Wendy Wax did a Q & A here a few weeks ago. Her latest novel, Ten Beach Road, was released at the beginning of April. She's back today to talk about getting by with a little help from her friends. Thank you, Wendy.
I get by with a little help from my friends…
Like all of my novels, Ten Beach Road is an ensemble piece that deals with inner strength, self-discovery and getting by with a little help from your friends.
In The Accidental Bestseller four writers—critique partners for a decade--help each other survive the publishing industry. In Magnolia Wednesdays, a group of women, including two estranged sisters, meet and bond at a ballroom dance studio that one of them owns. In Ten Beach Road, three women who begin as strangers with nothing in common but everything they’ve lost, become friends who learn to rely on each other when the other people in their lives let them down.
I’ve never analyzed why I’m so drawn to writing about female friendships, but when I look back at my teen years I see that despite my preoccupation with boys and angst over dating, it’s my female friends that I remember most. Especially the confidences, the worry, the in-depth analysis of what the boys we were interested in were really thinking—which as a mother of teenage boys I now realize they weren’t! My friends and I sat and talked for hours about our innermost thoughts and fears; topics that might last ten to fifteen minutes with even the most important males in my life
The reality is that our girlfriends have our back in ways that would never occur to the men who love us. I have no doubt my husband would take on anyone who physically hurt me or mortally offended me. But would he treat me to a mani-pedi when I need cheering up? Or invite my children over for the weekend when I’m on deadline rather than, say, fill them up with sugar and then forget to guard my home office door? I rest my case.
Women friends understand the value of food and company when illness or deaths knock on our door. They actually want to hear about our children and our parents. And they can elevate shopping from a chore to entertainment. I don’t even like to think about trying to write without my closest writer friends. I count on them to hold my hand when things get tough. And to demand the best from me—regardless of any half-baked excuse I might come up with for not providing it.
With every book I write the number of female characters seems to increase; in Ten Beach Road I juggle five women’s stories. The complexity keeps the writing interesting, but it can also be challenging. Women are, by nature, inherently complicated and despite the humorous tone of my books, I like to dig deep.
When I finished writing Ten Beach Road I was exhausted and threatened to make my next book about one character written from one point of view. But it’s doubtful that’s going to happen any time soon. I’ve just started writing Reality Check, which comes out in June 2012—and there’s already a strong group of women at its core.
Ah, well. I’m sure it will all work out. And if it doesn’t, I know I’ll get through it with a little help from my friends.
Thank you, Wendy. I know there have been times when I couldn't have got by without help from my women friends. Thanks for reminding all of us. And, good luck with Ten Beach Road.
Wendy Wax' website is http://authorwendywax.com/
TEN BEACH ROAD/Berkley/Trade Paperback. 2011/$15.00 ($17.50 Canada)
0-425-24086-X ● 978-0-425-24086-1