Staub, Wendy Corsi 1964–
Staub, Wendy Corsi 1964–
(Wendy Corsi, Wendy Markham, Wendy Morgan)
Born October 29, 1964, in Dunkirk, NY; married; children: two. Ethnicity: Caucasian Education: State University of New York at Fredonia, B.A., 1986.
Worked in book stores during college; Macmillan, New York, NY, textbook marketing division administrator, c. 1986; worked as a temporary in other publishing houses, c. 1987-88; Backer Spielvogel Bates (advertising), New York, NY, account coordinator, 1988-90; Silhouette Books, New York, editor, 1990-92; freelance writer, 1993—. Long Ridge Writer's Institute, Redding, CT, writing instructor, 1993-95; owner of Cupid Literary Services (literary consulting business).
Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, Young Adult Network.
Two Rita Awards, Romance Writers of America; Washington Irving Prize.
Getting It Together ("C.J. Clarke" trilogy), Silhouette (New York, NY), 1994.
Getting Attached ("C.J. Clarke" trilogy), Silhouette (New York, NY), 1994.
Getting Hitched ("C.J. Clarke" trilogy), Silhouette (New York, NY), 1995.
(Under pseudonym Wendy Morgan) Obsession (horror), Zebra (New York, NY), 1996.
Dearly Beloved (horror), Zebra (New York, NY), 1996.
(With Ed Koch) Murder on Broadway (mystery), Kensington (New York, NY), 1996.
(With Fabio) Dangerous (romance), Pinnacle (New York, NY), 1996.
(With Fabio) Wild (romance), Pinnacle (New York, NY), 1997.
(With Ed Koch) Murder on 34th Street (mystery), Kensington (New York, NY), 1997.
(With Fabio) Mysterious (romance), Pinnacle (New York, NY), 1998.
(With Ed Koch) The Senator Must Die (mystery), Kensington (New York, NY), 1998.
Fade to Black (suspense), Kensington, 1998.
Party of Five Scrapbook, Berkley (New York, NY), 1998.
All the Way Home (suspense), Kensington (New York, NY), 1999.
(Under pseudonym Wendy Morgan) Loving Max (romance), Zebra (New York, NY), 1999.
The Long Way Home (historical romance), Berkley Jove (New York, NY), 1999.
Gossip, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2000.
More than This, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2000.
The Last to Know (mystery), Kensington (New York, NY), 2001.
This Boy Is Mine, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2001.
In the Blink of an Eye (mystery), Kensington (New York, NY), 2002.
A Thoroughly Modern Princess, Avon (New York, NY), 2003.
She Loves Me Not (mystery), Kensington (New York, NY), 2003.
Kiss Her Goodbye (mystery), Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 2004.
Lullaby and Goodnight (mystery), Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 2005.
The Final Victim (mystery), Kensington (New York, NY), 2006.
Don't Scream (mystery), Zebra (New York, NY), 2007.
(With Lisa Jackson and Beverly Barton) Most Likely to Die (mystery), Zebra (New York, NY), 2007.
JUVENILE AND YOUNG-ADULT NOVELS
Summer Lightning, Harper (New York, NY), 1993.
Halloween Party, Zebra (New York, NY), 1994.
Witch Hunt, Zebra (New York, NY), 1995.
Help Me, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1995.
Mitzi Malloy and the Anything-but-Heavenly-Summer, Zebra (New York, NY), 1995.
Brittany Butterfield and the Back-to-School Blues, Zebra (New York, NY), 1995.
Henry Hopkins and the Horrible Halloween Happening, Zebra (New York, NY), 1995.
College Life 101: Cameron: The Sorority, Berkley (New York, NY), 1997.
College Life 101: Zara: The Roommate, Berkley (New York, NY), 1997.
College Life 101: Kim: The Party, Berkley (New York, NY), 1997.
College Life 101: Bridget: The Fling, Berkley (New York, NY), 1997.
College Life 101: Allison: The Townie, Berkley (New York, NY), 1997.
College Life 101: Christmas Break: The Reunion, Berkley (New York, NY), 1998.
ROMANCE NOVELS; UNDER PSEUDONYM WENDY MARKHAM
Slightly Single ("Tracey Spadolini" series), Red Dress Ink (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2002.
The Nine-Month Plan, Warner Books (New York, NY), 2003.
Once upon a Blind Date, Warner Books (New York, NY), 2003.
(With Lynn Messina and Daniella Brodskky) Never on a Sundae, Berkley Books (New York, NY), 2004.
