I’m pleased to welcome Canadian author Eric Wright and to talk about writing and his newest novel, Riptide.
Can you tell us about your varied writing experience and how you came to write romantic suspense?
I’ve been writing ever since I went to Pakistan as a missionary in 1964 when I was challenged to write prayer letters every month. I wanted to make sure they were interesting to read. Then I got involved in theological education by extension where we had to write our own self-teaching texts. In the 6 or 7 years following I wrote 5 courses. When I returned to Canada and took a pastorate, I felt deeply about two things; the need for all of us to have a forgiving spirit and our need to minister in the area of our gifts. Out of those came two books, Church–No Spectator Sport and Revolutionary Forgiveness. A missionary colleague had recommended me to a British publisher.
So I’ve done five non-fiction books including books about missions. Then in 1992 I began to write what became two books on country living because we moved to a country home. These two books reflect my love for nature.
I began writing suspense in about 2004 when I became frustrated with the books I was reading. I enjoy books with contemporary suspense and realistic characters in a realistic setting. Also a neighbour suggested that I write in story form, not just in prose, non-fiction style.
What three words would you use to describe Riptide?
Suspense, Christian, romance
Riptide is set in the southern U.S. but you live in Canada. What’s the secret to your ability to bring this town and culture to life?
When I was writing one of my books, we took a sabbatical from the pastorate in St. Simons Island and fell in love with the place. Since then we’ve also vacationed there a couple of times. Plus, Mary Helen, is from the south.
Riptide is written from a woman’s point of view. What were some of the challenges of writing from a woman’s point of view?
I found it very challenging to put myself into the persona of a 40ish woman, but I feel considerable compassion for single mothers, divorcees, many of whom are the more innocent victims of male insensitivity. My all female critique group helped immensely where I stumbled.
Usually I ask if there’s a little of you in the hero/heroine. Does she reflect you in any way?
The heroine reflects what I would hope to do in such situations; persevere in spite of pain, fight for her freedom.
Did Riptide require much research? What was the most surprising thing you learned?
It required research in money laundering and shrimping. I was shocked at the amount of money laundered into the world economy without any taxation or accountability. I learned most about shrimping from a couple of books I read on the subject; the different kinds of shrimp, the high quality of shrimp from this area of the coastline, the devastation of shrimp beds by industrial pollutants in the Gulf, the effect on the industry of Asian shrimp farms, the competition against shrimpers by sport fishermen and the turtle conservation lobby.
Do you have another book in the works?
Yes, I have a third Josh Radley suspense novel in the works. This one is set in Vancouver Island, Vancouver and Seattle. It concerns smuggling of illegal immigrants, etc. I also have a children’s adventure book in revision.
You are a busy man, Eric. Thank you for taking the time to drop by and share.
You can visit Eric’s website.
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