ARIZONA CITY, Wendy Landers, an Arizona City author, is putting herself in the spotlight again with the release of her second book in a fictional trilogy about a group of friends struggling through their relationships after the untimely death of one of their own.
Entitled “Love and All Its Glory Is,” it’s the second book in her trilogy, the sequel to “Dieting After She Died,” a dark satire about the death of a closeted anorexic friend.
While this isn’t Lander’s first rodeo as an author, her nerves were palpable at her book launch on Sunday at First Lutheran Church in Arizona City. She was signing and handing out free copies of “Love and All Its Glory Is” along with it’s prequel to the churchgoers between sermons.
Her writing career started with her blog, wendylanders.com, and the stuff she wrote got enough love that she decided to write her first book. “Dieting After She Died” follows two of her fictional characters, Faustine and Sebastian, and the survivors guilt they feel digging up their past after the death of their friend Elodie, who suffered from anorexia.
Her most recent book, follows one of the characters in the previous book, Manon, more closely. It shows her “going on” with her life as a record studio recorder in light of all that’s happened and even has some brushes with the supernatural.
The tone is heavy and dramatic like a soap opera with the dialogue driven storyline intricately showing the relationships between the characters.
Becoming an author was never Landers’ intention when going to school. Born in Arkansas, she moved to Arizona when she was in junior high and graduated from Casa Grande Union High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Arizona, with a lot of emphasis in mathematics. She then earned a master’s degree in applied social research, specifically government polling, from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
“For me, writing is very therapeutic,” Landers said. “It’s my way of being able to relate to people, because I think that’s very important.”
Her writing very much focuses on the relationships between the characters, how their interactions and separate lives affect each other.
“The whole thing is making sure I can stay in touch with my subconscious by putting it out there and seeing people react,” Landers said. “Get out what’s going on in your head; you have your own echo chamber up there, and once you put it out there, then you get some more feedback on your life.”
The two novels were published, written, compiled, and edited mostly solo by her. In addition, she took some courses in audio recording at Central Arizona College to make the audiobooks for the novels herself.
Her mom, a lifelong English teacher, has been critical in helping with the copy editing process. Landers said years of grading papers has made her mom have a bionic eye of sorts for minor grammatical and vocabulary mistakes. However, Landers said she is her own worst critic.
“Oh gosh, I think I’m way harder on myself than any editor or publisher would be,” Landers said.
She has a little bit of what’s called creator’s curse, when you’ve improved so much during the process of creating something so you’re never fully satisfied with what you made.
Even though she’s just completed the finishing touches on “Love and All Its Glory Is,” she is already looking towards the future. The third book in the trilogy, entitled “Tell Me About Luv Sometime,” is slated to come out a year from now in September 2017.
To catch a copy of her book you can visit her page on Amazon, where she has both books on Kindle and hard copy. If you love the characters make sure you follow her blog, where she writes short updates about the characters in between novels.