Wednesday, April 10, 2013

H. L. Wegley {Writer Wednesday}

Suspense. Intrigue. Action.

I think these things have been playing into my dreams recently because I've been reading H. L. Wegley's novel Hide and Seek!  The good news is that he is the featured author for {Writer Wednesday} and I'm reviewing Hide and Seek on Friday!  Give him your warm regards and enjoy getting to know him a little better.

A little bit about H. L. Wegley....

H. L. Wegley served in the USAF as an Intelligence Analyst and a Weather Officer. He is a Meteorologist who worked as a Research Scientist in Atmospheric Physics at Pacific Northwest Laboratories. After earning an MS in Computer Science, he worked more than two decades as a Systems Programmer at Boeing before retiring in the Seattle area, where he and his wife of 46 years enjoy small-group ministry, their seven grandchildren, and where he pursues his love of writing. His publisher recently released Book 1 of a contracted 3-book romantic thriller series.

How to connect with H. L. Wegley...

His web site: HLWegley.com
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HLWegley
His blog: The Weather Scribe
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/H.L.-Wegley/e/B00B1XMR56/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Publisher, Pelican Book Group: http://www.pelicanbookgroup.com/ec/hide-and-seek-softcover
Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4460203.H_L_Wegley



Author Interview | H. L. Wegley 

You & Writing
Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing? What has kept you writing?
...I started writing poetry for extra credit in elementary school. Took all the college-prep writing classes in high school, then creative writing and technical writing in college. As a research scientist, during the ‘70s and ‘80s, I published extensively in the scientific world. But my first work of fiction, Hide and Seek, wasn’t written until 2010. I wrote Hide and Seek in seven days in the sun at Lake Havasu, rewrote it twice that year after studying the craft, and then received a contract for it in 2011. After that first project, I realized I couldn’t not write.

Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?
...My third novel, also the third book in my Pure Genius Series, was a blast to write. Moon over Maalaea Bay is set entirely in Maui. The research was as enjoyable as writing the story—ten days of walking beaches, shooting sunsets, snorkeling. This is a short, fast-paced thriller about a honeymoon that gets hijacked by international criminals, human traffickers who want revenge by ending the honeymoon before it can begin. It’s contracted and you can check it out on my blog: Weather Scribe

If published, what was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?
...Early in the publishing process, the hardest thing for me to deal with is the editor wanting to make significant cuts to my story. Not only do I have to “kill my darlings,” but sometimes I have to alter the story I wanted to tell. After release day, marketing is by far the hardest thing for me. I like talking to people face-to-face, one-on-one, but peddling my wares using the social media is not something I enjoy.

Your Writing
Tell us a little bit about your book. Why are did you write it?
...My debut, Hide and Seek, is an espionage thriller with romance, released on February 1. Besides telling a suspenseful story, I had a couple of things in mind when I wrote this novel. For those who know our Lord and Savior, I hope they will see that the barriers to faith on others' lives are most often the heart-rending existential questions, not the big intellectual issues. We have the answer to all their questions, the Person of Jesus Christ, and we need to share that answer with them. For those who don't know our Savior, Hide and Seek is my heroine's redemption story. I hope these people will see that a relationship with the one true God is available to them through Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Do you have a favorite character in this work? If so, why?
...I really like both my hero and heroine. Lee is me with a shorter version of my resume. You’ve got to like yourself. But my favorite is Jennifer Akihara, a stunning, Japanese-Hawaiian beauty who has an IQ that’s off the scale, a temper to match, and she works magic with mathematical algorithms. She’s also the person you want behind the wheel in a car chase. One more thing—the .38 in her purse has one notch on it. She has a good heart, but trouble seems to follow her.

What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...The biggest take away I hope the readers grasp is the point illustrated by my two main characters. It's a point made many times by apologist Ravi Zacharias. He emphasizes that the barriers to faith are most often the heart-rending existential questions, not intellectual issues. Hide and Seek emphasizes through the heroine, Jennifer, that all of these questions are answered by God in the person and work of Jesus Christ. A follow-up to that take-away is that we shouldn’t fear sharing our faith with anyone, including people we think are much brighter than us. The things that trouble people most in life are common to everyone living under the curse philosophers call the human dilemma, the curse which God calls sin. If we know Jesus, we know the One Who can meet people’s needs.

Writing
Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters? Are they based on real life or pure imagination or both?
...I usually look first in real life for my story. I subscribe to several e-zines that provide news about topics that would make good plots for thrillers. For my fourth novel, I found a real-life person who has some experiences I wanted to share. But in the final analysis, there is always a synthesis of the real and the imaginary to complete a story. That’s where we get to use our creativity—the really fun part of writing.

When you write, what is your overall intention with your stories?
...For about 12 years I studied Christian apologetics and planned to write a textbook or study guide on that subject, but the experts started publishing far better works than I could’ve written. Now I find that the answers to questions about God and the human dilemma find their way into dialogues in my stories, especially the redemption stories. So far there has been a redemption story embedded in the plot of each of my novels. Aside from the spiritual message in my writing, I want to entertain the reader such that they have something they can legitimately feel good about. I like to make the readers laugh a little, even during some of the danger.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?
...Learn the craft as much as you can before you write that first manuscript. With a story running around in your head, it’s hard not to start writing. But I can tell you from experience that it’s even harder to rewrite your story for the third or fourth time. If you don’t want to lose your story, make a detailed outline of it, then critique the outline for good story structure using books on the craft of fiction. Study how to develop characters, how to write dialogue, and to evoke emotion. Then, when you’re ready, write your story. This approach may cost you a couple of months on the front end, but it will save you six months or more of rewriting, time that you could be using to draft your second story.

You
Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what do you listen to?
...I sometimes listen to romantic music when writing romantic scenes. If something creates the right emotions in you, it is more likely that your writing will evoke those emotions in your readers. A music video works even better for me. I watch part of the video, write a little, then alternate between watching and writing.

What is your favorite season and why?
...Summer wins, hands down. I live near Seattle and am always sun starved. I have a touch of SAD. When the sun shines, my writing productivity goes up by a factor of ten. Nearly the entire MSS for Hide and Seek was written in 7 days at Lake Havasu, between trail hikes by the lake.

What is your favorite genre to read? Why do you enjoy it?
...I started reading full-length novels when I was nine. In my early teens, I devoured novels. This probably dates me, but as a kid I read the entire Edgar Rice Burroughs and Zane Grey collections—a lot of action, adventure, and some romance. That became what I enjoy writing, high-action romantic suspense and thrillers with romance.

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Thank you so much for this fantastic interview. I really appreciate what you desire the overall intention of your novels to be. I love listening to Ravi Zacharias - he always seems to appeal to the logical side of Christianity without displacing the impact that emotions and faith also play in it. 

You also mentioned that you live near Seattle and (for those of you that know me, this is no secret) I love it up there!!  It's my dream to live in that area :) I'll take all those cloudy days over the ridiculous amount of (HOT) sun Southern California gets almost all year round!

Thanks again H. L. Wegley, and for my readers - make sure you check back here on Friday - I will have my review of Hide and Seek up - if an interview with the author didn't convince you to try out his first novel, maybe knowing a little more about the book will ;) See you then!