Good evening readers,
Tonight author Harry Wegley is stopping by A Way With Words for the first part of three interviews about his writing career and new novel, Triple Threat. On Friday, the release day of Triple Threat, I posted the cover reveal of the novel.
Here’s the synopsis of the book:
Brilliant, beautiful, 21-year-old Katie Brandt, PhD candidate and woman of faith, detects a deadly conspiracy. Suspecting it’s only the tip of an iceberg, she dives in, pulling fellow grad student, Joshua West, with her into a high-risk investigation of a cyber-terrorist plot.
Damaged as a child by the foster-care system, Katie takes huge risks to win acceptance and love. But when she risks the life of Josh, an agnostic who isn’t prepared to die, she fears her mistake might have eternal consequences. And that would break Katie’s heart, a heart rapidly falling for Josh.
If Katie and Josh survive the investigation, can they span the chasm of divergent worldviews that separates them? How can they awaken a dozing nation to a three-pronged danger that threatens its very existence?
Thanks for joining me at A Way With Words, Harry.
1) How did you decide upon the title, Triple Threat?
Triple Threat came from the terrorism thread in the plot. The terrorist conspiracy used three attack vectors to attempt to cripple United States in an attack that dwarfs 9/11 by orders of magnitude.
2) How important are names to you in your books? Did you choose the names of character in Triple Threat based on liking the way they sound or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?
The only characters I spend much time thinking about the names are the main antagonists and protagonists. I use Internet resources to find ethnic names. There are several sites where you can find the names and their meanings. I simply Google names and the ethnicity that I want. That usually gives me more than enough choices for my characters. As for name meanings, I have usually chosen the antagonists names based partly on their meaning.
3) Are any experiences in Triple Threat based on personal experiences? Did you draw upon any stories or movies for inspiration for the novel?
For Triple Threat, unlike my previous novels, I didn’t draw on personal experiences. However, I did use settings that I’m very familiar with. The Whistler, BC setting was inspired by a magazine article I read which stated that there had never been a 007 movie filmed in Canada and that there had never been a thriller, movie or book, that used the Whistler peak-to-peak gondola run, the longest stretch of unsupported cable in the world. After reading that, I immediately began writing a scene using the peak-to-peak gondola. It truly is a spectacular setting. Here’s a link to a picture of it:
4) If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in Triple Threat?
The only thing I would change if I were rewriting Triple Threat, is to show the hero’s epiphany from his point of view. In my story, it happens off screen and removes some of the punch from the final scenes.
5) Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
It doesn’t take an IQ of 180 to answer questions from critics about Christianity. You only have to know a few basic truths. Anyone can learn them. But, wielding them wisely takes God’s help. Over the course of the story, Katie Brandt answers, in dialogue, nearly every major criticism of Christianity that non-believers throw at Christians.
6) What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?
Getting pictures for the cover, and possibly a book trailer, was challenging. It required two trips to Whistler and two rides on the peak-to-peak run, hanging 1/2 mile above Whistler village. But I did sell some books on the gondola. People asked me why I was shooting so many pictures. I handed them book series postcards and they ordered books.
8) If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?
Katie Brandt is almost impossible to cast. She has it all, 5’ 9” tall, long blond hair, slender and extremely athletic, has a 180+ IQ. The best I could come up with was Julie Gonzalo from a few years ago. She looks a bit too old for Katie now and I think Julie is a couple of inches too short. And I’m sure she can’t crank a baseball up to 90 mph.
Drew Waters would make a good Joshua West, although Josh was a tight end on a state championship football team, so he’s probably a bit bigger than Drew.
10) What was it like coming back to Katie, Lee, and Jennifer for the 4th novel in the series? Do you foresee any more stories for this family of characters?
Jennifer is the same Jennifer, intellectually unmatched, though Katie comes close. Lee is now the protective father of Katie.
Katie Brandt grew up a lot between books 3 and four. In the intervening five years, she went from being a beautiful, courageous 15-year-old girl to being a beautiful woman who is pushing the limits of human knowledge in computer science. It was fun to define the grown-up Katie as being so gifted, physically and intellectually, that she thinks she can get away with just about anything. She takes too many risks and this gets her into all kinds of trouble.
Right now, I don’t foresee any further books in the series. But, if I were to write one, I would like to take the three-year-old genius twins, Grace and Grady, and write a young adult novel starring them.