Monday, July 11, 2011

Just Published - Wendy S. Marcus

It is with great pleasure I welcome Wendy Marcus to Just Published. Wendy has hung out here on my blog before and I was able to meet her in person at the recent Romance Writers of America (RWA) annual conference in New York. How awesome is that? Wendy published her first book with Harlequin this year and I'm sure she has some wonderful information to share with us about the process so far. First, the details of Wendy's first published book are:

Title: When One Night Isn't Enough
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Medical
Words: 52,000
Publisher: Harlequin
Date Published: June 2011 (UK), July 2011 (France, Australia)

Nurse Ali Forshay has found the perfect man for her. Dependable. Routine. Boring. Exactly what she wants to ensure a quiet, stable and anonymous life. Then his friend, Dr. Jared Padget, shows up and goodbye fairytale ending. The man’s a schmoozer. A womanizer. A whoo-a-woman-into-bed-using-any-means-necessary kind of man just like her father. And Ali wants nothing to do with him. But he’s so tempting. Thank goodness his temporary assignment at Madrin Memorial is over, and he’s heading out of town.

If only he hadn’t shown up at girls’ night out on the eve of his departure. If only he hadn’t taken her up on her drunken one-time offer. If only he hadn’t come back when he’d promised to stay away…

Sounds like your hero is a bit of a devil. I'm partial to that LOL. Okay, so let's get into the nuts and bolts of how it all came about for you!

How would you describe what you write?
I write fast-paced, sexy, contemporary romance. I’ve been told I have a sardonic wit and my characters have a real spark. I write banter and sarcasm, humor and emotion. My heroines are straightforward, and they go after what they want.

So what’s your writing process in a nutshell?
I am a pantser. I don’t recommend it! Sometimes, - usually in the murky middle of my manuscript -  I think it would be so nice to have an outline to follow so I would know where I’m headed. But my characters grow and develop as I write. Each one is unique, and while I know where I want the story to go, my characters decide how they’re going to get there.

As a contracted author with Harlequin, I must submit character profiles and a synopsis of each book for approval before I begin a new project. I am NOT a fan of the synopsis. How can I know specific details of a story I have not yet written. But I muddle through. (And usually stray from my synopsis by chapter two!)

Yeah, I hate the sucknopsis as well LOL. What has your submission history looked like? Rejections? Manuscripts written? Number of years ‘seriously writing’, etc?
I started writing seriously in 2007. I sold in October 2010. (During that time I took several months off after my father died.) WHEN ONE NIGHT ISN’T ENOUGH was my second completed manuscript. (But I also had two novellas and three short stories completed, as well as several other manuscripts in various stages of completion.) I can’t say I have dozens of rejections, simply because I was very careful where I submitted. But if memory serves, I was rejected by The Wild Rose Press, Ellora’s Cave, Samhain, Kensington, Harlequin Superromance, Silhouette Special Edition, Harlequin Spice Briefs, and Women’s World Magazine.

LOL that's quite a list! You said you were careful. How did you pick your publisher?
I targeted Harlequin because I liked their books and they have a great website with wonderful information for new writers. (And because you don’t need an agent to submit.) I submitted to my favorite lines. But it was purely by chance that I stumbled upon a pitch contest for Harlequin Medical Romance and decided to enter. At the time I didn’t know much about the medical romance line of Harlequin, but never one to pass up an opportunity, I gave the pitch my best shot. And was 1 of 5 winners!

Sigh.. What's your call story?
For me, ‘The Call’ came as an absolute shock. I’d been working on revisions for six long months and had completed the third version of my final draft on a Wednesday. So when my phone rang on Friday, my agent’s voice was the last one I’d expected to hear. She said, “How are you doing?” I said, “Good.” She said, “Real good?” I said, “Just good.” She said, “Well you should feel real, real, real good because Flo (my editor) wants to buy your book.” I don’t recall much after that. I didn’t scream or cry or carry on. All of a sudden the thought of being published, of people I didn’t know reading my book, scared the confidence right out of me! After I hung up with my agent I waited for my editor to call me from London. I don’t remember one word of that conversation. Thankfully she followed up with an e-mail so I knew it wasn’t just a dream.

In my post “call” excitement I made the mistake of getting out of the car when I went to pick up my then 13-year-old daughter from school. As soon as I spotted her I smiled and waved. I could tell she wasn’t happy about me talking to the teacher monitoring dismissal. When she got within hearing distance I yelled, “I sold my book.” (I’d waited years to scream those words. In hindsight, maybe yelling them outside the junior high school wasn’t the best idea.) Rather than a cheer on my behalf followed by a loving embrace, my daughter looked around like who is that crazy woman yelling at? I pity that kid. When she got closer she avoided eye contact and mumbled, “What are you doing out of the car?” as she walked right past me without stopping.