Slightly Settled ("Tracey Spadolini" series), Red Dress Ink (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2004.
Hello, It's Me, Warner Forever (New York, NY), 2005.
Mike, Mike & Me, Red Dress Ink (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2005.
Bride Needs Groom, Warner Books (New York, NY), 2005.
Slightly Engaged ("Tracey Spadolini" series), Red Dress Ink (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2006.
If Only in My Dreams, NAL (New York, NY), 2006.
Contributor of articles to periodicals, including Writer's Digest and Writer. Contributor of poetry to Seventeen.
Since serving as an editor for Silhouette, Wendy Corsi Staub has gone on to become the author of many books, sometimes using the pseudonyms Wendy Markham and Wendy Morgan. Staub has written for the juvenile and young adult audience as well as for adult readers, in the genres of romance, suspense, and mystery. She has also collaborated with celebrity authors, including male model and romance cover-boy Fabio, and former New York City mayor Ed Koch.
Staub's first book, Summer Lightning, was aimed at young adult readers. The novel features a young female protagonist who must choose between a boyfriend in the flesh and an attractive visitor from the spirit world. Another of Staub's young adult titles is Witch Hunt, in which Abbey Harmon, a teenager from 1963, time-travels back to colonial Salem in order to save two girls accused of witchcraft. Jeanne Triner, writing in Booklist, pronounced Abbey "intelligent, witty, and believable, without being too good to be true," and went on to praise Witch Hunt as being "a refreshing step-up" from much young-adult horror fiction.
Help Me! deals with an adolescent girl's struggle with depression—a struggle she only acknowledges after her mother's suicide. The author also penned several titles about a group of high school friends who die and become angels, assigned to help troubled young people. These include Brittany Butterfield and the Back-to-School Blues, Henry Hopkins and the Horrible Halloween Happening, and Mitzi Malloy and the Anything-but-Heavenly Summer.
By 1997 another of Staub's novel sets for young adults hit the book stores. Each College Life 101 book chronicles the experience of one of a group of friends from the same high school in the state of New York who attends a different college. As the subtitle of Cameron: The Sorority suggests, Cameron finds herself matriculating at South Florida State and completely obsessed with getting into the right sorority. Complicating matters is Tad, a handsome Cuban-American who has nothing but contempt for the fraternity-sorority system, and Cameron's own mixed racial heritage, which makes her the target of prejudice on the part of some of her peers. Zara: The Roommate deals not only with the difficulties of getting along with one's college roommate, but the trials of attending a tough New England girls' school. Zara has always succeeded in high school, but now finds herself fighting to keep her grades high enough to stay in the premed program. The protagonist of Kim: The Party chooses a midwestern party school, and constantly goes to her classes with a hangover. Oddly, though, she finds herself attracted to one of the most studious young men on campus. In Bridget: The Fling, Bridget had planned to go off to a university in Seattle with her long-time boyfriend Grant, but the sudden death of his father postpones his education by a semester. While they are apart, Bridget fears his attraction to their mutual friend Allison, but must also contend with her own burgeoning feelings for the single father who hires her to babysit. Allison gets her own volume, however. As the subtitle Allison: The Townie indicates, she is the only one of the group who must attend their local state university. While studying, she remains in her parents' home, works as a waitress, and must beg to be allowed to drive the family car. The friends come back together in the sixth book, College Life 101: Christmas Break: The Reunion.
While continuing to write novels for young people, Staub also published books for adults. Her first three romances, published under the auspices of her former employer, Silhouette, featured the same protagonist. In Getting It Together, C.J. Clarke starts out feeling like a failure at everything from dieting to her career. Her life gradually improves through Getting Attached, and she plans to live out the title of Getting Hitched, if her intended's discovery of something in her past does not destroy their love. Dearly Beloved is a suspense novel in which three women are drawn together by a sinister man who wants revenge on each of them.
Though Staub did not collaborate on the first of former New York City mayor Ed Koch's mystery novels, she joined him for his second, Murder on Broadway. Koch casts his fictional alter ego as the mayor of New York City in Murder on Broadway, in which he is attending a play in which one of the characters is killed. For this performance, however, the bullets are real, and the actor dies. Suspects include the role's former actor, whose attempt to make it big in Hollywood has been none too successful; the actress who pulled the trigger, who was betrothed to the victim; and the actress's lover, who is possibly jealous of the dead man. The mayor, however, manages to find the killer before the police do. Emily Melton, writing in Booklist, proclaimed Murder on Broadway to be "flamboyant" and "over the top" but "also clever and entertaining." A Publishers Weekly reviewer found it better than Koch's previous effort, and predicted that "readers will still wish for more."
