Posted On June 15, 2011 by Print This Post

Debut Author Interview with Wendy S. Marcus

Today we continue our debut author interviews with Harlequin Medical Romance author Wendy S. Marcus.  Wendy is a longtime friend of RU and we are thrilled to have her join us today.

Take it away, Wendy!

How many manuscripts did you write before you sold? WHEN ONE NIGHT ISN’T ENOUGH is my second completed full length manuscript. But I also had two novellas, three short stories, and a few other manuscripts in various stages of completion.

How long was it from the time you began writing seriously and the time you sold? I began writing seriously in 2007 and I sold in 2010. During that time I stopped writing for a period of about nine months between 2008 and 2009 after my father died.

Why do you think this particular manuscript sold? I think I was in the right place at the right time. I’d written a story where the hero and heroine were doctor and nurse at a time when Harlequin Medical Romance was looking for new writers.

What surprised you about the sell? How quickly I received ‘the call’ after I’d submitted my final final draft.  Granted I’d been revising under my editor’s watchful eye for six months. But two days? I thought I’d have more time to goof off and play Spider Solitaire!

What challenges have you faced since “the call” you didn’t realize you would encounter? Time management issues. And this is a shocker for me. I’ve worked from my home office and juggled the family schedules of three children and a husband for years.  So transitioning from my work as a healthcare consultant to an author should be no problem, right? WRONG! There is so much more to distract me now. All things that fall into the category of ‘Authors need to do this’ but have nothing to do with actual writing….like Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, website management, blogging, researching ie. looking at pictures of hot men…purely for character inspiration and, when necessary, for blog post beautification. And of course there’s the obsessing over how your book ranks on Amazon and hunting down reviews. (I’m hoping this is a newbie thing I’ll grow out of!)

Is there anything you wished you’d done before you sold? Now here’s the catch 22. I wish I’d already had a website even though I realize an unpublished writer really doesn’t need a website. I found designing a website extremely stressful and overwhelming on top of all my first sale craziness and demands for me to start on book 2.  Luckily, I worked with a wonderful web designer from Novel Website Design who stuck by me through my hysteria. My suggestion to writers seeking publication, when you visit an author’s website, if you like it, save the link someplace. Write down what you like about the site and what makes it special. Note the author promo picture to figure out what pose you like best and indoors vs. outdoors. Note the web designer (usually at the bottom). The more research you do ahead of time, the more you’ll know what you want, the easier the process will be.

What’s your best advice for writers who are still waiting to sell? See above! And keep writing! After you finish your first book and send out your submissions to agents and editors, get right to work on your next book. Once you sell, the best promo is getting a second book out ASAP.

Do you have anything else you’d like to share with the Romance University readers? Yes! It’s important to always remain open to options you may not have considered. Let me explain. Initially, I’d targeted Harlequin Superromance. I enjoyed their books and set my goal to write for that line. Along the way I stumbled upon a pitch contest for Harlequin Medical Romance. I didn’t know much about the line, which is just recently starting to gain more of a following in the U.S. But never one to pass up an opportunity I figured, since my hero and heroine were doctor and nurse, I’d give it a shot. And I was one of five winners, got assigned an editor, and after six long months of revisions I sold to that line. Yes, I had to cut thousands of valuable words, secondary characters, and subplots because the requirements for Medical Romance are different than those for Superromance. But I wanted to get published and was willing to do whatever it took to accomplish my goal.

And last, will you tell us all about your debut book?

Nurse Ali Forshay has found the perfect man for her. Dependable. Routine. Boring. Exactly what she wants to ensure a quiet, stable and anonymous life. Then his friend, Dr. Jared Padget, shows up and goodbye fairytale ending. The man’s a schmoozer. A womanizer. A whoo-a-woman-into-bed-using-any-means-necessary kind of man just like her father. And Ali wants nothing to do with him. But he’s so tempting. Thank goodness his temporary assignment at Madrin Memorial is over, and he’s heading out of town.

If only he hadn’t shown up at girls’ night out on the eve of his departure. If only he hadn’t taken her up on her drunken one-time offer. If only he hadn’t come back when he’d promised to stay away…

Read an excerpt here.

