Who’s That Indie Author? Wendy L. Koenig

Author name:  Wendy L. Koenig

Genre:  Science Fiction, Young Adult Children’s, Fantasy Romance, Mystery

Books:  Sentient, Insurrection, One to Lose, The Last Griffin, Birthright, Boo and Oscar in the Fantastic Fudge Fiasco, Boo and Oscar in the Terrible Trouble on the Tobique, Frozen Fire, Under Twin Suns

What’s your story and how did you become a writer?  I was born in Colorado, but raised on a small homestead in Illinois. I served in the USAF right out of high school. After my stint in the military was finished, I returned home and had a horse stable. My first piece to be printed was a short children’s fiction, “Jet’s Stormy Adventure,” serialized in The Illinois Horse Network. It was a natural fit, given my business. Later, I attended University of Iowa’s famed workshops and writing programs. Since that time, I have authored and co-authored numerous books. Several of my novels and short stories have won international awards and have appeared in multiple venues. I write because I want to read the story.

How do you balance your work with other demands?  I’m stubborn.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life:  Seeing a fan show his friends my signature on his book

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner?  Pantser until the main skeleton is written, then a planner for the subplots.

Could you write in a café with people around?  Often do.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it?  I don’t. My husband is French Canadian. He translated my two French children’s books.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now?  Favorite book of all time is Dreamsnake by Vonda McIntyre. Reading a Jack Reacher now.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader?  Hardcover

Do you think print books will always be around?  Absolutely. It’s a comfort thing. You just don’t get that from an eBook.

Would you ever read a book on your phone?  I have.

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else?  Android

How long could you go without checking your phone?  I actually don’t text much, so probably a while.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening?  I listen while I drive.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform?  Facebook and Instagram.

Website and social media links:
Website:  wendylkoenig.com
Facebook:  @WendyLKoenig
Twitter:  @wlkoenig
Pinterest: pinterest.ca/wlkoenig

Awards/special recognition: Under Twin Suns – 2nd place Novel Abilene Writer’s guild International Competition 2005, 2nd Honorable Mention Novel Chapter CNW/FFWA International Writing Competition 2005

Searching for Sardan – 1st place Short fiction Abilene writers’ guild International Competition 2005

Sentient (Spinning the Tides) – 2nd Honorable Mention Sci-Fi/Horror Frontiers in Writing International Competition 2007

“I Will Remember You” (poem) – America’s Best Emerging Poets 2018

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What’s That Book? Cotton in My Sack by Lois Lenski


: Cotton in My Sack

Author and illustrator: Lois Lenski

Genre: Children’s Literature

Rating:  *****

What’s it about?  Realistic fiction about young Joanda Hutley and her sharecropper family, cotton pickers in Arkansas during the late 1940s.  The Hutleys endure many ups and downs and live from payday to payday, often squandering their money in town every Saturday, and leaving little for groceries and coal to heat their house.  Tractor accidents, illness, stolen cotton and other problems keep the Hutleys locked in place, until Uncle Shine Morse shows them how they must pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.

Despite their hardships, Joanda and her family work together and are a cheerful and loving group, which makes it a remarkably charming story.  Neighbors look out for each other and even the boss man’s wife turns out to be nice, making the story both a dose of reality and an example of the goodness in people.

Lenski is both the author and the illustrator of Cotton in My Sack and her unique illustrations show the family during the good and the bad, adding much to the story’s realism.

How did you hear about it? 
I first read it when I was a young girl.

Closing comment:  Cotton in My Sack is one of my favorite girlhood books.  Reading it again makes me understand how my reading tastes have developed, as I have always loved stories about large families and their struggles.  It reminds me now of a combination of the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder and also a little bit of The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.  I like how the author doesn’t gloss over the hard times but also shows the family’s resilience and optimism.

Lois Lenski wrote and illustrated many regional children’s books, and she won a Newbery Medal in 1946 for Strawberry Girl.  She wrote Cotton in My Sack at the request of children in Arkansas, who had read, Strawberry Girl and wanted her to write a book about them.

Contributor:  Ginette

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