Tock. Named after my favorite dog character of all time.

Everything You’d Ever Want to Know About Me (and then some)

I was named after the Wendy in Peter Pan, which may explain why I’ve always loved a good story. Growing up, my favorites were Alice in WonderlandThe Phantom TollboothPippi Longstocking and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, each of which I read at least twenty times. I also loved my dad’s spur-of-the-moment variations on Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, which he shared with our family while huddled around a tiny campstove in Washington’s Cascade Mountains, hoping to keep the darkness and the bugs at bay. I made a library out of my books, which I loaned out to the neighborhood kids. Some of them still have tiny identifying numbers taped to their covers.

Despite a lifetime of reading, I haven’t always been a writer. I once practiced cello six hours a day and attended the Julliard School of Music. I’d probably still be dressing up in black in the evenings and walking into the bright onstage lights, if an injury hadn’t forced me to stop.

Moth and Tarzan

Back west, I graduated summa cum laude from the University of Washington with a degree in in wildlife science. As a field biologist, I figured out how to catch a species of diving duck with the help of a motorboat and a mist net, surveyed waterfowl from a small floatplane, and searched for songbirds and their nests in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, the muskegs of Alaska and the mountains of Arizona. At the University of Montana, I studied seed dispersal by birds on an NSF Fellowship and obtained a PhD in ecology.

And guess what? I’m still there! My family and I live in a solar-powered house and drive an electric car to reduce our carbon footprint. My favorite ways to pass the time are to read, play Scrabble, hike, and write. My literary novel, Requiem for Locusts, explores how people react when confronted by a psychotic individual whose life is more out of control than their own. Much of it was inspired by my mentally-ill sister, diagnosed after years of visual and auditory hallucinations with Velo-Cardio-Facial Syndrome.

Since Requiem, I’ve forayed into the greatest love of my past: middle-grade fiction. I’ve been a finalist in the PNWA Literary Contest for three MG manuscripts and hope someday to become a published author in this delightful genre…

There are few books I have read where I stopped mid-paragraph and said, “Wow. This is really good writing.” Wendy Parciak’s debut novel Requiem for Locusts is one of them.

Jennifer Melville, Story Circle Book Reviews