Monday, August 15, 2011

Welcome Harlequin debut author, Wendy S. Marcus!

Wendy S. Marcus
 It's our pleasure to welcome Wendy S. Marcus to our blog. Wendy  lives in the beautiful Hudson Valley region of New York with her husband, two of her three children, and a much loved Bichon Frise named Buddy. A registered nurse , Wendy has her master’s degree in health care administration. After years of working in the medical profession, Wendy has taken a radical turn to writing hot contemporary romance with strong heroes, feisty heroines, and lots of laughs. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and blogging/e-mailing/tweeting with her online friends.  Wendy, thank you for joining our blog to talk about writing. You’ve visited a lot of blogs during the past months so we’re especially happy you could join us this week.

What has the journey been like for you?

Wendy: It has been a busy few months. And thank you for hosting me on the 28th stop on my blog tour to promote my debut Harlequin Medical Romance, When One Night Isn’t Enough.

 You're quite welcome. You've written a Harlequin medical romance. Where are the Harlequin publishers located for their medical romance genre?

Wendy: Actually, I write for the Mills and Boon offices of Harlequin which are located in England. Medical Romance has an international audience, and they’re wildly popular in France, England, Australia and New Zealand. As a result, when mingling with fellow authors and readers from around the globe I always have to keep in mind what time it is in other parts of the world. For instance, when I sit down at my computer at 7:15 in the morning, it’s 12:15 p.m. in my editor’s office. And when I’m ready to break for lunch, she’s finished with her day. And when I’m scheduled to blog at an Australian hosted blog, I need to make sure I’m available the night before U.S. time which is daytime the next day in Australia.

As far as my journey, I entered a Medical Romance online pitch contest around March of 2010. I was one of five winners and got to pitch my story to an editor. They liked what they saw and requested the full – with revisions. I got assigned my wonderful editor, and I went on to revise my story (actually re-write it…twice) for six long months before I finally sold in October of 2010.

Wow! People often think of writers as having ‘overnight success.’ How many years have you been working toward ‘overnight success?’ What galvanizes you to keep writing?

Wendy:  In 2007, I started writing at night( while my family slept) after a full day of work at my full time job. I took a course on writing fiction at a local college and studied dozens of books and articles on craft. I also joined RWA and a local writers group. I have worked long and hard to get to where I am today. And I keep writing because characters keep popping into my head, and telling their stories is the only effective way I’ve found to get rid of them.

What inspired you to write medical romances? Speaking as a medical professional, how do you give your characters the depth and detail necessary for readers to want to cheer them on without the technical aspects of medicine and nursing interfering with the story? Was it difficult to get into character for characters from the medical world?

Wendy: I must admit, I didn’t set out to write Medical Romance. In fact, at the time of the pitch, I wasn’t familiar with the line and actually only did the pitch to get experience. You see, I’m a Registered Nurse. In keeping with ‘write what you know’ my hero and heroine were a doctor and nurse. But I’d planned to submit to the Superromance line of Harlequin. But when Medical Romance showed an interest in my work I set out to learn more about the line and found out they had some great authors over there. And now I’m one of them! (The Lesson: Always keep your options open, and make use of every opportunity available to you.)

As far as technical aspects of medicine, in Medical Romance, the medical action happens in the background. As with every category romance, the focus of the story is on the hero and heroine and the primary love story. Writing medical scenes requires a delicate balance. You need to infuse realistic medical jargon and medical setting information while not providing so much technical speak or gore that it pulls your reader out of a scene. Nurses and doctors are very comfortable in a hospital setting. Most readers are not. And since I’m a nurse, writing medical romance feels like a natural fit for me. Although, you don’t have to be a medical professional to write for Medical Romance.

Which is more important in your stories, character or plot or are your stories mostly character driven?

Wendy: My writing process usually begins when something catches my attention, and a scene pops into my head. I think about it. What came before it? What happens after? I loosely plot out a beginning, middle and end to see if my idea can sustain an entire book. Then I get to work on my characters. This is my favorite part. My editor requires a synopsis before she’ll give me approval to get to work on a new book. I don’t know why she bothers, because I usually stray from the synopsis by my second chapter. My stories are very much character driven. Regardless of what I intend to happen as I begin work on a book, the more I learn about my characters, the more real they become, they tend to take on a life of their own. They drive my story forward based on their decisions and actions, often in a direction different than what I’d planned.

