Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Wendy Wilson Spooner!
Thanks for joining me today. Congratulations on the release of your debut novel Once Upon an Irish Summer. What was your inspiration for the story?
Wendy: I still catch my breath when I think of the trip to Ireland I took with my parents and husband a few years ago. It was while exploring the original estate connected to my Irish ancestors that the seed sprouted to write about Allen Hamilton, the oldest son of my 3rd great grandfather.
LM: The age old question for writers – are you a planner or a “pantster,” and what is your favorite part of the writing process?
Wendy: I started out as a pantster. Now I write with a loose outline I learned called “Story Beats” designed by Ara Grigorian and Janis Thomas, creators of the Novel Intensive Writer’s Workshop in Southern California. I’ve written seven chapters in two days with this method, which I highly recommend.
LM: In addition to your fiction, you’ve also written lots of nonfiction. What do you do differently for the two genres? The same?
Wendy: Nonfiction is totally different for me because I’ve never written anything lengthy of that genre. But I write from my heart for nonfiction, even when I’m writing a professional article for the field of Genetic Genealogy, my other day job, which requires a lot of citations and a more cerebral approach..
LM: What do you do to prepare yourself for writing? (e.g., listen to music? Go to a certain place in your home?)
Wendy: I grab my favorite snacks, water, comfy clothes, and a blanket and whatever else I need to hunker down for hours.
LM: Research is an important part of writing, especially historic fiction (and you’re a professional researcher!). Did you discover any “aha” sort of tidbit(s) that you knew you want to include in Once Upon an Irish Summer?
Wendy: Oh my, yes. SO many tidbits. When researching a historical figure that left behind fifteen boxes of papers and letters, as well as a legacy left in who his descendants became, I had quite a job in honoring the main historical character and his family--in sticking to actual history and filling in the many blanks. That’s why Once Upon an Irish Summer took three years to write!
LM: Here are some quickies:
Favorite childhood book: The Magic Summer by Noel Streatfield. Funny that it takes place in Ireland in the Summer! Hmm, was I influenced much?
Favorite food: Ice cream. Does that count as a food?? I think it DOES.
Favorite vacation place: Disneyland
LM: What is your next project?
Wendy: The next book in the series! This story is a continuation of the present-day main characters, and in the historical timeline, it goes back in time to the little sister who was left behind in Ireland when her favorite brother set off for America.
LM: Where can folks find you on the web?
Professional Genetic Genealogy Site
About Once Upon an Irish Summer:
1817 Ireland: Allen Hamilton crosses the Atlantic alone to find a way to save his family from imminent financial and social ruin before it's too late. Instead, he is met with prejudice, sickness, and starvation.
2018 Fort Wayne, Indiana: A gift young artist struggles with debilitating grief after a sudden death in her family. When she unearths Allen Hamilton's noble rise from rags to riches in Antebellum America, their shared connection inspires her own healing and renewed inspiration.
Based on a 200-year-old letter collection, Once Upon an Irish Summer brings to life and weaves together this true story of romance, mystery, and hope.
Pre-Order Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B082LWVX3H