting through the sky. Author: Layk 8yrs.

Did you read a lot at school and write lots of stories or is being a writer something newer in your life?
I was always an avid reader and story writer. I wrote, directed, and starred in my own stage production with supporting cast members when I was about 10 years old at school. I can still remember that the play was called – No way, that’s my Mama! It also involved me riding my bike through the classroom.
Not to be outdone, not long afterwards, one of my classmates re-scripted himself into the starring role of Jesus Christ Superstar. At least mine was an original work!
Just recently we were sorting out some ancient boxes and I unearthed several paper ‘books’ I had made as a child. Handwritten novels complete with covers and set up like real books. Absolute treasures. Especially now as my son has been making his own books – just like Mum. One of them was about Hieroglyphics, proof of my life- long obsession with Ancient Egypt.

Did you have a favourite author as a child?
I adored Dr Seuss.

Do you have a treasured book from your childhood? If yes, what is it?
The Chronicles of Narnia. I’m now reading it to my son and we love watching the movies.

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