Hello there! I'm Wendy Toliver, the new Buzz Girl. I'm so happy to bee here! I've been reading the Books, Boys, Buzz blog since its inception and have enjoyed every minute of it. Back in 2007, I was lucky enough to have been chosen to moderate the workshop the Buzz Girls presented at the RWA National Conference. Top row: Marley, awesome YA author Sara Hantz, moi; Bottom row: Simone, Heather, Dona, and Tera. If Steph and Tina were in this photo, it would be complete!
Since I am a YA author, you probably guessed I love reading and writing. That's true. And I also love visiting schools and presenting workshops and speeches at writers' conferences. Last year, I was asked to present the luncheon keynote speech for the League of Utah Writers. At first, I was nervous because, let's face it, I'm not nearly as famous or accomplished as most authors who are and my poor husband had to listen to me talk about it for the rest of the drive home. handed the keynote mic. So I decided I had to come up with something completely different. But try as I might, I couldn't come up with anything brilliantly unique. Then, on a long drive home from the RWA National Conference in San Francisco, delirious from lack of sleep, the idea hit me,
You know how some cell phone plans have a "Fave Five" option? Well, I took that idea as the basis of my speech and chose celebs we all know to represent the five people in the world who have helped me become a published author. 1.) Jay Leno was the friend who kept me in the publishing industry loops and updating me on changes. 2.) Randy from American Idol was my critique partner, offering me constructive criticism and helping me hone my craft. 3.) Lance Armstrong kept me from feeling sorry for myself when I received rejections or seemed to be getting nowhere, and 4.) Paris Hilton was my friend who partied with me whenever I had even the smallest of successes. And what Fave Five group would be complete without Oprah (who, of course, remains to be called, but the fact that she's on my Fave Five means it could happen!) LOL!
I remember looking around the audience and getting a lot of "What the heck is going on?" and "You've got to be kidding!" looks when I started my speech and my cell phone rang (It was Jay Leno, calling to tell me he heard my dream agent was in town.) and I answered it! And that's how I started my first-ever keynote speech. To this day, people might not know who I am, but if they were in that conference room that day, they remember my crazy speech. I hope the point of my speech also stayed with them, which was that no matter how talented you are, and how solitary a writing career sometimes seems, you still need friends. Friends you can call on whenever you need to brainstorm, vent, cry, ask questions, or pop that cork on a bottle of champagne.
That's why I'm so delighted to bee a Buzz Girl. I've had the pleasure of meeting Dona, Tera, Heath, Marley, Steph, and Tina and reading their amazing books, and though I already consider each of them my friend, I am excited to get to know them even better, just as you have by being a Books, Boys, Buzz blog reader.
Since you probably don't know much about me (yet), this week you're going to learn more than you've ever wanted to know. In turn, each Buzz Girl is going to post something about me or my books. You'll want to comment on the posts because a lucky blog reader is going to receive a $10 Borders Gift Card, which can be used online or in a Borders or Waldenbooks store near you. I'll select the winner the old-fashioned way, by drawing a name out of a hat. If you comment all 7 days, you'll have 7 entries! The winner will be announced on my post Sunday, Jan. 10.