Wendy Chen writes novels for those who enjoy chick lit and lighthearted fiction. Her debut novel Liar's Guide to True Love was published by Carina Press last month. She lives in Northern Virginia with her family where she is working on her next novel.
Wendy joins us today to answer some of our questions to get to know her better. Enjoy!
When did you start writing professionally?I started writing Liar's Guide to True Love an embarrassingly long time ago. It took me forever to complete, mostly because I took about five years off from doing any writing. I had given up on the manuscript and decided to focus on my day job. But it was always in the back of my mind, so I finally decided to focus on it about three years ago while I was on maternity leave.
Why do you write women's fiction?I've loved women's fiction since I was in junior high and my older sister left her romances lying around all over the house. I started on historical romances and kept reading other sub genres ever since. My love for reading turned in to a desire to write some time during my high school years.
How did you get your novel published? Tell us about your journey to publication.It certainly is not easy to get published, especially when different sub genres fall in and out of favor. Like many authors, I pursued a traditional print path first, with attempts to find an agent to represent me. Liar's Guide to True Love was rejected by every agent that I submitted to. The ones who read it had a lot of nice things to say about it, but I was told that the chick lit market just wasn't big enough anymore. Then a wonderful mentor of mine suggested Carina Press, so I emailed my manuscript in to them. I honestly did not expect to hear back, and when I didn't after a few months, I decided to self-publish digitally. I even hired a graphic designer to do a professional looking cover for me. I was working on final edits and trying to figure out all the various e-reader formats when I got the call from Carina Press that they wanted to publish Liar's Guide to True Love. I've been really fortunate to be able to work with such a great team and a great editor.
Where do you find the inspiration for your stories?I get inspired by every day things that happen to me that I might find funny or silly. For example, there's a scene in Liar's Guide where my heroine wears two different shoes by accident. That actually happened to me and I went through the entire day before I finally realized it.
What is the most challenging part about being a writer? What is the most rewarding?The most challenging part is by far the discipline that goes into the actual writing. That's something I did not fully appreciate until I was about twenty thousand words into my first manuscript. I thought I could just write whenever inspiration hit, but then I realized that was getting me nowhere and I really had to sit in front of my computer and force myself to write something, even if it was terrible and got edited out later.
Why should people buy your book?I think readers can identify with my characters and will get a good laugh out of Cassandra and her friends. My writing appeals to lovers of chick lit and general romance -- and what romantic doesn't love weddings?
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
You hear this all the time, but you really can't take rejection personally.
To find out more, visit http://www.wendychenbooks.com and connect with Wendy on Twitter and Facebook.