W. J. here, or call me Wendy.
I’ve been a writer most of my life and made a career of it, writing boring technical documents in the Air Force and the Information Technology industry. Yes that also makes me a geek. The technical writing paid the bills for years, but my ultimate goal is to become a published fiction author.
I’m also a pretty talented artist, which is where my creativity first blossomed as a child. But I live in my head, most of the time. I’m one of those people you can talk to one minute and wonder if I actually heard a word you’ve said, and driven and focused the next. Basically, if I were a kid today, I’d probably be on prescription meds for ADD. Anyways—I may have just had one of my outer limits moments—the pictures in my head would never stay still long enough for me to draw them. So, naturally, I progressed to writing the pictures down as stories. I don’t draw much these days, but in the back of my mind there’s a graphic novel just begging me to create it.
I’ve had some of the same influences as my fellow Wicked Writers, but I thought it might be fun to go way back to my childhood for my greatest influences. Drum roll please. And the award goes to my first grade teacher, a cruel nun named Sister Paul. She considered me a demon incarnate at the age of six because I wasn’t baptized. She also felt it was her mission to remind me, daily, I was not welcome in a classroom run by the Catholic Church, and that I should return to Hell where I most certainly belonged. Needless to say, my defense at such a young age was to get sick, a lot. I had a number of childhood diseases that year and missed over one hundred days of school. Now imagine having the imagination of a six year old, mixed with frequent fevers. Let’s just say I spent much of the first grade in a bizarre and horrific dream world. I still vividly remember every recurring nightmare I had that year. In fact, the second novel I wrote, still unpublished, is based on one of those dreams.
Don’t feel sorry for the adorable little flower girl pictured to the left. Sister Paul was partially right. I had a horrible side, mostly victimizing my sister, talking her into eating dog food and using her toothbrush to clean my fish bowl. Maybe my parents should have named me Denise the Menace. One time I purposely landed a rather large rock on a boy’s head, nearly knocking him out, just because I thought it would be fun. After he tattled to his mom, who immediately called my mother, I lied my way out of trouble. I got pretty good at weaving tales of deception to get myself out of trouble. Only worked about 1% of the time though, so I learned a lot of lessons the hard way. And who knows, if I hadn't found a creative outlet in drawing and writing, I might be in prison or on Snapped.
Okay, on to my fiction writing accomplishments… I write fiction full time now, usually curled up on the couch with two beagles, nagging at my son who might finish online high school when he’s 20. Don’t tell him I said that because there’s no chance he’ll read this. I’ve completed two novels that still need serious editing. I also write short stories I release to the public through my website. I’m currently working on my third novel, The Courier, a dark mix of fantasy, horror and comedy. The story is about a guy named Barry, down on his luck and unable to keep a job. When he finds himself, yet again, unemployed, he jumps at the first position he’s offered, a courier for Hell. The Courier has been a hoot to write and has taught me that I have a natural talent for writing comedy. I started writing The Courier for fun on Twitter, and entered it in the Textnovel Online Fiction Contest. To my surprise, it was a co-winner last year. Check it out on Twitter @TheCourierNovel, if you like to read backwards, or at www.thecouriernovels.com.
I’m rather excited about contributing to this blog with the wicked gang. We have quite a diverse group of writers, and after reading everyone’s bios, we can each bring a unique perspective on the publishing industry. Thanks for asking me to join C.J.!!