It is with Great Pleasure and an Honor to Interview Author WAYNE ZURL. Thank you for Today's Interview. I wish you much Success.
Author of: "A NEW PROSPECT: City Limit"
Genre: Police Mystery
What inspires you to write?
That's a difficult question, because I really don't know what triggers an inspiration. Much of what I write is based on memory, rather than imagination. After twenty busy years with a major Police Department, I've tucked away a few good war stories. Sometimes, it happens when I wake up at 3:30 in the morning, or perhaps when I'm doing seventy on the Interstate. I'll remember something that happened thirty years ago, and how it might make an interesting story by embellishing it, fictionalizing everything, and transplanting it from New York to Tennessee and handing it off to Chief Sam Jenkins of the Prospect Police Department to deal with. Twisting Jack Webb's weekly comment from the ending of DRAGNET, I change the names to protect the guilty, the innocent rarely sue you in civil court for mentioning them.
Did you have favorite books as a child?
My mother began reading to me, long before I could write my name. I picked up the task as soon as I could. I remember reading biographies on David Crockett, Daniel Boone, Robert Rogers, and many other historical characters. Around that time, WW2 had just ended, and Korea was in the initial stages. I bought war comics faithfully. I also used my weekly allowance to purchase Classics Illustrated comics, which led me to read books like LAST OF THE MOHICANS, THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK, ROBIN HOOD and others. One of my favorite memories comes from reading the quarterly Uncle Scrooge McDuck comics. They were a real step above the typical children's pulp. The closest I can come with a description is 'Steam Punk' of the 1950s.
If you were to write in a different genre, what would it be?
With anything I wrote, I'd want to establish credibility through having done extensive research, or personal experience. So, I'd narrow it down to historical fiction in three areas: The Colonial American Era, specifically, The French and Indian War of 1754 to 1763. I've done the research on that. I wasn't alive then. The American Old West, or 20th century military fiction.
I could pull off any of those, and would enjoy the writing. Recently, I wrote a short story for a contest that I never entered, because I drastically exceeded the word limit. They wanted something on time travel. I'm not a science-fiction guy, but I satisfied my need to write a Western with a story set in 1896 New Mexico, using the same characters from the Sam Jenkins mysteries. I loved the results, and posted it to the diary section of my website. I called it 'ANOTHER PROSPECT.'
Do you have current work in progress?
I have three things going at present. I just signed a contract to publish my second full-length novel, another Sam Jenkins mystery called 'A LEPRECHAUN'S LAMENT.' It's based on the most bizarre case I ever saw, something I supervised in the mid-1980s. It deals with investigating a man with no past. I hope the readers believe it.
Then, I just submitted a novelette to Mind Wings Audio, who has been producing my audio books, and simultaneously publishing them as eBooks. This one is called 'THE GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAIN BANK JOB.' Jenkins agrees to reopen a forty-three year old case at the request of a beautiful treasury agent. He's a sucker for the ladies.
And lastly, I'll be making final revisions on a novel called 'HEROES AND LOVERS.' Another story from Prospect Police Department.
In your opinion, how important is a book cover?
I think a book cover is an author's way of cashing in, or losing the benefits of the halo effect. People are at first attracted to something, or someone by a visual stimulation.
I don't care whether it's by a person, an automobile, or an appetizing meal. If it looks good, the average person wants to find out more about it. Get a good-looking book jacket, and chances are a shopper will pick it up and read the summary, or the endorsements on the back. As with most things, simplicity is the key. A book store is not an art gallery, where people take time to savor an image. You're in competition with hundreds of other books to capture the attention of a looker. The cover should be a bold grabber that immediately says something. A top-notch cover artist is priceless to authors, and publishers. They start the ball rolling in the potential sale situation.