Friday, February 28, 2014

Washington Author H.L. Wegley

Welcome back to the Book Loft, Harry. Is there a story behind On the Pineapple Express?

Yes, there is a story. I live near Seattle, Washington. A little over a year ago, statistics collected by the media said that the greater Seattle area was the worst place in the nation for child sex trafficking. My wife and I attended a local awareness meeting that painted a very ugly picture of what is happening at the mall, on street corners near schools, anywhere kids gather. I played around with the idea of taking my hero and heroine from Hide and Seek and placing them in a situation where they had to choose between coasting safely from courtship a wonderful life together and risking it all to try to save a group of girls who were going to be sold by international human traffickers. From that idea, the plot for On the Pineapple Express was born.

What’s your favorite genre of writing?

I like action, danger, and suspense. My favorite genres to read or write are high-action romantic suspense or thrillers with a romantic thread.

Do you believe in writer’s block? If so how often do you get it? How do you fix it?

I do believe that writers sometimes find they simply cannot write when they want to write, or should be writing. In my own life I’ve observed a pattern for more than 45 years. When my mind reaches a certain state of fatigue, it doesn’t want to obey my command to write or perform any other mentally taxing activity. If I let it have its way, my mind will gravitate toward some relaxing activity and, following a bit of fun time, I’m ready to write again. But if I disregard the “block” and try to force the writing, the words soon slow to a trickle and the quality is terrible.

Do you type or write by hand? Computer? Typewriter? Legal pad?

I do all of the above, except the typewriter. Ever since college, when I was completing a term paper and the final two words simply wouldn’t fit on what I wanted to be the last page, I’ve hated the typewriter. The two words that wouldn’t fit were “foolish mistake.” I left them as two abandoned orphans on a page by themselves. My professor laughed when she read the last page. She put something like the precursor to LOL on my paper and reduced my A to a B+.

My favorite mode of writing first drafts is sitting in the sun with a spiral notebook and a handful of my favorite mechanical pencils. I use Dragon Naturally Speaking to dictate my drafts onto the computer. But there’s something else I hate almost as much as the typewriter … homonyms. Dragon loves them, but MS Word’s spell checker couldn’t give a hoot. It just ignores them. But I hate those slippery little demons.

Do you archive everything you write?

Yes. I continually backup my data in near-real-time. Then I have 3 flash drives each with a copy of my entire body of writing work on them. I update each flash drive at 3- or 4-day intervals using a batch program that I wrote. Call me paranoid. If it has to do with data on a hard drive, I am.

What’s one genre you have never written, and probably never will?

Fantasy. I have written a highly allegorical child’s novel that could perhaps be called fantasy. But I simply do not enjoy creating story worlds that have a zero probability of existing. I want my readers to say, “This could really happen. I wouldn’t want it to happen to me … at least not all of it. But, still, it could happen.”
What are your five favorite words?

The book contract is attached.

Love that answer! 
How many writing projects are you working on right now?

I’m working on three: evaluating a completed manuscript for a potential rewrite, doing final polishing on another, editing the first draft of a third manuscript. I’m afraid those sweet days of working only on that first manuscript are gone forever.

Where do you most like to write?

Anywhere where there’s warm sunshine. My writing rate goes up by a factor of 5 to 10 when I’m sitting in the sunshine.  I wrote 27 of the 31 chapters in my first manuscript in 7 days sitting on the sunny shores of Lake Havasu one spring—I should add, after the college spring breaks had ended. During spring break, they rename Lake Havasu to Lake Havawhatever. You really don’t want to be there at that time. If you don’t believe me, try searching YouTube for “spring break at Lake Havasu.” On second thought, just take my word for it.
But the sunshine thing begs the question, “Why do I live near Seattle?” The answer is simple, grandkids. The solution to the gloom is pretty simple too, Starbucks. But I’m not telling how much I put on my gold card each month.
Do you have a mentor?

