Name Wendy Nystrom
Age 52 Enjoying the Adventures every day brings me and you. Every day I wake up is a good day.
Where are you from
I am a published author with Anchor Group Publishing, wife and a mother of three wonderful children. I grew up in St. Paul, MN, and have lived at different points in my life in Minnesota, Texas, Idaho, Colorado, West Virginia, and Iceland. I currently reside in Michigan (USA). I am an avid reader of many different genres; she love adventures; and devote some of my time to being active in schools, the local library, and other community projects. I am currently a board member for Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation and Mecosta County Water Protectors. I earned a BA in Geography concentrating on Urban Planning at Texas State University. I began writing children stories in 2005 while living on the wonderfully imagination filled island of Iceland. My writing paradise is sitting around a campfire deep in the mountains with a huge moon above with the mountain outlined all around while a story teller weaves a tale of adventure with a splash of fun as a pebble skips across the water.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I currently editing book six of my children’s series. Working title Magic Carousel and writing a novel called the New Moon Brethren secret society urban fantasy. I am also looking for an children’s literary agent, so I can spend more time writing and less time promoting.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing in 2005 while living in Iceland. My son saw the moon sitting on the mountain and told me he was going to climb the mountain and touch the moon. The next day I was hand writing the story. Then more and more stories were released in my imagination. I often dream the stories too. I have always had vivid dreams. My imaginative son’s observation unlocked my imagination.
How I ended up in Iceland. My husband is a professor/researcher and accepted a position at the University in Akrueyri, Iceland. He taught and assisted with building a computer science program. My children were 2 and 7 at the time.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
After receiving my first contract from an independent publisher in 2009.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Not sure. I write as if I am old fashioned story teller that visits communities, and all would gather around to listen. My books are epic magical adventure chapter books for children ages 7-12.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I always have to have a working title and ending to finish a story. I would have preferred my first book to named Moon Adventure but my current publisher Anchor GroupPublishing preferred James Saves the Moon.
Book 1 James Saves the Moon, Book 2, Helga Returns, Book 3 Tomfoolery and 13 Yule Lads of Iceland, Book 4, Amongst the Clouds, Book 5, Sleigh Ride.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
My children’s books all have a subtle hidden message. First one James Saves the Moon the hidden message is be polite, and just because someone is small does not mean they cannot do great things. Also all my books have team work to help someone. Everyone has their special gift, always focus on strengths never weaknesses.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
My children’s books are based on real things experienced, I mix a little Icelandic legends in my books. The Icelanders were so kind and shared their culture with my family. The Icelandic hidden people are interesting. Iceland changed my life outlook. We have moved 10 times in my 23 years of marriage and everywhere I have lived I have been blessed to meet lovely fun interesting people. My dragon character is based on one of my dear friend Tina’s son Matthew. He was such a cool kid and now as an adult still cool. Syvov is characterized by my first friend I met in Iceland Kristin. She welcomed us right away impulsive open kind person.
James Saves the Moon was based on us actually seeing the moon sitting on the mountain.
Helga Returns, based on my son discovering a large footprint while we were enjoying seeing a real iceberg that floated down the fjord
Tomfoolery and 13 Yule Lads of Iceland, based on my favorite Icelandic Christmas Story(Legend)
Amongst the Cloud, based on seeing a iridescent cloud floating all day in the sky.
Sleigh Ride, based on a article I read about the climate change affecting polar bears and what happens if a polar bear arrives in Iceland on a slap of ice.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Mentors so many again. I grew up in a family and community that spoke openly about most things and rarely got angry or held grudges. People are the way they are, but you must stay informed and be informed politically. Currently Pam Stack at Authors on the Air Blog Radio has been full of good advice and my PA Candy Simpson keeps me in line and updated about things. Nan Pokerwinski also a great advisor in the writing business. My mother in-law Carol Nystrom always there for me huge influence in my life. I am blessed with so many intelligent kind families, friends, professionals from all over.
