Wendy Wax, author of Ten Beach Road, is the keynote speaker for the Georgia Writers Association’s upcoming Red Clay Writers Conference on November 12, which focuses on returning to the basics of writing. Wendy has over a decade and a half of writing experience and has published nine books. Who better to discuss the joys and challenges of writing than a successful author with hands-on experience? Wendy will share the lessons she has learned over the course of her writing career and what she believes are the basics of writing.
Her most recent novel, Ten Beach Road, is a story about three women, complete strangers, who have three things in common: One, their entire life savings has disappeared in a Ponzi scheme; two, they are left with co-ownership of a ramshackle beachfront mansion; and three, they each have something to hide. Faced with inner conflict and the physical and financial challenges of restoring what little they have left, these women must realize their inner strength, which has been buried under years of complacency, fear, and doubt.
Throughout Wendy’s career, she has produced novels such as the aforementioned Ten Beach Road, Magnolia Wednesdays, and The Accidental Bestseller; her romantic fictions include Single in Suburbia, Hostile Makeover, Leave it to Cleavage, and 7 Days and 7 Nights. Wendy describes her novels as “women’s fiction” about “women discovering who they are and what they're made of.” Readers, both male and female, often empathize with Wendy’s protagonists and the emotional, often humorous challenges these women face.
Before she became a published author, Wendy studied journalism at the University of Georgia and returned to her hometown in St. Petersburg, Florida, to finish her degree at the University of South Florida. After graduation she hosted a radio matchmaking show in the Tampa Bay area, Desperate and Dateless; also included on her resume are positions with Tampa PBS affiliate, WEDU-TV. She did not begin writing her first novel until her oldest son was two years old: “I chalk this up to post-pregnancy hormones and lack of sleep! I had no idea what I was undertaking.”
Wendy developed a love for reading and writing at an early age, beginning when she forced a neighborhood friend to teach her to read before she even started elementary school: “Books have always been my greatest escape. I’ve joked that I could read a book a day if my family would just leave me alone long enough. There were times in my life (before marriage and children) that this was exactly how I dealt with adversity.”
Many aspiring authors don’t see past getting that first novel published: “Like most people, I thought that once I was published everything would miraculously sort itself out and I’d simply sail into bestsellerdom and all kinds of publishing happily-ever-afters. Sadly, this was not the case. (And rarely is.)” This experience led Wendy to write her novel The Accidental Bestseller: “It’s a story about four writers, critique partners for a decade, who help each other survive the publishing industry. It’s a very real look at what it is to be a writer today.”
Wendy strongly encourages aspiring writers to find critique partners, either through an association like the women inAccidental Bestseller, or friends who can offer constructive criticism and an objective opinion. Both aspiring writers and published authors will enjoy the Red Clay Writers Conference for its inspirational and invaluable workshops led by authors such as Wendy Wax who have successful careers, are willing to share their experiences and techniques, and who wish to break down the writing process and get back to the basics.
--Article written by Katie Sigman
**Portions of this article have been extracted from a previous interview posted on LinusBlanket.com. **