Bradford Wheler is the author of Inca’s Death Cave.
1) What originally inspired you to get into writing?
In my business career all my writing was business related, proposal, contracts, and other business documents. When I sold my business and wanted to do something different, I took my collection of a couple thousand quotations that I’d written on 3” by 5” cards and created the book “SNAPPY SAYINGS wit & wisdom from the world’s greatest minds.”
Next I decided to invite artists to submit images from their artwork for the next books. From this came my art themed quotation books “DOG SAYINGS wit & wisdom from man’s best friend”, “HORSE SAYINGS wit & wisdom straight from the horse’s mouth”, CAT SAYINGS wit and wisdom from the whiskered ones” and, “GOLF SAYINGS wit & wisdom of a good walk spoiled.” Each book features the artwork of over 50 artists from around the world.
I’d been thinking about writing a novel and with my wife’s encouragement, I decided to write INCA’S DEATH CAVE An Archaeological Mystery Thriller.
2) Where did the idea for Inca’s Death Cave come from?
I had a general idea of the plot line. I knew I wanted the setting to be in Central or South America. However, I didn’t know exactly where or if it would involve ancient Aztec, Mayan, or Incan culture. As I researched, Peru and the Incas seemed to best fit the story I had in mind.
3) Was there any particular character that you liked or felt able to relate to?
I liked aspects of most of the characters. There are several of the characters that, if they existed in real life, I believe I would enjoy meeting.
4) Was there any particular character that you dislike?
I would find it hard to like Dr. Lois Stone.
5) Were there any scenes in particular that were hard or easy to write?
I found if I could visualize the scenes in my mind it was easy to write. When I was having a hard time with a scene I would take a walk or even a nap and let the scene develop in my mind.
On one walk my wife said. “You look lost in your thoughts.”
I answered. “I’m not lost, I’m in a cave in Peru.”
6) Did you draw on any personal knowledge or experience for this book?
I guess I drew on all the knowledge and experience of my life. I would watch how different people would behave in different situations and how they would talk and interact with the others. I also did lots of reading and research to try and properly represent the history and technology.
7) Have any of your characters been inspired by real people?
Yes, parts of each character have traits that I’ve seen in real people. However there is no one character that is identical to a real person I know.
8) Are there any particular authors or books that have inspired you?
There are so many, I’m not sure I can make a full list. I’ve read many of the classics. I enjoy the writing of Wilbur Smith for the way he is able to paint the scenery of Africa. I like George MacDonald Fraser books because they have such great characters. Robert Crais and Robert B. Parker have snappy dialog that make their books fun to read. I love Mark Twain’s wit. I like Walter Mosley. His books that are set in Watts in the 1950s and 1960s are a great insight into a part of American culture many of us are not exposed to. I also read David Baldacci, Kingsley Amis, Carl Hiaasen, Janet Evanovich, Ken Follett, Clive Cussler and many more.
9) Do you have any future books planned?
Oh yes. I’m working on the next of my art themed quotation books. This one will be “LOVE SAYINGS wit & wisdom from romance, courtship and marriage.” It will feature artwork form about 50 artists paired with quotations. It will be the sixth book in the popular wit & wisdom series. I hope to publish in January 2015.
Then Professor Rob Johnson and Abbey Summers will be off to a new part of the world for a new adventure. Hopefully it will publish in the fall of 2015.
10) Do you have any advice/pearls of wisdom for budding writers?
I’m sure there are many people more qualified to give advice on this topic. However, I would say to find a writing style that fits you, be yourself, and don’t try to force yourself to write like some other author.
Second don’t be put off or hurt by a few bad or even mean reviews. INCA’S DEATH CAVE An Archaeological Mystery Thriller currently has twenty-one 4 and 5 star reviews and nine 1 and 2 star reviews on Amazon. Some are not very nice. If you get a bad review I suggest, first look at some of the top authors. They may have 1000 5 star reviews but the also have 100 1 star reviews. Second remember what Bill Cosby said. “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”
Finally, make sure you have a professional proofreader proof your work. It is very hard to find your own mistakes.