Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Women Who Rock Wednesday: Wendy Toliver!

Welcome to Women Who Rock Wednesday! I've got a couple cool announcements to make before we meet today's guest. First off, for those of you in the Chicago area, I just wanted to remind you that I'm reading tonight as part of the Orange Alert Reading Series special AWP event (AWP is the Association of Writers and Writing Programs and they have a big conference in Chicago this week so if I'm blogging much that's why). There are 9 other amazing writers and we are all reading at the Book Cellar, 4736 N. Lincoln Ave  in Chicago at 7:30 PM tonight, so come if you can.

Secondly, former WWRW guest, Cecil Castellucci asked me to submit my list of essential punk songs to her as a part of her celebration of BEIGE's paperback release. Since BEIGE is one of my all-time favorite books ever, I was totally honored. Here's my list if you are curious to check it out! The BEIGE paperback comes out on March 10 and even though I have the hardcover I might have to buy the paperback just for the cover.

Last but not least, the contest for Alyson Noel's EVERMORE, might just have been my most entered contest yet!!! And the lucky winner is... Heather from blogger!!! Heather, email me at stephanie at stephaniekuehnert dot com to claim your prize.For those of you who didn't win, don't despair, you have an opportunity to win another great book today: MISS MATCH by Wendy Toliver. Read on and comment to enter!

Now let's meet today's Woman Who Rocks: Wendy Toliver! Wendy is a rockin' author who has a brand new romantic comedy, the perfect book for Valentine's Day. Here's what MISS MATCH is all about: 

Sasha Finnegan has always had a knack for setting people up, and at sixteen, she's turned her talent into an online business, molding high school crushes into true love. But Sasha finds her toughest match yet when hottie Derek Urban asks her to set him up with Sasha's gorgeous sister, Maddie. It's not that Derek isn't a good catch. In fact, after spending so much time with him, Sasha can't help but think he's perfect -- for her, that is.

Can Sasha push her feelings aside for the sake of her business? Or has this miss finally found her match?

Now let's get in depth with Wendy about her book and her musical taste!

Q: Please list five songs that would be on the soundtrack to your book and explain how they relate to your story or characters.

Wendy: 1. Anything by KASKADE—it’s the music that’s playing at a senior party where Sasha puts her matchmaking skills to the test
2. “Glamorous” by Fergie – Yasmin, Sasha’s best friend, is sooo glam and will probably end up in a fashion profession of some sort
3. “Just Can’t Get Enough” by Depeche Mode – Sasha’s big sis Maddie secretly loves this band
4. “Let Me Be Your Valentine” by Scooter – double-whammy here. The book comes out right in time for V-day, plus Sasha gets a scooter (technically a Vespa) for her 16th birthday
5. “Kiss” by Prince – When Sasha is giving Derek the inside scoop about Maddie, they listen to this song in his truck

Q: Name some of your main character's favorite musicians or bands.

Wendy:Nickelback, Simone Sez (a fictional band), and Brownnosers (another fictional band)

Q: Who are some of your favorite musicians or bands?

Wendy: Like Sasha, I like Nickelback. Also Evanescence, Violent Femmes, Gwen Stefani, Fall Out Boy, Killers, Katy Perry (my 6 year-old is infatuated with her), Aerosmith …

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: With three little boys at home with me while I write, I actually opt for a little peace and quiet when I write. I’ve tried to write with music but I end up singing along or chair-dancing instead.

Q: While music is my muse, I know other writers find their muse in theater, sports, art, the great outdoors, etc. What is your main muse?

Wendy: I guess it depends on the project. With Miss Match, which takes place in Salt Lake City, I just look out my windows at the breathtaking mountains and get a gust of inspiration.

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: Let's see. I think my first album was the soundtrack from "Grease." My neighbor sold it to me in her garage sale. Recalling my first concert is difficult because with my dad's job we always had free tickets to people like the Righteous Brothers and the Beach Boys. I remember my first concert w/o parental supervision was LL Cool J. An older girl in my youth group offered to take my sister, our friend, and me so my parents said okay. I didn't really like that concert much. I much prefered Wham!, which was the next concert I went to.

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 husband's cousin was the director of the LA Film Festival and one summer my brother, his buddy, and I went down for it. We got into some pretty cool events and clubs, even walked on the "red carpet." My favorite moment was saying hi to Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale. I remember a specific instance where people on the sidelines were snapping photos of us (just my bro, his friend and me--not when we were hobnobbing with celebs). I'm not sure why--maybe it's because we are all so tall or something? Anyway, it was a really fun "rock star" moment of my life.

I was definitely jealous that Wendy got to say hi to Gwen and she told me that Gwen is just as beautiful in person. 

Anyway, like I said MISS MATCH sounds like the perfect V Day story. And speaking of V Day, I want to remind you who don't know that Love Fest is going on over at Linda Gerber's blog and there are lots of fun interviews to check out. 

Of course you are probably dying to enter to win MISS MATCH and all you need to do to be entered is leave a comment, share what you thought about the interview or the book or tell us about your V Day plans or maybe a time that you tried to play matchmaker!

As usual I will announce the winner chosen at random next Wednesday when I bring you an exclusive interview that I did with Liza and Suzi of Civet! I met them in person on their last tour and they were kind enough to sit down and talk to me. I finally transcribed the thing and am bringing it to you just in time for their next tour with the Dropkick Murphys to kick off. You'll definitely want to get your tix for that one!!! I'll have a Civet CD signed by the whole band to give away so you'll definitely want to check it out!!!!


Liviania said...

Hmm, I was planning not to go to the Dropkick Murphys this year since I went last year but I just may go if Civet is opening.

Miss Match looks so cute. I love the Simon Pulse Romantic Comedies. They always make me happy.

Wendy Toliver said...

Steph, thanks so much for the interview! It made me think about things I havent' for quite some time. Have a great Wednesday!

MarjoleinBookBlog said...

Great Interview, I am going to visit the musical Les Miserables on Valentines Day!
Wish you a great V day too!

BetsyN said...

Great interview! Love the title of your book because I have a wip entitled Mismatched and my son always calls it Miss Match. :) GMTA!

Best of luck,

Erika Powell said...

this was a great interview. For Valentine's Day I am driving to Virginia Beach with two friends to see another friend who is stationed there in the Navy. It should be great.

Paradox said...

Great interview! I don't have anything special planned for Valentines Day besides reading some books (preferably YA romance) and eating candy. Maybe watching some movies too.

I haven't read any of the Simon Pulse Romantic Comedies yet, but I plan on it.

Angela A said...

This interview was GREAT!!! (I was excited to hear that Wendy likes Fall out Boy and the Killers. Those are two of my favorite bands!! )

Anyway, i would LOVE a copy of Miss Match... Ive been dying to read a SPRC for... forever.

Thanks for the interview!


sweetmelissa818 said...

I have absolutely no valentine plans! Relaxation, I guess!