Wendy Rhodes was born in Yorkshire and lived in Filey for many years. She studied English literature through the Open University and later earned a Master Degree from Teeside University.
Could you tell us about yourself?
Hi, I am Wendy Rhodes. I am fifty-eight. I live in Spain with my husband, dog and four cats. Between my husband & I, we have three children and seven grandchildren.
How long have you been writing?
Many years, I started writing humorous poems when I was about 9 after reading Spike Milligan’s Silly Verse For Kids.
Tell us about one of, or your most recent book?
My most recent book is entitled ‘Dr Pritchard The Poisoning Adulterer.’ It is based on the true account, of a Victorian Doctor, who went on to murder his wife and mother-in-law, and was the last person to be publicly hanged in Scotland in front of a crowd of 100k people in 1865. I first became interested in the Doctor’s story when I found out that he was the local doctor in my hometown of Filey, and that he actually opened a business we own in 1854. I researched the story and became hooked. I wrote the story creatively, bringing the doctor and family back to life. The doctor was a horrible deceitful man who spoke the truth only by accident. The book is not for the faint-hearted.
What do you love about writing?
I love creating a story, making the characters real so that you feel as if you know them.
How do you get inspired/ where do you get your ideas?
I tend to write true stories or local history. I like nothing better than to find an old story, or interesting stories about people and the history of a town and write about it. So that people say ‘Well I never knew that.’
Do you have a specific writing process?
I tend to get over absorbed in research. I have an MA in Creative Writing, which taught me the importance of organisation. Something, I revise all the time. I tend to write so much then edit, rewrite, edit then rewrite. I’m sure we all do that.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Yes, get a professional editor and a professional formatter. Also, read your work out loud. I use the ‘Speak’ option in MS Word, which I find useful. Plan your book-this makes the writing so much easier-especially chapter outlines, this way you know what you want in each chapter-you can plan word-count this way as well. Also, write because you enjoy it not for money, but be professional.
What are you currently working on? How long before release?
I am currently working on a local history book entitled ‘Scarborough the History of The Town and its People.’ The release date of end May 2018.
What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading ‘The Family Next Door.’ By Sally Hepworth. It is a psychological thriller due to be released March 2018. I am reviewing it in advance of its release. So far, it’s really good.
Who are your favourite authors?
I really like the old authors such as Charlotte Bronte, Thomas Hardy, two of my favourite books are Cider with Rosie, which to me is one of the most wonderfully descriptive books ever written, but I also like Valley of the Dolls Jacqueline Suzanne-which is probably the original Hollywood story. I also have massive respect for John Grisham and Ken Follett, they are so talented and professional.
Do you have any favourite fictional characters?
Jane Eyre and Heathcliff. Fantastically romantic.
Any fun facts about you that you would like to share?
I have a wicked sense of humour, and I am terrible for replying to letters from my Bank Manager in Japanese. I am sure he doesn’t see the funny side, but it takes the edge off.