Short-Story Writer Wendy Clarke tells us about her ‘Star Makeover’ with Celebrity Make-up Artist -Gemma Aldous
Wendy – You won this ‘Make-over’ competition in December – what was your first reaction?
Well, funnily enough for a couple of days I didn’t even know that I had won. I was visiting my daughter in Hamburg and hadn’t been onto social media. I think it was the last day of my stay when I eventually logged on to Facebook and Twitter to find that everyone seemed to know I’d won my fabulous prize except for me! It must have seemed very odd that I hadn’t responded. Anyway, when I found out I’d won, I was super excited. I don’t often go in for competitions but this was a prize I really fancied and I couldn’t believe I had won it.
You have a wonderful husband who wanted to make it even more special for you! Tell us about it?
My husband has proved to be very deceitful – but in a good way! He couldn’t think of anything to get me for Christmas and, knowing that I hate travelling to London on my own, decided to combine my prize with a weekend away. He got in touch with Karen and asked if the makeover could be linked in with a Valentine Ball at Gray’s Inn so that I had somewhere to go to show off my make-up. Not only that, but he also booked for us to see War Horse the following day, so the weekend became a very special one indeed. I didn’t find out about all this until Christmas Day!
Please tell us about your day and how you felt about being The Star of The Chateau?
I had the most wonderful day. Karen and her husband met us at The Royal Horseguards Hotel where we had a lovely lunch in the restaurant. Gemma met us for coffee, after which the men took themselves off and we went to my hotel room to start the celebrity make-over. What a great time! It felt such a treat to be pampered (and the bottle of Prosecco certainly helped!) After seating me in the window, which had perfect afternoon light (and an amazing view of the Thames) Gemma opened her huge suitcase of cosmetics and got to work. Although Gemma asked questions about what make-up I usually wore and what I liked, I was happy for her to just do what she thought best. After all, whatever she did was going to look a hundred times better than my attempt. I had no mirror in front of me and so I didn’t see the finished result until she’d finished and I couldn’t have been happier! She’d somehow managed to make me look like my husband’s favourite… Kylie!
Have you read The Chateau?
I read The Chateau very recently. Contemporary Romance isn’t a genre I usually read but I soon realised that it was pure escapism! Once I’d got over the amusement of the lead character having the same name as my nephew, I found myself carried along with the romance, the beautiful setting and the intrigue of the historical sub plot. I’m going to Switzerland this year and would love to visit the town and the chateau where the story takes place.
You have a collection of gorgeous short stories published, titled ‘Room in Your Heart’ – How did that come about?
I have been writing short fiction for women’s magazines for nearly three years and it seemed a shame for the stories not to be seen by a wider audience. A lot of my stories are romances so I decided to put together a romance collection. All the stories have been previously published in The People’s Friend magazine.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently in the final stages of putting together my second collection of stories called The Last Rose, which will be published in March. As well as this, I am continuing to write for the magazines and having recently joined the RNA New Writers’ Scheme, am in the early stages of my first novel which is very exciting.
Tell us who would be your ‘Dream Valentine’ and why?
My dream valentine would be my husband – after his wonderful surprise, how could it be anyone else!
Thank you so much Wendy for entering The Star of The Chateau - You really do shine!
Special thanks also to Ian who made it even more special especially as it was Valentines Day
Click here to purchase Wendy’s Short Story Collection
Click here to purchase The Chateau by Karen Aldous
Click here to purchase The Vineyard by Karen Aldous