Earlier this year we chatted, and she mentioned her idea of releasing this off-the-wall novella. I read it. Was BLOWN AWAY. My goodness, this woman can write! Wendy graciously agreed to answer some of my questions, so let's get to it!
1. The Disappearing Key has a twisty concept. What sparked the idea?
I almost feel like answering this one with if I told you you wouldn’t believe me. Life is stranger than fiction. A culmination of experiences and ponderings I’ve wrestled with intersected, and so the concept of The Disappearing Key was born. Things as routine as my mom getting vitamin B shots in her ear to help with her Ménière's disease, to having to turn my daughter’s orthodontic palate in the roof of her mouth every night, to knowing what’s it’s like to love someone with a brain tumor. Like I said, a random combination of things collided in my brain to trigger the idea for this novella.
2. You took a break from writing full length women's fiction to write this novella. What did you like about writing shorter fiction?
The pressure. And the challenge. Let me explain. I felt strongly about crafting fully developed characters with intricate storylines. But doing this in half the length of a novel can get tricky.
I also did it to experiment. It’s exciting for me to explore new methods of writing.
In this particular work, I loved how the point of views unraveled, how each of the main characters had an opportunity to share.
3. What surprised you the most about preparing this piece for publication? Did you have a favorite moment? (I love your cover!!)
What a phenomenal question. Seeing the cover for the first time was certainly a highlight. I was also surprised at all the details that go into launching a successful work.Lastly I must admit I never imagined how rewarding it would feel to receive feedback, from the professional edits to the initial endorsements. It made the entire experience more real and reminded me of the beauty behind why I write—to reach others.
***Wendy, I love your last point that as writers we long to reach others. When our manuscripts sit on a flash drive or in a file cabinet, our spirit cries out because we want to share our stories. I'm so glad you're sharing yours!
The Disappearing Key
Gabrielle Bivane never expected parenting a teenager would be this hard, but she never expected stillborn Oriana to live to see fourteen, either. The night of Oriana's birth, Gabrielle and her husband Roy fused their genetic and engineering geniuses to bring back all that was lost to them—at a cost.
The secret must be kept.
Oriana Bivane senses she’s not like the other girls her age, but the time has come for her to change all that. She’s tired of secrets, but does she confide in the wrong person?
The life-giving key, suddenly missing, must be found.
Wendy is a native New Englander who feels most alive when she's laughing, reading, writing or taking risks. She's authored nine novels and is currently writing what she hopes will be your future book club pick. Her work has been published in numerous anthologies and online sites. Wendy lives with her husband and their three girls in a home bursting with imagination and hilarity.
She's represented by Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary Agency.
My Review (5 Stars!!!)
The Disappearing Key may be a novella, but it packs the punch of a full length book. Wendy Paine Miller explores ethical choices about life, stillbirths, and the secrets we keep. Told from three very different viewpoints, the story of Oriana's mysterious birth and ongoing "treatments" unfolds with breathtaking intensity and will have you questioning until the very end.
Ms. Miller excels at lyrical storytelling with an honesty prized in modern fiction. Her word choices remind me of music, but her control over the tension impressed me the most. This story just does not let up! No spoilers, but be prepared to turn pages way past your bedtime!
A remarkable debut. I can't wait to read more by this talented author!
Thanks again, Wendy, for being my guest. Congratulations!!!
The Disappearing Key is available now at Amazon (click to purchase!!) and other online retailers!
Do you have a question for Wendy? Chime in!
Have a lovely Wednesday!