A chit-chat with Wendi B. Dennison, author of Who Are We Fooling?
Sit down with us as we speak about horror movies, growing up confused and Samara the yellow lab.
Andrew: Firstly, can you tell our readers a little about yourself?
Wendi: I grew up in the Pacific Northwest. I’m currently a barista and think that’s largely due to the fact that the only thing I love as much as books is coffee. My favorite movie is ET, I enjoy woodburning, Horror movies are my absolute nerdiest hobby, and I fancy myself an amateur baker when the occasion calls for it.
Andrew: Your debut novel, Who Are We Fooling?, launches on June 20th 2021, and is available to pre-order now. Could you tell us more about it?
Wendi: WAWF is a story that is very close to my heart. At its barest of bones, it’s the story of two people, David and Andrew, one who fears what being himself could mean for his life, and the other who fears what being unauthentic could mean for his life. It’s a balance they find in one another as they fall in love with one another in their own individual ways, and they have to grow, learn and evolve to come into their own and be ready for each other.
Andrew: What is your favourite scene in Who Are We Fooling?, and why?
Wendi: Such a hard question! I don’t want to throw out any spoilers, but David and Andrew’s first truly intimate moment is very special to me because it was so special to write.
Andrew: You said on your website that when you were reading your first Stephen King novel at the age of ten, you knew you wanted to be a writer. Which of his books was it? Is that your favourite of his?
Wendi: It was IT and it was probably a huge mistake! Ha! Took me a long time to read, and I didn’t register certain scenes, but horror was the first genre I truly fell in love with. He still is my favorite author and biggest inspiration. I have a massive collection of his books (he gets his own shelves) and consider him my biggest influence when it comes to writing. My favorite book, though IT is definitely up there and holds a special place in my heart, would have to be either The Green Mile or Carrie.
Andrew: For most writers, it would be a dream come true for their writing to make it to either the big or small screen. If Who Are We Fooling? became a movie, who would you like to star in it, and what one song would you pick as part of the soundtrack?
Wendi: This question is killer, just because I picture my stories in my mind like a movie as a habit (majored in playwriting and screenwriting) and work very visually. I have absolutely no idea who I could ever picture playing David, as that character is so close to me it’s hard to imagine him being anyone other than the character in my head. Andrew I always pictured like Tom Glynn-Carney ever since I watched Dunkirk. As for the song, I have to give it to Who Are We Fooling? By Brooke Fraser and Aqualung.
Andrew: Have any of your own experiences helped to shape Who Are We Fooling?
Wendi: I identify as pansexual and grew up feeling incredibly out of sorts when it came to my sexuality. When I was in college, it all sort of started to really brew a storm in my brain, and I used writing and developing this story as my therapy to work through everything that was going on deep inside. David, as a character, is very much a big piece of my heart personally, as I wanted to write a character who worked through similar stages of denial, who thought they could ignore their feelings, that somehow, they would go away. I wanted to write a character who also grew up as confused as to why their brain worked the way it did and, though it may have taken a bit longer to come to accept themselves and their authenticity, learned to finally accept and embrace who they truly are to ultimately be happy.
Andrew: What is the most positive experience you’ve had so far as an LGBTQ author?
Wendi: Before I came out, I struggled with a lot of imposter syndrome and felt like a fraud. Partly because it took me so long to come out (I came out at 30) and am in an admittedly straight passing relationship. I was afraid of not being accepted by not just my family or partner, the LGBTQ+ community and in a way felt like I deserved the rejection. But it’s been the opposite, and the positivity, support and acceptance I’ve experienced has been amazing. Especially in the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been so incredible to be able to meet and talk to so many other LGBTQ+ authors and realize what an incredible community there is just within this particular genre of fiction I love so much.
Andrew: What’s the best book you’ve ever read – LGBTQ or otherwise?
Wendi: My favorite book in general would probably be Call Me by Your Name or John Dies at the End, one of those is very clearly LGBTQ+ while
the other is a horror-comedy.
Andrew: What’s the best piece of advice you could offer to other LGBTQ authors?
Wendi: Embrace your personal journey. Even if your life seems ordinary you can pull extraordinary things from what you know.
Andrew: Tell us about your dog! He looks like a very good boy.
Wendi: Samara is my three-year-old yellow lab and the light of my life. I’d like to think she’s my number one fan because every hard time I’ve ever had during the writing/publishing process with WAWF was met with a great many puppy cuddles to pull me through.
Andrew: What are you currently reading?
Wendi: Just started into One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston.
Andrew: What are you working on currently?
Wendi: WAWF is the first book of The Seeing Stars Series and I’m currently working on Book 2 in hopes that I can pull off a Holiday season release.
Andrew: What are your interests and hobbies besides reading and writing?
Wendi: I love horror movies! It’s a hobby, trust me. Also, a hardcore Fannibal (Season 4 could still happen, I refuse to give that up.) My fiancé brought me home a pair of rollerblades this week too, so guess who’s about to revert back to the 90’s?
Andrew: What have you missed the most during the pandemic, and were there any positive experiences for you?
Wendi: I wrote my whole book in the pandemic and brought myself to the point of publishing so, thought I desperately missed social interaction a lot of my friends, I got something amazing out of it.
Thanks for joining us Wendi!
You can find Wendi across the internet:
You can pre-order Who Are We Fooling? on Amazon here: http://mybook.to/whoarewefooling