Saturday, January 3, 2015

INTERVIEW WITH HARRY WEGLEY



H. L. Wegley served in the USAF as an Intelligence Analyst and a Weather Officer. In civilian life he performed research in atmospheric physics. After earning an MS in Computer Science, he worked 20+ years in systems development at Boeing before retiring near Seattle, where he and his wife of 48 years enjoy small-group ministry, grandchildren, hiking on the Olympic Peninsula, snorkeling Maui whenever possible, and where he writes inspirational thrillers and romantic suspense novels. He has a contracted 4-book, Christian-suspense-series with Pelican Book Group and he’s currently finishing his 8th novel.


INTERVIEW


SS: Tell us a little about yourself.

Though I’ve been an intelligence analyst, a research scientist, and a computer systems developer, I’m a geek-jock, a misfit who’s more comfortable on a football field, on the mound, or in the blocks in lane 1 at the start of the 400 M relay, than talking technology with a group of fellow geeks. I came to Christ at the age of 18, after a certain girl convinced me this was a decision I must not put off any longer. I married her a couple of years later. For anyone who’s interested, our real-life love story was recently posted on the Internet. We’re currently retired in the Seattle area—near our 3 kids and 7 grandkids—where I write Christian fiction.

SS: When did you realize you wanted to be an author?

As early as nine or ten I realized that writing would probably be some part of adult life. And it did, in the form of scientific articles, reports, and books. However, only after I retired, did I seriously consider writing fiction. Currently, I’m planning my 9th novel while I polish my 8th. And, like many people who write, I’ve found that writing fiction is more than a little addictive. Though my wife has suggested it, I’m not going to rehab.

SS: What are some of the challenges you face as a writer? Are there aspects of your life that are hard for family and friends to understand? What are they?

I believe most novelists find that the people around them don’t understand the dual (or sometimes triple) lives a novelist lives. They live their own story plus that of the characters’ lives in their current WIP. I often hear remarks like, “Can’t you forget about your writing for a while?” with a little effort I can force myself to top talking about it, but forgetting about it is impossible, especially when my heroine is tied to the tracks and I hear the train’s whistle.

SS: What genre do you write and why? Are there other genres you’ve written or would like to try?

I write suspense and high-action romantic suspense, partly because I’m a guy, but mostly because it’s what I grew up reading. My main characters have been getting younger with each story, some young enough for YA novels. Though I’ve contemplated writing YA fiction, I’m not sure I can create characters that think or talk like YA readers expect. Like how do you do that? You know, write a super sick story about some bad dude and a villain?

SS: How do you create characters? Are they based on people you know?

My characters are usually a blend of people I know and character traits that will increase the intensity of the story. For me, the most difficult part of creating characters is choosing their flaws and internal goals so they fit well with the plot. One fun thing I often do is name minor characters after Christian friends who have passed on. Seeing those names brings a lot of smiles to my readers who also knew these people.

SS: Tell us about your current release.

Triple Threat is a high-action romantic suspense tale about a cyber-terrorist conspiracy and two PhD candidates, Katie Lloyd and Joshua West, who use their doctoral research to detect and investigate the three-pronged. terrorist plot.
Katie, IQ 180+, dreams up the idea of using a fake honeymoon as a cover to spy on cyber terrorists while she hacks their laptop from Wi-Fi while sitting in the hotel hallway outside their suite? Her “groom”, Josh, isn’t amused when the honeymoon goes south, threatening to take Josh’s and Katie’s lives with it. This honeymoon happens in Whistler, BC, some of it suspended a half mile above Whistler Valley. Triple Threat has triple threads, cyber-terrorism, a sweet romance, and a well-defended faith.

SS: Where did you get the idea for this book?

The year I wrote Triple Threat my wife and I spent a week in Whistler, BC. While we were there, I read a magazine article that said no thriller, movie or book, had ever used the Whistler Peak-to-Peak gondola, the longest stretch of unsupported cable in the world, in any scenes. From news sources in the Internet I collect files regarding various terrorist threats. It was a simple task to marry the Whistler setting with a terrorist conspiracy. But the idea of writing this 4th book in the Pure Genius Series, starring an all-grown-up Katie Brandt, came from my editor at Pelican Book Group, Jamie West.

SS: Tell us about your main character.

Katie Brandt, who nearly stole the show as a fifteen-year-old in Moon over Maalaea Bay, is now 21 and working on her dissertation to complete her PhD in Computer Science at the University of Washington. Not only is Katie a genius, but she’s beautiful and an incredible athlete. However, raised in the foster care system until she was adopted at 15, she still tries to exceed everyone’s expectations of her to earn their love and respect. She takes too many risks, often relying on Katie more than on God. But when Katie risks Josh’s life, an agnostic who does not know God, she realizes she’s gone too far.

SS: Is there a spiritual message in your book? If so, what is it?

