A Conversation With H.L. Wegley
H.L. Wegley is an award-winning author of inspirational thrillers and romantic suspense. He’s worked as an USAF intelligence analyst and a weather officer, and a research scientist, and developed computing systems for Boeing. He and his wife retired near Seattle where they enjoy small-group ministry, grandchildren, and Washington beaches.
How do you research ways to kill someone for your books?
H.L.: The Crimescenewriter group on Yahoo has policemen, doctors, scientists, lawyers, military—just about any way you might want to kill someone, there are people in the group who know how to do it or have become acquainted with people who have done it. This group is a great resource for anyone who writes suspense, thrillers or mysteries.
Where do you get the inspiration for your plots?
H.L.: Many of my plots have come from my Air Force experience, and my scientific and computer work as a civilian. Viewing historical events from inside the intelligence community is eye-opening, sometimes a bit scary, and filled with plot material. I’ve seen things I can’t talk about, but no one seems to care if they seep into stories.
How do you pick the location/setting of your romantic suspense novels?
H.L.: My novels often deal with dark subjects like terrorism, coup attempts, human trafficking and other types of crime. I try to set these stories against beautiful backdrops—places I know well—to contrast the ugliness of what man often does against the beauty of what God has created. I’ve really enjoyed using the beautiful Crooked River Ranch area of Central Oregon for the setting of two books.
What does your family think of your writing romantic suspense?
H.L.: My personality type, according to Meyers-Briggs, is INTJ, the research scientist type, known for not openly expressing much emotion. INTJs feel a lot of emotion, but it gets processed through their minds before it comes out. As a result, my wife, who is an ESFP (my antithesis), has asked me several dozen times, “How can you write such romantic characters and yet be—” Let me paraphrase this a bit, “Yet be like Mr. Spock?” My answer, “Crafting a story is just an exercise in logic.” That doesn’t satisfy her and I’m sure she’ll ask me again. 😊
What is absolutely essential for you to write?
H.L.: The most important essentials for me to write are a rested mind, or one fueled by a couple of shots of espresso, and no human voices. The only exception I’ve found to the human voices requirement is that I can write when there are a lot of background voices, like in Starbucks. But maybe that’s just one buzz cancelling out another.
Current book: Chasing Freedom: Against All Enemies, The Prequel
When a young woman asks for asylum, she finds herself Chasing Freedom with everything she’s ever held dear at stake. A high-action, romantic suspense story.