Thank you so much for having me here to promote my debut Harlequin Medical Romance WHEN ONE NIGHT ISN’T ENOUGH – currently available in the UK and Aus/NZ coming to Amazon and in the U.S. in July. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have for me. But what I’d really like to do is open a discussion about Harlequin Medical Romance. Are you a fan of medical romance? Do you watch medical drama shows on television? Are you willing to give my medical romance a try? One lucky commenter will win a copy of my 2in1 UK edition which includes a complete novel by author Janice Lynn! Also, I’m running a contest for the person who visits me at the most stops on my blog tour from May through August. The prize is a $50.00 Amazon gift card. See my website for details. This is my 11th stop out of 27 so there are plenty of visits left to qualify! If there’s a tie, the winner’s name will be chosen out of my trusty margarine bowl by my lovely daughter.

Visit my website:

Visit me on Facebook

Visit me on Twitter

Visit me on Goodreads


RU Crew, let’s get the conversation going by answering Wendy’s questions. Here they are:

Are you a fan of medical romance?

Do you watch medical drama shows on television?

Are you willing to give my medical romance a try?

A big thank you to Wendy for being here.  RU Crew, join us on Friday when author Tracy March discusses breaking up with a publisher.

 Bio: Wendy S. Marcus lives in the beautiful Hudson Valley region of New York with her husband, two of her three children, and a much loved Bichon Frise named Buddy. A nurse by trade, Wendy has her master’s degree in health care administration. After years of working in the medical profession, Wendy has taken a radical turn to writing hot contemporary romance with strong heroes, feisty heroines, and lots of laughs. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and blogging/e-mailing/tweeting with her online friends. To learn more about Wendy visit her website,

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45 Responses to “Debut Author Interview with Wendy S. Marcus”

  1. Hi Wendy,

    Welcome to RU as a Visiting Professor! Loved reading your excerpt. Can’t wait for ONE NIGHT to make it to the States.

    I’ve read CJ Lyons medical romances and have always enjoyed medical shows/movies–China Beach, Trapper John, ER, Flatliners, etc. I don’t watch much TV anymore so I’m not familiar with the new shows.

    Enjoy your debut year!


    Posted by Tracey Devlyn | June 15, 2011, 5:10 am
  2. Wendy,

    I just read your excerpt and it was awesome!! I can’t wait to read your book. Thanks for sharing your “road to success.”

    Posted by Stephanie Brenninkmeyer | June 15, 2011, 5:31 am
  3. Good morning, Wendy! It’s so fun having you here. You’re excerpt is great and the book will hit the US just in time for my days at the beach.

    I’m a huge Gray’s Anatomy fan. I also loved ER back in the day.

    Thanks for being here!

    Posted by AdrienneGiordano | June 15, 2011, 6:10 am
    • Hi Adrienne!
      Thanks for making it happen! Since getting published I don’t have much time for TV, but back in the day I loved ER and Scrubs. Way, way back in my youth I used to watch Marcus Welby M.D. with my grandpa!!

      Are you getting pumped for your release day!!! Very exciting stuff! Love your cover. Can’t wait to read it!

      Posted by Wendy S. Marcus | June 15, 2011, 6:46 am
  4. Good morning, Wendy.

    I can’t wait to read When One Night Isn’t Enough. I love your voice, the underlying humor, the emotions!

    Fan of medical romance? I would be for those based here in the U.S. I’ve read M&B Medical Romances but when they are set in different countries, I can’t lose myself in the story. Having a medical background, I go nuts with all their medical jargon that’s different from what I use.

    Medical Shows on tv? Yep. Gray’s I watch. HawthoRNe..nope. I tried to watch HawthoRNe but the character drove me nuts. I love House but I don’t watch it regularly.

    I know you’ll do great with M&B. Good luck. See you in NYC

    Posted by Cynthia D'Alba | June 15, 2011, 6:19 am
    • Hi Cynthia!
      Thanks for your kind words! I forgot about House. I can’t say I love his antics, but I enjoy the investigative element of the show. My daughter says I should watch Nurse Jackie, but we don’t have Showtime and I spend so much time on the computer I’m not up for watching shows on it!!!

      Looking forward to national and congrats again on your sale! Seems this blog is a lucky place to be!!!

