Hi guys, I am pleased to be kicking off the tour for Wendy Spinale's Everland. It is a fantastic book with an equally amazing author. Today, Wendy is on the blog sharing an interview I had with her, along with an awesome giveaway!
I must admit, I have lived an extraordinary life and will forever be grateful for the opportunities I have had.
I was the middle of three kids, my older brother being deaf for as far back as I can remember. At the time, I didn't realize how much that would later impact my life. I was a sign language interpreter for a short time (although I'm extremely rusty now), taught my kids to sign as infants, and now am using that experience in my current manuscript.
During college I was living in southern California working for Disneyland as a Cast Member in the Entertainment Department. I met my husband there who was also a performer. After four incredible years working with the Mouse, we moved to his hometown in the Bay Area.
I eventually got my Bachelor's in Kinesiology and worked in the fitness industry for ten years before a knee injury ended my career. Not sure what to do with my time, I applied to job posting to be an online journalist. I loved writing, but had no experience. I didn't hear back so I wrote up a review about a local restaurant and sent it to them to prove I could do the job. Twenty-four hours later, I was a journalist with AOL Media/Pleasanton Patch.
I spent three great years with them before cut backs forced me without a job again. That's when I started writing my first novel, which went nowhere. Dozens of rejection letters later. I started a second book. A year later I was offered representation by Thao Le from Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency and within another six months I was offered a book deal. EVERLAND (Scholastic) is scheduled to debut Summer of 2016!
Today I live in the Bay Area with my husband and three sons who are my biggest fans. While they're off at work and school, I bounce ideas off my four-legged, furry family members, Odie and Sammy.
Author: Wendy Spinale
Pub. Date: May 10, 2016
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Forget the story of Peter Pan you know. Because in Everland, the only way to grow up is to survive.
London has been destroyed in a blitz of bombs and disease. The only ones who have survived are children, among them Gwen Darling and her siblings, Joanna and Mikey. They spend their nights scavenging and their days avoiding the ruthless Marauders -- the German Army led by Captain Hanz Otto Oswald Kretschmer.
Unsure if the virus has spread past England's borders but desperate to leave, Captain Hook hunts for a cure, which he thinks can be found in one of the survivors. He and his Marauders stalk the streets snatching children for experimentation. None ever return. Until the day they grab Joanna. As Gwen sets out to save her, she meets a mysterious boy named Pete. Pete offers the assistance of his gang of Lost Boys and the fierce sharpshooter Bella, who have all been living in a city hidden underground. But in a place where help has a steep price and every promise is bound by blood, it will cost Gwen. And are she, Pete, the Lost Boys, and Bella enough to outsmart Captain Hook?
Q: What made you want to write a Peter Pan retelling/reimagining?
Peter Pan and Wendy has been my favorite story since I was a little girl. Like many young girls, fairytales became my “thing” at a young age and followed me into my adult life as I found myself working for Disneyland as a character actress. Now that my costume days are over, I’m combining my passion for writing and fairytales to create a series that will capture the hearts of readers who never want to grow up.
Q: What are some of your fears or phobias? (Ex: Spiders, bugs in general, high places?)
A: Don’t tell my publicist, I am currently conquering my fear of flying. I know! Ironic, huh? Normally, I don’t fly without someone to hold my hand, but I flew out to New York by myself recently to go meet my Scholastic team. Coloring books are very Zen.
Q: What 2016 book releases are you excited about?
A: I’m looking forward to The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi and Two Summers by Aimee Friedman. I’ve had the opportunity to read both books and they’re phenomenal.
Q: If you weren’t a writer, what would be your career?
A: Is this question geared toward real or imagined? In real life I was in the fitness industry, teaching classes before I launched my writing career. If this were a “I wish I could be” job, I would love to work with wild animals. Wild cats, primates, elephants, that sort of thing. If this were total fiction…I’d be a space pirate, pillaging and sailing the great universe.
Q: What is the scariest thing you have ever done for fun?
A: I married my Disney sweetheart who was a Matterhorn Climber. Needless to say, he’s taken me sport rock climbing. Although I’m not afraid of heights, there is something daunting about being several dozens of feet above the ground being held up by a rope and a few bits of metal.
Q: What is one material item that you could not survive without?
A: Bacon. Heaven forbid if there ever comes a time that there is a bacon shortage.
Q: What are your favorite types of scenes to write, and why?
A: Humor! I love writing funny scenes. Unfortunately, most of them get cut from the final manuscripts. It’s hard to write dark fantasy and still have giggling scenes. Thus, Gabs, my funny secondary character, to the rescue.
Q: What is one thing that drives you absolutely crazy?
Negative social media posts drive me absolutely nuts! Always, always put forth your best you for the world to see.
Q: What's the silliest thing you have heard people say about you?
A: I once had someone say to me, “Oh you’re an author? Must be nice not to work.” I smiled sweetly and said, “It isn’t a bad gig.” Meanwhile, in my head I was calculating all the hours I spent writing, rewriting, revising, editing, querying, sobbing over rejections, cheering for representation, editing again, waiting on submission, revising, editing, and now I’m starting all over with book two.
Q: Share 5 random or funny facts about yourself ^_^
- I have a birthmark in the shape of Australia on my right leg.
- I’ve had four moms related to me either by birth or marriage at one time…ha! Good luck figuring that one out.
- I’ve signed thousands of autograph books, but the majority of the times not in my own name.
- I have a tattoo of an angel, because I have always believed that a guardian angel watches over me.
- I’m fairly fluent in sign language. That said, I’m a bit rusty so be patient with me if you see me and test out my sign language.
Brittany: Thank you, Wendy, for being on our blog today! I hope all of you enjoyed this interview. If you need more convincing to pick up Everland be sure to read my 5 Star review! Also, be sure to check out the rest of the tour as well as the giveaway below!
5/2/2016- Brittany's Book Rambles- Interview
5/3/2016- BookHounds YA- Review
5/4/2016- Novel Novice- Guest Post
5/5/2016- A Glass Of Wine- Review
5/6/2016- Two Chicks on Books- Interview
5/9/2016- Beauty and the Bookshelf- Review
5/10/2016- Pandora's Books- Excerpt
5/11/2016- Please Feed the Bookworm- Review
5/12/2016- Once Upon a Twilight- Excerpt
5/13/2016- 5 Girls Book Reviews- Review
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