Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Women Who Rock Wednesday: Wendy Toliver

Welcome to Women Who Rock Wednesday! The last WWRW winner who will receive a signed copy of Tara Kelly's Harmonic Feedback is Sara of the Hiding Spot! Congrats Sara!

Today I am thrilled to feature my Teen Fiction Cafe sister, Wendy Toliver, a YA author who definitely rocks. Her book LIFTED is up at the top of my to-read pile because it looks incredible and I definitely went through a shoplifting phase in my teens. Let's meet Wendy and find out about LIFTED, shall we?

Q: Please tell us what your new book is about and what inspired you to write it.

Wendy: LIFTED is the story of Poppy Browne, the daughter of a single mom who takes a job as a professor in a tiny Texas town. On Poppy’s first day at her new school (a private Baptist one), she meets two very popular girls and one friendly choir girl, and all want Poppy to hang with them. When she gets to know the two popular girls, they quickly draw her into their surprising secret: they shoplift. A lot.

I was watching a show on TV about how shoplifting is a huge problem, especially with teens, and thought it would make an interesting topic for a book. Most people have either shoplifted themselves, have been tempted to try it, or know someone who has, so I think it’s something we can all relate to.

Q: If there was a soundtrack for your book what are five songs that would be on it and how do they relate the story?

Wendy: 1. “Just Dance” by Lady Gaga—captures the fun times Mary Jane, Whitney and Poppy have

2. Anything by Evanescense—Amy Lee’s pure, haunting voice is perfect for the part where Poppy realizes her life is spiraling out of control

3. “Gimme That Girl” by Joe Nichols—seems like a song David Hillcrest would sing for (or dedicate to) Poppy.

4. “The Fear” by Lily Allen—captures how confusing life becomes when you have all sorts of external influences trying to mold who you are.

5. And, just for fun, "Got Caught Stealin'" by Jane's Addiction. Because it’s about shoplifting.

Q: Who were some of your inspirations to become a writer or the inspirations that keep you writing? Feel free to include other authors, teachers, parents, or people in other creative fields, whoever is an inspiration to you!

Wendy: My mom has been a huge inspiration for as long as I can remember. I’ve also had some really great teachers who really believed in me and my talents. Now that I’m an author, I have author friends who give me frank critiques, shoulders to cry on (when need be), and champion me not only as a writer but as a person. I’m truly very blessed.

Q: Even though music plays in so heavily into my storytelling, I rarely can actually listen to it while I'm writing. Can you? How does music fit into your writing process?

Wendy: I can listen to it while I’m writing but I don’t usually. If I’m alone I like it quiet, or I sometimes write in bed with the TV on something like “America’s Top Model”—something I can glance up at every now and then but don’t feel tempted to stop writing just to watch. However, the minute I’m in my car, I’m blasting music, car-dancing, and singing my heart out. It cracks me up when my three little boys join in!

Q: What is next for you? What are you working on now?

Wendy: I think I’ll try my hand at paranormal YA. I’ve been working on an idea for a while now and am whipping it up into a proposal.

Q: I have two questions that I always ask my Women Who Rock, the first is a two-parter. What was the first album you bought and the first concert you attended? Be honest, we don't judge, we like to see the roots of our women who rock!

Wendy: My first album was the soundtrack to the movie “Grease.” I bought it for fifty cents from my neighbor’s garage sale. Still love those songs! My dad’s work was always giving us tickets to concerts like the Beach Boys, The Righteous Bros. and Gladys Knight so one of those might have been my first concert but the first one I remember going to with friends was LL Cool J. Followed closely by George Michael. Those were when I was in junior high.

Q: Tell us about your biggest rock star moment, perhaps it's a moment of real success in your career, a time when you met someone super cool and had that Wayne's World "I'm not worthy" moment, or just a time where you felt like you got the rock star treatment. I get a huge variety of answers for the questions, so it's pretty much whatever "rock star moment" means to you!

Wendy: My first “I’m not worthy” moment was a few years ago in L.A. when I was at a movie premier with Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale. I can honestly say I’m usually just myself when in the company of famous people, but for some reason, Gwen really got to me (she’s one of my favorites and gorgeous in person) and I could only utter a measly, “Hi.” Oh! I just thought of another “rock star” moment, but I didn’t know it was happening until afterwards. I did karaoke one night (again in L.A.) and Hugh Hefner was in the audience. LOL!

Today's Contest:

Now that you have read about LIFTED (and how awesome Wendy is!), I am sure you want to read it as badly as I do. Well, you are in luck. Wendy is giving out a signed copy to one lucky winner.

To enter all you have to do is leave a comment. However you can gain additional entries:

+1 for tweeting or posting on facebook about this interview
+1 for tweeting or posting about LIFTED
+1 for sharing the book trailer
+5 for blogging about LIFTED

Note your additional entries in your comment as well as giving me an email address or some way to contact you if you win.

Please note that due to postage expenses, this contest is for US mailing addresses only.

I will announce the winner next Wednesday when my guest will be debut YA author, Holly Cupala!


Stacy said...

Loved this interview! And I want to read Lifted!

I posted the link to the book on my blog:

And I tweeted about this interview:

Thank you for sharing!

~Stacy (

Lauren said...

Great interview! Lifted sounds like such a great book, so I would love to enter the giveaway.

Erica said...

Lifted sounds really great! If I ever write, I can't listen to music either.

Erika Lynn said...

This book looks so good. I have been stalking Wendy on this blog tour! Loved all the interviews and can't wait to see what she comes up with in the paranormal genre

I tweeted it