Friday, February 8, 2013

HARRY 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.

 
 
INTERVIEW
 
S.S: How long have you been writing?

I have been writing since elementary school, but not fiction. I wrote my first novel in the spring of 2010, rewrote it twice that year, and received a contract for it in 2011.

S.S: Do you write full time? If the answer is no, what else do you do? If you are a full time author, what other jobs did you have in the past?

I'm retired, but I write half to three quarters of the time. I'm also involved in small group ministries. In the past I've worked in a variety of fields, an Air Force intelligence analyst working closely with NSA, a forecaster and weather officer, a research scientist in atmospheric physics, and a systems programmer for Boeing.

S.S: Tell us about the moment you finally felt like a “real author”?

I have published fairly extensively in the scientific world, but never considered myself an author. Several weeks after submitting a book proposal that had a previous rejection, I received an email containing a contract offer. That was when "author" first seemed like a good description of what I'm doing.

S.S.: Who has been your greatest supporter as an author? 

By far the greatest supporter is my wife. She lets me bounce ideas off her, reads my manuscripts numerous times without saying she's bored, and puts up with my crazy writing life.

S.S:  Why suspense? Do you write in any other genres? If so, what?

 I write suspense and thriller's because I love high-stakes and a lot of action. I've written one young boys adventure novel, but haven't pursued publishing it – – just gave it to my grandson.

S.S: How does your faith play into your writing?

For about 12 years, I studied Christian apologetics and planned to write a textbook or study guide on that subject, but then the real experts started publishing far better works than I could have 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.

S.S: If you couldn’t write, what else would you want to do?

If I couldn't write let's see… I would go crazy. Oh. You asked what I would want to do. I would probably teach classes on the Christian worldview, and possibly develop much of the material from the large apologetics library I've accumulated.

S.S:  Tell us about your current release.

 Hide and Seek is a high-action romantic suspense about an ingenious plot to neutralize several critical US military weapon systems using cyber warfare. When my two MCs are targeted for elimination, the story morphs from a techno-thriller to a flight into the mountains for survival which, of course, leads to a developing romance.

S.S: Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

Before retiring from the information technology industry, I realized I'd seen several incidents that, spliced together, would make a good thriller. In addition to my job experience, I saved news articles and technical information for about five years in case I ever wanted to write a book. Out of all that came the inspiration for my first story.

S.S: What is the main thing you hope readers remember from your story?

The biggest take away from the book 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. My story emphasizes that all of these questions are answered by God in the person and work of Jesus Christ.

S.S: Who is your favorite character in this book and why?

It's a tossup between my two main characters, Jennifer and Lee. Jennifer, a beautiful, young Japanese-Hawaiian woman, is an agnostic with an IQ of around 200. She can work magic with mathematical algorithms, including finding terrorists and criminals collaborating on the Internet. Lee is a genius too, but in his own words "from the dregs of the genius barrel." He's a Christian who though strongly attracted to Jennifer, keeps the relationship proper and always considers her underlying needs. He's clever and very resourceful, maybe resourceful enough to keep them alive.

S.S: Who is your least favorite character in this book? Why?

There are three terrorists in the book, but my least favorite character is Lee's supervisor, Barry. He's a selfish manager who only cares about climbing the corporate ladder, not about the people he manages.

S.S: What are you working on now?

Hide and Seek is the first book in a contracted three-book series, the Pure Genius Series. At my editor's suggestion, I'm currently drafting a fourth and final book in that series. Its heroine is a girl who emerges in the second book, then becomes a major player. She's a genius, and the fourth book starts with her working on her PhD. I recently finished two stand-alone MSSs, one during NaNoWriMo, but they'll have to remain on the back burner for several weeks.

S.S: A tough question: Where do you want to be career-wise in five years? Ten years? 

In five years I'd like to be healthy and have written a well-read novel that doesn't compromise God's message and which He uses to change the lives of readers. In 10 years ... at my age, having a clear mind, being alive, and not being too decrepit sound pretty good.

S.S:  Now let’s get a little personal. Name two things on your “bucket list” that you haven’t done yet.  

Through World Vision, my wife and I have supported a girl in Indonesia for many years. She is now 14. I would like for us to be able to visit her. But stopping off in Australia along the way would be wonderful too.

S.S:  What is the silliest thing you have ever done? 

The silliest thing? I wrote and self published my childhood stories. The book, Colby and Me: Growing up in the 50s, is filled with silly things my best friend and I did. Probably the silliest was playing with old, wet, unstable dynamite. We hadn't a clue how dangerous that stuff is until we blew the hood off an old abandoned car, and it flew a quarter-mile away. It took us a week to find it.

S.S: What is the hardest thing you have ever done?

The hardest thing? As Christians many of us tend to over commit at times. While working at a demanding research job, I enrolled as a full-time graduate student and held three positions at my church. I ended up in the hospital, and it took several years to fully recover. The hard part was lesson about over commitment that I learned … the hard way.

S.S.: Where can readers find you on the internet?

 I have an author web site, a facebook page, twitter account and a sometimes neglected blog. Here are the links:

S.S.: Anything else you’d like to tell or share with us? 

For anyone reading this -- if you think you would like to write, you're never too old, or too young to start. I started writing novels at 64. My only regret is that I didn't start earlier.

HARRY IS GIVING AWAY A COPY OF HIS BOOK, HIDE AND SEEK! JUST LEAVE A COMMENT, ALONG WITH YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION, AND YOU COULD WIN!

