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Friday, May 5, 2017

Umberland Blog Tour: Interview with Wendy Spinale!

Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pub. Date: May 9th, 2017
Pre-Order it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 
What began with a reimagining of Peter Pan and Wendy now twists into a stunning version of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass!

Gwen, Pete, and the others have escaped from Everland. But the safe haven they hoped to find at Alnwick Castle doesn't exist. With the Queen of England on her deathbed, Duchess Alyssa has stepped in to lead, but things have gotten worse as the cure Doc created for the Horologia virus has mutated, accelerating the disease. The only possible solution he can think of is to go back to the virus's origin: an extinct poisonous apple.

Legend has it a tree bearing the apple might be found at the center of a deadly labyrinth hidden deep within Germany. A place that no one in their right mind enters. Leaving Pete in charge of the survivors, Alyssa sets out with only her sword, her wits, and the help of Maddox Hadder, a wild boy who oversees the castle gardens. To get to the center of the maze, she'll be forced to battle monsters more terrifying than her darkest nightmares.

But can anyone truly survive the madness of the maze? And what if there's no apple to be found there?
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.
Connect with Wendy: Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

Tell us about an especially fun or memorable story from your days working in Disneyland!

I had the opportunity to work with many celebrities along my journey, but my most favorite memory was playing hide and seek on Tom Sawyer’s Island with my co-partner (what we called a “unit”) with a huge group of kids. By the way, that was against the rules. Shhh! Don’t tell anyone.

What inspired your books?
The Disneyland cast I worked with inspired many of the characters in my book, but also my love for all things fairy tale.

What are your favorite retellings? And what are some that you'd love to write in the future?
I’m inspired by Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series. She’s been an amazing source of encouragement and a cohort in all things retelling. As far as retellings I’d like to write, I’m starting to look into folklore stories. While researching for book three, I fell upon a lot of folklore stories that I thought would make amazing retellings.

How do you deal with writer's block?
Ah, writer’s block. I’ve started devoting time to the gym and bringing my pen and paper with me. I also keep a notebook by my bed as well. I find that in times I’m not actually writing, I get my best inspirations.

Tell us about your most memorable author moment!
I happened to be in Dallas recently at the airport waiting for a connecting flight. Pre-boarding was called for my flight and I headed toward the gate. I was waiting for my boarding group to be called next to a group talking about publishing. I threw in my two cents and when they asked me how I knew so much I told them I was an author. One lady asked who I was and what I wrote. When I told her I was the author of Everland she pulled the book from her bag and held it out asking, “This book?” She didn’t believe me at first, but luckily, I had lots of swag and a few books of my own on hand. I signed her book, took a picture with her, and nearly missed our flight. It was sort of funny and surreal all at the same time.

Week One:
5/1/2017 - Tales of the Ravenous Reader - Interview
5/2/2017 - A Glass Of Wine Blog - Review
5/3/2017 - Margie's Must Reads - Excerpt
5/4/2017 - Swoony Boys Podcast - Review
5/5/2017 - Brittany's Book Rambles - Interview

Week Two:
5/8/2017 - BookHounds YA - Review
5/9/2017 - Two Chicks on Books - Interview
5/10/2017 - History from a Woman's Perspective - Review
5/11/2017 - YA Books Central - Interview
5/12/2017 - Emily Reads Everything - Review


  1. This is such a cool concept for a book! I think that being immersed in the whole world of Disney everyday would spark a story like this in me as well. I am really intrigued by it and I will definitely be checking it out. Thanks for sharing this one. :)

  2. Hello Wendy! I'm looking forward to starting this series. Thank you

  3. I love these kind of stories. How much fun that the author worked at Disneyland! That would be a fun job. Thanks for sharing this!

  4. Lovely interview post Brittany :D Thank you for sharing about this. <3 These books do look pretty amazing. Curious about them :)

  5. I loved Everland and Peter Pan but I love Alice retellings the most so I can't wait to read Umberland (: Thank you for this giveaway

  6. Oooo, working at Disneyland! That sounds fun and interesting. I've not read these books but I've seen them around and I LOVE the covers. :D Great post, Brittany!

    Have a fantastic weekend. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  7. Oh my gosh what an amazing giveaway! Umberland sounds incredible. Keeping my fingers crossed! Rosie x

  8. I have the first book and I'm looking forward to starting this series. Fun interview!

  9. Ooo, it's so cool working at Disneyland inspired Wendy Spinale's series! I imagine there would be a lot of inspirational sources to take from. ^^

    Sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts

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