Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Chatting with Buckeyes: Author Interview with Wendi Zwaduk

Please help me welcome Ohio romance writer Wendi Zwaduk To A Buckeye Girl Reads as. Wending is joining us today as apart of my Chatting With Buckeyes series where I interview a different Ohio author each month. Her books are hot and steamy and my reviews for Careless Whisper and Over My Head will be up soon! (They are great!) Please feel free to ask any questions you have for her!  I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I do.

I always dreamed of writing the stories in my head. Tall, dark, and handsome heroes are my favorites, as long as he has an independent woman keeping him in line. I tend to write books with titles taken from songs because music is one of my many muses.
I earned a BA in education  and as well as a Masters in Education. I've tried my hand at teaching, waitressing, and retail sales, but writing holds my heart. I love NASCAR, romance, books in general, farmland, dirt racing, and my menagerie of animals. I books under contract with Total-E-Bound, Liquid Silver Books, and the Wild Rose Press. But then again, I've got more stories percolating than my brain can handle. I can't wait to share them with you!



      What do you like most about writing romance?
Playing with love. Really. I’ve found my forever guy and I suck at matchmaking (I’ve only tried twice, but neither time worked out). But when I write, I can put whatever two people together that suits my fancy. Okay, not always MY fancy. The characters choose who they want to be with, but still. It’s fun to keep writing happily ever afters. Who doesn’t love love?

What book is your most daring?  

I don’t know that it’s daring, but I’d say either Careless Whisper – my ghost story, or My Immortal – my first paranormal story. Careless Whisper is daring because the crux of the story is figuring out who is alive and who is dead as well as rooting for Samara and Ryan to get together. Either readers like the visible ghosts or not.  For My Immortal, I had a character who was a vampire. I loved reading paranormal stories and I loved the confines of vampires. That said, my vampire lives on blood, yes, but he can eat. Eating food doesn’t fill him up or sustain him, but it’s blending in method. Another thing about my vampire is that he can tell he’s got a mate, but it’s not fool-proof. He can feel her, smell her, but she has the power – she can walk away. Just because he claims her, doesn’t mean it’s forever. There’s that crazy variable – love. Again, either readers like that my vampire isn’t conventional or they don’t. Can’t make everyone

 What upcoming projects do you have that you can tell us about?

I just contracted my first vintage novella. I’d written an ancient historical, set in Greece because I love the time period. But I kept having this character come back and talk to me. I didn’t know what to do with him because Noel wasn’t like my other heroes. He loved to go on tangents and just start talking about being in combat. He required me to do the most research and it was tough. Noel’s story, Sunshine of Your Love, is set in 1970 Ohio. He’s a Vietnam vet JUST returned from the war. Cindy doesn’t understand him, as she’s never been in combat, but she’s got the patience to help him deal. It was challenging to get the details just right. I wasn’t born in 1970, so I had to research the music, fashion, lingo, world events... yeah, it was a lot of reading. But I think it was worth it and I hope the readers do, too. 

 Is there a hero or heroine that stands out?

I love all my heroes, but to pick one that stands out... wow. Hmm. Cass Jensen from Right Where I Need to Be. She stands out because she’s the most like me. She’s not tall or slender or model-ready, yet she’s got a confidence that shows she’s not a pushover. She’s got a history that readers can relate to and a wicked sense of humor.

 Is there a book that you are most proud of?

This is a tough question because there are actually a couple. Of my Wendi stories, I’m most proud of Tangled Up and Someone Like You. I’m proud of these two stories because I got to visit and revisit a favorite trio of characters. Mindy, Arran, and Sav don’t have the most traditional relationship and it’s never really been perfectly happily ever after. This trio has nabbed me the most interesting reader comments. I’m proud of the two books because they seem to really grab the readers’ emotions. Whether they like or dislike the characters, I hear how the readers became involved with them.

Of my Megan Slayer titles, the one I’m most proud of is Permanent. This story was very emotional for me to write because there was the research into bondage clubs. I also had to really dig deep to feel River’s emotions enough to write them with any clarity. River’s been abused and he’s learning, slowly, to rise above it. By the time I was done writing his story,  I was emotionally wrung out, but I liked the result in the story.

Ohio Questions: 

Which C city is your favorite? Columbus, Cincy or Cleveland?
Cleveland because they have the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 

Do you have a favorite Ohio food or drink? 

Bratwurst. There’s a festival every August in Bucyrus, Ohio, where they celebrate the bratwurst. 

What surprises you most about Ohio?

How many musicians and celebs are from Ohio. Musicians include: Macy Gray, Marilyn Manson, The McCoys,  Gary LeVox and Jay Demarcus from Rascal Flatts, Then there are the celebs: Alana DeLaGarza (Law and Order), Jamie Farr (M*A*S*H), Halle Berry, Drew Carey, Clark Gable, Lillian Gish, Paul Newman, Tyrone Power... that’s a lot of diamond shine for one state! 

Is there an Ohio Sports team that you root for? If so, who?

Cincinnati Reds. Mom was a Cleveland fan and Dad was Cincy. We lived half way between Columbus and Cleveland so we got sports scores from both. I went with Cincy because my brother took Cleveland. Not real scientific, but hey, Joey Votto is a yummy reason to watch the Reds. 

What's the best part about being a buckeye? 

Script Ohio! Doesn’t matter where you go, but when the first bits of Script start, people take notice. Its cool to see the OSU Marching Band writing out Ohio and doing it so elegantly. When I was in school, we not only did Script every year in band, but my senior year, we got to play at a Skull Session with The OSU Band. Talk about cool!! Holy guacamole, Batman. It was very cool. And then there’s the shout: OH! Just hope you can find someone who will reply with the needed IO!

Watch for Wendi's newest book coming out soon:

 What happens when two opposites realise they have more in common than expected? I’m a dancer…and a damn good one. I work at the Silver Steel Gentlemen’s Club. My hard and fast rule? No freebies and no office dating. Except for Slade. Hard, fast, slow, gentle...I don’t care. I’ll take him any way possible. But he’s not that into me.Or so she thinks. I’m a bouncer at the Silver Steel. Astra doesn’t realise I see her—I can’t help myself. She captivates me every time she’s on the stage. I want her, but I have a...problem. I’m not at the Steel to pick up chicks or even work the room. I’m there to stop the influx of drugs into the community. Yeah, I’m a cop. But if the job means sampling the dancers... Well, as long as I keep my heart out of it, I’ll be fine. I hope.  
Reader Advisory: This book has a kick ass hero, a dancer with all the right moves, hot sex, a little mutual anal play for good measure and mention of drug use.

Where to find Wendi: 


Writing as Megan Slayer:


You can also find Megan at:
Menagerie Authors Website
Menagrie Authors Blog 
Menagerie Authors Facebook