Wesley Banks - A Passion for Dogs
When Wesley Banks isn't writing, he enjoys taking his dogs for walks, going rock climbing or skiing. His love for his dogs really shows in his books and his description of the relationship between dog and owner is very moving. As our Author of The Day, Banks tells us exactly how much of his own experiences and the personalities of his dogs ended up in his books.
Please give us a short introduction to what Faith in Every Footstep is about.
Faith In Every Footstep is the prequel to my first novel Hope In Every Raindrop, and book one in the series. It continues the incredible story of Kyle Walker and his lead dog King.
When an unexpected storm halts the toughest race in the world, Kyle Walker must make a decision between his life, his dogs, and that of a girl named Faith.
What made you decide to give up your engineering job to focus on your writing? Was it a scary move?
My engineering job was with a Fortune 100 company that had started to make very poor management decisions and changes. I had been writing for years, but once the changes were in place it was enough of an impetus to make the leap.
It was scary, and it still is scary, but it has been worth it.
What inspired you to write about Carolina Dogs?
In 2007, while I was still in college I got my first dog, Pace. She was the Carolina Dog that inspired me to create a fictional breed of dogs called Carolina Grays.
How much of the character of your own dogs did you write into this story?
I based two dogs in the story off the personalities of my own dogs, but the lead dog, King, is based off stories of old Carolina Dogs and legends of wolves.
Let's talk about Kyle. Who is he and what makes him so special?
Kyle is the male lead character in the Faith, Hope, Love series. In Faith In Every Footstep he’s a 19-year-old rookie musher that is looking to prove himself.
He was raised on a farm in small town South Carolina, which is evidenced by his reserved, and thought-provoking personality. But what really sets him apart is his unspoken bond with the dogs that he’s raised since a boy. And in particular, a dog named King.
Readers report that they could literally feel the cold and the fear while reading the book. How did you pull this off?
Someone once told me that the difference between a great actor and an average actor are the tears. For a great actor, the tears are real.
I think the same is true for writing. As Robert Frost once said, “No tears for the writer, no tears for the reader.”
It probably also helps that I’ve read a lot of dog books, including some of the greats like Jack London.
Tell us more about the title. Why did you call it "Faith in every footstep."?
There’s an old proverb that says, “The legs feed the wolf.” And as I was researching dog sledding, I started to realize that each and every footstep was important.
In addition, when Kyle risks his life, he does so for a girl named Faith. And thus the title, Faith In Every Footstep.
Going forward in the series, I think readers will also come to associate this with the fact that every footstep Kyle takes may be a memory of this one race.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
Besides writing I dabble in web design and online marketing. Over the last 5-6 years I’ve taught myself CSS and HTML, and am currently working on learning the Python language.
What's an aspect of being a writer that you didn't know about going in?
I think this is one of those things where you don’t know what you don’t know. I think the biggest thing to understand is you’re always learning and growing. I can’t remember who told me this, but someone said it takes a million words to find your voice. This is something I’m still working toward.
Have changes in your own life affected any of your characters?
For sure. In Faith In Every Footstep, you get the opportunity to watch Kyle overcome obstacles and his reaction to difficult situations is something I’ve taken from my own life.
Do you have a favorite line from the book, and can you explain what that line means to you?
“Breath upon breath the dogs built a pace that had never been matched. Not by the dogs of old that ran in front of the hard-handed whips. Not by any pack of wolves that stretched out across this land, muscles tensed to the edge of survival. No, the Carolina grays, Kyle’s dogs, ran on an edge that had never been approached.”
I think this description of the dogs is one of my favorite parts of the book. It shows how incredible they are as a team and the distinct hint of “Kyle’s dogs,” also tells a bit of why the dogs can do what they do.
Talk to us a bit about your writing habits. Do you write early in the morning, or through the night? Pen or laptop?
When I’m writing a book, I’ll usually write for about 3 months, every single day. I don’t have a set time, but it’s almost always after my workout around mid-day, and I can only last about 3-4 hours until I run out of creative energy.
I write entirely on my laptop. I did pen and paper for my first book, but that was years ago.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I’m working on book 3 of the Faith, Hope, Love series. The working title is Love And All That Is Lost, and it will wrap up the story between Kyle and his love interests.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
The best place to find me is at my website: WesleyBanksAuthor.com