In some of the reviews for When One Night Isn’t Enough, readers mentioned how effectively you write a scene and sequel and GMC for your scenes. Do you look at each scene and evaluate the goal, motivation and conflict?

 Wendy: I love writers and their abbreviations. For longer than I’d care to admit, I had no idea what GMC stood for. (Goals, Motivation, Conflict.) Once I learned, my writing improved considerably. While I don’t specifically evaluate every scene for GMC, I do follow the rule that every scene must have a purpose for being there. What is my goal for the scene? What do I hope to achieve? What information do I want to convey? For me, GMC comes into play when I do my character outlines. That’s when I identify my hero and heroine’s goals, motivations, and conflicts. That’s not to say they’re set in stone. I’m constantly assessing my story to make sure my characters’ GMCs are clear, strong, and believable, and that they play out on the page throughout the course of the story.

If you could give writers one small piece of advice, what would it be?

Wendy: Just one? Wow, that’s tough. If I had to give one piece of advice (not including ‘never give up,’ because that’s a given), I’d have to say learn your craft. Take workshops, study books on the craft of writing, and read books in the genre you’d like to write in. Even though I wasn’t familiar with Medical Romance when I won the pitch contest, I read at least a dozen books from the line prior to getting started on revising my manuscript.

What is something you often see beginning writers doing wrong?

Wendy: Well, I can’t say it’s wrong, exactly, because sometimes it works…but I see new writers rushing to submit their work. I understand the rationalization; ‘It’s going to take the editor/agent months to get back to me anyway. Why don’t I whip up the first three chapters and send them out? Then I’ll work on the book while I’m waiting.’
I don’t recommend this because what if you’re unable to finish? What if the story takes a turn in the messy middle and it turns into something totally different than what you pitched in your cover letter? And don’t think this doesn’t happen because it does.
My suggestion: Write the book. From start to finish. Then polish the first three chapters and mail them out – if you’re sending to a traditional publisher notorious for their wait times. If you’re sending to a smaller or e-book publisher, you could hear back in a matter of days/weeks so you want to make sure your book is ready when you send out your submission.
Why? Because, if an agent/editor is interested in your work, you want to send out the full while it’s fresh in their mind. What if there’s a slot in the publishing lineup that your manuscript could fill….if only it’s ready when the agent/editor asks for it.
If the manuscript is done and polished to a shine that singes your eyeballs, and you’re still waiting…that’s okay. Get started on your next manuscript so you can sell them both at the same time. After I sold my book #1 my editor asked, “What else do you have?” Unfortunately I didn’t have anything suitable so I had to start from scratch. The best form of promotion is getting your next book out quick!

What’s next for you?

Wendy: Thank you for asking! The second book in my Madrin Memorial Hospital series, Once a Good Girl, is scheduled for release in the UK in December 2011 and in the U.S./Aus/NZ in January 2012. And the third book in the series, which I am in the process of finishing up now, A Nurse’s Not-So-Secret Scandal, is scheduled for a UK release in April 2012, with other release dates pending.

Before I go, I’d like to invite all of you to check out Mills and Boon’s New Voices competition which begins in September. You can find more information at:

Finally, where can we buy your books and find you on the web?

The U.S. paperback edition of When One Night Isn’t Enough is available at   eharlequin 
 The U.S. e-book editions are available at:
To learn more visit me at my website,

Buy links for international readers are available on my website
Visit me on Facebook    Visit me on Twitter   Visit me on goodreads

Wendy: Now I'm happy to answer any additional questions you the readers may have for me, but I have two questions for you.
Are you familiar with Harlequin’s Medical Romance line of books? Do you enjoy watching medical drama on television?

One lucky person who leaves a comment will win a copy of the UK 2in1 edition of my book, which includes a complete novel by author Janice Lynn. So make sure you leave your name and email address here or after you read the excerpt. The more places you leave your name the more chances you have of being the winner.

And be sure to check back here on Friday, August 19th, when I’ll be back with an excerpt from When One Night Isn’t Enough. See you then!


Nas Dean said...

