Where are you from?
Detroit MI, now living in Clinton Township
Tell us your latest news?
I have hosted several book talks and hope to host more.
When and why did you begin writing?
My interest in writing/storytelling began at a very early age. As a child I had few friends, so I would look for new ways to pass time. At the age of 8 I wrote a self-assigned essay about the lack of black superheroes, and being a fan of Space Ghost I decided that there should be a black version, which I would name either Super Cool Ghoul or Soul Ghost. I showed it to a classmate who really seemed to enjoy it, and then I showed it to my mother. When SHE smiled, I was hooked! From that point on I began to write for the purpose of entertaining my mother.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
In high school, when my uncle took a copy of a short story I wrote, and showed it to the people who worked in his office. The fact that he took such an interest in the story was very uplifting for me!
What inspired you to write your first book?
Experiences as an overweight child that carried over into adulthood. “Catalyst” is a science fiction novel about a man who discovers that he can force fat from a body through the skin by touch alone, and it occurred to me that if the character was real, millions of people would go on a manhunt to find this guy that would make Pokemon Go look like metal-detecting on a beach! I didn’t understand how right I was until I began promoting the book…women would touch me thinking that I am the character in the book!
How did you come up with the title?
My wife and I talked it over, and even though I had thought of the title and decided against it, when SHE suggested it, I figured that someone was trying to tell me something! That, and it was a way to sort of make it OUR project and not just mine.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Several, most notably that whatever changes you make in your life, make sure that that you make them to please yourself, not to please others! Another message is that bullying is NOT just a childhood issue…it is reaching epidemic proportions and young people are killing themselves over it! It needs to stop!
How much of the book is realistic?
Only the part about the main character meeting his wife to be and the feelings expressed by those who experience the weight loss and the bullying…and the freaky sex!
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Absolutely! I live with the fat-shaming every day…but I have a wife who truly loves me and I have no reason to listen to anyone else’s opinion of me anymore!
What books have most influenced your life most?
The Bible…I try to adhere to its teachings, fail though I often do.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
The answer to both of these questions is the same…her name is Mary Lynne Gibbs. Mary happens to be a friend of mine who has managed to balance her writing with deluxe cake baking and teaching bakery art…AND she’s a wife and mother!
What is it that really strikes you about their work?
The similarity of philosophy. Her books have women’s empowerment as a central theme, and one of the messages in “Catalyst” is self-empowerment!
What are your current projects?
Over the last 30 years I have written many stories…I’m going to update those stories and attempt to have them published or produced. I have one screenplay that I intend to pitch in November, and if all goes well, I will bring one of my stories to a screen near you!
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
There have been many, and I don’t want to minimize the support of the others, but I think my friend Keith Teller and his mother Judy would be good examples. Keith bought a copy of the book for himself and one for his mother as a gift, which I signed. Judy surprised me and came to one of my book talks…I had to stop the talk and go over and greet my Lieutenant Mom!
Do you see writing as a career?
I would love it, but in my youth I was steered away from it, either because they didn’t think I was good enough to make a living from it or there wasn’t much money in writing. My parents were trying to help, I’m sure, but I wish I had followed my heart a little sooner.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
When “Catalyst” was submitted for publishing, I started seeing a lot of different directions I could have gone with the story…they weren’t better or worse than the current version, just different! I realized soon after that what I was seeing were the sequels!
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
My big project right now is “Tartarus”, a screenplay adapted from a story that I wrote while I was writing “Catalyst”. I would literally stop writing one story and write a few pages of another. “Tartarus” is about a prison that focuses less on rehabilitation and more on preventing crime.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Avoiding a blending of the characters! When I write, I want each character to be so unique that you could identify him or her by dialogue alone, but that’s not always possible, even in real life. People had a hard time distinguishing between my father and me unless we were standing right in front of them…we had the same voice, the same conversational style, everything. We spent a lot of time around each other and I picked up a lot of mannerisms from him, and amazingly he picked up quite a few from me, and I could see that happening with Alicia and Valerie. I allowed Valerie’s influence to show through without making Alicia a clone.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I assume it will happen eventually, but to this point there hasn’t been a lot of travel.
Who designed the covers?
The publisher, Balboa Press. I told them what I wanted and gave them photographs to illustrate the effect that I was after, and they did a wonderful job of putting the cover art together for me.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Not getting discouraged and throwing the whole story away! Over the course of thirty years I started writing and stopped and started all over again many times. I had to take the advice of the film community to Gov. Snyder about the film incentives…adjust, don’t eliminate!
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
my own stories, they need work! Yes, I did…I learned that I love to write and watch the story unfold! If I can’t geek-out over
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Simply put, don’t let anyone talk you out of doing what you love!
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Even though I am not physically in the room with you when you read my book, we are spending that time together and I thank you for that!
More from Wayne A. Bibbs: http://bookstore.balboapress.com/Products/SKU-001012696/Catalyst.aspx
Connect with the author at: https://www.facebook.com/wabibbs/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel