Readers, I have to tell you about a fantastic novella I read recently called The Disappearing Key.
First off, it is the debut brain-child of a writer-friend of mine, the lovely and insanely talented Wendy Paine Miller.
Here’s the story:
Mystery, Medical Marvel, or Miracle?Gabrielle Bivane never expected parenting a teenager would be this hard, but she never expected stillborn Oriana to live to see fourteen, either. The night of Oriana’s birth, Gabrielle and her husband Roy fused their genetic and engineering geniuses to bring back all that was lost to them—at a cost.The secret must be kept.Oriana Bivane senses she’s not like the other girls her age, but the time has come for her to change all that. She’s tired of secrets, but does she confide in the wrong person?
The life-giving key, suddenly missing, must be found.
Here’s what I love to say about this novella– it’s like word art. As I said in the reviews I posted on Amazon and Goodreads, there were several times that I just wanted to pluck sentences from the page and frame them. Wordsmith doesn’t even begin to describe Wendy. She’s more like a word-wizard and this novella of word-wizardry is definitely worth your attention.
In order to let you get to know Wendy a bit better, I asked her a few questions about herself and about the novella.
Quick! Get to know this gal. No doubt she’ll be around the publishing world for a while and you’ll want to call her friend.
(The link for you to snag your copy of this book is at the end of the article.)
A few questions about Wendy and her responses:
What “hidden talent” do you have, besides writing?
Wendy: I love refurbishing furniture or restyling it in a way so that it works for our home. I’m willing to try anything, but I particularly enjoy working with wood and paint.
Me: I tried my hand at this for the first time over the summer. It turned out pretty well, but it could have just as easily been a disaster. I think you need to start offering your services to those of us who are craft/artistically-challenged.
If you could have any career in the world other than what you do now, what would it be and why?
Wendy: This one is so difficult because I just told my eldest the other night I have the best job in the world as both a mom and a writer. However, for the sake of providing an answer I’ll go with a food critic. Have you heard of Rick Steves? I’d take his job traveling the world too (as long as my family could join me).
Me: Okay, we’re hitting the road, W. I would LOVE Rick Steves’ job. In fact, I take his or Samantha Brown’s. Talk about writing material!
What are the top 3 things on your bucket list?
Wendy: Kitesurf. Paraglide. Learn how to keep a plant alive for longer than a month.
Me: You, my friend, might just have a tad-bit of crazy in you. 🙂 And if you figure out the plant thing, let me know.
What is your most cherished holiday tradition with your family?
Wendy: I love painting Easter eggs with my family or gobbling cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning, but I might surprise you by saying walking the neighborhood on Halloween night. Some years my husband and I dress up and some years we don’t. I love helping my girls get in their costumes and catching up with the neighbors. Since my girls are getting older, I’m pretty sure this tradition has met its end, but we made fantastic memories.
Me: Halloween night can be so much fun! I’d love to know your best couples costume you and your hubby have sported…
Now a few questions about Wendy’s story, The Disappearing Key, without spoilers!
What is the significance of the names you chose for your characters in The Disappearing Key?
Wendy: I pour a lot of thought into the names I give my characters. I research the meanings and each name has to feel right to me. Oriana means dawn or rising. Viola’s last name, Nephesh, means soul in Hebrew. And I’ll clue you in to another fun tidbit. Take Roy + Gabrielle (G.) and the first part of their last name (Bivane) and you get the way children are taught to remember colors of the rainbow (ROYGBIV). I enjoyed playing with this as it complements Oriana’s synesthesia.
Me: I love learning the mini-stories behind character names. Fascinating, Wendy! (And brilliant, of course).
If we could peek in on your characters now, during this holiday season, what would we see?
Wendy: I think Viola is dressing garland on the staircase (perhaps the last year she’ll be able to do this). Oriana and Topher are throwing out potential names for Roy and Gabby’s baby, debating every single one. Gabrielle is helping Viola with the decorations. And Roy is taking pictures, a new hobby he’s taken up. Just a gander, but certainly fun to think about. In the book clubs I’ve been attending, I’m always more interested in how other people answer this question about what happens next.
Me: Life after the story… always so much fun to dream about. The beauty of good writing is that people want to know what happens next.
What is your favorite scene from the story?
Wendy: The scene when Roy, Gabrielle, and Oriana meet back up with Viola at the butterfly garden. And the last scene.
Me: Those are brilliant scenes. Friends, grab this novella and you’ll find out why!
The Disappearing Key by Wendy Paine Miller. A gleaming debut that inspires as many questions as it answers. Love, loss, and medicine– how far are we willing to go to challenge our ideas of faith and frailty?
Thank you for blessing us with your words and your time, Wendy!
Share with me: Like Wendy’s enjoyment of walking neighborhoods with her family on Halloween, what’s your favorite holiday tradition?