There is a strong spiritual message in Triple Threat. We need to be diligent about fulfilling 1 Peter 3:15, always being ready to give an answer for our hope to anyone who asks. If we do this, lives will be changed. My heroine, Katie Brandt, does a masterful job of demonstrating that her Christian worldview is coherent and that it corresponds to reality. But the hero, Joshua West, hides behind his agnosticism while he takes potshots at Katie’s beliefs, something Christians are often guilty of too when interacting with non-Christians. In my story, this causes a lot of conflict between two people who have a strong mutual attraction. The story illustrates that even an agnostic must defend his or her reasons for living in a state of doubt.

SS: What are you working on now?

I’m polishing up my 8th novel, a political thriller, and trying to decide if I want to do a whole series of political thrillers or make novel number 8 a stand-alone.

SS: Tell us three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
  
1. In 1958, as a 7th grader, I won our school’s hula hoop contest. One girl thought she could never lose control of the hoop because she had it going in a vertical loop around her neck while she bent at the waist. The poor girl had to drop out after 30 minutes because the hoop abraded her neck so badly she looked like a person who had tried to hang themselves and failed.

2. When I was 17 I could sink a 40-foot, behind-the-back shot with a basketball about 20% of the time. That’s not nearly good enough to play for the Harlem Globetrotters. But there were a few other things that disqualified me from their team. 

3. My wife is a Myers-Briggs ESFP, while I am an INTJ, two rare and incompatible personality types. They say these two polar opposites have a strong attraction but never marry, because their enormous differences, and the resultant conflict, don’t allow the relationship to reach that point. Well, we’re at 48 years and counting.
      
SS: Favorite TV shows?

Last year there were 19 episodes of my favorite TV show. We’re hoping for 19 again this year, but some years there are only 16 shows. Oh, yeah … the name of the show. It’s Seahawks Football, starring Russell Wilson, the Legion of Boom, and the 12th Man. To answer the real question, I don’t watch any regularly scheduled TV programming.

SS: Anything special you eat or drink while you’re writing?

Yes. A steaming hot, homemade latte created using my wife’s cold-brewed, espresso coffee syrup, half milk and half soy with a pump of vanilla bean flavoring. In the summer, ice cubes replace part of the milk and soy. Three of these a day will keep me writing through most anything, except my favorite TV show.

SS: How do you celebrate after completing a book?

My wife and I set aside a whole evening to celebrate. We drink coffee while I read the entire story to her. When we finish, usually around midnight, if she hasn’t fallen asleep, we know we’ve got a winner.

SS: Where can readers find you on the Internet?

Author Web Links:
Author Web site: HLWegley.com
Triple Threat on Amazon:
Triple Threat on Pelican Book Group:

SS: Anything else you’d like to share with us?

Triple Threat has so much crammed into its 264 pages that I’m surprised it hasn’t burst its binding. The story is an often humorous, exciting, and romantic romp through a story line that I purposely made more fun and thrilling than chilling. In the process, the reader will see answers to the most common objections to Christianity, learn a bit about computer hacking, learn about existing terrorist groups and who funds them, and receive an introduction to some of the finer points of Islamic theology.

Harry is giving away a copy of TRIPLE THREAT! For your chance to win, leave a comment, along with your contact information. (Print copy in the U.S. eBook copy for winner not in U.S.)

15 comments:

  1. Looks like a good read! Thanks Kristie Porter tklovenest (@) aol (.) com

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  2. I always enjoy learning about (new to me) christian authors. Would love to read this.
    cindy99@mac.com

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  3. Sunnymeadows, You got it right the first time ... "new" Christian author. :) My first novel released in 2013.

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  4. Sounds like a fabulous book - I am looking forward to reading it!
    bettimace at gmail dot com

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  5. Interesting interview, Mr. Wegley. Thank you!

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    1. Dana, I just noticed your Stormswept LIS series. As a retired meteorologist, I've got to read it. Can't pass up a storm story!

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  6. Great interview. This book sounds like a book that will pull an all nighter.
    danajeweler at y mail dot com

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    1. Thanks, Dana! It's a short read. You can finish it and still get 2 hours of sleep. :)

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  7. Enjoyed reading about you. I can't wait to read your book. Sign me up for the drawing.
    lill dot kohler at gmail dot com

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    1. Glad you enjoy the interview, Lill. Good luck in the drawing!

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  8. Wow! You have had such varied careers and have had so many experiences. I am certain that these all are great contributions to your writing. I am glad to "meet you" through this interview and I appreciate this giveaway. Thank you and best wishes!
    Connie
    cps1950@gmail.com

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    1. Thank you, Connie! Yes, my professional experience has contributed to my stories. The plot for my first novel came mostly from things I had experienced, well, all but the dangerous stuff. :)

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  9. I would to win. angelachsnut246@gmail.com

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  10. Hello! I have never read one of your novels and I definitely think that I am missing out. I hope to rectify this in a timely manner!

    thejorns (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Jessica, I have it on good authority that you are missing out. :) Seriously, this is a fun read, and it's pulling all 5 stars, so far.

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