Today, I would like to introduce you to a gentleman, whom I meet via a Facebook group. He is a fellow Texan, who has been quite active on the Internet while building up his platform. Please join me in saying ‘hello’ before we learn more about recently published author, Rich Weatherly.
Thank you for inviting me to participate in one of your interviews!
I’m a husband and father of three lovely daughters and six grand-children. I’ve lived in north Texas most of my life and have a rich family legacy here. My paternal grandmother’s grandfather scouted North West Dallas County in the mid-1850s and not long afterward helped lead about forty families to what is now Irving, Texas. I attended elementary school in Irving and graduated from Irving High School. In between, our family lived and worked on a Stock Farm between Grandview and Alvarado in the heart of the eastern cross-timbers belt.
Interesting information…can you explain to us what a Stock Farm is?
A ‘Stock Farm’ is a small ranch. In our case, we had 220 acres. We typically raised about 50-80 head of cattle and 15-20 sheep. We had 1000 paper shell pecan trees, 300 peach trees and 300 apple trees. The rest of the land was set aside for grazing by the livestock.
I also served a stent in the Navy after high school and later attended Fort Worth Christian College and Harding College, now Harding University.
How long have you been writing?
That depends on how you define writing. In 1969, I started working as a technical writer and soon after that was promoted to engineering writer for a major government contractor. During most of my career, I was involved in tech writing, copywriting, and a writer of technical training manuals. Other professional writing projects included scriptwriting for corporate recruiting, training and promotional video programs.
During the summer of 2011, friends encouraged me to try creative writing so I did. I started with a short story, then a historical novel which I’m still working on. This past winter I started another short story and a novella. The two short stories and novella became Closed Doors, A Trilogy. That book went on sale during the third week of July, 2012.
What was your life like before becoming an author?
I grew up in an average, middle-class family, the son of a Pearl Harbor attack survivor in a close family environment. Some of my best times were spent living on the farm that I mentioned early. I’ve used my experiences on the farm for inspiration in my new book and readers can expect more of that.
During my service in the Navy, my ship patrolled some of the most isolated and beautiful islands anywhere. We also did a tour of duty in Vietnam.
After college, I raised a family and worked for several well known corporations. Those companies include: General Dynamics, Tandy, an oilfield services company – Gearhart Industries, Microsoft, Exxon-Mobil and AIG. I applied my skills as a technical communicator at each of them.
Who or what inspired you to write?
As a child I grew up living near my grandparents, aunts and uncles who told rich stories about our family heritage in north Texas. I now realize how much those stories have influenced my inspiration for the content of my writing. On my mother’s side of the family, I have an ancestor who fought in the Revolutionary War.
I had some of the best English and literature instructors ever. One was a former college professor who specialized in authors and poets from the Lake District of England during the late Romantic Period. She gave me the encouragement and planted the seed that got me thinking seriously about writing as a career.
Do you have a specific writing style or genre?
Most of the time I write in third person, omniscient. “Thrills at the Esplanade Cinema”, is written in first person. According to the site, “I Write Like,” this story is in the style of James Joyce. It says, “Family Secrets” written is in the style of Rudyard Kipling. Joyce and Kipling are considered literary fiction authors.
According to I Write Like, “Toxic Situations” is written in the style of David Foster Wallace, a contemporary writer of thrillers that deal with philosophical questions.
Tell me about your latest book? What’s it about?
Closed Doors opens with a novella, Toxic Situations. A break-in at an Atlanta, Georgia laboratory results in the theft of avian flu virus capsules by organized crime figures and an investigation by the CDC.
CDC investigators pursue suspects on a trail from Atlanta to Sydney, Australia. The protagonists in each story are named Craig. Craig Jr. is featured in the novella, Toxic Situations. A paper by Dr. J.J. Brown, who has specialized in viral oncology, was the primary source of inspiration for Toxic Situations.
Toxic Situations is followed by two short story prequels: “Family Secrets” and “Thrills at the Esplanade Cinema.” These short stories are set in north Texas.
- In “Family Secrets”, the reader is invited to a family gathering where the stage is set for an unfolding tragedy and the discovery of the horrid truth about the secrets hidden by seemingly happy families.
- In the final story of the trilogy, “Thrills at the Esplanade Cinema”, a unique tale unfolds. What begins as an innocent daily occurrence has the potential to become a life-ending event that stays with the protagonist.
Readers can purchase Closed Doors, A Trilogy in Kindle format at the following ink:
It is also available from Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and iBooks in virtually all eBook formats.
What was your favorite part of the book to write?
It isn’t easy to single out a specific part. That said, some of the action scenes were the easiest to visualize and as such, the easiest to write. I also enjoyed working on character development.
What was the hardest part to write?
The hardest part was keeping up with actual times between Atlanta, Georgia and Sydney, Australia.
What do you find most rewarding in writing a book?
The thing I enjoyed most was having the privilege of using my imagination to visualize and put into words however I liked. That’s a big change from commercial, technical writing.
Do you have any other books complete or in progress?
I continue to work on my historical fiction novel, Boundless Honor. It is set in the fall of 1835 at a time when a revolution was brewing in Texas and tensions were building in Tennessee.
What are your future plans in regards to writing?
I have a sequel in mind for Closed Doors, A Trilogy and I plan to publish a book of poetry with my photography. It will take me time to complete the books I’ve just mentioned. I believe there is a good market for short stories and novellas. People today are constantly busy and have less time than in the past for reading. Attention spans are shorter. Outside of on my historical fiction novel, I plan to focus mostly on shorts in the future.
Are you listed on the major social networks like Facebook, twitter, Goodreads, etc…
Yes, I have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and LinkedIn.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Go for it. You’ll never regret the decision. Social media has made it easier than ever before to announce and publicize your work.
Outside of writing, what is your most favorite thing to do and why?
I love spending time with friends and family for reasons common to most everyone; common interests, mutual support and enjoyment. My favorite hobbies are hiking, traveling photography, each of which contributes to my writing efforts by giving me the inspiration I need to do so.
Anything else you would like to add for future fans and friends.
I just want to thank you again, Tracy for giving me the opportunity to share my story and tell everyone about my book. You are a true friend of writers and authors!
Thank you too, Rich, for sharing your story. You have an amazing life history as well. I have had the best time with this author interview series. I hope that there are other authors, bloggers, and/or readers who are willing to take a chance on getting to know us like this. It would be wonderful if they would share our stories with their friends, fans, and colleagues. Rich, you are doing a great job, my friend. Best wishes for your success.