Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Interview with Harry Wegley and giveaway

Leave a comment answering Harry's question (with contact information) to be entered for a giveaway.

What kind of research did you do for Hide and Seek?
Most of my research came from my career experience, seven years in the USAF, where I worked for a couple of years with NSA, a dozen years as a research scientist, and twenty-one years working for a defense contractor, where I developed computing systems. I did have to research some terrorist organizations and current events in several countries.
How did you come up with the plot for Hide and Seek?
The core of the plot came from incidents I either knew about or investigated over a 41-year time span, working in three different career fields. By selecting several incidents and plugging them all into the context of cyber-warfare, Hide and Seek was born.
Share a brief blurb about the book. 
Here’s a one-line description of the book: Hide and Seek is an espionage thriller about an ingenious plot to neutralize several critical U.S. military weapons systems using cyber-warfare.

Women readers shouldn't let the thriller aspects scare them away. There's a lot of romance and very little violence.
Here’s the official blurb from my publisher, Pelican Book Group:
A computer security breach within a US defense contractor’s firewalls leads investigators, Lee Brandt and beautiful, brilliant Jennifer Akihara, onto the cyber-turf of terrorists, where they are detected and targeted for elimination. Lee leads them on a desperate and prayer-filled flight for survival into the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. Will Jennifer’s pursuit of truth about the conspiracy, and the deepest issues of life, lead her into the clutches of terrorists, into the arms of Lee Brandt, or into the arms of the God she deems untrustworthy?
What role have your life experiences played in the characters and/or the situations you develop in your books?
Not only did my life experiences help to create the plot, but I gave the male protagonist an abbreviated version of my own resume. Since Hide and Seek was my first work of fiction, I worried about being correct and believable. Actually, since it was my first novel, I worried about everything. But wherever the story seemed to be stretching the bounds of believability, I was careful to borrow from real life. As it turned out, the least believable stuff was the most real. Now watch me get a slew of one-star reviews for being unrealistic. J
Do you see parallels or do you try to avoid using your own personal life as a source of inspiration?
When we can do so, using our own lives brings authenticity to what we write. It also helps us write with confidence because we’re writing about things we have lived. As mentioned earlier, I leaned heavily on my personal life in Hide and Seek. I’m now writing my 6th novel and so I’ve had to go outside my own life. But I find myself borrowing events from the lives of people I know, or have heard about, and incorporating them into my more recent stories.
What are your own favorite authors? Genres?
Stylistically, I like Tim Downs. His dialogue is witty, and his quirky characters spout humorous lines even in dangerous situations. As a storyteller, Steven James is hard to beat, but I also like several romantic suspense authors like Lynette Eason, DiAnn Mills, and Margaret Daley. Actually, there are so many good Christian authors out there that my list could go on for several paragraphs. My favorite genre is the high-action form of romantic suspense. Wish we could just call that a romantic thriller.
How has your passion for reading impacted your writing?
I started reading full-length novels when I was nine. In my early teens, I devoured novels. This probably dates me, but as a kid I read the entire Edgar Rice Burroughs and Zane Grey collections -- a lot of action, adventure, and romance. That became what I enjoy writing, suspense/thrillers with romance.
Describe how you write a book – with your other responsibilities, does it tend to be something you work into your every day, or do you have to “set apart” time to write with open, undesignated blocks of time? 
Having retired from 50-hour work weeks about four years ago, I have a lot of flexibility. Maybe I should say that my gracious wife allows me a lot of flexibility. I can generally select several big blocks of uncommitted time to write each week. I admire the mothers who home-school their kids, and those who work outside the home, and still write a novel or two a year. They are doing far more than I could do.
What provides your inspirations during that time – i.e. do you go out in nature, do you seek to be in a busy place with people or in a quiet library, etc.?
My biggest inspiration is sitting in the sun. Sitting out in nature in the sun is the best of all -- on a beach, on the shore of a lake. Unfortunately, my wife and I live in Seattle. When the sun is shining, my productivity goes up by a factor of five to ten. In the winter, I drink coffee, pop vitamin D pills, and sit under a grow light, struggling to write a chapter a day. Sometimes I listen to music to help set the mood for a scene – praise and worship, love ballads from the 60s or 70s, whatever is appropriate.
How have social networking sites, even including email, etc. impacted your writing? Do you find the internet to be a helpful or harmful resource in research, advertising, reviewing, etc. your books? 
Social networking sites are a necessary evil. I use them because I must, but they gobble up time like Pac man eats up dots, and if you balk, book sales die and their ghosts gobble you up. The internet is the world’s biggest library, and it’s right at my fingertips. It also hosts the biggest liars in the world. You need to put on your critical-thinking cap when you use the internet. I use it for much of my research and most of my advertising.
Do you use these tools such as facebook as a means of observing the behavior of others which could be the basis of a character, or are you of the ‘old school’ that relies more on personal relationships and “human” touches?
I hadn’t thought about using facebook to observe behavior. Maybe it’s that I’m a guy, but I think it’s more that facebook persona and a person’s real personality often don’t seem to match. I’m more old school. I’d rather see a character, or at least hear about them from a reliable source, than make inferences from posts on social media sites.
Share a bio and pictures of the book and yourself as well. 
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.

Ask a question for the readers to answer to be entered into the giveaway 
As a reader, which do you prefer for the romantic component of a story, first love or the older and wiser version?


loretta said...

The older and wiser version, for sure. Young love is great in it's time, but then it's time to move on.

H L Wegley said...

Loretta, I'm sure many of us who've moved on will agree with you. For me, young love came but once -- came and then stuck for 46 years (and counting) -- and I like to think back to how it all started.

Gloria Clover said...

For my romance reading, I like first love, that initial spark when they meet for the first time. Remeets in romance is okay if they were ripped apart by circumstance. But it's hard to believe in the fantasy if one of the couple just wasn't into the other one the first time they met. (There's always exceptions.)

gloworm (at) certainty (dot) net

H L Wegley said...

Initial spark -- in my MC's case there are a lot of sparks, sparks from mutual attraction and mutual distrust. Jennifer has a ton of reasons to distrust men. And she has a nasty temper. We did an interview with her a few days ago. A lot of people commented: http://www.raleneburke.com/2013/02/the-character-tour-hide-and-seek-giveaway/

H L Wegley said...

The winner of Hide and Seek giveaway is Gloria Clover. I'll be contacting you regarding the book format, Gloria.