Please welcome this weeks guest H. L. Wegley for The Journey. He answers the question: How have you seen God work in your writing journey?
As a meteorologist and a research scientist, for many years I wrote scientific reports, journal articles, and books. But my writing journey outside my daily work started out years later as a “noble quest”—at least that’s how I pictured it.
I was determined to write the next great text for teaching Christian apologetics and then, perhaps, expand it to produce course material for an adult Bible class for use by churches. I made this decision in the ‘90s, before the proliferation of good books on the subject. By the time I had sufficiently educated myself to write my masterpiece, a process that took about 10 years, the real experts—Ravi Zacharias, William Lane Craig, J. P. Moreland and a host of other apologists—were adding wonderfully crafted volumes to the older standards by C. S. Lewis and Norm Geisler.
After writing a few chapters, and accumulating a library of over 2,000 books on the subject, I stopped my apologetical writing. Needing a break, I turned to a fun project, self-publishing my childhood adventure stories, Colby and Me: Growing up in the ‘50s. I wrote this memoir for family and friends, especially for my grandkids. These stories told them about the very special time God had allowed me to be a kid, the 1950s and early ‘60s, a time relatively free from the many serious concerns parents and children face today.
Colby and Me was such a fun project that I started to consider writing a novel, something I had pondered before my wife and I retired in 2008. I had collected several hundred research articles and saved information from my work experience—all material I thought would make a good thriller. Then Someone (guess Who) convinced me that I should write that thriller, but also incorporate arguments and concepts from my apologetical studies into the novel. Maybe my years of study were not in vain. Maybe God was going to use them in a way I never could have imagined.
Soon, I was at work constructing a plot amenable to achieving my new goal. In addition to the conspiracy required by all thrillers, I wove in a thread of romance, romance between a Christian man and an extremely intelligent, agnostic woman.
Pairing this couple up created a lot of conflict and allowed me to show, without being preachy, that there are intellectually satisfying arguments to all objections to Christianity. But, more importantly, most of the real objections to Christianity that are barriers to faith are not the intellectual questions, but rather the existential issues, the cries of the human heart that don’t seem to be answered. This is a point that Ravi Zacharias makes in much of his writing. When unbelieving people see that all such questions are answered by God’s love, mercy, and grace as demonstrated in the person and work of Jesus, the objections seem to vanish.
Employing these ideas, I derived the plot for my first published story, Hide and Seek, which was published by Harbourlight Books, Pelican Book Group. This story turned into a contracted four-book series, The Pure Genius Series, consisting of stories about a group of geniuses that become part of the same family through marriage, adoption, and through birth.
In many ways, Hide and Seek set the pattern for the fictional stories that I write. I’ve written seven novels now, six of them following this pattern. While I do try to tell an exciting, romantic story where good prevails and evil fails, underneath the main storyline there is an apologetical thread—actually two threads. The first thread conveys, via the actions and words of my characters, important reasons for the faith we have, that is, arguments for the Christian worldview. The second thread shows something about the nature and character of God that satisfies our deepest needs. He always meets at least one big need of my unbelieving protagonist—a need for acceptance, forgiveness, or perhaps love.
If I’m successful at doing this, non-Christian readers will take away both intellectually and existentially satisfying reasons why they should embrace the Christian worldview. For believers, I trust that my stories will strengthen their faith, encourage them to share it, and provide ideas for doing so.
The fourth book in my Pure Genius Series, Triple Threat, releasing in late 2014, pits my agnostic hero, with an IQ of 145, against my Christian heroine, having an IQ of 180. Their disparate beliefs create a lot of conflict and, before this story ends, the reader will see short, succinct answers to nearly every major objection that has been raised against the Christian faith. And, if I achieved my goals, readers will also take away a collection of reasons for the Christian worldview— reasons they can give to others for the faith that they have (1 Peter 3:15)— reasons emanating from the conflict between my characters rather than from me preaching to them. Will you please pray with me that God will use The Pure Genius Series, especially Triple Threat, to not only entertain readers but also equip them and change their lives?
H. L. Wegley
H. L. Wegley served in the US Air Force as an Intelligence Analyst and a Weather Officer. He is a Meteorologist who, while working as a forecaster and a research scientist in Atmospheric Physics, published extensively in the scientific literature. After earning an MS in Computer Science, he worked more than two decades as a Systems Programmer at Boeing before retiring in the Seattle area, where he and his wife of 47 years enjoy small-group ministry, their grandchildren, hiking beaches on the Olympic Peninsula, and where he writes inspirational thrillers and romantic suspense novels. Besides his scientific publications, he published one non-fiction work, Colby and Me: Growing up in the ’50s, a humorous collection of the childhood adventures of an early baby boomer.
Author Page: http://hlwegley.com
Facebook Page: Facebook.com/HLWegley
Pelican Book Group: PelicanBookGroup.com/OnThePineappleExpress