About Wende Dikec
Wende Dikec has spent her life traveling the world, and collecting stories wherever she visited. She writes in several romance genres, and her books are quirky, light, and fun. Fluent in several languages and married to a man from Istanbul, Wende is a trekkie, a book hoarder, master of the Nespresso machine, and mother of three boys. A puppy named Capone is the most recent addition to her family, and she blogs about him as a way of maintaining what little sanity she has left.
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1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I studied Japanese and Economics in college, and went to work in Japan right after I graduated. Sometimes people wondered why I didn't study something more "practical,” but I loved languages and wanted to travel. I randomly chose Japanese because it was one of the more difficult languages to master, and also because it worked well with a degree in Economics.
While in Japan, I met my husband, and it was love at first sight. He's from Turkey and was in Japan working at Toyota. We met in May, were engaged by September, and married a year later in Istanbul. Now we have three sons and live in my home state of Pennsylvania. We've travelled the world together, but parenthood might just be the greatest adventure of all. I'm so glad I followed my heart and studied Japanese. It was kismet, as they say in Turkish. Meant to be.
2. What kind of books do you bring with you when you go on holiday?
Because I'm reading all day (as I write), it's sometimes had for me to focus on books in the evening. I've just begun using Audible, which is a fabulous solution. I can relax and enjoy books without the effort now. I just listened to "The Girl on the Train" by Paula Hawkins. It was fabulous. I was alone on a six hour long car ride at the time, and it made time fly by. I highly recommend it, and now I can't wait to see the movie.
3. If you could spend a sunny day anywhere how would your perfect day look like?
My favorite sunny, summer days were always spent in my husband's home country of Turkey. When my boys were small, I'd often bring them for a month at a time. We'd stay at my mother-in-law's summer house on the beach and it was absolute bliss. No computers, no internet, no cell phones - just lots of books and time to spend together.
We'd wake up every day and walk down to the beach after breakfast. We'd play there until lunch, and then do whatever we wanted until dinner. We swam in the pool. Walked to a shop for ice cream. Played tennis. It was heaven, mostly because it was our time to be completely unscheduled and spontaneous. At home our lives are so jam-packed, with activities and school and work. It was nice just to have that time to breathe and live in the moment. And the beaches were fabulous, too.
4. Could you tell us about your hobbies (when you are not writing or reading)?
I've started hiking with my dog every day. There is a park near my house, and I love to wake up early, put the dog in the car, and go for a long walk in the woods. It calms me. As soon as I step into the quiet forest, I feel centered and at peace. It helps with my writing because it gives me a chance to think, and it's good for my dog, too. He's a very hyper young black Lab named Capone. He has his own Facebook page (don't judge me!). https://www.facebook.com/Capone-the-Wonder-Dog-911837042208982/
5. Where do you find the inspiration for your stories?
You never know where the next story will come from, so it's important to pay attention to the world around you. Listen to people. Watch them. Not in a creepy, stalker way, but just be aware. Live your life to the fullest and have amazing experiences. Don’t let fear hold you back.
I just started working on a New Adult series (contemporary romance books especially for women aged 18-26) called Passports and Promises. I write New Adult under my pen name, Abigail Drake. Each book takes place in a different country. I'm having so much fun writing these books! The first takes place in Japan, and it felt like a trip down memory lane for me.
6. If you could be any leading character from a bestselling book, who would you be and why?
I'll go back to my childhood, to a very old book that probably everyone has read. I'd want to be Meg Murray from "A Wrinkle in Time." I loved that book growing up, and dreamed of becoming a physicist someday, like Meg's parents. Then I discovered physics was basically math in a science form (ew), and that dream ended rather quickly. I lasted two whole days in high school physics. I'm awful at math.
My other choice would be Lizzie Bennett from "Pride and Prejudice" because, well, Mr. Darcy. I think that says it all!
7. What's your favorite reading spot?
I've changed our formal living room into a library/office for me. In the room is a soft, velvety couch with a beautiful blue ottoman. I love to curl up on that couch, put my feet on the ottoman, and read. Sadly, it's Capone's favorite spot, too. I know this only because there are now doggie drool spots all over my couch, and even on my ottoman. Yuck.
I mentioned going to the beach in Turkey already, but I didn't talk about how much I love Istanbul. It's an amazing, historical city, and every time we go, we have to visit one very special place. There is an underground cistern in the oldest part of the city called Justinian's Basilica. It's amazing. The city is so hot and loud and busy and bright, but as soon as you step into Justinian's Basilica, you're in another world. You walk down curving, ancient stone steps, and immediately feel a rush of cool, moist air hit your skin. The steps lead you to a giant, cavernous room with rows of columns reaching to a ceiling covered in carved arches. It's quiet and dark, and the pathways and columns are lit rather dramatically. Blind albino fish, animals that have never seen the light of day, swim in the waters below your feet as you follow the raised walkway to the very back of the enormous space. When you get there, you see something really breathtaking. At the bottom of one of the columns is a carving of the head of Medusa that is thousands of years old. It's an incredible place.
9. Do you have any advice for authors who would like to write a sunny story?
Write what brings joy to your heart. I enjoy reading dark, scary books sometimes, but I prefer to write happier things. There is enough sadness in the world. Why not write something that will make people smile?
10. What can we expect from you in the future?
The first installments in my new series, Passports and Promises, will be out in September. I write them under my pen name, Abigail Drake, and you can find out more at www.abigaildrake.com. Here is the cover for the first book, “Saying Goodbye, Part I”. The waves on the cover are actually made from Japanese paper, called washi. I collected washi when I lived in Japan, and was so excited to use it on my new book.
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