Wendy the Super Librarian is Sharing the Shallows

The first time I remember seeing SuperWendy’s name mentioned was in the early 2010s and someone was discussing a librarian who was running readers’ advisory training for Harlequin Mills &Boon category novels at her library. I just died of envy! I wanted to be at the training! I wanted to be the librarian that ran the training. I wanted to KNOW the genius who was able to run with this. At that point, I had been running readers’ advisory training in my own workplace for close to five years but never once did I have the opportunity to run any training that was genre specific, let alone on my favourite genre ever. Having discovered Super Wendy, I started following her on Twitter, chatted with her, followed her excellent blog, I take part in her most excellent TBR Challenge and one day, I know, we will meet in person. In the meantime, I am so happy that she has agreed to share my shallows today.

Avatar of a comic book super hero caped and masked womanWendy the SuperLibrarian

Wendy is a librarian, working in administration these days.  According to her Mom, she is a “big shot.”

Can you describe yourself?

Wendy fell in love with romance shortly after accepting her first professional librarian gig.  Prior to succumbing to romance, an addiction that took hold with frightening speed (seriously, like three books in and she was hooked!), she preferred her books with at least one dead body, by no later than page 50.  While she still reads suspense, it’s romance that truly has her heart and she reads it almost exclusively.  Wendy’s been kicking around the online romance community since 1999 – and her various scribblings have been on so more online walls (some defunct, some still in existence) that she can barely keep track anymore.  A Midwestern girl at heart, she now lives on the US west coast where, when she’s not reading romance, she’s obsessing over her Detroit Tigers baseball team, drinks more tea than is likely good for a person, and devotes way too much time to Law & Order (the original and best flavor) reruns.

What is your main reading medium (books, blogs, games, news, etc) and how much time do you spend reading a week?

I spend more time online than is probably good for a person.  The older I get the less tolerance I have for talking heads, so I prefer to consume my news by reading it.  I also still regularly keep up with various Romancelandia blogs.  I write for Heroes & Heartbreakers, but this isn’t a plug when I say it’s my preferred group blog of choice these days when I want wide coverage across sub genres.  That said, I fell in love with romance blogging through quirky individual blogs and those are the ones I still prefer.  You, Miss Bates, Valancy, Rosario – I get my romance fix and also feel like I’m having tea with friends.  Say it with me now – Awwwwww! (Vassiliki saws “awwwww” and feels loved)

When I’m not online, I’m reading books.  I’m pretty indiscriminate when it comes to format.  I float easily between print and digital – 1) because I still own a ton of print and 2) because digital is so darn convenient for category romance and ARCs.  Also, my life is spent on freeways in horrible traffic, so I generally have an audiobook going.

What or who is your joyful reading (guilty or otherwise) pleasure? 

Hands down, category romance.  If loving it is wrong I don’t ever want to be right.  It’s hard to explain to people who don’t like the format, but there’s something intrinsically magical that happens when you’re reading a Harlequin written by an author who knows what the heck they’re doing. It’s the intensity of the storytelling that draws me in.  In other words, it’s all of the romance with none of the BS.  The author can’t dilly-dally, stumbling around in the dark trying to find the light switch.  She needs to darn well know where that light switch is by the opening paragraph or we’re all destined to live in darkness for the next 200 pages. When I want a quick hit romance fix?  Category.  When I want a comfort read?  Category.  When I want to get lost for a couple of hours?  Category.  I love it to pieces.

Do you have a favourite storyline or plot? And do you have one you will not read?

I have too many favorites to list but the Top 3 would be: Friends to Lovers, Virgin Heroes (preferably paired with an experienced heroine, but I’m not picky), and Boss/Secretary (yes, I’m part of the problem).

Least favorites?  I was over BDSM even before The Trilogy That Shall Not Be Named became a Huge Honkin’ To-Do. There’s very, very, very few authors turning BDSM on its ear and it’s a theme that has me stifling a yawn the minute I read the word “master.”  But hands down my least favorite trope, the one that has me frothing at the mouth and turns me in a raging harpy?  Soul mates or Fated to Be Mated.  Hate.  So much hate.  It’s lazy writing, sloppy storytelling and nobody will ever be able to convince me otherwise.  I loathe it.

Why do you/don’t you use a public library?

I do, and the short answer is that I work in one.  I always tend to use the library I work for, mostly because of convenience.  I’m at work anyway, so why not pick up my books there.  But even if I didn’t work for a library, I would still use them because they keep me in audiobooks.  I love audio, but dang – I just refuse to buy it.  Too expensive.  The only audiobooks I own are Harry Potter and even those I haven’t gotten around to relistening to.  I also like to check out DVDs and the occasional ebook or physical book.  But I would say 90% of my library check-outs are audiobooks.