Reality slap. First sale euphoria put to an abrupt end.

LOL. Bet it still felt good! Did you have an agent when you sold? Now?
I hear of this happening all the time. I signed with my agent and finaled in the medical romance pitch contest in the same week. So technically, I did have an agent when I sold, but I’d already caught the interest of the editor I eventually sold to.

What’s it like working with a publisher and editor? Are revisions really as bad as you hear?
I love my editor. She gives me excellent feedback and is very attentive. She doesn’t tell me how to change things, just what isn’t working for her and why. And, while I’m not a fan of revisions, they are necessary to write a good story. Here are two of my favorite quotes:

“Writing is rewriting.  A writer must learn to deepen characters, trim writing, and intensify scenes.  To fall in love with the first draft to the point where one cannot change it is to greatly enhance the prospects of never publishing.”  Richard North Patterson

“Books aren’t written- they’re rewritten.  Including your own.  It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn’t quite done it.”  Michael Crichton

I've always loved that last one. How did you feel the first time you saw your cover? How much input did you have?
The first of my covers that I saw was the UK 2in1 cover and I LOVED it! I actually love all of the covers for WHEN ONE NIGHT ISN’T ENOUGH. I have them posted on my Facebook author page. (See link below.) I didn’t have any say in any of my covers – although there’s an art fact sheet authors or their editors fill out. Even so, my heroine doesn’t have blond hair, a pierced nose, or an affinity for sucking on heart-shaped lollipops.

What was release day like?
Release day was nothing special partly because my book first came out to Harlequin Medical Romance subscription members about 6 weeks before my official release. Then it went up for sale on the UK Mills and Boon website four weeks before release day. And on the day it went out on store shelves, it happened over in England. And I wasn’t there to enjoy it. (But friends sent me pictures!)

How did you market your book?
I market my book on my blog and I’m currently on a thirty-stop blog tour to promote it. At each stop I give away a book and have mailed them around the world! I also have bookmarks, business cards and pens. I set up two library book signings in my local area and I completed two magazine interviews, one for a Harlequin publication, the other for Love Letter Magazine, a German romance magazine.

Sounds busy! So, what’s next for you?
My second Harlequin Medical Romance, ONCE A GOOD GIRL, is coming out in the UK in December 2011. I’m still waiting for the U.S. and Aus/NZ release dates.

That's awesome. Congratulations! What’s the best advice you can impart to writers aspiring to be published?
Write. Don’t talk about it or complain about it. Just do it. Finish your manuscript, submit it to agents and editors, and while you’re waiting to hear back, start on your next manuscript.

Very sound! Now for some fun! If you were stranded on a desert island but could only take 1 thing from each of the following categories, what would it be & why:
Person  Channing Tatum. I think the reason is obvious.
Animal My dog, Buddy. Because he’s always happy to see me, he loves to cuddle, and he’s very protective of me.
Food Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Nuggets with Almonds. Because dark chocolate and almonds both have health benefits. (And if the chocolate melts I can spread it on….. I’m sorry, am I getting too detailed?)
Book I refuse to pick just one. And to tell you the truth, if I’m stranded on a desert island with Channing Tatum, I doubt I’ll want to spend my time reading!!!
Music Anything by Carrie Underwood. Because I love her music!
Personal Item Mouthwash. Because I’d want my breath to smell fresh for Channing.
LOL. Yeah, me too! You can read an excerpt from WHEN ONE NIGHT ISN’T ENOUGH here. The book is currently available for purchase at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Mills & Boon Aus and Harlequin. You can learn more about Wendy at her website. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Goodreads.

Wendy, thanks so much for being here today. I loved your call story!! Best of luck with your writing and your books. I look forward to keeping in touch with you. Okay, now Wendy has a question for YOU and a giveaway!

So what’s your experience with medical romance? Have you ever heard of them before? Have you ever read one? If so, what did you think? If not, why? And would you be willing to make mine your first? Do you watch medical drama on television? If so, what’s your favorite show? One lucky commenter will win at copy of the 2in1 UK edition of my book which includes a complete novel by Janice Lynn!


  1. Hi Kaily!
    Thanks so much for having me back! It was great meeting up at national!

  2. Hi Wendy!!! You subbed to spice briefs ;))) Whoa.. Can I expect some "hawt" scenes in When one night isn't enough??? ;)

    Also, Can I sneak you some chocolates or better yet, photos of Channing Tatum to send me that brief ;) Just Kiddin ;)

    I am eagerly awaiting your book to land in my mailbox!!!

