Today we are fortunate enough to chat with Wendy Steele, the lady from Wales!
Wendy Steele lives on a hillside in Wales. She can see the mountains from a place on her land where one day, she'll build a straw bale writing room.
She worked in the City, BC (Before Children) but since 1999 has indulged her creative side, training in natural therapies, belly dance and writing. Publication of dance articles led to writing courses, and summer school, producing her first novel 'Destiny of Angels - First book in the Lilith Trilogy.'
In 2012 she published her first non-fiction title ' Wendy Woo's Year - A Pocketful of Smiles', as well as two short story anthologies and an erotic accompaniment to the Lilith Trilogy 'Too Hot for Angels'. In June 2014, the second book in the Lilith Trilogy, Wrath of Angels hit the bookshelves and in November 2014, The Standing Stone – Home for Christmas was published, her first book inspired by her life in the Welsh countryside.
Wendy lives with her partner, Mike, and four cats and spends her days renovating her house, clearing her land and, when time and weather allows, sitting on her riverbank, breathing in the beauty of nature.
Read more about Wendy here!
- What sparked your interest in writing? Your proverbial light-bulb moment?
Writing about my experiences has been normal for me for as long as I can remember. Committing my experiences to paper enforces a memory, sometimes reminding me of a special moment, painting a picture of the world from my perspective.
I wrote many stories as a child, seemingly from pure imagination but, looking back, the memory of a person or place definitely sparked my need to write.
Stories have always been my friends, there for me on my shelf, or now on my kindle, whenever I feel alone and need a boost so, what better job could there be that allows me to share my stories with others and be a friend on someone else's book shelf.
- Which genre are you most comfortable writing in?
I began writing women's fiction but this soon developed into paranormal occult fiction, as I have a love of magic and the witches Qabalah. My most recent work, The Standing Stone – Home for Christmas, inspired by my first months in Wales, has broadened my writing horizons further as this book is set in the present, past and future. I adored writing about the Bronze Age and taking my first steps into science fiction.
- Would you say you draw most often from your own knowledge base when writing or do you research for fresh material?
Even if I'm using my own knowledge, I research every book I write to some extent.
- Tell us a bit about your work. How, for instance, do you choose your titles?
Most of my writing begins with 'what if?' and I allow the ideas to bounce around in my head for many months before I commit even notes to paper. My book titles are chosen from a word or phrase that is the over riding key to what the book is about. If I'm choosing a book from the shelf, I like to be told what I will be reading about!
- We love to read excerpts. Share with us your favourite bit of writing from you latest book.
This is an excerpt from The Standing Stone – Home for Christmas:
Candy grabbed the band and thrust it up her arm and waited. Nothing happened. Breathing heavily, she leant back against the wall, trying to count beats that would still her pounding heart. Nothing happened. As sweat ran down her body, Candy slid down the wall and sat shaking on the floor. She licked her lips as her panic subsided. How much guard training did they give Paul? They must have told him about the wrist bands, how they needed to remain in human contact and that the heat from their bodies kept them working. And the security device, the security device on the wristbands. She remembered the training, she heard the voice on the Screen.
“To prevent interception of the wrist band by intruders, for example to be used to sound the alarm and summon the armies of the Dome into an ambush, each wrist band contains a security device that is automatically activated if the transfer of band from guard to guard is not deemed swift. The device will explode the wristband and shatter all PDs in the vicinity.”
Candy rose shakily to her feet and took up her guard position. Scared and confused she watched the needle as it crept towards the red segment.
Within the Comfort Cubicle, as light warmed her and lifted her mood and water trickled freely into her mouth, Candy began to laugh as a weird euphoria rippled through her body. Acceptance of the Lessons was the key requirement within the Dome and so, to maintain acceptance there could be no questions and therefore, no talking, no discussion, no dissent. Her apartment was aptly named for that's what it did, kept her apart. With every One obliged to carry out their duty for the good of All, who would dissent, even if they could? What would be the consequence, not just to One but to All? But the security band had been bereft of human contact yet remained in tact. No PDs were shattered.
