couldn't resist telling you all about Wendy Clarke's first collection of short stories Room in Your Heart. Why don't we let her introduce herself ...
Wendy Clarke is a full time writer of women's fiction. Since starting writing three years ago, she has sold nearly a hundred short stories and her work regularly appears in national women's magazines such as The People's Friend, Take a Break Fiction Feast and Woman's Weekly. Wendy has also written serials and a number of non-fiction magazine articles. Room in Your Heart is Wendy's first collection of short stories.
When you read a Wendy Clarke story you instantly know you’re in safe hands. She knows how to weave a story, how to twist your emotions and is an expert in tweaking those heart strings. I love how she writes likeable characters and is able to get inside the heads of both her male and female leads. Some of my favourite stories are written from the male point-of-view, and particularly loved Robert in ‘Those things you never told me’. I also wanted to thump Kevin in ‘Let’s start again’, but then ending up blinking away a few tears on that one. Loved the clever plot technique in ‘Every time you say goodbye', not seen that done before. Wendy also beautifully presents the angst of teenage life in ‘For your eyes only’ (an excellent homage to the Bond movies). This is a heart-warming collection that you can dip into or immerse yourself and read in one sitting, go on treat yourself.
Before the eventful launch party LitPig did manage to chat with Wendy ... see above photo
LitPig – How did you select the stories out of your huge number of published pieces?
Wendy - It was difficult! I knew I was going to be using published stories but I wanted to know whether people would prefer a collection of stories with one theme/genre or a mixed selection. The majority of people I asked said they would prefer the former. I grouped my stories into genre and found that I had more romances than anything else so that was the obvious choice. Most of them were stories that had previously been published by The People's Friend so I decided to use these. In the collection, I've tried to use a mix of stories: male and female viewpoints, past and present tenses and first and third person.
LitPig – When a story idea comes to you do you immediately know the best pov or does this come through the writing? I ask because you write both male and female pov so believably, a rare talent for romantic writer.
Wendy - The simple answer is yes. I always know straight away who is going to be telling the story. Strangely, I prefer writing in the male pov.
LitPig– How much of ‘real life’ do you put into your stories? Do any of these include genuine experiences or characters/places?
Wendy - It varies from story to story. Some have nothing from 'real life' while others will have quite a lot. The first story in the collection, Read These When I've Gone has the two characters reminiscing about a holiday on the Isle de Re - the conversation in the French bistro was based on a real one I had in my twenties!
LitPig – Are you planning more in the series? Will there be another collection and can you share the theme?
Wendy - If Room in Your Heart is well received, I am planning to publish at least one more romance collection. I would also like to put together a Christmas collection for next year.
LitPig– In the short time you’ve been writing, your success has been inspiring. Go on, don’t be shy, how many short stories have you now sold to national magazines?
Wendy - At the time of asking, I have sold ninety two stories - I'm hoping this might be more by the time this post goes live!
(LitPig - Blimey! 92!! I think the Indoor Writer will expect a pile of teacakes when she next gets together with Wendy.)
LitPig - A little piggy tells me I can read more about how you put the collection together ... can you tell us more?
Wendy - Yes, I have written an article on my own personal experience of putting together the short story collection as an e-book using Kindle Direct Publishing. It is in this month's Writing Magazine and hopefully will be useful for anyone wanting to do the same.
Thank you for inviting me to be a guest on your blog.
LitPig - It was a pleasure to chat with you, Wendy. And thank you for keeping Bonnie the dog at trotter's length.
Now for the important bit - where to buy your copy of
& do leave a review for Wendy too.
You can learn more about Wendy's writing at:
Paperback copies of Wendy's collection will soon be available, follow her on Twitter or FB for more information.