I am pleased to welcome Wendy Wax, author of Magnolia Wednesdays to Peeking Between the Pages today. I had received Wendy’s novel late and due to prior commitments my review of it will be at the end of this month but it is coming and I’m really looking forward to reading it. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. Let’s join Wendy as she talks about why she writes about women’s friendships…
I’ve been asked why I write books about women’s friendships.
I’d like to pretend that this was a conscious decision, but the truth is when it comes to writing I’m about as ‘unconscious’ as they come. Well, maybe ‘instinctual’ would be the kinder, gentler word. The truth is I didn’t sit down in front of my computer one day intending to write a book about women’s friendships or, even, about women who are friends.
I’m drawn to writing about women discovering who they are and what they’re made of; women becoming the people they were always meant to be. In real life this typically happens when really bad things happen and we’re tested, sometimes beyond what we think we’re capable of handling.
As a writer, I’ve done my best to mirror real life. I do this by making my protagonists’ lives fall down around them. They deal with cheating husbands and go through messy divorces. Some are traded in for younger models either at home or at work, a few have been humiliated on national television. There’s no end to the awful things I’ve used to nudge my characters onto their voyages of self discovery.
In the process I realized that in addition to learning to rely on themselves, my characters instinctively turn to other women when their lives started coming apart—just like so many of us do. Sometimes they have a sister or a close friend right there; sometimes they’re drawn to dissimilar women in similar situations and become close friends in the process; other times the women seem so different that the friendship that develops surprises everyone, including the women involved.
Somehow I went from kick-starting one character’s journey of self discovery to intertwining multiple characters’ journeys.
I didn’t really plan it that way. It just happened.
First Single in Suburbia seemed to center itself around three women who don’t fit in with the other mothers on a losing little league baseball team. Then, The Accidental Bestseller grew into a story about four writer friends who discover just how far they’re willing to go to help each other survive the publishing industry. With Magnolia Wednesdays, out March 2nd, I found myself drawn to four very different women, including a pair of estranged sisters, who unexpectedly bond during their weekly dance class at the Magnolia Ballroom.
As I tried to illustrate in The Accidental Bestseller, no one understands the unique highs and lows of publishing like another writer. The same is true for wives and mothers, for sisters and old friends. Chances are we could probably survive the journey without them at our sides, but who would want to?
After all, real life, like fiction, improves considerably when we have a good friend to share it with.
Fantastic guest post Wendy! I love stories about women’s friendships. They always seem uplifting to me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us here today!
About the book from Wendy Wax’s website:
Sometimes life comes at you in full swing…
At forty-one, Vivien Armstrong Gray has spent most of her life fighting to make it in investigative journalism, only to have it crumble after a bullet lodges in her backside during an exposé. As if the humiliation of being the butt of everyone’s jokes isn’t enough, Vivi learns that she’s pregnant, jobless, and very hormonal. Maybe that explains why she actually says ‘yes’ to a dreadful job covering suburban living back home in Georgia, a column she can only bear to write incognito.
Leaving her tiny apartment in New York, she unwillingly heads south to experience the suburban soccer mom existence through her widowed sister’s eyes. Surrounded by mini-vans and bake sales, she has lots of material for the column. Her sister’s ballroom dance studio becomes her undercover spot where she learns about the local life while posing as an ‘extra’ dance partner. But Vivi’s little stint starts throwing her for a loop as friendships develop, and a real relationship with her sister blossoms. As she digs up her long buried roots, and begins to secretly investigate her brother-in-law’s death, she starts to wonder if life inside the picket fence is so bad after all…
About the author from Wendy Wax’s website:
I was born in St. Petersburg, Florida and grew up on St. Pete Beach within spitting distance of the Gulf of Mexico. I went, appropriately enough, to Sunshine Elementary School where recess and art class sometimes took place on the beach, and the highlight of every school year was the annual fish broil.
It’s hard to be a type-A personality when you grow up in such a laid back environment, but I managed. Convinced that you were expected to know how to read BEFORE you showed up for school, I forced a neighbor friend to teach me to read at the age of five. I’ve been reading ever since.
Books, in all forms, are one of my greatest pleasures and best forms of escape. And they’ve had a major impact on my life.
I went to the University of Georgia after reading Gone with the Wind one too many times. For a while I re-read Margaret Mitchell’s classic yearly, saw the movie whenever it played within twenty miles, and could quote large passages from memory. Today I have a growing GWTW collection, and speaking at the Margaret Mitchell House last year was an incredible thrill.
After college I worked in radio, television, and film. Like Olivia in 7 DAYS AND SEVEN NIGHTS, I’ve done live talk radio. I hosted a show in the eighties called Desperate & Dateless, and while I was never locked in an apartment for a week with a webcam rolling like she was, I did fall in love. Happily, the man who swept me off my feet consults with financial types and understands the bottom line. Unlike Olivia’s nemesis, Matt Ransom, my husband has never, to my knowledge, advised anyone to ‘love the one they’re with.’ We live in Atlanta with our two sons.
I have 2 copies of Magnolia Wednesdays by Wendy Wax to share with my readers courtesy of Joan Schulhafer Publishing & Media Consulting. To enter…
- For 1 entry leave me a comment with a way to contact you.
- For 2 entries tell me about your best friend – is it someone who is there for you no matter what – someone you share most everything with?
- For 3 entries, blog or tweet this giveaway.
The giveaway is open to US & Canadian residents only as the books will be shipped directly from the publisher. I will draw for the winners on Saturday, April 3, 2010. Good luck to you all!