Monday, September 07, 2015

VOICE IN THE WILDERNESS - H L Wegley - One Free Ebook

Welcome, H L. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
When I first started writing novels, I drew heavily from myself, because I feared my characters wouldn’t sound real. To root them in reality, the hero of my first few novels got a shortened version of my resumé. In addition, most of my childhood experiences went into his backstory. But I’ve long since exhausted myself as a source. Now my characters tend to be composites of people I know personally, or people I know a lot about.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
My first 18 years were filled with quirkiness, so much so that, at my kids insistence, I wrote down my childhood “adventure” stories and self-published them for family and friends in a book I called Colby and Me: Growing up in the ‘50s. To give you an idea of my quirky childhood—did you ever systematically blow up a car using a case of old, wet, unstable dynamite, so unstable that it lay in a soggy, smoking pile when you found it? My guess is your answer is no or, odds are, you wouldn’t be alive to read this blog post.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
From the third or fourth grade on I knew writing came easy for me. I was blessed with some great English teachers in high school and excelled at writing through college. For many years I worked as a research scientist, so writing was a big part of my professional life. But only after drafting my first novel, a little over five years ago, did writing become a true delight.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I was raised on action and adventure stories, so they are still my favorites to read and write, e.g. Love Inspired Suspense stories, thrillers by authors like Steven James, and high-action military stories by Ronie Kendig. But you’ll also find me reading non-fiction books on international relations, world religions, philosophy, and Christian apologetics.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
For me, it’s more a question of how do I get my sanity back each time I lose it. Over the years, I’ve established a bad track record of frequently overcommitting, then overworking to the point of burnout. I’ve done that even with good things like church responsibilities. My wife and I try to walk a few miles several times a week, daily if possible. Doing anything physical helps a lot. But real burnout, requires a few days of relaxation, like spending time on the Olympic National Park beaches, reading for pleasure, and long hikes. Living in the Pacific Northwest, one of the most beautiful spots in all creation, gives us a lot of options for such activities.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
When I need a name with of a certain ethnic origin, there are long ethnic name lists on the Internet to browse. Sometimes I browse the white pages for a city where the character lives. But my MC’s names also need to have a good ring to them, like KC Banning and Brock Daniels, the heroine and hero of the featured book, Voice in the Wilderness. In my first novel, Hide and Seek, I didn’t realize how important that ring thing was to a character’s name. My heroine was named Jennifer Akihara. I quickly learned and married her off in the second book of the series, making her Jennifer Brandt.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
After reading your question, my first thought was making it through USAF Officer Training School as a Distinguished Graduate. But that would never have been possible without convincing a certain young lady to marry me. After 49 years, she still makes me proud.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Several years ago, we raised a guide dog puppy, a big, beautiful, black Lab. He was the most intelligent animal I’ve ever known and loyal, too. A big dog would be my choice. Maybe something like my alma mater’s mascot, Reveille.

What is your favorite food?
If I had to eat one type of food every day, Mexican would win, hands down—the spicier the better … up to a reasonable point. But I really love a big slab of grilled Mahi Mahi from Maui, too. Or, is it that I love Maui? It’s probably both.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
In my first few books I wasn’t sure I could write from my heroine’s POV. So, I gave her an IQ of 200 and hoped she would be weird enough to compensate for my inability to write from a woman’s POV. Well, that approach wore out after book number three. Desperate, I had Christina Tarabochia—now owner of Asberry Lane Publishing—do a substantive edit of book number four, focusing on my heroine. She told me my heroine sounded like she belonged in a mental institution—emotionally unstable and schizophrenic. As it turned out, that substantive edit was the best thing I could have done, i.e. have a talented woman writer and editor show me how to adjust my description of my heroine so she sounded like someone my women readers might actually want to identify with.

Tell us about the featured book.
Set in the immediate future, Against All Enemies, #1: Voice in the Wilderness is an inspirational, political thriller, with romance, about a neo-Marxist president, in centrist’s clothing, who plans to take the nation into tyranny, and the young man and woman who start a resistance movement to stop him. It’s a thriller that seems pulled from the newspapers and a love story about two people born for a time such as this. It’s not a retelling of the Esther story, but there are some similarities. Susan May Warren helped me splice in the romantic thread to make it integral to the plot, not an add-on. Though book one of this 3-book series won’t be officially released until March 2016, it is available now as an ARC on Amazon, both in printed and eBook formats. Reviews are just starting to come in. All 5-star … so far.

Congratulations!! Please give us the first page of the book.
Washington, DC, 10:00 p.m. the National Mall
UR being set up. Watch your back, PL. More later. B.

