If you like high-action, romantic suspense, then you’ll want to meet Harry Wegley. He’s here to tell us how he got started and some of his favorite (and least favorite) parts about the writing process. It’s not often that I get to interview a male author for my blog, so this is a special occasion!
Welcome to my blog, and thanks for taking time to answer these questions. What genre do you write? How did you pick it?
I started reading action-adventure stories at age 8 or 9—Robert Louis Stevenson, Edgar Rice Burroughs, eventually graduating to Zane Grey Westerns. Between my best buddy’s house and mine, we had all those stories in our home libraries. It was natural for me to gravitate toward epic adventure stories, thrillers, and high-action romantic suspense. Most of my stories are high-action, romantic suspense, with thriller-level stakes.
What are your favorite genres to read? Why?
Epic adventure stories, thrillers, and high-action romantic suspense are what I read. Reading what you write is one of the best ways to develop as a writer.
How long did it take you complete your first manuscript (published or not)?
I wrote most of my first manuscript in 7 days, while my wife and I sat sipping coffee on the shores of Lake Havasu. It was a masterpiece! Well, it was a masterpiece until a writing instructor said it needed to be rewritten. After 2 rewrites, and some critique by American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) members, it won my first book contract.
Have your follow-up novels been easier or harder to write? Why do you think that is?
My follow-up stories were much easier to write, because I had studied story structure and craft of writing fiction. Also, I had been through the publishing cycle and knew better how to avoid problems.
What’s surprised you the most about the book-publishing process?
Whether you publish traditionally or self publish, I was surprised and the time and effort it takes to run a book through the entire publishing process, from submission of a completed manuscript to releasing it.
What’s been the most challenging part of getting a book published?
The work of writing a proposal, once someone is interested in my story, is to me like scraping my fingers across an old blackboard. As necessary as proposals are, writing them grates on my nerves so much that it takes me twice as long as it should to write a book proposal. Book marketing is a close second. I’m not a salesman.
What’s your favorite part of the publishing experience?
I thoroughly enjoy creating a new story and the characters who will populate it. But, once that is done, writing that first draft is my favorite part.
For learning the writing craft, which do you prefer – books or conferences? Why?
First, I want to hear any theory explained by a real live person, such as an instructor at a conference. After I’ve heard the theory, and understand it, I like having the instructor’s book for reference. But it never hurts to get a refresher occasionally from a live person in an interactive setting. We never master the writing craft completely. It’s a lot like playing golf. One day it’s your putting that’s killing you, the next, it’s your driver. Living life as a Christian is also like that—patience, kindness, love, joy, peace—I always seem to be coming up short somewhere. We need a lot of refreshers or we tend to go stale.
If you could recommend one writing conference, what would it be? Why? (If you haven’t attended one, which one would you like to attend? Why?)
Since I live in the Pacific Northwest, I recommend the Oregon Christian Writers Summer Conference. It’s a terrific value for all the craft and writing business instruction you will receive as well as the exposure to agents and editors. My first book contract came from this conference. And they have great keynote speakers. This year we had Frank Peretti.
If you could recommend one writing book, what would it be? Why?
The Story Equation: How to Plot and Write a Brilliant Story from One Powerful Question by Susan May Warren. Knowing what structure makes a powerful, compelling story and how to fold character development into such stories are two critical elements of writing fiction. This book covers both and provides examples.
If you could pick any of your novels to be made into a movie, which one would you pick? Who would you want to play the lead roles, and why?
I would probably pick Voice in the Wilderness to be made into a movie. It has a fantastic location (beautiful Crooked River Ranch in Oregon), great characters and a lot of action scenes. Drew Waters would make a great Brock Daniels, the hero of the story. Drew is a bit older and isn’t quite as big as Brock (6’ 5” 235 lbs.) but Drew looks like I’ve always pictured Brock.
, my heroine. Katie is a bit older—KC was only 21—but has KC’s red hair and freckles. Both Drew Waters and Katie Leclerc play in clean movies, including some Christian films, and would be great choices for filming Voice in the Wilderness.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
In latest series, Against All Enemies, books 1 and 2, Voice in the Wilderness and Voice of Freedom, recently won Gold and Silver in the Reader’s Favorite Book Awards. If you love America, and you love action and adventure with a little romance, you’ll love these stories.
You can connect with Harry online at this links:
Facebook author’s page: https://www.facebook.com/HLWegley