Can you believe it's March?
I keep looking at the calendar, shaking it to see if it fast-forwarded or something.
But on the other hand, it means we get to talk with another author today!
I have the pleasure of chatting with Wendy May, a Latina Sci-Fi Fantasy & PNR Urban Fantasy author who enjoys writing about sexy alpha men who aren’t afraid to admit when they’re wrong, gutsy women who always speak up for what they believe in, and the epic adventures that put these two together.
Hi there, thank you for having me!
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I try to write every day, but it's not always possible. Real life (*Shakes fist*) gets in the way too much. I have a flexible work schedule, so I can usually adjust my hours to fit my writing schedule. I like to get up early and start writing before lunch, but if I'm not feeling inspired, I'll take a break and do some research (RIP search history) or read a book. In the afternoon, I'll usually work on revisions or do some more writing. I usually don't work past 7 or 8pm because I like to relax and read or hang out with family and friends after work.
Sometimes I usually work longer on my writing when I'm working on a deadline. I've written multiple drafts of novels in a week before. I think the most I've worked on a single story at once is about 3 weeks. I can write for about twelve hours straight if I focus, but I usually take a break after that.
What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
I don't drink coffee to fuel my writing. Okay, okay—that’s a personal quirk of mine that makes my author friends give me funny looks. So, I have a lot of quirks. I'm extremely OCD and I'm particular about the way things are organized or the way things are worded. Sometimes it takes me forever to find a place to start writing, because I'm re-organizing all my drafts or editing a work in progress. I also tend to daydream a lot, and when I daydream, I also tend to get carried away and start writing another novel. Yep, it's a major problem. I keep sinking in an ocean of unfinished drafts!
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Ah, that's usually when I remember I have a husband. Ha! He's going to get me for that one. Seriously though, I like to make artwork in Daz3D or Photoshop. If its the weekend I join raids with my guildmates in Guild Wars 2 an epic MMO game. It's a great way to let off some steam. I also like to take my dog for a walk or pretend I can pull off neat DIY craft projects. I find that when I'm not writing, it's important for me to stay active. It's the only way to keep my sanity!
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be a lot of things when I grew up. A veterinarian, a marine biologist, a Mexicana folklore singer. But mostly, I wanted to be an author. I loved books and I loved stories. I wanted to create my own stories, to share them with the world. And that's what I ended up doing. I became a professional author, and I've never looked back. It's been the most rewarding thing I've ever done.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
It's a bit of both. I'm usually in a positive mood after a session of writing. Once I get into the 'zone' and there's no stopping me. I'm energized by it especially if I've finished a scene or cleaned up some draft and I'm starting to see my novel come together. It's exciting! But sometimes my first drafts are rough. I'll get tangled in a clump of words and I'll have to pull myself back out of it. It can exhaust me because it's hard to get back into the story, to pick up the pieces, and rewrite them into something better.
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Oh wow, I can draft an essay on this one. I think there are a few big ones. One of the biggest traps aspiring writers fall into is handing their precious writing over to those shady publishing LLC's that promise to do everything to get your book out there for a 'special' price. Keep in mind that many of those publishing companies will just take your money and sweep your work under the rug.
This is something that I've seen so many go through and it's a really hard thing to experience. Be cautious and do your research. Don't fall for their devious lies and end up handing your book's rights over to them. They'll just take your money, your book, and ghost you.
Another trap is falling for 'gurus' on anything and everything related to being a published writer/author. I know there are some helpful websites out there, great forums, and experts who'll tell you what to do to market your book, or how to write better, and how to prepare your manuscript for an agent or publisher. But the thing about it is, it's not the same for everyone. It’s okay to experiment but it's just as important to do your own research. I can't stress it enough to check their author ranks (Do they write more than How-to books?), look beyond their social brands, and be critical of what they're offering. After all, a lot of those gurus make their money by making 'you' their product.
Finally, the biggest trap is self-doubt. I think many writers/authors struggle with self-doubt. It's easy to think to yourself, 'Oh, I'll never be as good as this person.' 'Oh, this person writes better prose.' But the truth is, we're all unique in a good way. We all have different styles, multiple interests, and individual experiences. We all have our own stories, and that's what makes our stories unique. The only way to win against that negative voice is to remember why you started writing in the first place and why it's important to you. Always believe in yourself and the stories you want to share with the world.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Internet-related distractions, as far as my writing goes. Tiktok, Instagram, Reddit, Twitter... It's all too hard to ignore. The Internet encroaches on my writing time like a frenzied dog chomping at my heels. I've lost too much time to it all. I get too caught up with social media, and before I know it, half my day is gone, and I haven't written a single word!
Have you ever gotten reader’s block?
