A graduate of Exeter University, Wendy spent 20 years as a teacher of French, Latin and Classical studies before a change of career led her to writing children's fiction. Currently residing in Abu Dhabi, she lives with her husband and beautiful Tonkinese cat.
Wendy's ""Shadows from the Past"" time-travel adventures, featuring 3 children and a rather special cat called Max, are aimed at the Middle Grade age group. This award-winning series also includes several shorter novellas that see Max the talking Tonkinese cat undertaking solo missions. Now working on the 18th book in the series, ""The Shadow of the Shifting Sands"", Wendy hopes that her love of history, myth and legend will rub off on her young readers as she takes them on a magical mystery tour through the past.
In his fifth solo mini-adventure, Max the talking Tonkinese cat, the feline hero of the SHADOWS FROM THE PAST series travels back in time to the mid-seventeenth century.
He doesn’t understand how this has happened until he recognises his surroundings and realises it isn't the first time he’s been to this place. Why has he been brought to this tumbledown cottage in the middle of nowhere? All is about to be revealed…
In 17th century Essex, at a time when most people believed in witchcraft, the name Matthew Hopkins was enough to strike fear into the heart of many a woman who lived alone with only a pet cat for company… for Hopkins was the Witchfinder General.
The 15th book in the Shadows from the Past series takes the time-travelling foursome back to the year 1646. It isn’t Max’s first visit to the village of Mistley Thorn, but this time his friends Jemima, Joe and Charlie are by his side.
Their mission is to bring an end to Hopkins’ campaign of terror. Will they succeed, or might this prove to be their most dangerous challenge yet? "
Q&A With the Author:
1. What is your favorite Autumn Time activity?
Going for long walks in the countryside and seeing the autumnal colours of the trees, with their leaves turning all shades of yellow, gold and red – one of nature’s real wonders. I also love the smell of bonfire smoke – it takes me right back to my childhood. In the UK, we celebrate Guy Fawkes on November 5th with bonfires and fireworks.
2. What is one of your writing quirks?
It’s not so much a writing quirk, but more of a post-writing quirk. When I’m reading through what I’ve written, usually at the end of a chapter and again when I’ve finished the book, I always read it aloud to see how it sounds. Also, I find that typos and errors jump out more readily that way.
3. Which of your books was your favorite to write? And why?
Two of my “Max’s Adventures” spring to mind: Max’s Midnight Adventure, because it made me laugh as I was writing about my funny feline hero’s escapade in the attic one night and, more recently, Max’s Royal Adventure. My favourite uncle, who loved reading my books, had recently passed away. He was especially fond of Max, so I decided to write this book especially for him – it’s dedicated to him, but I’m sad that he never got the chance to read it.
4. Who is the person or group of people who most support you in your writing? What have they done for you?
My husband is my biggest supporter but also my most ruthless critic! He does a great job of editing my work. In addition, I’m lucky to belong to a group of fellow authors who seem to enjoy my stories and who are hugely supportive, supplying vital encouragement and advice.
5. What is your trick for getting past writer's block? And what advice would you give to others who are struggling?
Like many other authors, I struggled to write during the Covid-19 virus lockdown earlier this year. I desperately wanted to make a start on my latest book in the series, but just couldn’t make any headway and found it really tough-going. It was frustrating, to say the least, but I decided I couldn’t waste this valuable time and forced myself to sit down at my laptop every single day. To begin with, I only managed a few lines at a time, sometimes a paragraph, but I persevered and, eventually, the creative juices began to flow… and I’m pleased to say I got there in the end. The Kindle version is already available on Amazon and the paperback version will be published soon. The Shadow of the Great Fire is a perfect pandemic read, set during the last episode of Bubonic Plague to affect England in 1666.
So, my advice would be to try to write a little each day, even if the ideas aren’t flowing naturally and it feels as if you’re wading through treacle. When you read it through the following day, you might want to delete some of what you’ve written, but I genuinely believe it kickstarts the creative processes!
6. Autumn time has its own set of foods/flavors. What is your favorite Autumn comfort food?
I love pumpkin soup – it’s real comfort food. I’m also partial to roasted chestnuts, which remind me of my father who is sadly no longer with us.
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