Author Interview: Wendy Leo-Smith

When did you call yourself an author?

I am very embarrassed when anyone calls me an Author and respond, I am just a regular person with an extraordinary story to tell. I feel to say I’m an author is an insult to the hard work and talent of the real authors and writers out there. 

Where did you get your information for your book?

The majority came from my daily diary, a habit I obtained to cope with the traumatic stages in my life. As well as this, I waded through our logbooks and our thousands of photos for inspiration. Long-lost memories would also come flooding back in the early hours, which I found particularly rewarding. 

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I am an active person and my first choice is obviously sailing and travelling. In between, I thoroughly enjoy being at home with our little family, Boza the English Bull Terrier and our cat Bobbie. Keeping fit by either cycling or walking or yoga or gardening is an essential part of my life and then when it’s time to relax reading and knitting. 

What is the best money you have ever spent with regard to your writing?

I, or rather Rory, paid for “Come Sail With Me” to be professionally edited as he had such faith in my writing.  This was invaluable as, if I had gone to school in a different time, I think I would have been named dyslexic and although Susan didn’t change the essence of my story she made it flow. 

How did you come up with the title?

This was a difficult one for me, as it is so important. In the end I went with the obvious, the story is only here to be told because of one impetuous email I received out of the blue from Rory, inviting me to “Come Sail With Me”. 

How long did it take to write this book?

The initial plan was to re-write my diaries, for a keepsake for Rory’s 65th Birthday, but I became hooked on the writing process and when I finally presented Rory with my draft he was nearer 67.  Then Rory insisted on taking it a stage further, so all in all, over two years. 

Does writing energy or exhaust you?

Writing is up there with the best experiences of my life, I lived to write, waking up at the crack of dawn to get my sub conscious thoughts down on paper before they faded. Then disappearing into the orchard every afternoon to improve and fine tune my words as best I could. 

What books do you enjoy reading?

My normal genres are crime fiction, suspense, mystery a couple of my favourite authors being Simon Kernick and Rachael Abbot, who, I believe, also started out as a self-published author.  I am also rather partial to a good memoir, for me, it has to be someone who has experienced something exceptional in life like Pete Goss.

What part of the book did you have the hardest time writing?

Writing about ourselves, us British are brought up to be humble, and I am an excellent example, so I tend to downplay our personal experiences.  

What are your favourite blogs or websites for writers?

Unfortunately, I do not have any has yet, as it is the part of marketing I am still investigating. I would more than welcome any recommendations. 

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