Sometimes. I'm a voracious reader across various genres. Come to think of it getting reader's block is pretty similar to getting writer's block. When I hit a wall when I'm trying to read it's either because I've been staring at it for too long, can't seem to get into the story, or I can't turn off my 'author's' brain when reading. When that happens, I need a break to get away from the book to clear my head and return to it with a fresh perspective.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Ugh, that's a hard question because then you must decide if you're writing for money or for the fun of it. I'm still growing and I'm still learning. There will always be room for improvement but I 've learned the hard way to market as close to readers expectations as I can. Sure, I'll always want to write different (and I have several times before) stories, and if people enjoy it, that's fantastic! But at the end of the day, I want my novels/serials to be read by as many readers as possible so that means delivering what readers want.
If you could tell your younger writing self-anything, what would it be?
Honestly? I'd tell my younger writing self to keep going. I would tell myself that no one could ever take away the joy of writing. There's a huge heartbreaking story there, but yeah, don't ever stop. Keep on writing. Keep on believing in yourself because the stories you write are worth sharing.
What did you do with your first advance?
I made a huge catering order of Mexican food! Nope, I didn't eat it all alone of course. In all seriousness, I invested 80% back into my writing. New book covers, marketing ads, and a new laptop! I had been using a hand-me-down Dell that I've had for years, and the battery was so bad, I had to keep it charging if I wanted to use it.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Seriously, I wasn't kidding when I mentioned drowning in hundreds of un-finished drafts. The sad part is that they have about 40K written in them before I had to jump to another novel. Across three pennames I have three books that are at 75% completion. Unpublished books, I have four that are being looked over by two editors.
What do you have coming next?
I'm currently working on several Kindle Vella serial projects. Bound by Pride, a PNR reverse harem in its second season, another is a LitRPG, the other is a spicy romance, and last but not least is Fire & Steel, a fantasy romance. Now for novels, I have a third novel called: Alien Desire which is a Sci-Fi alien romance series ready to release by the end of October. From there? My imagination is the only limit!
Get in touch with her on SOCIAL MEDIA and CHECK OUT HER WEBSITE AND PROJECTS!
Author website: https://www.authorwendymay.com/
Kindle Vella Serials: https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/tags/wendymay?page=1
AND NOW A SAMPLE FROM Bound By Pride:
Excerpt for Bound by Pride, a PNR Reverse Harem LGBT Romance
I burned my hometown to the ground when I turned sweet sixteen. Town residents that watched me grow up from a baby girl to a young adult saw their homes and businesses fall to flames and ashes. The expressions on their faces ranged from horror to anxiety, while others were angry. Everyone knew who was responsible. It’s not as if I was trying to hide myself. For hell’s sake, it was as if I was performing a show worthy of the largest circus in the middle of a flaming inferno.
All fire and pent-up rage at long last expelled.
Looking at their mixed emotions brought a cynical smile to my ruby painted lips. I couldn’t be happier. They all could burn in the nine hells for all I cared.
My parents mysteriously died, and the townspeople expected me to fend for myself. Not a single person tried to help me. No one cared enough to even try. When I was finished bringing down the town, I walked straight toward the gathered crowds. They parted to the sides like I was Moses walking through the Red Sea.
Confession time, when they did, I felt like a total bad ass.
Not everyone held back their aggression. Some of them pointed a shaking finger at me and others murmured cuss words under their breath. A few turned their backs to me. Nothing new there. And then someone shouted the question they were all thinking but were too timid to ask.
“Why?” an old man cried out.
I turned toward the voice. A dozen responses raced through my head. There’s so much bad blood between us all it was hard to pick for only one reason. I can’t say for certain why I responded the way I did, but it seemed like the right thing to do. They all got a one-finger salute. I gave the finger to every man, woman, and child there. Including one to the flames for not burning down the town fast enough. “Why did I do this? Simple, it’s because I hate wolves.”
On that day, I walked away from my wolf clan without looking back.
“Maya, if you don’t snap out of it, I’m going to finish your cake.”
My hand tightened around my fork as I lift my gaze. A pretty blonde wearing thin, black-rimmed glasses stares back at me. She flashes a killer smile. I can’t help but give her a sadistic smirk. “Try it, Sofia. I’ll make sure your porcelain skin breaks out with wart-sized acne for an entire week.”
Her blue eyes widen. “You wouldn’t try a spell on me.”
“Not just any cake. A strawberry tres leches cake.” I’d turn the entire world inside-out if anyone dared to desecrate my delicious dessert. Giving her a severe case of acne is the least I could do to avenge my precious.
Sofia clicked her tongue. “You know I adore you, but I don’t believe in magic and too much sugar isn’t healthy.”