  3. Hi Ju!
    I can assure you, my love scenes in When One Night Isn't Enough were edited "so as not to offend the core medical romance readership." The Spice Brief was just something I played around with at the time while I was practicing writing a good love scene!

    Let me know what you think after you receive my book. It's in the mail!

    Thanks for stopping by. I was very lonely!

  4. Love that call story, Wendy! (dreams on...) I've never read a medical..(shock horror) but as some of my crit minxes are medical writers I've read a few in part, so I think its time to take the plunge!

  5. Hi Sally!
    It IS time to take the plunge! And When One Night Isn't Enough is the perfect place to start. (In my oh so humble opinion!!) So far chances are good for you to win my book as Ju already won one! We'll have to wait and see if anyone else stops by..

    Good luck!

  6. You're a riot Wendy! I can't wait for... well anyway, many happy sales and huge congrats on your first release! ps. I think the heart-shaped sucker is cute! I canna wait to read this book! But it will have to wait (as so many others) until I get through my own revisions. Yay for you again!!!

  7. Hi Lisa!
    I'm glad you enjoyed my post. I do work hard on them! You know, I tried to find that sucker on the Internet. I thought it'd be cute to give out at book signings and such, but I could not find it...and trust me....I spent hours looking!

    Good luck with your revisions! Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Fun, fun interview. In a strange way, your rejections are inspiring! Moral of story: don't give up.

    I laughed at how you yelled you'd sold a book at your daughter's junior high. How like a kid to let a little air out of our balloons.

  9. Fantastic interview Wendy and Kaily! I love your call story and how your 13 yo reacted. LOL, teenagers are something else. You should make her go to one of your signings ;)!

  10. Hi Cara!
    When people asked me how many times I'd been rejected before I sold, I'd always say, "Not many." It was a surprise when I counted them up for this post. I guess I never focused on them much. Sure when I first got them I was upset. But then I moved on and basically didn't think about them anymore.

    And yes, children can make you realize how unimportant you really are!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  11. Hi Rula!
    My daughter really does want to attend one of my signings. I think attending a reading would totally freak her out!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  12. Hi Wendy,

    It was lovely reading about you, thanks for sharing.

    I love reading Medical Romances and your book WHEN ONE NIGHT ISN'T ENOUGH was astoundingly different in a good way! It had unexpected twists and turns in the story and you wrote a very strong heroine.

    And our TV medical drama was ER before and now Grey's Anatomy, Shortland Street every evening. It's a NZ TV show and has been on air since early eighties! The medical hotties in it is Dr Chris Warner and Dr TK Samuels!

    Congratulations on the release of WHEN ONE NIGHT ISN'T ENOUGH and wish you mega sales success!

  13. Hi Wendy - Great post. Very funny story of announcing you sold to your daughter. One day she'll understand just how cool that is!

  14. Hi Wendy,

    Oh I hear you with your daughter. Mine would die if I turned up at school and shouted towards her. Or she'd ask how much money I'd made and what I was going to buy her ;-)

    You must be so busy on your book blog tour, hope you are busy writing the next one because I want to read it!!

    I loved Shortland Street, Nas, but sadly we don't get it here in England any more :-( But we do get Grey's and Private Practice so there's plenty of medical eye candy!

  15. Hi Nas!
    I've never heard of Shortland Street. I feel like I'm missing out!

    I'm so glad you liked my book! Thank you for all the wonderful reviews!

  16. Hi Tara!
    I keep waiting for her to understand lots of things about me. I fear she never will. And yet I still feel blessed. Aside from her typical teenage behavior, she's a great kid!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  17. Hi Joanne!
    I'm happy to say I have all my blog tour posts through August 11th done and out. My next official blog tour stop is Wednesday July 13th where I'll be chatting about What Type of Reader are You? at

    Hope to see you there! Thanks for stopping by!

  18. Thank you all for stopping by to chat with me!

    And the winner of my free book give away is....

    Calisa Rhose!

    Congratulations, Lisa! All your visits to stops on my blog tour have finally paid off!!! Please e-mail me your mailing address and I'll mail your book out by early next week.

  19. Woo hoo Calisa! Congratulations!

    You have one hot, sexy medical romance coming your way! You're going to be sooo surprised by it!

  20. I love the idea that you stray from the synop by chapter two and the editor still loves and buys the novels. That is the sign of a truly creative pantser - when you can tell such a terrific story that they completely forget the one they thought they wanted and fall in love with the one they got.