Thursday, January 07, 2010

The Wonderful World of Wendy

By now you all now that Wendy is the author of two young adult novels with a highly-anticipated third one on the way. But I wanted to delve deeper into Wendy's personal life. I could have asked Wendy all about her fabulously supportive husband or her three adorable little boys, but I thought it would be better to get right to the important stuff. Her pets. Because let's face it, pets say a lot about a person. I asked Wendy to tell us all about the special furry friends she has had in her life.

Steph: Did you have a special pet growing up?

Wendy: I got my first pet when I was in kindergarten (or so) and my little sister and I brought our piggy banks to a neighbor who was selling half Siamese and half Himalayan kittens. We picked out our favorite and named her Lucy Bell. She was beautiful and had a bit of an attitude. The rest of my childhood, we always had a cat. After Lucy came Pumpkin, a ferocious orange tabby, and Max, a yellow tabby we had until I left for college and he died of old age. On and off we had all sorts of animals in the house, including hedgehogs, hamsters, fish, snakes, and various insects (including a vinegaroon, which totally grossed me out).
(This thing would look awesome on the bottom of my shoe. Kidding, kidding, kind of. )

When I got married, we about a year before getting a pet. Her name was Moxie, and I chose her because, like my first cat, she had Siamese in her. She was a wonderful cat with the cutest toes ever and we recently lost her to old age.
(I can't see Moxie's toes but Wendy's look pretty cute! RIP~Moxie)

We also have two dogs, one is a yellow lab named Danner and the other is a mutt (looks like the offspring of a German shepherd and a fox) named Willow. They're outside dogs and though Willow isn't a hunting dog, we can't leave her behind or they'll both cry the entire time they're separated. (photo #3 and #5 attached) The newest member of our family is a gray tabby kitten named Zoey Sapphire. We found her (or she found us) when we were on a walk last August. Zoey hung out with Moxie and brought a fresh breath of air the few months before Moxie died. (photo #4) In addition to cats and dogs, we have an aquarium full of fresh water fish, sometimes crabs and snakes, and up until a month ago had a salamander named Spike. Speaking of salamanders, my sons hit the mother load of salamanders this summer, and one day I came upstairs to see 17 of them crawling over the carpet in a salamander race. (I've also found earthworms in my silverware drawer--just one of the many perks of being a boy-mom.)
(Steph: Um, yikes. Luckily the Hale boys don't read so well yet so they can't get any ideas!)
(Danner is quite possibly the cutest dog I have ever seen. I may need to roadtrip to UT to steal him!)

(Zoey Sapphire enjoying her new humans!)

Steph: Do you take as much time picking your pets names as you do your characters?

Wendy: Like for my characters, I do put a lot of thought into the names for my pets. I got to choose Moxie, Willow, and Zoey's names. I think my main characters' names so far (Roxy, Sasha, and Poppy) are pretty similar to the ones I've chosen for my pets, which is kind of interesting but I'm not really sure why. I like pet names that are people names (as opposed to Blackie, Rover, or Whiskers) but not popular ones (like Dan, which is what Danner's former owner named him). I like names that are fun to say and match the personalities of my pets.
Steph: Do pets ever play an important role in your books?

Wendy: I do like to include pets in my books, but only if the pet is a character and not just an empty detail. In my first book, The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren, the Zimmermans have a dog who ends up being under Roxy's siren powers, which brings about some pretty funny scenes. In Lifted, Poppy's friend Mary Jane Portman has a yippy, spoiled, yet oftentimes ignored dog, which gives the reader a look into the Portman's lifestyle. I think you can tell a lot about a person or a family by the pets they chose (or which pets chose them), what the pets are named, and how involved they are with their pet(s).

Now you know everything about Wendy's pet history. Leave a comment about your special pet for a chance to win a $10 gift card to Borders.

And the winner of my Favorite things contest last week is:

Megan Petty
Please send your snail mail address to stephanie at

Thanks for a great interview, Wendy!



Unknown said...

Oh yay! I can't believe I won something LOL

I love the names Wendy gives her pets. Much better than typical pet names, more interesting. Moxie is my favorite :)

stephhale said...

Congrats, Megan. Just send your info to stephanie at!

jpetroroy said...

SUch cute names. I love my kitties, Randal and Layla

Wendy Toliver said...

My pets are so excited to be famous now! :) Thanks for the great interview, Steph. And congrat's, Megan.

jpetroroy, always great to connect with fellow cat lovers. Cute names, too!

Anna R said...

Another great interview. It was sad when Moxie Cat died but I am glad she got to meet Zoey Saphire who is so cute with such incredible eyes. You need to tell how the dogs circumvent fencing in deep snow, hehe, “Who let the dog’s Out”
I could never hold that horrible looking buggie on my hand- I would pass out. I don’t even call that brave, hehe

Wendy Toliver said...

I never held that bug either. And get this; Mom kept it in the kitchen!!!

Yes, it was so sad when Moxie died but she had a fun last couple of weeks with her new little sister, Zoey.

And what Anna's referring to about the dogs is, we have a tall fence around our yard so the dogs can run around all day, but sometimes the snow is so deep they can get out.

TinaFerraro said...

I loved all this, and have to point to a resemblance between your Moxie and my Rascal and your Zoey Sapphire and my Ruby!

Llehn said...

I had a fish named Lindsey once.

Wendy Toliver said...

We have the same kitty taste, Tina. Or maybe kitties have the same taste in us?

A fish named Lindsey, Llehn? That's perfect!

Amanda Villagómez said...

My cat that I named Bobcat would have to be my most memorable pet.

GirlforChrist said...

My first dog was a collie named "Boots". I was only a baby, but my mom tells the story like this: I would be laying on my baby blanket, and no matter how he was bribed, Boots would always stay right next to me. I learned to walk by pulling on his hair, which would lift my little baby body off the ground. When he was old, he had trouble walking, and hours before he was going to be put down, he fell asleep, and peacefully died. Of course, my second dog, who I own now, is a little terrier, and she has what we call "cat-ittude". I think she's part cat.

Wendy Toliver said...

Mrs. V and GirlforChrist, thanks for sharing! Your cats and dog-cat sound wonderful!

Sheere said...

Congrats Megan!

I have had so many pets! But I really love my boxer dogs, they are cute adn friendly, although my friends are a little scared of them. I'd love to have cats too but my little doggies are very protective!