This week I’m interviewing Wes Yahola. We met at the final ConStellation in Huntsville, AL. It’s a shame it was the last time they had it, because it was a great con. One reason was getting to meet Wes, who shared a panel with me and we got to know each other while sitting in Author’s Alley.
Interview: Wes Yahola
What is your quest?
I seek to craft the most interesting of thrilling fantasy, the types of stories that keep people up late at night and turn them into bleary-eyed zombies for the next day at work because they couldn’t stand to put down one of my books and go to sleep.
What is your favorite color?
The color of determination. The color of sitting down and getting to work. The color of getting out of my own way. I think these are all red, but they might be more of a rose or apple color.
What is the average flying speed of an unladen paint brush?
The same speed as that of an overburdened editor. Go-Work-On-Something-Else-While-They-Get-To-You miles per hour. Limit: Just Short of Exhaustion, Minimum Speed: Don’t Let It Distract You.
What are the powers of your personal Holy Hand Grenade?
Explosive pacing that sends out shrapnel made of cliffhanging chapter ends. Actually hearing from people who really did stay up later than they intended because of the way my chapters ended, and their smaller then usual size, has been very gratifying.
- Favorite Muppet? The canceled ones.
- Crunchy or Creamy? Creamy.
- Favorite Sports Team? The football team of my son’s high school.
- Cake or Pie? Yes, please.
- Lime or Lemon? See Cake or Pie.
- Favorite Chip Dip? A good home made meaty “rotel”
- Wet or Dry? Dry.
- Favorite Musical Performer We’ve Never Heard Of? I doubt I’m cool enough to give a proper answer so I’ll say the Yeah Yeah Yeahs followed closely by Metric.
- Whisky or Whiskey? Just one, neat, and I don’t care how you spell it.
- Favorite Superhero? Mr. Kent
- Steak Temperature? Not hot, but warm enough to not be sure if it’s crossed that line.
- Favorite 1970s TV show? M*A*S*H
- Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall? Fall.
- Favorite Pet? The one and only Mia the border collie.
- Best Game Ever? D&D 3.5, core books only.
- Coffee or Tea? Coffee first, then tea.
- Sci-Fi or Fantasy? Fantasy.
What question(s) would you like to ask me? What are your favorite Conventions to attend as a panelist/guest?
Rob’s Answer: The best convention out there by a long mile is LibertyCon. The people who run that con are by far the most efficient of any con. I’ve always appreciated Rich Groller, who has run their programming and he is amazing. He responds almost immediately every email I’ve ever sent. Brandy does a great job organizing and making sure everyone has fun, while still being in charge. Those are just two of the con’s staff, but I could compliment all of them. Truly it’s a step above in terms of organization.
It’s also a step above in terms of the happenings at the con. It’s limited to 750 attendees, which is a fantastic size. The quality of the attendees is fantastic, too. I have learned more at the LibertyCons I’ve attended than everything else combined.
To be fair, there haven’t been many cons that haven’t been fun and productive. Even at DragonCon, where I really didn’t have enough to do professionally, I had a good time. Frankly, LibertyCon is like Ted Williams. It’s not a criticism to say that Joe Dimaggio wasn’t as good a hitter as the Splendid Splinter.
Tell me again where we can find your stuff?
The first chapter to The Artifice Conspiracy is available at WesYahola.com. The book is available in hardback, trade paperback, and e-books of various types. I enjoy doing conventions and panels and recently worked with fellow Dark Oak Press writer Pat Sawtelle on a World Building panel which was recorded and will be available on the Dark Oak Press website. On my website I list most of the panels I have been on and they include everything from world building to other aspects of writing, to gaming and fandom.
My second book, The Treasure Betrayals is in an editor’s hands. My third is in the plotting and draft zero stage.
And where can we find you?
Next at the Memphis Comic and Fantasy convention, then MidSouthCon, also in Memphis.
Do you have a creator biography?
Wes Yahola is the next best thing to a lifelong Memphian, having bounced around from Raleigh to Midtown to the University Area to just at the eastern fringes. His high school days got him started on the strange path of radio, which brought him through the night to his place as a producer and co-host on the Drake in the Morning show on 98.1 the Max (WXMX). He can also be heard playing rock songs in the middle of most Saturdays on that same radio station.
A lifelong reader who began devouring comics before he could understand all the words, Wes has long been a fan of fantasy and science fiction, and also enjoys thrillers and books about history. Once in a while he’s written stories of his own. He’s been playing games even longer, enjoying new and classic board games, card games, and tabletop R.P.G.s. Once in a while he’s designed and written his own.
All this came together with the publishing of his first novel – the Artifice Conspiracy, a fantasy thriller involving spies, sabotage, rebellion, and the unleashing of a powerful weapon of magic. Thanks to Black Oak Press for publishing it, and to everyone who’s bought and read the thing.
Final question for you: What should I have asked but did not? Why do you do this to yourself?
You should have asked what kind of stories I like to read. I want to read the kinds of stories I’m writing. I’m compelled to contribute something of what I like to the rest of the world to see who else wants the same thing.
Thanks to Wes for taking the time to answer my questions.
If you have any suggestions or comments about this interview format, let me know so I can keep tweaking it.
Thanks for reading. If you’re interested in any of the other interviews I’ve done, you can find them all here: http://robhowell.org/blog/?cat=326.
If you are a creator, especially an independent creator, and you want to be spotlighted in a future interview, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, if you want to join my mailing list, where I’ll announce every interview, as well as what’s going on in my life, go to www.robhowell.org and fill out the form (Name and Email Address) or drop me an email and I’ll add you.
Have a great day.
Author of the Shijuren-series of novels
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