      Posted by Wendy S. Marcus | June 15, 2011, 6:50 am
  5. Weeeeeennnnndddyyyy!!!!!!! =)

    It’s so great having you here! And congrats on your release….I’ll have to get the paperback version, because I’ll demand your autograph! =)

    To answer your questions…I don’t think I’ve read a full medical romance! At least not an HQ one. I don’t watch the newer medical shows although I used to love St. Elsewhere, Emergency! (anyone else remember that one?)MASH and Northern Exposure. Just don’t watch TV anymore, although I did buy House on DVD. I do have thoughts on a medical, but it was a veterinarian and his nurse, so not sure that qualifies!

    Now my question for YOU. Since your book is published in the UK, did you have to change all your spellings from like neighbor to neighbour? (My husband is English and he harasses me about that all the time!)

    Congrats on your release!!!


    Posted by Carrie Spencer | June 15, 2011, 7:01 am
    • Hi Carrie!
      Funny you should mention the differences between UK and U.S. spellings. I write in American English. Sometimes the UK copy editor tries to slip in UK English. Example: I put prying she changed it to prising. (But I changed it back!) And some slang I use has to be fixed because it won’t translate to an international audience. My book also came out in Aus/NZ and has been translated into French. I hear changes are made when books are translated to another language so they appeal to that specific audience. I don’t know if it’s true – and since I can’t understand French I have no way to know for sure…but it’s selling well!

      I would love to sign a copy of my book for you!!! I hope you enjoy it!

      Posted by Wendy S. Marcus | June 15, 2011, 7:17 am
      • Wendy – My husband is English and we lived in London for seven years back in the 1970s and early 1980s. In addition to that, most of the TV we watch is on BBC America or British shows we rent from Netflix. This has created a problem for me, since I use English slang and idioms without realizing it. It drives my critique partners crazy! I was an Anglophile from an early age – I remember having an argument with an English teacher when she corrected my British spelling of a word. (I preferred colour to color, for instance.) Yep – that was my teenage rebellion, spelling words English-style. Wild and crazy, that’s me!

        Posted by Becke Martin/Davis | June 15, 2011, 9:25 am
  6. Hi Wendy! Congrats on your debut. After all the hoops your editor put you through pre-sale, it’s a good thing she didn’t say no – that would have been heartbreaking!

    I don’t have any medical background, so I can’t see myself trying to write for that line, but never say never.

    Posted by Gail Hart | June 15, 2011, 7:23 am
    • Hi Gail!
      While, at the time, struggling through six months of revisions was exhausting and frustrating, going through the process was necessary and made me into a much better writer. I needed to learn and grow, and I was blessed with an editor willing to put the time into helping me!

      And never say never is the perfect motto for a writer!!!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Posted by Wendy S. Marcus | June 15, 2011, 8:02 am
  7. Wendy, Congrats on your debut. I’m a huge fan of medical TV shows, but haven’t read many medical romances.

    Good luck.

    Posted by Cia | June 15, 2011, 7:37 am
    • Hi Cia!
      I hear so many people say that! While medical drama on TV is well known in the U.S., medical romance books are just starting to gain popularity here. I highly recommend you give one a try! (The link for my Kindle edition is up above !)

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Posted by Wendy S. Marcus | June 15, 2011, 8:04 am
  8. Fabulous interview and invaluable advice about the websites!!

    I’m a huge, long time fan of medical shows, too. I loved Marcus Welby MD and then ER and all the other great medical shows that have arrived.

    I started reading medical romances a year ago and love them, too.


    Posted by Christine | June 15, 2011, 7:46 am
    • Hi Christine!
      There’s something about a hot guy in scrub pants, isn’t there? Well, to be honest, hot guys in general do it for me, but add in that ‘I can save your life’ component and I’m a fan!

      But it’s important to note, not all of our heroes are doctors, and not all of our settings are hospitals.

      I’m so glad you’re a fan of medical romance!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Posted by Wendy S. Marcus | June 15, 2011, 8:14 am
  9. Hi Wendy,

    I remember when all doctors’ wives were nurses. Now they seem to be married to other doctors. Must be something about anatomy class. I loved ER and St. Elsewhere. Doctors make great heroes in romance because they do so much for others.

    Mary Jo

    Posted by Mary Jo Burke | June 15, 2011, 7:57 am
    • Hi Mary Jo!
      Ooohhh! I forgot about St. Elsewhere. Great show!

      Very good point about doctors’ wives being nurses and now they’re doctors. We have plenty of female doctors in our stories as well. And all medical personell do so much for others. I love writing about them!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Posted by Wendy S. Marcus | June 15, 2011, 8:20 am
  10. Wendy – I’m really impressed with how quickly you were published! Send some of that mojo my way, would you?

