How He Got Here…
Wes Blalock was born in the Valley of the Heart’s delight, while it was still a bedroom community for San Francisco, long before it became Silicon Valley. He grew up amid orchards and mountain, coniferous forest, playing with neighbor kids, climbing trees, building forts, climbing rocks, and hiking in the woods.
He began telling stories and writing them down early, when he was just in elementary school, creating his own superheroes to fight alongside the heroes he read about in the comic books (Daredevil was a favorite; A man without hope is a man without fear). He wrote short stories in high school and forced his friends to read them.
In college, he began writing in earnest, attending Creative Writing classes and getting his work critiqued. He received the B. Dalton Bookseller (they no longer exist) Golden Pen Award for a horror story about a monster in the woods, “A Shadow on the Ice.” He joined a writer’s group, along with lifelong friend and fellow author, G. Allen Wilbanks. He created a series character, William Rook, a professional soldier, for whom he planned many novels. He felt destined to become a famous thriller writer, wrote short stories and forced his friends to read them.
But life intervened. Wes became a University Police Officer, on a campus where his grandmother’s childhood home had once stood. And there he met his beautiful wife. She had been working as a security officer for a well-known, technology company, but was seriously considering becoming a park ranger. She enrolled in Park Management college classes and Wes studied along with her. It was then that he realized, if he had to do it all over again, he would have become a National Park Service Law Enforcement Ranger. Ultimately, their love grew into a bond and they began their life together as a married couple, adding four children. And no one became a park ranger.
Over the years, he tried his hand at writing again, reviving William Rook, and even creating another series idea, about a US Navy task force of medical and support personnel whose primary function is to provide disaster relief, Mercy Task Force. But still, he never seemed to have the time to actually work on writing, what with family obligations, working sixty hours a week, and keeping up with all his other responsibilities.
As Wes neared retirement, his wife urged him to start writing again, to find his passion. His nearly thirty years of law enforcement experience had given him the insight and ability to write hard-driven police procedurals and the tools to manage action on the page. He began a novel, The Approaching Thunder, featuring a young, female National Park Service Law Enforcement Ranger, named Huittsuu “Birdie” McLaren. After getting 60,000 words into the novel, he realized that he needed to get to know her better, before continuing. He began writing short stories to learn more about her, her friends, and the world she lives in. Several of those stories have been published and “Extrication” a Ranger Birdie McLaren short story, received an award from the Writer’s Digest 2019 Fiction Competition.
So take a look at the published story links and check back for news on any upcoming publications, or better yet, whether Wes has actually finished a novel or not. And forced his friends to read it.
Good luck and find your passion.