Today on Paws 4 Thought we welcome writer, blogger, jeweler and poet Wendy Van Camp.
- Tell us a little bit about yourself Wendy.
Hello, I am Wendy Van Camp. I write science fiction, fantasy, scifaiku poetry, and dabble in regency romance. My work has appeared in literary and science fiction magazines such as “Shadows Express”, “Quantum Visions”, “Altered Reality Magazine”, “Luna Station Quarterly”, and “Far Horizons”. I have published one novelette and it is available via most online retail outlets such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iTunes.
I’ve been married to the same guy for over 20 years and have a furbaby that I spoil. I collect fountain pens, inks and notebooks like other women collect shoes. I’ve been an artisan jeweler for the past 20 years and a certified gemologist since 2011. However, I consider myself to be more a writer than a jeweler these days.
- When did you first start writing?
Some of my earliest memories are of being a writer. I wrote my first novelette when I was 4 or 5 years old, all in child’s handwritten scrawl, and a second one when I was in high school on a broken Selectric typewriter. I remember having to move the carriage return with my right hand and typing only with my left. My parents never offered to fix the machine! To them, writing was not something to be encouraged. I was the only creative one in the family and they did not quite understand my need to make music, draw, or tell stories.
I always intended to become an author when I “grew up”, but then a little thing called “Star Wars: A New Hope” happened. I was enamored by the film and its slick new editing style. I changed from wanting to write, to telling my stories via movies. I wanted to be a film director like George Lucas and ended up going to film school here in California. I spent a good fifteen years afterward producing and directing television projects as a career. Writing took a backseat.
It was not until I was in my early 40s that I returned to writing novels. I credit Nanowrimo with inspiring me to become a novelist. While I had been a participant of Nanowrimo for several years, I was suffering from writer’s block and could never put together a fictional story. Then one day in 2010, a character woke up in me and demanded that I start writing about him. That year was the first time that I won the 50K word goal at Nanowrimo. I viewed my writing as a hobby at that point, but have come full circle and have returned to the idea of being a professional writer.
- Who are your favorite authors?
My favorites include: Jane Austen, Mark Twain, Anne McCaffrey, Andre Norton, Elizabeth Moon, and Robert A. Heinlein.
- Tell us a little about The Curate’s Brother.
“The Curate’s Brother” is a novelette that could be seen as a prequel to Jane Austen’s famous novel “Persuasion”. It is also the first of a series of four stories that uses Austen’s characters, but departs from her storyline into a new “what if” of my own invention. The first story revolves around the relationship between the two Wentworth brothers as seen through the eyes of Edward Wentworth and showcases many historical elements of the regency time period.
Edward Wentworth, a young Anglican curate, is surprised by the arrival of his brother. Commander Fredrick Wentworth, the “hero of San Domingo”, is on shore leave from his battles in the Napoleonic war and has come to spend time with the only family he has in England.
All the good Commander wants to do is flirt and dance with the ladies until he is called back to sea, but when his flirting extends to a young outgoing beauty that Edward always disdained as “a child”, the curate becomes aware that his opinion of the girl is sorely outdated. Meanwhile, Frederick becomes drawn to a shy wallflower, Anne Elliot. She is the daughter of a baronet and above his station, but Frederick pays no heed to his brother’s warnings that class may prevent their union.
At the end of summer, a letter and package arrive that will change everything for the two brothers. Which way will prevail? The bold actions of the commander or the quiet manners of the curate?
- What is your favorite genre to read/write? What attracts you to it?
I consider myself to be mainly a science fiction author. Most of my short stories are either science fiction or fantasy, although many of them have not been published as yet. I have been reading science fiction since my early years and continue to love the genre. When I think of science fiction, I think of the “golden age” of sci-fi. These stories looked to the future and showed how humanity might better itself instead of being dystopic in nature. That is what attracts me, messages of hope for the future.
- If you could have dinner with anyone real or fictional who would you choose?
That would be Jane Austen. I love her writing and her wit. I fear that I would be the butt of her jokes since I’m a bit square and would not be able to keep up with her verbally! She is the inventor of the romance genre, but her writing draws deep upon character. This is what I admire and I’d love a chance to be able to chat with her about writing. It is too bad that time travel is not possible.
- Tell us a little bit about your blog. What would we find there if we visited?
No Wasted Ink features science fiction and fantasy author interviews, book reviews of classic sci-fi and fantasy novels, writer’s links, my articles, and my own illustrated scifaiku poetry. There are links to my book and short stories. Many of the short stories and poetry I’ve published in magazines are free to read, just follow the handy links. The blog is entering its fifth year and still going strong. If you love to read science fiction or fantasy, you will find plenty on No Wasted Ink to interest you.
- Here on Paws 4 Thought we love to meet author’s furry companions. Do you have a pet you’d like to share with us?
This touches close to my heart. My Aussie shepherd is my constant companion. She has a special cushion in front of my office where she can rest her arthritic bones as she “guards” my door. My baby girl is turning into an old lady, but I love her all the same. We still enjoy walks and I give her treats every day.
- So what’s next? What are you currently working on?
The sequel to “The Curate’s Brother” is “Christmas in Kellynch”. It is in final editing and will be released sometime in 2017. I am also in the revision stage of a science fiction/steampunk novel trilogy and a poetry chapbook of science fiction haiku on the theme of Mars. There are many science fiction and fantasy short stories in the pipeline. One by one, they will find homes in magazines. I will announce on the blog when they publish.
- How can readers connect with you?