Well, of course she’d say that much. Who would believe in magic in this day and age? Plus, she’s been on a keto kick for the past month. Nothing wrong with trying out a new diet, but Sofia mentioned that keto and tres leches cake aren’t a thing. Too bad. Some of the most beautiful combinations are different ones.
“The heck it isn’t.” I tap the fluffy whipped cream topping. “Do you see the strawberries on top? This is total nutritious value at its finest.” Sure, it packs three types of calorie dense milk coupled with heavy whipped frosting that sticks ten pounds on you, but that’s beside the point. “Experts state milk is good for your bones. Who am I to argue with cake science?”
“You’re impossible,” Sofia said, shrugging her shoulders. “I can’t argue with you about desserts.”
“Now that’s an understatement.” I raise a fork full of the cake to her as a peace offering.
Sofia nods her head side to side.
Pfft. More cake for me. The whipped cream is light on my tongue and every taste of the moist cake radiates a flavorful combination of sweet milk and sugar in my mouth. This is heaven. Instant ten pounds gained. Zero regrets.
Sofia’s expression softens as she looks at me. Sometimes I can’t help but think I wouldn’t mind those sparkling baby blues staring only at me. But life isn’t always about getting what you want, so I shove that fluttery feeling into a dark place where the sun doesn’t dare shine.
“What were you thinking about?” she asked.
My gaze lowers as I sink back into the tufted corner booth. Sofia texted me out of the blue to show up at the Sweet Bites ice cream parlor. I thought with spring break a week away that she’d be too busy planning a vacation getaway with her girlfriend than going on a BFF’s night out.
Come to think of it—when was the last time we got together? Too long. Maybe we spoke last about a month ago. Now I know for certain there’s another reason for her to contact me. If Carrie dumped her again, I’ll kick Carrie’s ass. She’s hurt Sofia far too many times with her off and on-again tricks. “This and that, nothing much.”
“It’s going to be that way again?” Sofia huffed as she crossed her arms. She wore a crop top denim jacket over a red sundress with a deep V-cut that highlighted her every curve. “Am I the only one that’s going to talk while you just bottle everything up inside?”
Nothing’s ever easy between us. There’s a sort of tension that brings us together and pushes us far away. “We haven’t seen each other in a month. When we do, it’s about you-know-who.” I narrowed my gaze. “How should I act when you only contact me when it’s convenient for you?”
Sofia’s eyes widened. “That goes both ways, doesn’t it?”
Ouch, that’s a burn. Maybe one that’s somewhat true, but I won’t admit it. I brush away wisps of long black bangs from my face. “Okay, let’s not talk about that now. I’m really happy you reached out to me.” I stare right into her eyes. “Here’s another truth, I missed you.”
“I’ve missed you too.” She leaned over to the side, placing a colorful gift bag on the table between us. “I wanted to see you sooner, but I had to work extra shifts to buy your gift. Happy birthday, Maya.”
My birthday was today? Of course, it would be today. Why else would I brood about something that happened four years ago on the same day? My expression must have betrayed my confusion.
Sofia giggled, pushing the tissue paper filled bag toward me. “You forgot today was your birthday again, didn’t you? Go ahead, look inside.”
I trace my fingers over the bouncy ribbons tying the handles into a cute bow. As I reached inside, I was careful not to disturb the pretty embellishments. I take out a small black and gold box, then look up at her. Sofia worried her bottom lip with her teeth, as if whatever she bought me wouldn’t be good enough. Her expression is so adorable I can’t stop staring at it. And if I was more honest with my feelings, I’d tell Sofia that just being with her was the greatest gift.
It’s time to open the box. Within it is a pendant necklace of two joined hearts made of sterling silver and yellow gold adorned with diamonds. “This is beautiful. I don’t deserve it.”
“Nope, can’t return it. Plus, I bought the matching necklace half too.” Sofia smiled. “They’re meant to symbolize inseparable hearts.” She pulled out an identical necklace resting between her cleavage. “Happy birthday, Maya.”
An overprotective feeling overwhelms my senses as my inner wolf takes me by surprise. Wait. Something else is wrong. Tiny hairs on the back of my neck rise as if they’re the hackles on my wolf’s form. The stench of rotting flesh hits me like a ton of bricks. Once, twice. I half-turn to scan the ice cream parlor. A waft of sickly rotten meat stings my nostrils. There’s a third scent now. Oh crap, not those freaks. Not now.
The parlor doors swing wide open and three males rush in with guns raised in the air. “Stay where you are!” one intruder shouted.
A dangerous growl escapes my lips as my inner wolf tries to take charge in an instant. Looks like these thugs are about to go down. Hard.