I have read so many books many different genres and love so many authors. When we move we always move our books around 25+ boxes. What I love about books is they take you somewhere else, often feel like I am there experiencing the same thing as the characters in the book. Or learn something new. My Aunt Louise, told me she enjoys learning something new every day.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Again so many I am in contact with so many. I really enjoy Alicia Michaels, Susan Stec, MCV Egan, Joan H, Young, Jodi Stone, Stacey Rourke and many many more. Recently I have been enjoying Miranda James, Catherin Coulter books. I do enjoy James Patterson, Tony Hillerman, Any Star Was book, Bill Crider, Herbert, Martha Grimes, Elizabeth Peters, Elizabeth Moon, Jody Nye. Anne McCaffrey is my favorite author. Unfortunately she passed away a few years ago so no new books anymore. She builds fabulous worlds I love her talent series the best.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Moon is magical. Wild life and my cats. I do think I have a ghost or some hidden being playing tricks on me to keep me on my toes. Weird things lately my phone taking pictures, changing my time zones, doors closing, coins on the floor, things like that.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, well attempting to make it a career and hopefully one day make a living writing.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Yes, I would like to change Syvok to an elf instead of a fairy in my children’s series. In Iceland elves, fairies gets translated differently at times they are considered the hidden people as wells as many others like trolls, dragons etc. But I think people identify with elfs more than a fairy. After re-reading my books he is more like an elf than a fairy. I also would like the size of the books changed.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Currently I am editing book 6 in my James and Syvok series. Magic Carousel, This one is set in the twin cities James family goes on vacation. He is given a mission to see if Tina the mermaid is on an old carousel at the free zoo in St.Paul. Tina was turned into a statue when she was carried away onto a ship by a friend to get away from some ogres a long time ago. Rannveig a wizard introduced in book 4 has some information that the carousel in St. Paul may have been the one she was placed on so they can restore her to normal and bring her home. Tina is a mermaid who was training to be a wizard. Of course Syvok the Icelandic Fairy tagged along on the trip and creates some havoc during the vacation to the U.S. but comes through and helps with things too. This story came to me when I was reading about Como Zoo in St. Paul where I grew up and the carousel they added was in the State Fair grounds and a group of people saved it and moved it to the zoo. I realized that many generations of my family have ridden that beautiful carousel.
The novel I am working New Moon Brethren started out with my muse Blaze the dragon telling me the story. She is in charge of security and runs the regional office in Portland with her old and dear friend Carolyn for New Moon Brethren. The office is located in the largest book store in the country. The book store is cover for the secret group. The mystical creatures stay hidden to the humans as much as possible. The new moon brethren came to be 1000 years ago after the dark one was accidently created when a pregnant dragon queen panicked and did not want mother earth to change her DNA to create another creature and got stuck in a travel tunnel which changed her baby into a dark creature of the night. When he grew up he created a civil war amongst the dragons and created his own dark regime so he can finish his transformation and become the leader of all. Mother earth created creatures to live in harmony by sending out white ravens to prick a creature with needed abilities. The humans grew tired of being used by dragons and other mystical beings and nearly killed off the dragons who were the peace keepers originally. The humans forgot about mystical creatures who decide to hide and rebuild and protect all from the dark one. Some humans are part of the brethren too. The New Moon Brethran’s want to some day restore the connection with Mother Earth and all the hidden ones can live in harmony again. Today they have regional offices on all continents with headquarters inside a mountain in Iceland. The story begins with saving a changeling and her young daughter Isabelle who one day conquers the dark one or joins. Now Isabelle is telling the story as she grows and raised with Blaze’s, Caroyln’s family and her first meeting with the dark one. This may be two books I am working. on Hope to finish complete 1st draft soon.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I spin a good tale and am good at world building. My grammar skills are poor. Although I have improved thanks to gentle editors and beta readers.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
