Free to Write: An interview with Wayne Hicks
The 58-year-old American author didn’t need a good reason to start writing, besides his passion for books. But his life took a dramatic turn and he found himself in a situation with plenty time to write… in jail. Today Wayne Hicks is proud to say he overcame life’s obstacles and has made a comeback and not only finished five novels (one of those were chosen the book of the week by the Widbook team and you can read it for free here), but he also founded his own publishing company. From his house in Arkansas, he talked with us about his life and writing career.
Widbook – When and why you decided to start writing? What is your background?
Wayne Hicks - I spent most of my adult life in writing, in one form or writing or another, from journalist to ad copywriter. About 10 years ago, though, I invented a process for sending checks through email, and went into the banking business. Unfortunately, my bank ran afoul of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, and I was charged with a tax-related offense. I ended up spending five years in Federal Prison.
I had always told myself that if I ever got time, I would write the novels I’d always wanted to write. Well, suddenly I had nothing but time, so I began writing and the rest is history. I’ve got five novels published now, and four more will be done over the next year. I don’t think I’ll ever stop, now…I love writing too much!
How do you evaluate the traditional publishing industry nowadays and what made you start your own company?
One of the reasons I started my own company is because I see it moving in the wrong directions. Industry giants like Amazon are dominating it, and authors are not being paid fairly or timely. Hosting an ebook costs essentially nothing, but the big companies want to charge heavy commissions and then hold an author’s money for months. I pay authors weekly, and work hard to give them all the assistance I can. I help other Indie Authors manage and promote their own work, and host the rest of my ebooks there.
Why did you decide to publish one of your books on Widbook? How does Widbook help you and how important is your company in this industry?
Widbook is an interesting and novel concept, no pun intended. It allows writers to work with others within the platform, and post works that can be read by other members. This can benefit new writers in several ways, not least of which is by giving them experience and a chance to learn from someone who has already gained that experience.
I chose to put my book, Magic Trixie and the Crystal Witch, on Widbook because it offers new readers a chance to see what I am capable of. And I’m happy to announce here, for the first time, that it is now being considered for a movie!
That’s great! Can you tell us a little bit more about that?
I’ve actually been approached by an independent producer who is interested in two of my books. Magic Trixie is one of them, and the other is The Very Swift Witches.
What are your favorite books and who are your favorite authors?
Easy one…my all time favorite is The Host, by Stephenie Meyer. I’m also a fan of Robert Heinlein, Terry Pratchett and many others!
What tips would you give to young writers?
Oh, the best advice I can give is simply don’t stop! If you love to write, if you want to write, then by all means, write! Don’t worry if it seems to be amateurish or not as good as you want it to be…that comes with rewriting it, and all writing will be rewritten at some point. No story is ever finished in its first draft; go back and read it a few days or even weeks later, and you’ll see points you missed, and ways to make it better. Some of my books took me months to get to where I was content, and then I still went over them again!
As a writer, what are your goals?
They’re quite simple, actually. I want to please enough readers that I can make a living with my writing. If I achieve that, I shall be content.
By Gabriela Loschi