Candy scrabbled with the hoses as the light began to dim, reattaching her PD as she walked through the door but, this time, she didn't click her visor down but stuck out her tongue and tasted as a faint wisp of air brushed her tongue and caressed her sweaty cheek. She held her breath, torn between clicking her visor down and breathing more of the sweet clean air. She decided that if the air were poisoned or polluted, it was too late now, and began to take deeper breaths. She watched her exhalations billowing from her lips.
- That's awesome! Who do you identify with most in your work? And why?
Angel Parsons, the main character in the Lilith Trilogy, has lived with me for four years now and I know her the best of all my characters. I love that she wears a mask, playing her part in a world that she has created for herself. I admire her determination, courage and strength and that there is so much more to her than the sleek, well-groomed persona she portrays.
- If you could choose who would play Angel Parsons in the movie or series made from your work, who would it be?
When I created Angel, I had Salma Hayek in mind so she would be my choice to play her in a movie.
- Which four words would you use to describe yourself?
Wow, that's difficult! Positive, creative, focussed and loving, at least that's what I aspire to be.
- Which four words would you use to describe your work?
Even harder! Inspiring, spiritual, thought provoking, contemporary.
- I have to throw this in! That list of favourites we’re all interested in!
Favourite book: A Hatful of Sky by Terry Pratchett
Favourite movie: The Blues Brothers
Favourite TV series: QI
Favourite colour: purple
Favourite food: pineapple
Favourite drink: rooibos
Favourite pet: cat
Favourite season: Spring
Favourite place: My riverbank
- Often personal fame and prominence for your work go together, but frequently authors prefer remaining in the background while hoping their work will assume the limelight. Is this true for you, or don’t you mind a bit of fame?
Honestly, I would prefer to remain in the background but, as an Indie writer, that option is not possible. I understand a reader's desire to get to know the author of the book they love and, as there is so much of 'me' in every book I write, I'm happy to share more with my readers. Before I began working with social media, I decided to be myself so, I hope that if readers meet me 'in real life' they will feel they already know me from my blogs, posts and tweets.
- That's a healthy way to go about it! Tell us about your next book (we love to know what to look forward to!).
My next book is the sequel to The Standing Stone – Home for Christmas entitled, The Standing Stone – Silence is Broken. The ending of Home for Christmas gives the three women the opportunity to follow a different path and Silence is Broken tells the story of their choices.
- And we'd love to showcase it here as well! What comes next, besides a new book project? A holiday, an event?
When we moved to Wales in August 2013, pitched our tent in the field of the house we were buying and waited ten weeks for the purchase to go through, we knew we had a lot of work to do on our dilapidated farmhouse and byre but the storms in February this year took a massive toll on the buildings so, our aim for the following few months is to get a temporary roof on the cow byre and begin rebuilding the stone walls. Both the house and byre are Grade II listed, adding to the difficulties with planning and approval but we're at the building regulations stage now so can proceed to get work under way.
- Loads of luck, we'll hold thumbs for you. And finally, if you could choose one person, living or dead, you would like to meet, who would it be and what would you ask of that person?
I would like to meet the Dalai Lama and ask him how he would change the world to make it the compassionate, loving world I believe it could be.
Thank you for spending time with us, Wendy!
We wish Wendy every success with her latest book:
Rachel arrives in Wales to begin a new life but will Marcus jeopardise their future together before it's begun?
Candy knows the punishment for leaving Station 23 unguarded. Will she succeed in convincing Paul to obey the Lesson?
Fern loves her life in the village but when the Tall Folk arrive with metal working skills, will her peace be shattered forever?
Though distanced by time and space, three women find the Standing Stone and the teachings of the Great Mother, Binah.
Wendy's other works:
The Lilith Trilogy:
Destiny of Angels
Wrath of Angels
Short story anthologies:
Into the flames
Turn down the heat
Too hot for Angels
The Standing Stone – Home for Christmas
Wendy Woo's Year – A Pocketful of Smiles – 101 ideas for a happy year and a happy you
Connect with Wendy: