Today we get write to the point with H.L. Wegley. He has visited us a couple of times before and will be visiting us again in a couple of months. You can read his first two interviews here and here. Read on to see what he is up to now and he has a giveaway for you.
Tell us about your newest book.
The title is Moon over Maalaea Bay and the story is set completely in Maui. Shortly after her wedding and, as her Maui honeymoon begins, an international trafficking syndicate vengefully abducts beautiful Jennifer Brandt, a brilliant NSA scientist. Immediately, a frightening array of bidders arrive on Maui for the auction. Some want her for what she looks like, some for what she knows, and others for revenge. Uncle Sam just wants to keep Jennifer from falling into the wrong hands, and Lee, the groom, thinks anyone’s hands but his are the wrong hands. Lee puts together a team of 3 geniuses who love Jennifer, a team whose members will go to far greater lengths to save her than the FBI, NSA, the Maui Police, or even the US military. But the clock is ticking out the last few hours before the auction.
The whole story unfolds in one furious, 24-hour time interval.
What inspired you to write this book?
I had planned for this story to end my three-book series and wanted to send my hero and heroine, Lee and Jennifer, on a romantic Maui honeymoon. After what I had done to them in Hide and Seek and On the Pineapple Express, they deserved some time in Maui. That’s how I came to write the story, but a big part of the inspiration was the wonderful 6 weeks my wife and I spent on the island to wind down from our stressful jobs, right after we retired. After shooting 18 GB of digital photos of the island, I knew this was where I wanted to set a novel. So, unlike my first two books, which had a strong spiritual component to the inspiration, Moon over Maalaea Bay was inspired more by the physical beauty of this part of God’s creation.
What was your favorite part to write?
In book 2, I created a young lady whose POV was removed during editing. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to make beautiful, brilliant, 15-year-old Katie Lloyd a POV character in book 3. This girl, soon to be adopted by Jennifer and Lee, is fiercely loyal, an incredibly gifted athlete, young enough in years (and in her faith) to make big mistakes, yet fearless enough to give international criminals more than they can handle. By the way, she earned the leading role in book 4, Triple Threat, set 6 years later.
What was the hardest part to write?
It may sound silly, but after I’ve come to know and love my characters, I don’t want to do bad things to them. Don’t want them to feel sad. Consequently, that dark moment, when you take the last flicker of hope they have and blow out the candle, forcing them to change or die, hurts. That probably sounds silly too. But I almost ruined the plot of one of my novels by resolving the heroine’s problems too soon. It took major therapy for the book to recover.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
Besides spending 6 weeks on Maui 2 1/2 years before I wrote the book, my wife and I spent 10 days of targeted research in 2011, focusing on the settings for scenes in the book (when we weren’t snorkeling J). I also read 2 books on the history and anthropology of the Hawaiian people which, by the way, has an intriguing spiritual component. You can read about that in my post called, The Aloha People.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Author’s get to create stories and characters to inhabit them. We get to live through our characters, vicariously. It’s exhilarating and delightful. It’s a bit like playing God, a role we should carry out responsibly. And a manuscript is the probably only place we can do all this without being thrown in to prison or committed to a mental institution. There is one more thing. As C. S. Lewis said, “Any amount of theology can now be smuggled into people’s minds under the cover of fiction without their knowing it.” However, in the end, we want them to know it is theology, the knowledge of God, that we’ve communicated.
What’s the hardest thing about being an author?
In a word, marketing. My head tells me it’s necessary, but that does not make it enjoyable or even palatable. If I had to be a used car salesman, I would probably die of starvation.
What’s one piece of advice you have for aspiring writers?
Don’t let your fear of failure, embarrassment, or looking less than perfect paralyze you. If God gave you dreams, go all out for them. Don’t hold back. If you fear getting off track, trust Him. He can redirect a willing heart. It’s the hearts always seeking to protect themselves, trying to control everything, that cannot be easily directed.
If you were writing about your life what would the title be?
How to Win Playing Small Ball. I’m not proud of it, but that’s what I did. If the right fielder played to the left, I’d slap the baseball into the hole down the 1st base line—an easy single that good wheels might stretch into a double. But I wish I had swung for the fence a lot more instead of playing it safe.
Anything you would like add?
Thanks for hosting me on your blog, Melissa, and helping add another plank to the platform that seems so hard for a new author to build!
Watch the trailer for Moon Over Maalaea Bay here.
Thanks for visiting us again, it’s great to hear what you are up to and we look forward to your visit in November.
Readers, H.L. is giving away a copy of his book to one commentator. Leave a comment by Sept. 16th at 5:00 p.m. to be entered to win his book.