Friday, March 19, 2010

Interview with legendary author, Jack Weyland

I'm not gonna lie, I have been a fan of Brother Weyland since I was in high school. Every month I looked forward to receiving the New Era magazine in hopes that one of his short stories would be in there. His books were my favorite and I loved the way he wrote; with warmth, humor and emotion. What a thrill it is for me to be able to feature him on my blog and share a little about his new book, "The Samaritan Bueno."

A little about Jack Weyland

Jack Weyland is the best-selling author of young-adult fiction for the Latter-day Saint market. In fact, the modern genre of Latter-day Saint-themed popular fiction is one he is largely responsible for creating with his overwhelmingly popular novel Charly. His interest in fiction began with a correspondence course in creative writing taken during a summer at BYU where he was doing research work. Since then he has published more than two dozen books, and over fifty of his short stories have been published by the LDS Church magazine The New Era.

Jack and Sheryl Weyland

Born in Butte, Montana, Jack received a B.S. degree in physics from Montana State University and a Ph.D. in physics from BYU. Currently he teaches physics at BYU-Idaho. He formerly taught physics at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

Jack and his wife, Sheryl, are the parents of five children and have four grandchildren. His hobbies include racquetball and singing.

Books written by Jack Weyland include:

If you are looking for one of Jack’s books, and cannot find it, try or I have had good luck finding even books through them.
1980 Charly Available in Book Stores
1981 Sam Available in Book Stores
1982 The Reunion
1983 Pepper Tide
1984 A New Dawn
1985 The Understudy
1986 Last of the Big-Time Spenders
1987 Sara – Whenever I Hear Your Name
1988 Brenda at the Prom
1989 Stephanie
1990 Michelle & Debra
1992 Kimberly
1993 Nicole Deseret Book
1994 On the Run
1996 Lean On Me
1997 Brittany
1998 Jake
1999 Emily
2000 Ashley & Jen
2001 Megan
2003 Cheyenne in New York Deseret Book
2004 Adam’s Story Deseret Book
2003 Saving Kristen Deseret Book
2006 Alone, Together Deseret Book
2008 As Always, Dave Deseret Book
2009 Brianna, My Brother, and the Blog Deseret Book
2009 The Samaritan Bueno Granite Publishers

His newest release is The Samaritan Bueno is filled with Brother Weyland's classic humor and heart. His stories and characters connect on every level and are always enjoyable.

Dan and his two friends are asked to deliver a food box to a needy family. By mistake they deliver it to the wrong house and meet Maria, an undocumented mom and her two young kids. Over the next few weeks, Dan becomes drawn into Maria's life. His parents find themselves at a loss to deal with his uncharacteristic behavior.
In this thought-provoking, tender and humorous novel, Jack Weyland tackles a timely and difficult issue.

Here is my interview with Brother Weyland.
M.B.: When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

Jack: In ninth grade, I wrote for our school paper.

M.B.: What was the pathway like for you to get your first book published?

Jack: I wrote short stories for The New Era magazine for ten years, and then decided to try doing a novel based on one of the short stories. That was my first novel Charly.

M.B.: Were you ever discouraged along the way? If so, how did you deal with it?

Jack:Not really. I have come to learn that the best news you can get from an editor is “This manuscript has a lot of problems.” Why is that good news? Because it means they’re willing to work with you.

M.B.:  That is such a great perspective. So, what is your writing schedule like?

Jack: For years I have written early in the morning for two to three hours.

M.B.:  Where do your ideas come from?  How do you know the idea is good enough to write a book about it?

Jack: Two sources of ideas:

1. Someone who has gone through a difficult time writes to ask me to consider writing about it.

2. Doing what I call “dialogue surfing.” Writing only dialogue between two people until they say something interesting. I then continue that until I figure it could be a novel.

M.B.: I've never done that. What a great suggestion. We're learning from the master here, folks. What words of advice do you have for other writers who desire to
have their manuscripts become books in print?

Jack: Write fast and don’t be a perfectionist. Don’t rewrite until you have a complete rough draft. Accept the fact that it’s not going to be perfect. A bad first draft can be edited, but a half- finished manuscript that has been in your desk drawer for two years cannot.

M.B.: Listen to him people, he knows what he's talking about. I agree a thousand percent with that comment. What is your process of brainstorming a story? Do you just sit down and write, waiting to see what happens next? Or do you outline first?

Jack: Both, depending on the nature of the book.

M.B.: Do you ever experience a snag in a story, a form of writer's
block? If so, how do you deal with it?

Jack: I go back to where it first started boring me and take a radically different turn.

M.B.: Do you need absolute quiet to write? Do you listen to music when
you are writing?

Jack: Not absolute quiet. But of course at six in the morning there isn’t much going on around me.

M.B.: What kinds of inspiration do you use during your story creation periods?

Jack: Listening to people talk. I like to walk around when I’m in a crowded room and listen to what people are saying.

M.B.: Who has made the greatest difference for you as a writer?

Jack: That I’ve had such excellent editors who were willing to work with me.

M.B.: Do you use a critique group during the writing process? Why or why not?

Jack: Only my editors. Why? I trust their judgement.

M.B.:  Which of your books is your favorite, and why?

Jack: Charly, because it was my first and was made into a movie.

M.B.: Any final words you would like to share

Jack: This isn’t as hard as you think it is.

M.B.: Where can our readers go to find your books and order them?

AUTHOR: My web site, Deseret Book's web site, or Granite Publishers web site.


Mandi said...

Michelle, what a great interview! I LOVE Jack Weyland's books they are so funny and leave such a strong inpact about issues that young adults face. He is awesome but you are awesomer (yes i know thats not a word but thats how I feel...)

One Cluttered Brain said...

Great Interview! I love the book Charly and the movie and tons of other books.
Jack Weyland0--classic LDS author!!!

Janette Rallison said...

I'm a Jack Weyland fan too! He's just a really nice man. I hadn't realized that he had so consistently put out a book a year. Wow! That says a lot!

Krista said...

I didn't know LDS fiction existed until my aunt sat me down with Charly. Thank you, Jack Weyland. And than you, Michele, for getting some writing secrets out of him!

Shirley Bahlmann said...

I love the dialogue suggestion! It's so cool getting inside Jack's head.

Josi said...

I too grew up with Weyland's, very interesting to get a little info on how he makes it work. Great interview.