Monday, March 16

Guest Blogger: An Interview with Wendy Toliver!

Hi TFC gang! This pensive-looking blogger at left is a Guest Blogger. The daughter of Erica Orloff, she is an aspiring author and filmmaker, and she interviewed the fantastic YA author Wendy Toliver about her life, her books, her inspirations. We'll call our guest blogger "Blogger BG" (her mom calls her Baby Girl on her own blog), and Blogger BG will drop by later to chat with anyone about their favorite YA reads. For now . . . the interview.

There are so many authors in the world, but I wanted someone who my mom knew and was a teen writer. I chose Wendy Toliver. She is a teen writer who lives in the mountains of Utah with her husband, three sons, two dogs, one cat, and one crab. (That's her on the ski lift!) There were so many questions to ask her, but of course I could only ask ten.

My first question was my favorite. What is your inspiration for writing? She replied, “I’m easily inspired by the weather and scenery. I live in the mountains, and whenever I need a creative boost I just look out my window or go on a little walk.”

Wendy has had some interesting jobs like being Marilyn Monroe for singing telegrams to acting like a computer nerd at an ad agency!

That brings me to my next question! What is your favorite part about being an author? She told me she has two favorite parts. “First of all, writing is something I love to do, and it’s a job that allows me to stay at home with my three sons. Secondly, I love hearing from my readers and knowing that in even a very small way, my work has made a difference in their lives.”

Well, this made me think…What made you want to be an author? Wendy said, “I’ve always enjoyed writing, but most of my background is in the journalism and advertising realms. I can’t really say what exactly made me think, ‘Hey, maybe I’ll write a novel,’ but I think it had to do with getting hired to write some non-fiction books and believing that some of my own life experiences would make funny stories. I was quite old--almost 30 -- Before I wrote my first manuscript.”

Like I said there are so many authors in the world, but there are more books! My favorite book is Fake Boyfriend by Kate Brian. So I asked Ms.Toliver what was her favorite book in elementary school. Her reply was, “Good question! The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards.” I didn’t know what a Whangdoodle was so I looked it up. Did you know that it’s a fanciful creature of undefined nature?

It’s hard to pick favorites isn’t it, but I put Wendy in the corner and asked what is your favorite book you’ve written and why? She said, “All my books are very special to me so it’s really hard to choose a favorite. However, I’m really excited about my latest book, Lifted, because it’s such a departure from the romantic comedies I’ve written so far. This one is edgier and deeper and I
hope readers will enjoy it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. (It comes out in about a year.)”

I asked what her favorite part about writing was so now I must ask her the worst part about writing. She told me, “Though I’m getting better at this, it’s very hard to hear someone say what you’ve written isn’t good.”

There are genres in practically everything: movies, people, animals, and books. That is why I asked what her favorite genre was. She told me, “It might be easier for me to tell you what genres I don’t care for. As a whole, science fiction, war-centric, and westerns don’t thrill me.”

All authors are very surprised when their first book comes out. Kind of like it’s not real. It may be weird to see your name on a book at a bookstore, but you get used to it after your third or fourth book. So now I asked Wendy…What was it like when your first book sold? She said, “I kind of walked around in a daze for a while, trying to let it soak in. I was really excited to tell my family. They took me out to dinner at a delicious Japanese restaurant.”

Teenagers love reading Wendy’s amazing books! They seem to be inspirational and funny to them. The next question I asked was …. Why do you like to write for teens/kids? She said, “I like writing for teenagers because I really enjoyed that period of my life. Your whole future is ahead of you; from family life to career to where you are going to settle down (or not) and live….It’s really a magical, mysterious, exciting time. Another thing I love about writing for teens is I’ve found that they aren’t about writing me emails or letters. Teen readers make the best of fans!”

I wonder what book Wendy is working on next. Well, that was my last question! She replied, “I’m working on a book called Lifted, which comes out in about a year. It’s about a group of Baptist school girls who have a shoplifting clique. I’m also working on some proposals for future books. Never dull moment!”

Wendy sounds like a very inspirational person! Someday when I become a famous author I would love to meet her. Perhaps go skiing; it’s one of her favorite activities to do! She is a great author. You should buy her new book Miss Match by Wendy Toliver!

So there you go! Run, don't walk, to buy Wendy's books. And share your thoughts on some of your favorite reads . . . and inspirations. What do you do when you need to be creatively inspired?


Melissa Walker said...

Great interview, BG! Wendy is a really fun subject. I wish I could look out into the beauty of Utah for inspiration, too, but I settle for Brooklyn coffee shops.

Amanda Ashby said...

This is such a great interview! I loved Wendy's first book and her second book is sitting on the top of my pile waiting to be read!!!

When I'm looking for inspiration I normally tend to re-read my favorite books (hehehe - neatly answering two questions at once!!!!). The ones I always go for are by Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer because they are the authors who inspired me to try and write in the first place (yes, that's right - you can blame them entirely!!!)

Erica Orloff said...

I sometimes walk for inspiration. Though I have to say I get a lot of ideas while driving . . . or in the shower.

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

Fabulous interview, Wendy and BG!

Inspiration...hmm...I just open up my ears and listen!

Alyson Noel said...

Awesome interview BG! Isn't Wendy great?

As for finding inspiration, hmmm, it usually hits when I'm showering, driving, or just about to fall asleep!

Sara Hantz said...

Fabulous interview BG. And Wendy is such an awesome subject... I LOVE her books!!

Inspiration... I'm a bit like Wendy I go for walks, living in New Zealand we have some gorgeous scenery (no snow in the area I live, but that's ok).

Jessica Burkhart said...

Great job, BG! (And Wendy.) :) I get my inspiration from walking or biking.

cynjay said...

Loved the interview and the unique style integrating the questions and the comments! Don't believe her though - 30 isn't THAT old (she says coughing loudly).

I usually get ideas from magazines and then applying the old "What if..."

Wendy Toliver said...

LOL, I don't think 30 is *that* old, I just thought BG would probably think that. :) (Oh, to be 30 again!)

Baby Girl Blogger said...

My mom is older than 30!!!

And thank you. I hope to be a multi-published author one day.



Gerb said...

Great interview, BG!

For inspiration I read, go for a walk, listen to music, eavesdrop of people... anything it takes!

Kelly Parra said...


Great job to Blogger BG!!!