Tell Me Your Story Tuesday
WENDY LYN WATSONWendy Lyn Watson
teaches constitutional law to college students by day and writes deliciously funny cozy mysteries, with a dollop of romance, by night. While she does not commit–or solve–murders in real life, her love of ice cream is 100% true. She’s also passionately devoted to 80s music, Asian horror films, and reality TV. A native of Ohio, she’s lived in Virginia, Michigan, Minnesota, Louisiana, and Texas, where she currently lives with her husband and four spoiled felines.
I am a fan of Wendy's Mystery a la Mode series. In fact, I have about ten pounds I blame squarely on Scoop to Kill as well as You Scream, I Scream. As I have mentioned before, the woman describes ice cream in a way that makes you swear it was almost as good as sex! The third book in the series, A Parfait Murder, is due out this summer.
Let's get to know Wendy
Do you have a writing routine? What does it look like? Where do you usually write?
I don’t have a specific routine, but I’m definitely a sprinter. I have to think about scenes—let them percolate on the back burner—for quite a while. Then, when I sit down to write, they come tumbling out. Doesn’t really matter where I am when that happens: couch, desk, coffee shop … it’s all good.
Is the life of a writer what you thought it be? What is different?
Honestly? No. At the risk of sounding hopelessly naïve, I really thought that once you sold a book the hard part was over. Uh, no. Not so much. I also foolishly assumed the money would be better, that even mid-list authors would at least make enough money to live modestly. Again, naïve.
Do you have any special time management tricks for working in writing time and living a normal life?
I don’t know if this counts as a trick, but I’ve redefined “normal”. I’m not magic, after all. At the end of the day, I’m working two full-time jobs. I had to wake up and realize I cannot work two full-time jobs AND have a vibrant social life AND be a good homemaker AND get my Christmas cards out on time … something had to give. Giving myself permission to let the laundry pile up was the best thing I ever did.
What is the best advice you have received about this journey?
The only thing a writer can control is the words she puts on the page. Write well and that is success.
What do you do to fight burnout? Do you ever worry about "running out of stories"? How do combat that?
Every time I sit down in front of the computer I worry the words will not come. I combat that fear by free writing. Divorcing the writing from the task of spinning a story allows me to tap into a well of creative images and ideas. I’m constantly amazed by what I dredge up during a free writing exercise.
What kind of scenes do you have a hard time writing?
The first scene in a story is always the most difficult for me. Picking the precise moment to join a life in progress, figuring out what information is necessary and what can wait … that’s a lot of pressure!
What sources do you use for inspiration? ( Music, movies, people watching)
All of the above! I draw on my own relationships, stories I read in the news, random people I meet in the community, snippets of lyrics … it all gets mixed up and mushed together in my head.
What do you do when you aren’t writing?
I earn a living teaching government to college kids. I spend “free time” hanging out with my friends, watching movies with my husband, napping with our cats, cooking, crafting . . .
What is next for you?
I just finished up the third Mystery a la Mode (A Parfait Murder). I’ve got a few projects in the hopper right now—another cozy series, a darker mystery series, a romantic suspense—and I’m trying to figure out which is the best fit for me right now
In honor of Wendy's Mystery a la Mode series, let's talk ice cream! What is your favorite flavor? Favorite brand? Weirdest flavor you have ever tasted/heard of?