    It’s fascinating that you sold through a contest. I wonder how often that happens? I’ve been a fan of the Superromance line for years but I only recently discovered Harlequin’s medical romance line. I have a couple of friends who want to write for Harlequin – are there any other new lines we might not know about yet?

    Congratulations on your sale – I wish you great success!

    Posted by Becke Martin/Davis | June 15, 2011, 8:34 am
    • Hi Becke!
      It sure didn’t feel quick while I was going through it!!! From the pitch I did to Harlequin Medical Romance, 5 winners were chosen. Two of us sold. Mills and Boon also did a New Voices competition and I believe at least two writers have sold as a direct result of that contest. And even more got their work noticed! You have to put yourself out there – so you can be in the right place at the right time, like I was!

      As far as new lines with Harlequin, all I can say is both eharlequin and Mills and Boon have excellent websites that have great information for new writers. Visit publisher websites frequently to see what they’re looking for. I know Ellora’s Cave is good for putting the call out for upcoming anthologies.

      And thanks for the congratulations and wishes of success. I hope to be redirecting them back in your direction soon!

      Posted by Wendy S. Marcus | June 15, 2011, 9:02 am
  11. So happy for you Wendy!
    Never read a Harlequin medical novel but I will read this one for sure!!!

    Posted by Perla Kaufman | June 15, 2011, 9:33 am
  12. Wendy – I haven’t been a consistent fan of medical romance, eithr written or on TV, although one of my faovirite books, Erin McCarthy’s ‘Houston, We Have a Problem” is a medical contemporary romance. And as for TV – I gave up on ER and Grey’s – to much sopa opera for me.

    I did enjoy “Three Rivers” – probably because of Alex O’Loughlin – but it was a fascinating storyline each week.

    What is the allowable heat level in a medical romance? I target Blaze and I know that the lines can be so different.

    Congrats on your book! I’ll have to break back into medical romance by reading it!


    Posted by Robin Covington | June 15, 2011, 10:10 am
    • Hi Robin!
      Medical romance runs the gamut of heat levels – from sweet to sexy. I write on the sexy side of the line. I like Blaze, too! While I’ve never submitted to that line, I did send off a couple of spice briefs early on. They weren’t good. I realize that now. Writing good sex is not as easy as it sounds!

      It’d be great if you used my book to break back into medical romance. There are some wonderful new authors, and, of course, the established ones, too. Something for everyone!

      Posted by Wendy S. Marcus | June 15, 2011, 10:53 am
  13. Hi Wendy,

    I love the Medical TV dramas, apart from all you mentioned above, we also have Shortland Street on Prime time daily and HM&B Medical Romances are my staple diet! Though I have to admit, I haven’t yet read a debut authors first book. Yours would be the first!

    All the best with your new release, WHEN ONE NIGHT ISN’T ENOUGH!

    Posted by Nas | June 15, 2011, 1:49 pm
  14. Hi Nas!
    I’ve never heard of Shortland street. I’m honored that you’ll be reading my debut! I hope you like it!

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Posted by Wendy S. Marcus | June 15, 2011, 2:12 pm
  15. Thanks for sharing your journey with us Wendy !!! Taking notes furiously 😉 esp the part about the website….. That has been my major fear so far.. !! But well 🙂 writing the story is first 😉

    Posted by Ju Dimello | June 15, 2011, 2:50 pm
    • Hi Ju!
      Yes, creating the website is scary because it’s your presence on the web. And of course you don’t want it to suck!!! But do your research and you’ll be fine when the time comes.

      And writing the story has to come first.

      Thank you for following me on my blog tour!

      Posted by Wendy S. Marcus | June 15, 2011, 3:19 pm
  16. Hi Wendy!

    Congrats on your debut!

    When I was a kid, all of the televisions on my block would be turned to Medical Center on Wednesday nights. Every mom on the block had a mad crush on Chad Everett. 🙂 Other than some Crichton books, I don’t think I’ve ever read a medical romance unless I count the teen romance book I read about a candy striper falling for a hot doctor. I really liked that book! Loved your excerpt.

    Thanks for sharing the beginning of your journey with us.

    Posted by Jennifer Tanner | June 15, 2011, 3:00 pm
    • Hi Jennifer!
      Thank you!

