Friday, September 24, 2010

Writer Interview #29

-- World of Writing Interview # 29 --

As many of our blog readers are aware, we love to feature guests on the blog. Today we have Wayne Farquhar joining us - a 28-year veteran working with the San Jose Police Department in California. He has worked through the ranks from officer to lieutenant with detective assignments in Sexual Assaults, Homicide and Internal Affairs. He has also worked undercover assignments in Child Exploitation, Child Pornography and Vice. He spent 10 years as a street cop and hostage negotiator. Wayne has worked on Federal Task Forces with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). He has appeared on national television, America’s Most Wanted on a murder investigation. BLOOD OVER BADGE is his first effort in crime-thriller fiction, and he hopes to write more books and speak to larger audiences about his experiences in law enforcement. Wayne lives with his family in the San Francisco Bay Area. Find Wayne at:

Q. Tell us about the workshops, lectures or events you offer.

I don’t personally offer workshops for writers; however, I’m very open about sharing my experiences and helping others capture the police element in their own stories. Participating in writing groups is important. I didn’t participate in any writing groups while writing Blood Over Badge and in hindsight, I should have! Writing groups provide support, guidance and motivation. Mostly, I enjoy speaking to writing groups, book clubs and social organizations. It’s critical to “put yourself out there.” Every one of us has something to offer to another. As an example, I met a former TV reporter at a writers’ conference. I’ve been able to help her with police details in her murder/mystery and she was a tremendous help for me while I was writing the screenplay for Blood Over Badge.

Q. What inspired you to write?

My inspiration for writing comes in several forms. I enjoy many forms of creativity: writing stories, writing music and cooking. It’s cool to create something that others enjoy. I wrote Blood Over Badge because I liked the story/twist and I really wanted to put the reader on the “inside of the crime scene tape!” Let’s face it; police work is a secretive business. And it needs to be so crimes get solved and the cases have integrity. I have to be mindful when writing because I reveal the “real police world.” At the same time, I don’t want to expose tactics that jeopardize the working street cops and detectives. The challenge is inspirational for me.

Q. How long will we wait for your next book? / What are your current projects?

I’ve completed about half of the sequel to Blood Over Badge, but I pulled off of it about 4 months ago. A film agent contacted my publisher regarding the film rights and a screenplay. So I switched gears and got to work on the screenplay. I wrote the screenplay, and then rewrote it three times. I just sent it to my editor, so I’m waiting to get it back for rewrite. It’s feels good to take a little breather and enjoy the virtual book tour gig. I plan to finish the sequel because I’m really enjoying the crazy story.

Q. Do you use any set formula when writing a book? (i.e. how you work, use an outline, general work ethic/research style…basically how you go about a new project).

There are two worlds of writers: the outliners and the non-outliners. I’m a non-outliner when writing a book. I keep a character roster nearby to remind me to include a characteristic every time the character appears in the story. I also keep a log of clues so I drop them at the right spot to keep the pace moving. I keep a log of “loose ends” so I remember to tie everything up. The story is always in my head and I create the scenes or delivery at the moment I write. The screenplay was completely different. It’s highly structured and I wrote every scene on a 3x5 card. Then I constructed the screenplay. Research is a constant for writing and I love to research and learn new things.

Q. How do you come up with ideas for your writings and why do you feel you choose some over others?

I find you don’t have to be very creative if you choose to write about crime, mystery or murder. Unfortunately, there are thousands of story ideas in the headlines every day in this country. Intriguing stories and situations automatically rise to the top. We see it on the news. The general public and media show us every day what your audience wants to read.

Q. How did you come to set your goals?

Fortunately, I’ve never struggled with setting goals and I find “success begets success.” It feels good to finish a big project, like writing a book. We’re all human, we naturally move towards pleasure and away from pain, right? Well, not everyone, I guess!
Years ago, I was looking at the daunting task of creating a homicide course. A really smart coach/instructor said “it’s like eating an elephant – you do it one spoonful at a time.” Brilliant!

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