Not exactly, but I have a critique group consisting of two other authors I know I can trust to tell me the truth about my writing.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?

Book 3 in the Pure Genius Series, Moon over Maalaea Bay, will release on June 13, 2014. The story picks up about 5 hours after On the Pineapple Express ends. I can’t say why it begins there without introducing a huge spoiler. Book 3 is set entirely in Maui and it involves an international human-trafficking ring, their rich, powerful clients, kidnapping, espionage —you know … your usual fare for a Maui vacation.

Sounds intriguing. Thanks for sharing with us today!

Connect with H. L. Wegley at:

H. L. Wegley is giving away a copy of On The Pineapple Express. To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice—once on each Spotlight post for the author. Please note: The giveaway is for U.S. addresses only.


Patricia Bradley said...

Loved getting to know Harry better. He appears on a couple of blogs I read and I've found him to be quite interesting. Don't enter me in the contest--I have Pineapple Express on my Kindle, just haven't had time to read for fun lately. But I will.

H L Wegley said...

Thanks, Pat! Don't wait too long to read for fun. I stopped for almost a year and am so glad I'm now working in a little fun reading, though, every few minutes, I have to stomp down hard on the little internal editor who tries to steal the joy of reading.

sm said...

Always interested in what is being done (or imagined by an author) to stop sex trafficking. San Diego is a big area for this horrible problem, too. I would like to win and read your book. sharon, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

H L Wegley said...

San Diego is a bad spot too. One of the early Christian fiction works about child trafficking in the US was set there, Deliver Me from Evil, by Kathi Macias. I read it a few weeks ago.

LoRee Peery said...

I have been looking forward to reading this and would love a print copy! Great interview, Harry.

cjajsmommy said...

I read through the comments before adding my own and found myself laughing at this: " . . . the little internal editor who tries to steal the joy of reading." As a former proofreader, I can very much relate! I have been known to write to authors and tell them to pull their books and reissue them after correcting all the errors. That said, I do want to enter to win a copy of "Pineapple Express." This is an issue with which I am not very familiar. This book seems to be a good place to start understanding human trafficking. cjajsmommy (at) gmail (dot) com

H L Wegley said...

We all need to be aware of the child-trafficking problem that has become epidemic. I'm trying not to give out any spoilers here, so I'll just say that in the main story of On the Pineapple Express you will see what kind of people are involved in this criminal activity and what the future holds for captive girls. But I relegated statistics and other details to the epilogue of the story. So be sure to read the epilogue.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the interview, Harry. I'm so glad you enjoy adding a romance thread to suspense. Love a good romantic suspense. Zoe M. McCarthy

H L Wegley said...

Zoe, I asked my wife, when writing my 1st novel, should the hero and heroine be different ages and have a platonic relationship, or nearly the same age and have some romance? She said, "Go for the romance." It was good advice.

Janice said...

I enjoyed hearing how you like to write under sunshine. I enjoy being in natural light, too. I would add the very slightest breeze to the scene Almost like you can feel the Holy Spirit in the air giving writing guidance.

Blessings, Janice

Anonymous said...

Interesting questions and interesting answers. Thank you. Would love to win a copy of the book. Thank you for offering it.

Janice N.

Anonymous said...

Hello Harry. Sounds like you have a good series here. Don't remember how long ago it was when I forst heard of this awful thing. But ever since, when they report a missing child I pray they are being used as sex slaves, but my first to read about it was the book of Kathi Macias. It was so informing but had to keep tissues by my chair. So awful. I won her 3rd, but can't read it yet for I still don't have the second book and can't find it yet to fit my pocket book. But might have to suggest it for a birthday gift. Most people think of this going on in other countries, but so horrible to know is that it is all around us. I would love to win yours. Please add my name. Thanks Karen for the interview. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

Anonymous said...

This would make a good read for our book club at our library.


fhz648 said...

This book sounds interesting & would love to win a copy.

Melissa Oldaker said...

Sounds like a page turner! Thanks!

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