      I don’t remember Medical Center. But as a kid I spent most of my time outdoors and didn’t watch much television. (Of course we only had 1 TV and my father had control of it after dinner. Am I dating myself?)

      Anyway, medical romance is very similar to all the other contemporary romances people love to read, except there’s a medical element in the background. Our characters fall in love and lead full lives outside of work.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the excerpt!

      Posted by Wendy S. Marcus | June 15, 2011, 3:26 pm
  17. Hi Wendy,

    Did you need a medical background to write medical romance? Is technical knowledge crucial to the plot…or does it depend? Your book sounds great…just my kind of read!


    Posted by Victoria Gray | June 15, 2011, 3:58 pm
    • Hi Victoria!
      My editor says as long as you’re good with research you can write medical romance. I guess it’d be similar to writing historical romance. You didn’t live back then, but through research you can write a realistic story.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Posted by Wendy S. Marcus | June 15, 2011, 4:15 pm
  18. Hi Wendy! I love medical TV shows and medical romances. The few Harlequin Medicals I’ve read have been via the online reads over at eharl. I wondered why this line was available in the states, given all the fans of ER, Grey’s Anatomy, and other medical shows.

    Congrats on your debut.

    Posted by PatriciaW | June 15, 2011, 3:59 pm
  19. Hi Patricia W!
    Medical Romance is widely available in the U.S. just not on store shelves. You can buy them as paperback books or e-books from Amazon and Just search Harlequin Medical Romance on Amazon. (Or even better, you can search When One Night Isn’t Enough!!!)

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Posted by Wendy S. Marcus | June 15, 2011, 4:20 pm
  20. HI Wendy! Late again!!! But always enjoy your blog posts and the excitement over your new release – especially knowing how very hard you worked on your revisions. I love this book – your writing is fantastic!

    Posted by Jennifer Probst | June 15, 2011, 7:38 pm
  21. Hi Jen!
    I’m so happy you’re enjoying my book. (Jen won it at one of the stops on my blog tour!)

    And now I’m going to pick the winner from this blog stop. I’ll e-mail Adrienne so she can post it tomorrow!

    Thanks for stopping by, Jen. Thanks for having me RU! And thanks to everyone who commented and visited without commenting.

    Posted by Wendy S. Marcus | June 15, 2011, 7:44 pm
  22. I haven’t heard back from Adrienne – granted it’s only 7:30 in the morning here in NY – but I have a busy day and wanted to make sure the winner of my book giveaway is announced today as promised.

    The winner is….Christine Glover.

    Contact me with your address, Christine and I’ll get the book in the mail ASAP. I hope you enjoy it!

    There are more chances to win…On Friday, June 17th I’ll be at:

    Posted by Wendy S. Marcus | June 16, 2011, 5:33 am
  23. I am currently reading When One Night Isn’t Enough and I can testify that Wendy Marcus really knows how to tell a story. I’m loving it! This is the first medical romance I have ever read and I had no idea what I was missing. Thanks, Wendy.

    Posted by Regina Richards | June 16, 2011, 2:10 pm
  24. Time management issues are always a problem. For writers all across the spectrum. I truly enjoyed reading Wendy. It sounds to me like you are one hard worker. Thanks for sharing your writing with the world. <3

    Posted by Robyn Campbell | June 16, 2011, 2:48 pm
  25. Hi Regina!
    I’m so happy you’re enjoying my book! (Another book winner at one of my blog stops!)

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Posted by Wendy S. Marcus | June 17, 2011, 7:34 am
  26. Hi Robyn!
    I’d probably be able to finish two books in the time it takes me to write one if I could only focus on my manuscript!!! (Except I enjoy all the social networking so much!)

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Posted by Wendy S. Marcus | June 17, 2011, 7:36 am


  1. […] of our clients, Wendy S. Marcus, was featured in an interview at the amazing romance writing blog, Romance University.  Along with a gorgeous picture of Wendy and her new book cover, she gives some great thoughts on […]

  2. […] of our clients, Wendy S. Marcus, was featured in an interview at the amazing romance writing blog, Romance University.  Along with a gorgeous picture of Wendy and her new book cover, she gives some great thoughts on […]

  3. […] RU! I’m very pleased to welcome Wendy S. Marcus back to Romance University. When we last chatted with Wendy, she was reveling in the moment of her debut release. Seven months later, Wendy rejoins […]

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