Friday, December 28, 2007

What's Fresh with Wendy Toliver's The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren

Geeky to gorgeous in sixty seconds... Roxy's about to turn sixteen, but life isn't so sweet. As a band geek, Roxy can barely get the cute guys to notice her, much less go out with her. Then, on her birthday, Roxy is transformed into a siren: seductively beautiful with the power to control all men. She thought sirens were an ancient myth, but suddenly Roxy can get any guy she wants with just a few notes on her flute. There are only two rules: don't tell anyone about being a siren, and don't fall in love. When she starts dating Zach, the guy everybody's crushing on, Roxy realizes she could get used to this siren thing...but how can she keep herself from falling in love?

Hello Wendy, great to have here! Could you please tell us a little about your writing background and how you made your first sale?

Wendy: I have a liberal arts education but only dabbled in creative writing. It was several years after I graduated that I got the wild idea to write a book. I started writing chick lit and some people who read it suggested I try my hand at YA. My first YA manuscript, THE SECRET LIFE OF A TEENAGE SIREN, caught the attention of my agent, who sold it to Simon & Schuster (Simon Pulse). It's been a whilwind, to say the least!

I bet! Readers and writers often like to get a behind the scenes peek of an author's writing routine. It would be great if you could please share your typical writing day schedule.

Wendy: With three young sons and other commitments, it's difficult to carve out writing time. Luckily, I am a speedy writer, and I do a lot of my "writing" in my head so when I do get the opportunity to sit down at my computer (like when the baby's napping), I'm ready to go. I used to write in the wee hours of the night, but in a recent development, I've hired a Mommy's Helper who comes in twice a week for a couple of hours. It's my designated writing time, and I don't even answer the phone when she's here. Unless it's my husband, of course! :)

Please tell us about your novel, THE SECRET LIFE OF A TEENAGE SIREN, and what we can expect from your characters.

Wendy: My debut novel, THE SECRET LIFE OF A TEENAGE SIREN (Simon Pulse), comes out December 26, 2007. So by the time you read this, it might already be on bookshelves! (YAY!)

I've had people tell me they love Roxy Zimmerman, the main character. That she's funny and lively and someone they can totally relate to. I hope my characters, from the spunky Grandma Perkins to the huggable Alex McCoy, make people laugh, cry, and think. I had a blast creating each and every one of them for THE SECRET LIFE OF A TEENAGE SIREN, and it really means a lot when readers say they want a sequel so they don't have to say goodbye to the characters.

Looking forward to reading it, Wendy! What's up next? Do you have another project in the works? If so, please tell us about it.

Wendy: My next novel, which is also a Simon Pulse Romantic Comedy, is called MISS MATCH. It is scheduled to come out Spring 2009. It's the story of a teenage matchmaker who is hired by a new guy to fix him up with her sister, only to discover that she is crushing on him herself. It is full of conflict, surprises, and laughs, and I'm looking forward to seeing it in bookstores!

Thanks so much for sharing with us, Wendy! I wish you the best with your debut. Would you like to close with a writing tip?

Wendy: Jot ideas down throughout the day. On a napkin, a notepad, in your cell phone. I've been known to call my voicemail and leave messages for myself when inspiration strikes. I also recommend having a pen and paper beside your bed in case you have a great idea when you're supposed to be sleeping.

Wendy Toliver earned a BA in Speech Communication/Broadcast from Colorado State University. Now she lives in the Utah mountains with her husband, three little boys, and other wildlife. You can visit her online at or catch her blogging on Teen Fiction Cafe and Simon Pulse Romantic Comedies.

6 fresh comments:

TinaFerraro said...

Hi, Wendy! I loved reading more about SIREN, and as you know, I already have it pre-order and am waiting for it to arrive. And MISS MATCH sounds wonderful, as well!

WannabeWriter said...

The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren sounds like such a cute book! I have to look for it!

<3 Paige

Kelly Parra said...

Tina and Paige, I agree, I'm looking forward to Siren!

Wendy Toliver said...

Thanks so much Tina, Paige and Kelly! I really had such a great time writing it and the whole publication process was such a joy, but now that it's out and I'm starting to get feedback from readers, I can say this is my favorite part of all! Hope you all have a wonderful 2008!

Anna R said...

The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren is a really good book. Wendy is my friend and I am biased but I bought a copy for all my friends because I thought it was a great read. I am privileged to know Wendy and to daily observe how much time it takes her to write and perfect a novel, while at the same time being super mom and wife. This book should be a movie.

Wendy Toliver said...

Anna, the privilege is all mine. As for the movie, oh man, I hope so! :)