Recently I had the blessing of meeting author Wendy Raven McNair. A fellow author, artist and speculative enthusiast, I was delighted to learn more about Wendy's premiere superhero teen novel, Asleep. Described as a fantasy love story about an African American teen who discovers a world of super beings, I knew this would be right up my alley since I love superheroes (as you can tell from a few posts back). Wendy has a trilogy planned with Asleep being the first of series and I'm excited to see what else she has planned for the future.
Q: When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?
I decided I wanted to be a writer after I had my daughter. Having her was a life altering experience that caused me to do some serious soul searching. I wanted to raise her to be unafraid to pursue her dreams and I wondered how best to achieve that goal. The answer was simple, I had to model it. All my life I’ve loved telling stories; nighttime stories to my younger sister when we were kids sharing a room, short stories written for my friends at school, and mini-stories to entertain my daughter when she was little. Becoming a writer was a natural choice for me once I really thought about it.
Q: How would you describe the genre in which you do most of your writing?
I write in the fantasy genre right now and again it’s due to my daughter. She’s a teen now and loves fantasy stories like Twilight and Harry Potter. But it’s challenging to find fantasy stories that have main characters who reflect her, an African American natural girl. I’m working on a fantasy series now that stars such a girl titled ASLEEP. It’s a YA novel and both adults and teens have given great feedback on it. It’s a story about a young African American couple, Adisa and Micah, and the plot revolves around Adisa’s introduction to a secret world (that exists right alongside of the normal world) in which the inhabitants have super powers.
Q: What would you say are the biggest challenges that you face?
My biggest challenge is finding the time to write. As a self published author, I do it all myself, the marketing, advertising, getting my title in stores, and many other things associated with writing and publishing a story. Additionally, I take care of my family which is a full time job all on its own. It’s a serious juggling act that sometimes causes me to fumble my writing and occasionally drop it all together.
Q: How do you deal with these challenges?
I handle the challenge of finding time to write by scheduling time for it. I don’t write everyday but I do write every week. When I select a day to write, I usually write all day and do little of anything else. I really lose myself in the story and just let it all spill out, flaws included. The next time I write, I begin by editing the previous part that I’ve written then I pick up the story where I left off. But even on the days I’m not actually writing, I’m thinking about my story and mentally working out the storyline and coming up with ideas to best convey scenes to move the story forward in a fascinating way.
Q: What will your next book be about?
My next book is AWAKE, the sequel to ASLEEP. It continues the exciting story of Adisa and Micah. Adisa was introduced to the secret super world in ASLEEP. Now, she learns more about its inner workings, the variety of super powers, and her own familial connection to the super world. AWAKE is scheduled for release in November 2009. For updates, visit my web site at wendyravenmcnair.com
Asleep is already garnering some awesome reviews around the web. Check them out at these links!
Learn more about Wendy's current and upcoming works on the web!
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