The text message sent a shiver through KC Banning despite the warm, late June evening. Secret Service Agent Belino had probably risked his career to warn her, but what kind of set up was the young marine in the West Wing implying? Set up to be fired or—no one would kill her for what she had done … would they?

PL, pretty lady. Despite her angst, his flirtatious acronym almost made her smile.

KC closed her cell, dropped it into her shorts pocket, and glanced behind to see if anyone was following her. No one.

She hurried down the path between two rows of dim walkway lights, lining the wall of the Vietnam War Memorial.

Soon, the lights ended and the overhanging trees turned her surroundings nearly black.

The crunch of footsteps came through the trees on her right.

KC whirled toward the sound.

Two shadowy figures popped out from behind a large bush and walked away toward the east end of the mall.

She released her breath in a sharp blast.

Only a young couple, with arms intertwined. She had interrupted their romantic interlude. KC continued down the walkway but stopped when she reached the paved circle drive. To her left, the Lincoln Memorial glowed like a lantern as its light reached out into the surrounding darkness.

The senator said to meet him inside the Lincoln Memorial at 10:00 p.m. in the Second Inaugural Address chamber. And he’d emphasized that they shouldn’t be seen together. For his sake or hers? After reading the text message, maybe for both.

Interesting setup. How can readers find you on the Internet?
My web site and blog:

Thank you, H L, for sharing this new book with us. I know my readers as eager to read it as I am.

Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Voice in the Wilderness (Against All Enemies Book 1)

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the Ebook. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:


Dana Michael said...

Nothing better to read than a suspense with some romance. Sounds very relevant to our times now.

Melissa M. said...

It's been a while since I read a good suspense novel, and this sounds like a good one!

-Melissa M. in TN

sm said...

Sounds like a very interesting romantic political thriller! sm wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

H L Wegley said...

Thanks for your interest in this story, Dana, Melissa, and SM! Susan May Warren spent some time with me making sure the romance thread was integral to the thriller plot, not just at add on. That really made the intensity of the story ramp up (in my humble opinion). And, yes, it is very relevant to our times. This is book 1 of a 3-book series, Against All Enemies, to be released across the election year, 2016. It will be a lot of fun, and very interesting.

Anonymous said...

This sounds GREAT! I'd love to read it!
J.C. -Indiana-

Mary Preston said...

This sounds like it's going to be a fantastic series to read.

Mary P


Vera Godley said...

This sounds super good. Since I don't read ebooks, don't include me in the contest. However, this sounds like a really good read.

Kathleen Friesen said...

Wow! My heart rate is up just from reading the first page of your book. I would love to win and read the whole story! I live in British Columbia, Canada.

Anne Rightler said...

Sounds like a great book. I live in Brighton, Michigan

H L Wegley said...

Vera, I do have an advance review (printed) copy that I'd be glad to send you. So, if Lena doesn't mind, I vote to include you in the contest. In fact, I'd be glad to send a printed copy to the winner anywhere in North America.

H L Wegley said...

Mary, I love Australia, but would prefer to email an eBook Down Under.
I'm putting the finishing touches on the book trailer today. My son-in-law is excellent at voiceover. If our recording session goes well, I'll try to provide a link to the trailer later today.

H L Wegley said...

Kathleen, I'm currently writing the sequel and a few scenes are set in British Columbia near a place my wife and I love to go every summer, Whistler.

Melanie Backus said...

Another great one! Love your picture I'd Reville! Gig'm Aggies!

H L Wegley said...

Melanie, The Aggies did gig'em last Saturday -- Arizona State, that is. Reveille IX had a lot to bark about for her first Aggie game.

Edward Arrington said...

This sounds like a very, very interesting book that I would love to read. I am not familiar with this author but will certainly be looking for his books.
Edward A in VA

Brenda Arrington said...

This sounds like a great suspense novel. Enjoyed the interview.

Brenda in VA.

H L Wegley said...

Thanks for stopping by and for your interest in my writing, Edward and Brenda!
I'm not surprised you aren't familiar with my writing. If you google H L Wegley, most of the publications you'll see are research reports, journal articles, and books on wind energy research and emissions from nuclear power plants. I was, among other things, a research scientist for a number of years.
H L (Harry) Wegley

Deanna Stevens said...

Dee from NE, I do like a good suspense with romance & modern too!

Pam Graber said...

I'm a suspense fanatic. This one sounds great and it's by a new-to-me author. Double win! Would love to read.

Pam in Ohio

rubynreba said...

Suspense is always great to read. I would enjoy this! Nice interview.
Beth from IA

Connie said...

The excerpt leaves me wanting to read more. Thanks for the chance!
Connie from KY
cps1950 at gmail dot com the