Staub also teamed with Koch for Murder on 34th Street and The Senator Must Die. In the former, department-store Santas are being shot and killed, but the mayor manages to solve the crime despite a nasty cold caught at the Thanksgiving Day Parade. In the latter, Koch is on hand for an assassination attempt on his fictional friend Senator Anson Hubbard. In another Booklist review, Melton affirmed that The Senator Must Die is "mildly entertaining" and "should delight Koch's many fans."
With long-haired male model Fabio, Staub has penned three contemporary romance novels, Dangerous, Wild, and Mysterious. Wild features female protagonist A.J. Sutton, who must go into hiding after witnessing a murder at a drug lord's palatial home. A.J. feels she must also fight her attraction to Marco Esteves—who bears a strong resemblance to the male half of Wild's writing team—because she thinks he works for the drug lord. Fortunately, Marco is really working for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. A critic for Publishers Weekly applauded Staub's second collaboration with Fabio as "a finely plotted story filled with nonstop action and well-developed characters."
One of Staub's more recent novels aimed at adults is the suspense story Fade to Black. This concerns Mallory Eden, a rising young actress who fakes her own death after being shot and robbed of her childbearing capability by a stalker. She assumes the identity of Elizabeth Baxter, a woman who actually is dead, and lives as a freelance writer in a quiet Rhode Island town until she begins receiving threatening letters that indicate her stalker has figured out her ruse. Toni Hyde, writing in Booklist, reported that "plenty of flashbacks and not-too-subtle innuendos cause the reader to peg the stalker, mistakenly, again and again." She summed up Fade to Black as being "entertaining." A Publishers Weekly critic, however, felt the novel is not sufficiently suspenseful, though the reviewer conceded that "it's easy to sympathize with scared, lonely Elizabeth, and the plotting is competent." A critic for Kirkus Reviews concluded that "a hissy catfight during the cliff-hanging finale is a hoot."
All the Way Home, finds Rory Connolly returning home to Lake Charlotte, New York, after the death of her father to care for her rebellious younger sister, Molly, and their mother, who was traumatized by the disappearance, ten years earlier, of her daughter, Carleen, Carleen's friend and next-door neighbor Emily Anghardt, and two other girls. When Molly's best friend, Rebecca, disappears, it seems that the nightmare may continue. The Last to Know involves another killing in an affluent community where Tasha Banks is a stay-at-home mother to three children.
Paine Landry's girlfriend, Kristin, and now her mother, have died in nearly identical fashion, by drowning in the gated community where the residents are mediums and spiritualists. Paine is charged with settling the woman's affairs, which takes him to the Victorian home that was left to his six-year-old blind daughter. When she arrives in the house, the girl "sees" a ghost in the house. In reviewing In the Blink of an Eye, a Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that "Staub's prose is energetic, and her characters possess enough genuine warmth to keep readers captivated."
In She Loves Me Not, single mother Rose Larabee is working through financial difficulties, made worse by her heart-transplant surgery. Now Rose has a stalker who sends gifts that are all in the shape of a heart. Kiss Her Goodbye opens with the disappearance of a teen living in an idyllic community. Resident Kathleen Carmody now fears for the life of her daughter, Jen, who plays soccer in a field where a suspicious figure has been seen prowling.
Staub continues to add to the considerable list of romances she has written under the pen name Wendy Markham. Once upon a Blind Date finds Maggie trying to find a match for her friend Dominic on a Web site where Charlie is doing the same for Julie. They arrange for Julie and Dominic to go to a Knicks game, and tag along to make sure everything goes smoothly. Charlie, who vows never to marry, and Maggie, who already has plans to marry her doctor boyfriend, have nothing in common, but are instantly attracted to each other.
Tracey Spadolini appears in a trio of stories, beginning with Slightly Single, in which she spends the summer alone in New York while her actor boyfriend is in upstate New York performing in summer-stock theatre. Will is unwilling to commit, and Tracey takes advantage of the time to lose weight and otherwise improve herself, hoping to please him. She meets freelance writer Buckley, who is more considerate and attentive than Will, but Tracey is torn, still wanting to make her relationship with Will work. In Slightly Settled, Tracey has dumped Will, although he is still on her mind, and Buckley is dating Sonja. Jack enters the romantic picture, but his roommate is Tracey's boss, which complicates their relationship. Tracey is in a committed relationship with Jack in Slightly Engaged, but a year goes by without a proposal from him, in spite of the fact that his mother let it slip that he had asked for the family ring. In this installment, Tracey takes control of her career.