33 comments:

  1. You sound like a man after my own heart, Harry. I'm hoping to spend my retirement hovered over my keyboard as well. I also like a strong romantic thread in my suspense novels. Even bad guys need love!

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    1. At my age, hovering over my keyboard can be dangerous. My advice is to get a good computer chair and desk or you might, as I did, get a herniated disk in your back. :)

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  2. I enjoyed this interview very much. Harry, your passion for writing is obvious, and your background is fascinating. And, as ine who's about to hit the "Big 5-0" I appreciate your encouragement that writing is for all ages & it's never too late to start. Blessings to you on your writing journey.

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  3. Thanks for your encouraging words. And...it's good to hear from some guys out there in writer world. I believe you two, Ron and Larry, are the first men to comment on the interviews that have been posted so far.

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  4. Great interview, Harry. The book sounds fascinating, especially given your professional background. Best wishes with it.

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  5. I enjoyed this interview. I had the privilege of interviewing Harry several months ago. And yes, I want to be entered for the giveaway. My e-mail is mendingnets at yahoo dot com.

    Have a blessed day.

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    1. Hi, Jeff! You were the first person to grant me an interview. We did the interview while I was still waiting for a release date. Thanks for taking the time to do that and for taking a chance on a newcomer.

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  6. I loved this interview! Shared it with the guys in my family, who were just as interested as me. Love your sense of humor, Harry, and look forward to this book!

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    1. Sense of humor -- they say the pun is the lowest form of humor, nevertheless I can't seem to resist them in my writing. But my editor sure can!

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    2. I've never understood that thing about puns. It takes a lot of wit and intelligence to come up with a good pun. (Of course, I could be saying that because there is a rampant pun gene in my family.) :)

      Pen

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  7. Sounds like a thrilling book. Look forward to reading it.

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    1. Forgot to enter contact info donitacorman@yahoo.com

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  8. Sounds great! I love thrillers. :)

    Frequentreader19 at gmail dot com
    My blog: Christian Bookshelf Reviews

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    1. Thanks for the link to Christian Bookshelf Reviews, Melanie. I hadn't discovered your blog yet.

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  9. Terrific interview. Writing is in your blood and I would love to win this book. loree@loreepeery.com

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    1. LoRee, I think we share something, rather someone -- an editor named ... we know who it is. The other folks have to figure it out. Hint: read LoRee's blog.

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  10. Great interview. This book sounds soooo intriguing! I would love to win a copy. Please enter me:
    debsbunch5[at]jesusanswers[dot]com

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  11. Great interview, Harry. So glad you allowed us a peek inside your head!

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    1. Inside my head? Not much there. Now inside my heroine's, Jennifer Akihara's head, the young lady with the 200 IQ, that's where you'll find some interesting things. But you'll have to read the book and let her tell you from her POV.

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  12. Thanks for all of our wonderful comments. They mean a lot to a newbie author releasing his debut novel.

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  13. Great interview! Sounds like a very intriguing book. I would love to win a copy, as I am really "into" Christian suspense fiction.
    Linda R.
    linlee822@gmail.com

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  14. Very nice! Great questions and even better answers. I wish you all the best in your writing career, Harry and kudos to the "suspense sisters" for coming up with creative questions.

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  15. Glad to hear that you started out a bit older. ;) I've been writing long time I have won some contests, but haven't broken through otherwise. So that is encouraging. I have been getting quite a bit out of all the posts on this blog.

    Pen
    pmettert@yahoo.com

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  16. Thank you for introducing me to this author. I would love to win a copy of this book. Harry looking forward to seeing more of your books. Blessings, Susan Fryman susanngarrylee@yahoo.com

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  17. The romance angle has always been tough for me, but perhaps if I read enough good romantic suspense novels I'll be able to develop believable romances in my own books.

    Congratulations for not letting age derail your dreams. Col. Sanders started franchising KFC at the age of 65, after his main restaurant failed. It's never too late to make an impact.

    Bob
    bsweet@wecanwrite.com

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    1. The romance part is tough for me too. Just ask my wife. On the other hand, please don't!

      I was struggling with a recent MSS where the romance is a bigger part of the story, and much of it comes through the woman's POV. I hired a lady editor to critique the whole thing and make detailed suggestions. It was the best investment I've made since I took my first novel-writing workshop. We guys, it seems, have a lot to learn about what transpires in a woman's mind. :)

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  18. Thanks for letting me know about another new author. Always love to find new authors and read their books. This book sounds quite intriguing.

    Blessings,
    Jo
    azladijo(at)aol(dot)com

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  19. This book sounds amazing! As a writer myself, I am VERY intrigued. Look forward to reading it!

    Keep up the good work!
    - Megan
    contact.mfbooks@gmail.com

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  20. Yep, it's official. Another book for my TBR pile. Welcome to Suspense Sisters, Harry. So glad you could drop by and share your life and insights with us!

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    1. Thanks, Jill. Many thanks to all the Suspense Sisters for hosting me, especially Nancy Mehl who extended the invitation.

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  21. Looking forward to reading your book. Sounds very interesting.

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  22. This sounds like an interesting book I would love the opportunity to win a copy!
    Thanks for the great interview.
    Blessings,
    Hollymag(at)gmail(dot)com

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  23. The winner of a copy of Hide and Seek is Loree Peery! I will contact her soon.

    Thanks to everyone who participated in the discussion and the giveaway! It was encouraging to hear from you all.

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