Do you RUI*. If so, what?

Does caffeine count?  Probably.  I drink a lot of tea, so chances are pretty good that when I’m reading, I have a cup close by.  I will also, occasionally, have a glass of wine while reading, but that’s a rarer occurrence.

comfy chairDo you have a favourite reading spot?

I have a buttery soft leather chair and ottoman in my living room that is a great reading spot.  I also occasionally read in bed and always read on my lunch break at work.  But, by far, the leather chair is my favorite.

Toilet reading: 

Never do it.  Ever.  I’ve never quite understood people who lounge about on the toilet long enough to get reading done.  I mean, how is that healthy?  If you sit there long enough to get some reading done I’m thinking you’re not drinking enough water and need more fiber in your diet.  It’s time to talk to your doctor.

Romance fiction of the Happily Ever After (not the love tragedy) kind – are you a Lover or a Hater and why?

Warning: Shameless Name Dropping Ahead.  Back in 2007 I finally got around to reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry and, as I do, I blogged about it.  Great book, but when I got the ending it just…”stopped.”  Nora Roberts was commenting on blogs back in those days and responded to my post,

“I loved this book. I love McMurtry, but this one particularly. (Great mini-series, too). But, Wendy, you’re absolutely right. It just stops. I’d have to say that mostly McMurtry books just stop. And he tends to stop on a down note–which KILLS me. Still, I love his work. He involves you, sucks you in and makes you see and feel every character.”

Ever since she wrote that on my blog, that’s how I’ve referred to the ending I prefer in my books.  I always want a happy ending in romance, whether that’s a traditional HEA or a HFN. But for my reading in general?  I like things to end on an “up note.”  It doesn’t all have to end sunshine and roses.  I’ve enjoyed suspense novels where the bad guy is caught but there’s fallout for the characters.  I have been OK with that.  But ending on a “down note” just kills me every single time.  I can’t take relentless gloom and doom without there being some emotional payoff at the end.

What would you give up reading for**?

Nothing. I can’t even say incredible wealth – because if I had incredible wealth I’d want to buy and read books all the time so….

Can a romance/crime/super/etc hero be the driver of a hatchback?

Absolutely. Look, I love fabulously wealthy and breathtakingly handsome heroes as much as the next gal – but some of my all time favorite romances feature what I call “regular people.”  And regular people drive hatchbacks.  Besides, what could possibly be sexier than a guy concerned about good gas mileage?

*Reading Under the Influence
**I like stranded prepositions

19 thoughts on “Wendy the Super Librarian is Sharing the Shallows

  1. I have chair envy!

    Great interview, ladies. Hmm…mulling over virgin heroes now (and the logistics of writing one). Mind you, I’ve been mulling that since Susan Napier’s “Secret Admirer.” What others should I check out — do you have a favourite Wendy?

    • Hi Michelle!
      My absolute favorite virgin heroes ever are all historical romance. Always to Remember by Lorraine Heath, Simple Jess by Pamela Morsi and Wild Oats by Pamela Morsi.

      I am totally blanking on virgin heroes in category romance (I’m blaming my work week, which was nutty). A recent one I read though that I really enjoyed was A Royal World Apart by Maisey Yates.

      OH, and if you like erotic romance – Sweet Agony by Charlotte Stein.

      • And the minute I hit post I remembered another one! All I Am by Nicole Helm. It’s a SuperRomance from…last year, I think?

      • Thanks, Wendy! Will definitely check out both the Maisey Yates and the Nicole Helm. And maybe Simple Jess too. Have heard good things about it. 🙂

  2. awwwww + squeee!!!!
    PLUS – that is EXACTLY what I would do with unlimited wealth – a never ending supply of books that I could read forever…
    And that chair is totally pimping by the way – it looks like it fell out of a vintage harlequin’s hero’s brooding library… Me wants. (*grabby hands*) 🙂

  3. This had me lol-ing, and nodding my head in agreement: “If you sit there long enough to get some reading done I’m thinking you’re not drinking enough water and need more fiber in your diet.”

    And yes, yes, and yes to this: “But ending on a “down note” just kills me every single time. I can’t take relentless gloom and doom without there being some emotional payoff at the end.”

    Awesome interview!

  4. Commenting late here, but I loved this interview! Wendy is as awesome here as she is in person! (Vassiliki, feel free to be jealous of me that I have met her in person!)

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