In Hello, It's Me, Annie Harlowe continues to hear her husband's cell phone bill so that she can hear his recorded voice, but she wonders if he is trying to contact her from beyond when someone answers. There are two Mikes in the life of Beau in Mike, Mike & Me, in which she marries one but wonders what life would have been like with the other. Clara McCallum fights breast cancer as she acts in a World War II-era film, then passes through time to 1941 to fall in love with the soldier character of the story in If Only in My Dreams, a book described by Booklist reviewer Kristine Huntley as "a delight."
Staub told CA: "As a third-grader with a voracious appetite for books, I declared to anyone who would listen that I would one day become an author. I would spend the remainder of my childhood and young adulthood in single-minded pursuit of that goal, following a precisely laid plan that now seems, as an adult looking back on my precocious younger self, to be highly calculated and ambitious. I read everything I could get my hands on (from Judy Blume books to the World Almanac to my mother's Jacqueline Susann novels), published poetry in Seventeen magazine, and held editorial posts on school newspapers and yearbooks. I sought jobs that would provide experience helpful to my future career. In college, I worked part time as a clerk in two different book stores, where I observed first hand the tangible elements that influence browsing buyers to select books by whim—title, cover design, art, copy.
"At twenty-one, I moved—alone and penniless—five hundred miles away from my small hometown, to New York City. My goal in landing an entry-level job in publishing was not to launch an editorial career; rather, it was to establish contacts with agents and editors who might assist me in launching my writing career. I began with an administrative position in the textbook marketing division of Macmillan; then—after temping in various publishing houses before finding it necessary to take a full-time advertising agency job with benefits—I landed an editorial post at Harlequin Enterprises. There, as an acquiring editor of Silhouette romance novels, I found myself in a unique and rewarding situation for an aspiring writer. Establishing contacts with editors and agents through daily contact and at conferences was only part of the process that led to the launch of my career. I also learned how to approach publishers with the utmost level of professionalism, and grasped what elements cause an unpublished author's manuscript to stand out in the slush pile, both favorably and unfavorably. In addition, I participated in various behind-the-scenes publishing processes, from contract negotiation to manuscript preparation to cover design to marketing strategy.
"I sold my own first novel two years after becoming an editor, and have virtually been a full-time author ever since. I'm aware that I might have eventually realized my dream without following the precise career-oriented stepping stones I laid in place according to that arduous childhood plan. I doubt, however, that a more laid-back approach would have allowed me to achieve my goals as quickly and completely as I have, or to, along the way, continually indulge my love of reading and writing as well as my fascination with the book business."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, May 1, 1995, Jeanne Triner, review of Witch Hunt, p. 1563; July, 1996, Emily Melton, review of Murder on Broadway, p. 1808; April 15, 1998, Toni Hyde, review of Fade to Black, p. 1394; September 1, 1998, Emily Melton, review of The Senator Must Die, pp. 70-71; August, 1999, Mary Frances Wilkens, review of All the Way Home, p. 2033; December 15, 2001, Kristine Huntley, review of Slightly Single, p. 708; February 15, 2004, Kristine Huntley, review of Slightly Settled, p. 1046; March 15, 2004, Kristine Huntley, review of Once upon a Blind Date, p. 1276; November 15, 2004, Kristine Huntley, review of Mike, Mike & Me, p. 567; March 15, 2005, Kristine Huntley, review of Hello, It's Me, p. 1274; February 1, 2006, Kristine Huntley, review of Slightly Engaged, p. 36; October 15, 2006, Kristine Huntley, review of If Only in My Dreams, p. 35.
Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 1998, review of Fade to Black, p. 220.
Publishers Weekly, June 3, 1996, review of Murder on Broadway, p. 65; May 12, 1997, review of Wild, pp. 73-74; March 16, 1998, review of Fade to Black, p. 54; July 26, 1999, review of All the Way Home, p. 61; February 5, 2001, review of The Last to Know, p. 73; November 26, 2001, review of Slightly Single, p. 40; February 4, 2002, review of In the Blink of an Eye, p. 59; January 27, 2003, review of She Loves Me Not, p. 243; May 17, 2004, review of Kiss Her Goodbye, p. 39; October 23, 2006, review of If Only in My Dreams, p. 37.
Wendy Corsi Staub Home Page,http://www.wendycorsistaub.com (February 5, 2007).