I was a magazine writer and editor for 25 years, and now write historical fiction. I’ve had a suspicion for some time that Earth is a prison for immortal spiritual beings, who are trapped in squishy bodies, stuck to the surface of a third-rate planet on the edge of a fifth-rate galaxy, punished by pain and loss, living in tiny bubbles of awareness floating on a sea of amnesia. “What the hell did we do to deserve this?” I sometimes ask. But life goes on, and creativity and humor and friends and family make life worth living, so I try to capture those things in my books.
I wrote my first books — Billy Bob’s Book and Medicine Dreams — about loggers in the Northwest because I woke up this lifetime in Sitkum, Oregon, a logging camp between Roseburg and Myrtle Point. You can see pictures of the camp and my family here. The camp itself is long gone, but the Brewster Valley is still there, complete with fog and rain and steep mountain slopes above the Coquille River.
Like most writers, I’ve had some wonderful people help me along the way. My grandmother Christine Mann loaned me her typewriter when I was about 12. She urged me to write and read everything I typed. Don James was a mentor in the 1970s on the Oregon Coast at Haystack, Summer Session in the Arts, and also Eloise Jarvis McGraw. Eloise wrote Sawdust in His Shoes about a kid who runs away to join the circus. My first grade teacher in Sitkum read us a chapter of that book each afternoon, and years later at Haystack I got to take a class from Eloise and found out she was the author! Dennis McKenna hired me as a writer and editor in 1989, and I had the pleasure of writing for him for 25 years. Imagine! A career and a great salary doing what you love to do! I wish everyone could be as fortunate. And L. Ron Hubbard freed me creatively through classes and counseling.
After one Scientology counseling session, I began to write a book about a woman who came of age in Germany as World War I started. I wrote a chapter each morning before I went to work and the writing was magic — my fingers typed the story as if they were connected to another world. That book, The Incarnation of Edda Ritter, was followed by another The Biscuit Tin which tracks the being who was Edda into World War II and the Holocaust.
I published the latter book on Inkitt for free access, as a test of that platform, and because I think it might be a good way to evaluate a book — how many readers stick with it chapter by chapter? How engaged are readers with the book? Seems like a wonderful way to evaluate a book, especially compared to what the critics think, or publishers select to promote based on subjective criteria.
I have recently been working on a thriller of sorts called Compliance, about a plot to medicalize every human being on Earth. Big pharma runs amok. Hell, if you read the news, it could practically be a non-fiction book.
Along the way, I’ve been collecting short stories as they pop into my mind, which I call Messengers.
And finally, as I do research on Compliance, I’m working on producing a Twitter news feed about psychs and big pharma for people interested in such things. I love to assemble odd bits of data into a coherent whole.
OK, so buy my books, and send me an e-mail to email@example.com if you have questions about writing, my books, etc.
Wayne Edward Hanson