By AK DALE
HAYLEYVILLE, Ala. – Parenthood is a powerful elixir for some.
It can guide, push, and encourage one to unimaginable heights if for the only reason, to support and give the best for a child.
Author Wenona Hulsey has two guiding lights, her son and daughter.
“They are the center of my world,” she says. “My kids have been absolute gems when it comes to pushing ‘mommie’ to finish. They go out of their way to give me time to write peacefully. The only thing my daughter has asked in return is that I write her into one of my books and kill her off. After laughing hysterically at my 16-year-old’s request I rewrote a supporting character to fit my daughter’s description and gave her a noble death. She was so excited she cried when I read the scene to her. It was the least I could do for my beautiful daughter.”
Some may argue in jest that killing one’s child off in a fictional tale is one for CPS’ record books, but it is obvious Hulsey loves her children immensely and it’s that love her two kids return which pushes this southern lady forward.
The fledgling author who works as a shipping manager for a small company that manufactures kitchen cabinetry was determined to do what she dreamt to do: be a successful author.
But, those pursuits haven’t come with the common obstacle many face: a doubting public.
“There have been negative remarks, especially where I work,” Hulsey said. “I’ve actually been told that dreams are for rich people with time and money to waste. I didn’t let it stop me. I said this to a friend who asked me why I decided to publish, ‘I’ve finally reached a point in my life when I’m not afraid to fall on my face. At least I can say I tried instead of wondering what could have been.’”
It will be a year this July when she published her first book Blood Awakening, a prelude to her novel Burden of Blood.
The storyline tells of an ancient grudge and sleeping powers which turn a small town Alabama woman’s life upside down as she struggles to accept who and what she is becoming. Readers are taken on a dance with powerful warriors and Gothic fairies as Southern tradition collides with Irish folklore in the series.
“I’m in the editing stages of the third book in the series, Blood of Fire and my plan is to have it out at the end of June,” Hulsey said. “I also have a novelette in the works that will tie into the Blood Burden series. It’s from Luke’s point of view and is set just before Burden of Blood. I’ve been asked by fans of the series if I’ll do a spin-off with Nicole and Luke and I can say…maybe. I’m also working on the second draft of a crime thriller that I hope to release this fall. I’ve got tons going on but not enough hours in the day.”
There isn’t enough time because this woman from the south puts her priorities in order, which is spending time with, raising, and motivating her kids. Those skills translated toward pushing herself onto a goal of personal achievement in the arts.
“I’ve always dedicated a lot of time to encouraging my children to express themselves through their musical talents, art and photography because I think it’s important for our kids to have creative outlets,” Hulsey said. “After seeing how much they enjoyed the hobbies I wondered why I was letting the opportunity pass me by. I’d always written but never really taken it seriously until that point. I realized that I deserved the opportunity to express myself too. Now I write every day.”
She writes to all kinds of music. From the mellow tones of Adele to the heavy rock intensity of AC/DC.
“I also enjoy writing outdoors especially when I’m suffering from writer’s block,” she admitted. ”The serenity of nature and fresh air calls to my muse. I’m a summer person so if it’s something outdoor you can bet I enjoy it. I camp, fish, and swim almost every weekend when it’s warm. I’m also a runner and training for my first 5k race in August.”
With her desire to write, a need to be the best mother she can, and also find some outdoor hobbies to indulge in, it’s not a stretch to say that a 36-hour day would be a welcome thing for Hulsey.
“It is a big challenge to find balance,” Hulsey said. “There’s no question that I have to work right now so the time when I’m not working I juggle kids, housework, then, usually after 9 p.m., I settle in to write for an hour or two. I go to work like a zombie most days.”
When the time comes to write and the results make her proud, Hulseyfinds the simplest rewards in the tiniest gestures of a fan.
“The most rewarding part is when readers email me just to say how much they loved my story and characters,” Hulsey said. “Nothing is better than a fan taking the time to reach out to an author. For me, right now the most unattractive aspect of being an Indie author is the stigma that comes with being self-published. There seems to be a bitter rivalry between traditionally published authors and Indies that is very shameful.”
Not bad coming from a woman who was told she shouldn’t bother and once didn’t even know if she had the gumption to write a book let alone three and counting.
“I already consider myself successful because I swallowed my fear and published my words for all to read,” she admitted. “Trust me, that was a big challenge for me and I’m sure it is for a lot of writers. Everything that has come since—the great reviews, the fun messages from readers and the wonderful support from fans—is a blessing I never dreamed of. I’m doing what I love and it doesn’t get better than that.”
WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE ON WENONA HULSEY
WERZOMBIES Press thanks you for taking the time to read about our special guest here today. The Press is an Alan Dale creation and is inspired by his DEAD NATIONS’ ARMY (DNA) book trilogy which launches in July with his first novel, “Code Flesh.” The Press hopes you consider subscribing to the site and look forward to more interviews, news features, columns, and many more in the future. Once again, thank you for joining us here at the Press!