This summer I only went to one event. Previous years I have traveled to events. I also have organized three events called Authorpalooza in my small city. I have had good support from my city, authors and fans. I have spent a lot of time in 2016 sending out queries to top children literary agents. I would prefer for an agent to set up which events I should attend. I do love book events and meeting peers, fans, and friends.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Kelly Murray designed Book 2 through 5 covers Jim Weidman illustrated book 1 then retired. She also designed the fun illustrations and advice they both provided. Having some illustrations my chapter books could be considered graphic novels for kids. Plus both illustrators place a dragon on each illustration and some of them are cleverly hidden, adds some more fun to the adventures. Anchor Group Publishing designed the lettering on the all the covers.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Staying focused on one story to complete the stories. Often while writing other story ideas pop up. Editing is challenging and not as fun as being in my other worlds talking with my muse and being among the characters.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I have learned a lot. Pay attention to my dreams. I have had to do research to make sure things are correct. Editing tips and designate specific time to write. The book business is crazy and changing rapidly. Still trying to figure out how to reach my readers; Children’s market is challenging you have to reach the parents or children so they ask their parents to enjoy the magical adventures.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead
I have no idea. But I was told by some adults and children my books would be a wonderful TV Series. What happens when a dragon knocks on your window? Adventure of course!
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write, keep a note book and pen, pencil or a recorder with you at all times to jot down ideas.
Edit edit edit. Keep plugging away. Find people to honestly critique your work and don’t take it personal when you get critiques. My writing has improved so much since my first book it is just incredible and many people have helped me improve.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Enjoy the Adventures the Day Brings You! Thanks for supporting us authors and keep reading.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Blue Future (Protecting water for people and the plane forever) by Maude Barlow.
Since becoming active and board member in protecting our water locally and now state for our children with Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation, I have been spending a lot of reading time researching the dangers to our water resource.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I do not. But I do remember first series I read. Encyclopedia Brown, Nancy Drew.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My family and friends. We laugh every day and sometimes I laugh so hard, I get tears.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
I enjoyed the adventure the day brings
Two years ago I had two bleeding aneurisms in my head. I was lucky slow bleeds never burst and was repaired with platinum coils. I walked into the hospital and walked out of the hospital. I decided after my recovery to enjoy every days adventure, you never know when it will be your time to be in the unknown.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Writing is now a career. I do like to help out in my community when I have time. I recently started drawing doodles on rocks and my 14 year told twin daughters and I enjoy placing them around town during our walks for folks to find and hoping it makes them smile.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
General Hospital, Madame Secretary, Rizzoli and Isles, NCIS, Grim, American Gothic, Star Wars, Star Trek, Scorpion, Inspector Morse and Inspector Lewis. That is all I can think of for now.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I love lasagna, pizza, salty food. Favorite colors are purple and turquoise. Favorite music is classic rock mostly.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I use to dream of being a campaign manager or work for the diplomatic core.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I need to get back blogging at least once a week soon. Just been busy working on water issues, writing/editing and spending time with my family this summer. Now that they are all back in school including my husband who is a professor, I can get back to a regular schedule. Here is the link to my blog/website. https://wendysbookcase.com/
Below you will find each of her books, synopsis for each, buy links, awards, and ways to connect with Wendy on social media, follow her work on her website, and other outlets.
*Wendy Nystrom is a published author with Anchor Group Publishing, wife and a mother of three wonderful children. Wendy grew up in St. Paul, MN, and has lived at different points in her life in Minnesota, Texas, Idaho, Colorado, West Virginia, and Iceland. She currently resides in Michigan (USA). Wendy is an avid reader of many different genres; she love adventures; and devotes some of her time to being active in schools, the local library, and other community projects. She earned a BA in Geography concentrating on Urban Planning at Texas State University. Wendy began writing children stories in 2005 while living on the wonderfully imagination filled island of Iceland. Her writing paradise is sitting around a campfire deep in the mountains with a huge moon above with the mountain outlined all around while a story teller weaves a tale of adventure with a splash of fun as a pebble skips across the water.*
Wendy’s books are fantasy illustrated chapter books for ages 7-12
Wendy’s first children’s book is James Saves the Moon.
