Is there a story behind Triple Threat?
There are 3 stories behind Triple Threat, one behind the Whistler BC setting, another behind the choice of a three-pronged terrorist attack on the
, and a special story behind the
romantic thread. Let’s focus on the romantic thread. I incorporated some US Christian apologetics into my first three stories of
the Pure Genius Series. For the final book in the series, I wanted to provide
answers to all the major objections non-believers raise against Christianity. To do that in a natural way without
forcing it into the story, I’ve made my heroine a believer and my hero an
agnostic. The strong attraction between these two causes them to butt heads repeatedly
over faith issues in an ongoing battle that begins near the start of the book
and isn’t resolved until my heroine answers convincingly every objection the
hero raises –issues such as the nature of truth, the problem of evil and
suffering, the reliability of the scriptures, and several others. So what
happens when the “girl of your dreams,” who has an IQ around 180, destroys
every argument against her faith that you throw at her? To see how Joshua West
handles losing the great debate, you’ll have to read Triple threat.
What is unique about the setting? How does it enhance the story?
My wife and I try to spend a week each summer in Whistler, BC. The peak-to-peak gondola ride—the longest stretch of unsupported cable in the world—is spectacular. While reading about this engineering marvel, I learned that no thriller, movie or book, had been set there. I made up my mind, on the spot, to change that. I finally talked my acrophobic wife into riding the peak-to-peak with me. While we hung a half mile above
, a lot of bad
things that I could do to my MCs came to mind. Several of them made it into the
book. If you want a breathtaking picture of this setting, take a look at the photo
I shot and posted on my about.me page: http://about.me/hlwegley The picture has been drawing thousands of
hits per week. Whistler
Did you have a specific theme in mind as you wrote Triple Threat? Did a theme pop out as you finished the book? Did the theme change?
As I completed the character definitions for my hero and heroine, I realized I had given Katie Brandt so many abilities that it would be easy for her to become self-sufficient. That’s when the theme popped out. Katie did become self-sufficient and that what almost caused the hero to give up on her. So, in her dark moment, I neutralized Katie’s abilities, forcing her to trust God and the people He placed in her life. The theme didn’t really change—we all need God in order to survive and thrive through life’s adversities, sometimes even to save our lives. None of us, no matter how talented, can handle everything on our own.
Who is the most annoying character you ever created?
In my debut novel, I created a young, arrogant FBI agent who was disrespectful to his supervisor and who ignored everything my heroine told him about a group of terrorists simply because she was a woman, a woman with an IQ nearly double the agent’s intelligence quotient. He even annoyed me, his creator. So, I sent him into the flea cave—you’ll read about it in the next question—to retrieve the terrorists’ weapons, where he was bitten badly, had an allergic reaction to the thousands of bites, and ended up in the hospital. In the sequel to this story, I had him fired from the Bureau. It doesn’t pay to annoy your creator. That goes for real people too.
Which of your written plots is your favorite?
The plot of Triple Threat made it a really fun story to write. The dangers to our nation presented in the story are very real—cyber-attacks on our infrastructure, biological warfare, setting fire to the Western forests—but my heroine, Katie Brandt, has so many abilities to draw on, that she’s up to the task of thwarting a plot that dwarfs 9/11 by orders of magnitude. However, my WIP—I’m writing the final chapter this week—has my favorite plot of all. I’ll tell you about it sometime soon.
What’s the most unusual plot twist you ever wrote?
In my debut novel, Hide and Seek, my unarmed hero disarms three terrorists by tricking them into entering a flea-infested cave where some bears had been hibernating. I knew this would work in real life, because I had experienced a flea cave. By itself, the sudden, intense pain would probably work. But that overpowering feeling of defilement that sickens you once you realize what has just painted your entire body black, really psyches a person out. It certainly did me. Within 10 seconds of being coated with fleas, I had sprinted to a nearby snow-fed stream and jumped in.
How much research do you have to do for the genre in which you write?
I write mostly thrillers with romance. So far, the setting is a major factor in each of my stories. That’s where most of my research goes, into knowing the setting well. I took three trips to Whistler, BC for Triple Threat, where I took nearly a GB of digital photos. I also read a lot about the engineering and operation of the gondolas. The terrorist threats took a few days of research. It’s rather creepy venturing onto terrorists’ web sites—the hate-filled language, the twisted thinking in their apologetics, and the fact that they could easily capture my IP address while I’m lurking.
Does music help you write?
Yes, and I’m glad you reminded me. I’ve been writing for the past 2 weeks, almost non-stop, and have forgotten that music helps. The reason I forgot about the music is our unseasonably warm, sunny October in
allowed me to sit
on our deck and write. But today is the last time we’ll see 70 degrees until
sometime next spring. Time to turn on the music, drink one of my special,
homemade Starbucks lattes, and turn on my grow light (a poor man’s $10 sun
lamp, but it’s as effective as those $500 lamps for people with SADD). Seattle
Do you believe in writer’s block? If so how often do you get it? How do you fix it?
For me, writer’s block is almost always a tired mind that needs a relaxing diversion. The best cure for me is to stop writing and do something physical. A two- or three-mile walk followed by coffee almost always works. Generally, while I’m walking, my thoughts wander back to my story and scenes start flowing through my mind. When I get back to my writing, coffee in hand, I’m off and running with several scenes ready to write.
Do you archive everything you write?
Yes, in multiple archives. I do daily backups to an external drive and periodic backups of all my writing to a couple of 64 GB flash drives hidden in our house. I suppose I really should start putting one of the flash drives in a safe deposit box, in case of a fire.
When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
Triple Threat releases November 14, 2014. I have 2 manuscripts, both romantic suspense stories, being evaluated by an agent and two more that I may self-publish in the next 5 or 6 months, but no firm release dates at this point.
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H L Wegley is giving away a copy of Triple Threat. The giveaway is only available to
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Off to read another great book!
Sandra M. Hart