Conversations With Colleen: Meet Author, Wendy Anne Darling
Hello everyone! Happy November! Can you believe it? This week I’m thrilled to bring you the first person I met from our blogging world, my dear friend, Wendy Anne Darling. Over the last few years, I’ve had the pleasure of her company because she lived north of me near Denver. We formed a friendship that gave us the opportunity to meet and correspond on a regular basis. Sadly, she has returned to her home across the sea and is now back in England. I do miss my dear friend being so close.
Wendy is an accomplished cake baker and decorator, author, illustrator, book cover designer, and, she still finds time to record audiobooks! The woman is a true marvel! ❤
Visit Wendy’s blog HERE to hear an audio recording of her reading a piece from her debut novel, “Silver Lightning.” Just click the audio link (Silver-Lightning-Excerpt) beneath the featured image of her book on the header.
Wendy is also a member of the Sisters of the Fey blog; a group of eight authors who came together to share their love of all things magical. Wendy’s specialty is putting her philosophical thoughts into words that make us all think about the magic in our world. Check out this post HERE and see if Wendy’s magical mathematical equation doesn’t fill you with joy!
I asked Wendy to pick three or four questions from my huge list HERE and told her to share her thoughts. One of the best ways to learn more about each other is to ask questions.
First, please meet my guest, Wendy Anne Darling:
Wendy Anne Darling was born in England, spent her high school years in South Africa, and moved the U.S. in 1989. Wendy has two gorgeous daughters and two phenomenal grandkids and lives near Boulder, Colorado with a view of the Rocky Mountains that inspires her every day.
Wendy’s love affair with books started early; her grandmother would bring her piles of slightly imperfect books, courtesy of her job with the Oxford University Press, and her love of reading led her to write her own stories and poetry from a very young age. She has read the entire The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit aloud twice; once to her sisters and again for her daughters and does a mean Gollum!.
Wendy is an author, narrator, artist, and actor. She has degrees in Visual Communications and Paralegal Studies, and studied Theater for a while at CU Boulder and has acted in several plays, including ‘A Taste of Shakespeare.’ She is a trained voice-over artist and is currently narrating and producing audio books for Amazon Audible. When she’s not reading, writing or drawing, she’s watching anything Sci-Fi and is a huge fan of Doctor Who.
Silver Lightning is her debut into publishing, and the cover is her own artwork. Wendy currently has 17 audio books to her name.
Hi, Colleen. Here I am visiting with you from across the pond!
Wendy, it’s so good to see you again. You know, I never asked you, but did any of your literary teachers ever tell you growing up that you were going to become a published writer one day?
Nobody ever told me that I would be a published author, but I did have a lot of encouragement to continue writing! My English teacher in high school asked me if she could use some of my poems in her classes and I – of course – agreed. I found out what she meant when she did a whole class project on my class and others, having the students (all except me!) discuss around a half dozen of them and answer questions, such as; ‘Why did the poet use a certain word in the first verse but use a different word in the last verse, which was, otherwise, identical?’ I found it all amusing and slightly embarrassing to have my classmates discussing my poetry as if I were a ‘real’ poet!
This same teacher once told me that she always left my creative writing projects until last to read and grade because she loved my stories. I would probably never have known this except for the fact that, on one occasion, I decided to write a horror story. Before class the next day she asked me what I had been thinking to come up with that as she hardly had a wink of sleep after reading it and kept imagining noises in her apartment!
On a later occasion – when I was studying for my graphic design degree – my psychology instructor asked me to promise him that whatever I ended up doing in my future life, it would include writing.
Since I’ve known you, Wendy you have taken quite a few trips. Do you like traveling or do you prefer staying close to home?
I adore traveling and can thank my mum and dad for that. My dad was in the British Navy for 15 years when I was young and had a hard time staying put when his term ended and he suddenly wasn’t sailing all over the world. Our family; Mum, Dad, me, and my two younger sisters, emigrated to South Africa when I was 12 and returned to England when I was 17.
After I got married my ex and I traveled and vacationed often in Europe, then, in 1988, he was recruited for a position in California and we had been in the US ever since. There are still so many places I want to explore!
I hope I have the chance to continue traveling. There’s nothing like living in a different country for a while to expand your horizons! Right now, I’m writing the answers to this interview while sitting on a couch at my sister’s home in Somerset, England!
Is there anything you are currently working on that may capture the interest of your readers?
After my wonderful mum died some years ago, I found out that she had been writing a book about dragons but it was only partly done. She had left a lot of notes as well as a synopsis and my dad suggested that I continue the project in honour of Mum.
Being a huge dragon lover myself, this sounded like a great idea! It has taken me quite a while to get my head around what she was trying to do; the copious notes she left soon made me realize that the story would easily span into a series of at least three books.
I now have a good part of the first volume done and am writing down ideas for the second and third as I go along. I won’t tell you too much yet, but I believe this series will be fantastic!
Dragons? I love dragons! I can’t wait for that book! So, how many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I could easily fill several books with the poetry I’ve written over the last 50 years but most of it will probably remain handwritten scribbles in a pile of old notebooks; my writing style has changed a lot over the half a decade that I have been writing them!
As far as manuscripts go, I have written several chapters of the sequel to my first book – Silver Lightning,’ but that won’t see the light of day until after I rewrite the original one; I believe the story has a lot of promise but I’ve learned a lot more about structure since those days and the book needs a skeleton to cling to!
I have a children’s picture book ready to go but need to do the illustrations.
Aside from that, I’m writing my mum’s dragon story and have a couple of partially written stories. One is a sci-fi mystery, set on a world that humans colonized after Earth became uninhabitable, and the other is sci-fi set in a vast prison where a large percentage of the planet’s population live their lives because of ‘dangerous mental traits.’ I also have several pages of other ideas.
Wendy, if you could write a letter to your younger writing self, what would you say?
Oh, if I only could, Colleen! I believe I was always meant to be a writer. Now, at 60, I look back at all the time I spent pursuing other interests and jobs and I’d like to go back and shake myself until my teeth rattled!
Unfortunately – as far as I know – nobody has yet built a reliable time machine, but I wish I could send myself a letter saying:
“This is it, Wendy! You were born to write and it will be the most important thing you ever do. Thoughts, dreams, and minds can be changed by words and then affect this world we live in. Don’t ever let anyone convince you otherwise. Oh, and, by the way, get that nose fixed because it’s never going to look any better.”
I do have a new book out that I think everyone will enjoy. I even wrote a sequel to the Peter Pan story! It’s reasonably priced at $.99 for the Kindle. Have a look:
Thanks for the visit, Colleen. We always have such a good time together. ❤
You’re welcome. By the way, I read the Tales from the Realm of the Green Elf, and the link to my review is HERE.
How to contact Wendy Anne Darling
Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/AuthorWendyAnneDarling/
Thanks for stopping by to meet my dear friend, Wendy Anne Darling. ❤