I don’t sleep very well, so often I’ll find myself awake in the middle of the night. Many of my spookiest chapters have been written a quiet room in the dark while the rest of the world is asleep. – Wendy Webb
SR: What’s your new book/work in progress about?
WW: Daughters of the Lake is the story of two women who reach out to each other across time. Kate begins to have recurring dreams about another woman’s life. She thinks little of it until that woman’s perfectly preserved body washes up on the beach in front of her home. Readers hear about both women’s lives; Kate’s in the present day as she tries to solve the mystery of the woman’s identity; and our drowned woman, Addie, who lived and died 100 years ago.
It is the most magical, romantic and dreamy book I’ve written.
SR: Was there a specific issue or incident that really motivated you to write this particular story? What was the prompt?
WW: I set the story in my fictional version of Bayfield, Wisconsin after I rented out one of the town’s most magnificent inns, Le Chateau Boutin, for my birthday. I started thinking about what kinds of otherworldly things could happen in a Victorian house like that, and I was off and running. The inn in the book, Harrison’s House, is based on Le Chateau.
SR: How do you think your protagonist would respond if aliens landed in the center of town on page 57?
WW: Kate would start researching their backstory and history. Nick, Kate’s love interest, would make sure the town is protected, and Simon, Kate’s cousin, would open up the inn he runs, and make them feel at home.
SR: Your protagonist has to flee the country. Where are they headed to and why that location?
WW: Kate would be headed to the Canadian side of Lake Superior, where strange and otherworldly things began to happen to her family that echo into the present day. Since she’s fleeing, she may need protection and she’d know the lake would keep her safe.
SR: What conspiracy theory is your protagonist most likely to believe in? Roswell? JFK? Princess Diana? What about you? Any conspiracy theories that you think might have some truth to them?
WW: Princess Diana. Kate was betrayed by the love of her life and has trouble trusting because of it.
SR: Is there something you hope the reader carries away with them after they’re done reading? An insight or philosophy that you wanted to come through in your work?
WW: One of the favorite characters I’ve written is Jess, the love interest, then husband, of Addie, the woman who ends up murdered. He is a complex, deeply flawed man with good intentions at his core and a profound love for Addie. I’d hope readers take away that nobody’s perfect, there are no absolutes and love can conquer anything.
SR: Carpool karaoke. What would be your protagonist’s song? Yours?
WW: Addie’s: My Heart Will Go On
Kate’s: I Will Survive
Mine: I Will Always Love You
SR: What’s the first book you remember reading that had a huge impact on you? How did that story affect you? How do you think it shaped your desire to be a writer?
WW: My grandma read Little Women to me when I was a child. Since Jo March was a dark-haired, creative girl who loved to play in the woods, and so was I, I figured the story was about me. Jo March was me somehow. Since she was a writer who later became an author, I just completely accepted the notion that that’s what I was, too.
SR: What’s the best thing about writing?
WW: The magic of discovering the plot at the keyboard. I don’t outline my books. I start with a location and a general idea and just go from there.
SR: What’s the worst thing about writing?
WW: No down side. It is the way I express myself to the world.
SR: What detail in your writing do you obsess over the most? Character names? Locations? Description? Dialogue? Research?
WW: Dialogue and description are very easy and natural for me. Locations start the whole story rolling so that’s the first step. But character names? Man, I agonize over those. For The Vanishing, I was grappling with names of one of the characters, and a friend of mine sent me a link to: Demonic Baby Names. I died laughing, thinking: wow that says a lot about my novels. But then I looked at it and found the perfect name? Amaris.
SR: Do you relate more to Sherlock Holmes or Professor Moriarty? Why?
WW: Oh, Sherlock Holmes for sure. But I do love me a good evil genius.
SR: What’s your personal life motto?
WW: Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.
SR: Is there something you’ve experienced that’s affected your view of life? Tell us about it and how it changed you.
WW: My mother died almost three years ago after a long illness I helped her through. Losing the person who loved you first, and loved you more than anyone else will ever love you, the person you want to call first with good or bad news, the person whose advice you always seek first, the person who can always make you laugh under even the worst of circumstances, watching that person literally disappear and you are powerless to stop it, changes you in profound ways you can never predict.
SR: What movie or TV world do you wish you could live in? Why?
WW: The new Sabrina or Harry Potter. Anything magical intrigues me.
SR: Everyone needs an outlet to help them recharge. What hobbies do you have outside of writing?
WW: I love the New York Times Crossword puzzle, reading, walking in the woods, and anything on the water. Kayaking, boating, puttering around in a pontoon on a lazy summer day, or just sitting on the shores of Lake Superior. I love travel, too, especially going around the country meeting my readers.
SR: You strike it rich. What charity are you going to create or support?
WW: Anything that helps animals, research into diseases like Alzheimer’s and cancer, and public education.
SR: What factors influence you when you’re choosing a book to read?
WW: Yup, I’ll say it: The cover draws me in first. Then it’s the book jacket copy and the author.
SR: Do you have any special events coming up? Where can people catch up with you in person or on a podcast?
WW: I have a ton of events coming up. My website is getting updated right now so please check back for the latest and greatest. http://www.wendykwebb.com.
Wendy Webb is the #1 Amazon bestselling author of five novels of gothic suspense: Daughters of the Lake, The End of Temperance Dare, The Vanishing, The Fate of Mercy Alban and The Tale of Halcyon Crane. She lives in Minneapolis.