Title: Brent: The Heart Reader
Genre: Gay Fiction
Synopsis: A New Age Romance (M/M, explicit, adult fiction)
Brent is a tarot reader, a young man whose adopted family doesn’t like tarot readers or gays or Swedes or anything else that Brent can bring to the discussion. One of his tarot readings is for a young Sioux man, and that’s where Brent’s old life stops. Brent’s finds a whole new life that is full of wonder and adventure, as he learns to read his own heart first. Viking meets Sioux — fireworks.
BRENT: THE HEART READER is the tender and sexy story of self-awareness and acceptance as this wounded healer lets himself fall in love with a wonderful man.
Wynn Wagner, Author
CH: Today’s Guest Author is Wynn Wagner. Dr. Wagner is a retired Archbishop who writes gay romance novels. “It’s a niche,” he says. Welcome to my blog, Wynn.
Note: Wynn Wagner is a humorous man. You will smile or laugh throughout the interview.
CH: Can you sum up your book in 20 words or less?
WW: A young man, rejected by family, creates his own life. He survives by doing tarot readings and flourishes when he falls in love. [23 words—That’s me bucking authority.]
CH: Where do your ideas come from? Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole concept?
WW: I start with the beginning. No more. I know the main characters (more-or-less), and I throw about 10 pounds of stuff into their 5 pound lives. “There, Wynn. Let’s see you dig your way out of that.”
CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life and elaborate?
WW: In one of my vampire books, I have two having sex while riding on the tail section of a jumbo jet as it screams over the Atlantic ocean. So, “believable situations” is a relative term.
All my books are first person, so Brent is telling his own story. He’s always on a spiritual quest. All the themes are known to me. I’ve meditated on tarot cards for most of my life; although, I have never done a reading.
Rejection by family is guesswork. I came out of The System (foster care), so I have never known a real DNA-based family.
CH: Where did you get the idea for this book?
WW: Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha (1922). It’s the best book on spiritual discovery I ever read.
CH: Where do you get inspiration for your characters?
WW: They pop up in my head, and I become a stenographer for the first draft. I wish I could tell you there’s a magical formula or a special way of outlining, but that’d be a lie.
They mysteriously pop up, and I write down what they say. Seriously.
CH: Who was your favorite character to write? Who was the hardest character to write?
WW: Cecile and Hamlet in the Vamp Camp novels were so much fun. She’s snarky. He’s ditsy.
The hardest was Takoda, the love interest in Brent: the Heart Reader. He’s Native American. When he reacts to something, I had to make sure that I wrote things that a typical Sioux would know. That was way out of my comfort zone. Fortunately, I have a couple of friends who are Sioux, so they chased me around until I understood.
CH: Is there a message in your novel that you want the readers to grasp?
WW: Namasté. People and things need to be seen as having a wonderful life force about them.
CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your writing style?
WW: I treat the reader as an adult, a smart adult. There are b’zillions of comments that require you know such-and-such before you see the deep meaning or the joke. Nobody will get all my references, and that’s fine. I hope it’s still a good read.
All my books are laid out without lots of flowery language. They deal with action or conversation, without mentioning the fluffy purple coronation brocade under the main character’s tush, or the fluffy clouds wafting across the summer sky.
CH: You’ve written several books in various genres. What contributes to your success as a writer? What has been the most exciting thing to happen on your publishing journey?
WW: Royalties. I was hospitalized for pancreatitis in 2010, and they kept me there for 5 months. Surgeons did a risky 4 hour surgery to remove my pancreas completely. I still have to be on powerful opiates daily for pain.
When I got home, I saw royalties were posted to my bank account all through that hospitalization. It made me double-thankful for readers.
CH: You’ve written a lot of gay books and articles on HIV/AIDS, Is this topic your passion for writing?
WW: I am one of the long-term survivors you hear about from time to time. I’ve been Poz (positive) since the beginning of the pandemic, and I am alive through nothing I did. It’s hard: my pancreatitis was caused by two of the early meds to fight the virus. I survived, but my pancreas didn’t.
At some level, the smart author will write what he/she knows. No, I’ve never had sex on the tail section of an airplane crossing the Atlantic. That was me being silly.
I write about HIV because I know the signposts. My book Commitment Issues is about a radio announcer who is getting sober one day at a time. I was also a network newscaster who got sober one day at a time.
CH: Your main character is a lot like you—adopted, Swede, and gay. How much of your leading man is based on you?
WW: Adopted Swede who’s gay. Have you seen books with that combination? No. It was up to me to fill this niche. At some level, all my characters come from something deep inside me. I’m an intuitive writer, but one who loves playing with words. I don’t think I’m allowed to have a non-Scandinavian or non-gay main character. It wouldn’t be seemly.
CH: What type of feedback are you receiving from readers?
WW: Lately, most of the feedback is whining about a new title. I haven’t released anything in years. That’s about to change.
CH: Are there any writing projects in progress? What can we expect next from you?
WW: Sure. Time Flies is a science fiction book (still a romance, too). It was just released!
Time Flies is an angry book to start. It happens in a small Texas town with rednecks and homophobes. The narrator went out to learn martial arts to protect him from bullying. He talks about “It gets better,” but adds “because I made it better.” The plot is his path to hope and love, against impossible situations.
Time Flies took five years to write. Writing for me was never a chore, and I could do a rough draft lickety–split. Those days are gone. Now, I need copious notes and outlines. Thank goodness for Scrivener and all its notes and version controls. I tore up the entire book 5 or 6 times, after writing myself into a boring corner, or a plot that was too intricate to follow.
CH: Can you give my audience your website address?
WW: My alternate websites are: www.MysticWaysBooks.com and www.DreamspinnerPress.com/authors/wynn-wagner-495
Or you could just search my name at your favorite online merchant. There are paperbacks, case bounds, and audio books. The biggest channel is Amazon (Kindle, audio, paperback). Readers are typically women, and they love the Kindle or audio versions.
Thank you, audience. Thank you so much. You have really made a difference in my medical bills.
CH: Can you tell my audience where your book is sold?
WW: All of my books are sold online. I don’t know of any brick-and-mortar. I’m sure there’s too much sex for the typical walk-in merchant. They hear about that airplane tail section, and they’re all like: Oh, no, no, no, no.
CH: How to Find Wynn Wagner:
CH: Any closing remarks?
WW: This was a fun exercise for me, so Thank You for that. Because of my health, the publisher usually declines interviews. What I want to know is this: What nefarious rumor did you threaten the publisher to get them to agree to this?
CH: Thank you so much, Wynn Wagner, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers and give us a few laughs. I probably asked the publisher for an interview at a great time, when your new book is being released. It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience. And readers, I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience.
Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet and Wynn Wagner.
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