James Saves the Moon, a precocious young boy finds himself on a true adventure in the beautiful mountains of Iceland when he climbs out his window one night in an effort to touch the moon. He starts out on a mission that ends up so much more. He meets a magical friend, named Syvok, who shows him the way and introduces him to trouble and keeps him safe all at the same time. He also meets Matthias, a majestic blue dragon who flies them anywhere they need to go. With the help of his new friends James not only gets to touch the moon, but ends up having to save it. James is returned home with a magic souvenir, incredible memories, and promises of more adventures with his new friends.
Awards: Readers Favorite Gold Award Children Fantasy Sci-Fi
Wendy’s second children’s book is
Helga Returns: James and Syvok’s Adventure 2
James discovers a foot print walking along the shoreline. His special rock glows, and his heart fills with anticipation. He is going to see his friend Syvok again! What awaits him now? As he looks to the beautiful Icelandic mountains excitement grows. Syvok appears at James window and they take off up the mountainside. With just a little fairy dust a magic door opens where James finds himself face to huge face with a Troll. Helga introduces herself and they become quick friends. James soon discovers that Helga has been tossed out of her home because of a mistake she made. He embarks on a mission to find a way to help Helga get her old job back and win back the hearts of her family and friends without getting tossed into the icy cold realms himself.
Readers Favorite 5 Star, https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/helga-returns
Turn the Pages Best Children 9-12
Wendy’s third children’s book is
Tomfoolery and 13 Yule Lads of Iceland
What do you get? A lot of Tomfoolery and fun I’ll bet! The Thirteen Yule Lads of Iceland are much different than the Santa Clause we know. They are mischievous, troublesome, funny, and full of curiosity. Much like James! When James visits them in their home with Syvok, he almost gets eaten by their mother and is taunted by the Christmas Cat, they know right where they are going to come when they visit town during the 13 days of Christmas. James finds out that the Yule Lads make the noisiest houseguests ever when they come to stay. They clang pots, slam doors, and even bring their own lamb. However amidst all the ruckus they create comes the most joy and fun for the holidays.
Readers Favorite 5 Star https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/tomfoolery-and-13-yule-lads-of-iceland-james-and-syvok
Wendy’s fourth children’s book is
Amongst the Clouds
James and Syvok 4th adventure has a new mystery floating about. James is curious to explore the iridescent cloud. All the colors of a rainbow glow, surely there are adventures to sow. Come along and meet new friends! Dragons, cats, troll, and more, lots of fun is in store. Join the adventures up in the sky and help the wizard find her magical key. Come and see what the iridescent cloud hides!
Readers Favorite 5 Star https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/amongst-the-clouds/1
Wendy’s fifth children’s book is
Santa’s reindeer broke his sleigh! James and Syvok get whisked away to try to help save the day with Matthias, the dragon. Along the way there are delays, pondering the question should they rescue the baby polar bear and will Santa have a sleigh in time to deliver the presents? Come along with old friends, meet new friends, and enjoy the Yuletide adventure!
Wendy also has an Urban Fantasy Short in an Anthology:
Paranormal Days Gone Awry
New Moon Brethren: Blaze
The story is told by a dragon named Blaze who belongs to an old secret society
made up of paranormal beings and humans to stop the dark one.
*A full novel is in progress based off this short story!*
Buy Links: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009P7V7JC
Wendy is currently working on sixth book in her children’s adventure fantasy series. Working title is Magic Carousel.
She introduces two new characters a mermaid named Tina and ogre named Timothy.
She is also working on a urban fantasy novel called the New Moon Brethren
Connect with Wendy!
Amazon Page http://tinyurl.com/WNystromAuthor
Thank You Fiona sure enjoyed being interviewed by you. Enjoy the Adventure the Day Brings You!