Hi Wendy,

Thanks for the awesome advice! And thanks for writing When One Night Isn't Enough as it was a Medical Romance with that something new and fresh in it!

Now eagerly waiting for your Once a Good Girl!

Wendy S. Marcus said...

Hi Ruby!
Thank you so much for having me here today! Looking forward to chatting with your visitors!

Wendy S. Marcus said...

Hi Nas!
I'm glad you liked When One Night Isn't Enough! Thanks for stopping by, and for all your help with my blog tour!

susansheehey said...

Thanks so much for your words and advice, Wendy! So interesting to see you started your publishing debut in the UK. Do you find it difficult or awkward having to write towards a UK audience, vs American or Australian? Or is it not that different?

Wendy S. Marcus said...

Hi Susan!
Great question. Being from the U.S. I actually write toward the U.S. market. I use U.S. terminology and phrasing. Sometimes in the editing process words are added with U.K. spellings. I try to catch them and change them back. :) The back of the book blurbs are a little different on the UK and U.S. editions. As far as I know, unless the book is translated into a different language, the inside content is the same from country to country.

Thanks for stopping by!

Ruby Johnson said...

Hi Wendy:
Thanks so much for visiting with us. You are a treasure trove of information for writers. Your book is fresh and appealing.

Desere said...

Thanks for a truly upbeat and very interesting post Wendy the information was truly facinating !

As you already know I loved this book of yours and I wish you many happy sales !


Wendy S. Marcus said...

Thanks, Ruby!

Wendy S. Marcus said...

Hi Desere!
I'm so glad you liked my book and this post! Thank you for following me on FB and for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

Hi Wendy!

I enjoyed this post and learning about the inception of your writing career; very inspirational to those who are starting out. Also loved your debut book and looking forward to your next release "Once a Good Girl." Congratulations and much continued success!

Abbie Rose

Wendy S. Marcus said...

Hi Abbie Rose!
I'm glad you enjoyed my post and my book. I'm looking forward to the release of Once a Good Girl, too. It seems like I wrote it so long ago!

Thanks for stopping by!

Ju Dimello said...

Hi Wendy! Great to meet you again :)

Thanks for all the wonderful advice to aspiring authors!

And "When night isn't enough" is really a book for the keeper shelf! I have re-read it twice already :)

Wendy S. Marcus said...

Hi Ju!
I'm glad you liked my post...and my book. That you've re-read it twice thrills me!

Thank you for visiting me so often on my blog tour! I'll be picking the winner of the $50.00 (U.S.) Amazon gift for most blog posts commented on during my tour at my last stop on August 24th. Make sure you stop by!

jenniferprobst said...

Hi Wendy! Once again, a wonderful interview chock full of info and fun! You know I love your book and can't wait for the next ones to issue!

Wendy S. Marcus said...

Hi Jen!
Thanks! And thanks for stopping by!

Sonali said...

Hi Wendy,

Congratulations on such a smashing release for your very first novel. And wishing you all the very best for your upcoming releases.

I have read the the reviews of 'When One Night Isn't Enough' and it sounds amazing. I can't wait to read it!


Wendy S. Marcus said...

Hi Sonali!
Thank you! I'm thrilled with the reviews When One Night Isn't Enough has received. When you read it, I hope you'll enjoy it!

Thanks for stopping by!

Jackie S. said...

Is anyone having blogger problems besides me?? If they came through, forgive me for repeating, but wanted to say how much I am enjoying your tour, Wendy. I have WONIE (plan to read soon) but want to be entered for the gift card. If I win, I plan to buy a Kindle so that I can read your future books on it!!

Wendy S. Marcus said...

Hi Jackie!
Thanks so much for stopping by! I'll be picking the winner of the Amazon gift card on the last stop on my blog tour on August 24th. I can't wait to see who wins!

Wendy S. Marcus said...

Hi All!
Sorry for the delay in picking the winner of my book. I got bogged down by my deadline but am happy to report I got my revisions in on time.

So, without further delay....the winner of a copy of my book is...... Sonali!

Congratulations, Sonali! I will e-mail you to get your mailing address. (In Fiji like my friend Nas!!!) I hope you enjoy my book!

Thank you to everyone who stopped by!

Link Within

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...