Wayne Winterton, Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight

Hello book lovers! Today is a day where I will be writing another author spotlight for a well-accomplished author whose work I have loved. As you know book lovers I love learning about authors and the inspiration behind their work, it fascinates me and adds to the depth of the book because the reader will be able to better understand it. That is how the author spotlights were created because I soon discovered that you lovely readers ALSO love learning about author’s, so I am excited to tell you a little bit more about author Wayne Winterton whose book From Ace to Zamboni entertained and intrigued me from beginning to end with its fascinating and unique book. I personally would recommend this book to all of those that love history and unique collections of stories but really the book can be read by anybody as it is flawlessly written and highly enjoyable. With today’s author spotlight for Wayne Winterton, a biography of the author and an interview between me and Wayne will be shared, and I hope that you book lovers enjoy reading it! To kick this off here is an author bio about the wonderful Wayne Winterton.

Winterton began teaching in 1963 and served as the principal of two schools on the Navajo Reservation. He was also the Superintendent of the Albuquerque Indian High School, Superintendent of Schools for the Northern Pueblos Agency, and during 1978-79, was the interim President of the Institute of American Indian Arts, a junior college in Santa Fe.

From 1979 to 1986, he worked for the federal Office of Surface Mining in Missouri and Oklahoma.

In 1986, he joined the staff of the Bureau of Land Management’s National Training Center in Phoenix, Arizona, as the Division Chief for Administrative and Media Services and served briefly as Center Director, prior to retiring in 2004 with over 40 years of public service.

He is the author of five books: Whistler’s Gold, a romance-mystery set on the Navajo Reservation; a 3-volume set of 366 non-fiction stories titled, Stories from History’s Dust Bin, which was the recipient of the 2016 Arizona Book of the Year Award; and his latest, From Ace to Zamboni: 101 More Dust Bin Stories.

Winterton received his PhD from the University of New Mexico in 1976 and is a member of the Arizona Authors Association.

Now, how wonderful does Wayne sound?! I love the fact that he is a member of the Arizona Authors Association, Wayne is a truly exceptional writer and I hope that you lovely readers have a read of their work because you will not regret it! Please see below an interview between me and Wayne, I hope that you enjoy Wayne’s answers to my questions, they are incredible and provide some great advice too!

Thank you for joining us today Wayne at Red Headed Book Lover Blog! Could you please tell us about your book and the inspiration behind it.

The Book

The book is an anthology of 101 unusual short-stories about famous, infamous, and obscure persons and events, perfect for passing the time in doctors’ waiting rooms, airline travel, quiet nighttime reading, in fact anywhere where a quick read to help pass the time is in order.

The stories range from the book’s “Ace,” Johnny Ace who may have become the first big name in Rock ‘n’ Roll had he not tempted fate with a loaded gun in 1954 – the same year that Bill Haley and His Comets scored big with Rock Around the Clock.  To the final story in the book, that of Frank Zamboni, a young man from Utah where hockey isn’t even a minor sport, and who invented the “Zamboni,” the too-many-moving-parts-machine that patches and resurfaces the ice between hockey periods.

Between those two bookends are 99 more stories, including the story of Rosalie Duthé (1748-1830), the world’s first official dumb blonde.  And the story of Victor Lustig, who not only sold the Eiffel Tower to a French scrap-metal dealer, but conned master criminal Al Capone out of $5,000.  And the touching story of lunar scientist Eugene Shoemaker, whose life was cut short by Addison’s disease, but whose NASA colleagues included a capsule of his ashes aboard the 1999 Lunar Prospector, literally making Eugene Shoemaker, the man in the moon.

The Inspiration

The inspiration for From Ace to Zamboni: 101 More Dust Bin Stories originated from inside the Embassy Suites Biltmore in Phoenix, Arizona on the evening of November 5, 2016.

That’s when, while standing at the podium after receiving the 2016 Arizona Book of the Year Award for Stories from History’s Dust Bin, that I told the audience, “There’s so many stories out there, I think I’ll write a sequel.”

And it was true, I still had nearly 400 partially researched but unused stories, giving me a head-start on a new Dust Bin book.  And thus, was born From Ace to Zamboni: 101 More Dust Bin Stories, written with a new twist to the story-telling, and a book I guarantee you’ll love and share with others.

Thank you for sharing your inspiration with us and telling us readers more. What is you’re advice for aspiring writers

I have several pieces of advice.  First, regardless of whether you’re writing fiction or non-fiction, take the time to research and organize a foundation for your story.

As an aspiring writer, put your first story in a place where you’re already familiar with the geography, the distances between towns, the types of industry, how people earn their livings (farming, factories, etc.).  Why is this important?  Because if your fictional story is based on a real place with which you’re familiar, your story’s underlying geography will flow more naturally, and you won’t have to do as much “stop-and-go” writing to move your story along.

You’ll know when you’re on the right track when you’re mind begins to think of your fictional people and your renamed geographical locations are real.

One of my earliest fictional failures was with a story set in the early 1900s.  I thought I had everything organized in my head, but as I got further into the story, I kept finding that I needed this character to think differently, or I needed a new character to do something, but in order for he or she to act, he or she needed to have been introduced into the story at an earlier time.  And before I knew it, I had a character mutiny on my hands.  My characters were suddenly doing all kinds of out-of-character things.

Then one day, my main character, a cantankerous old hermit let me have it with both barrels, telling me off as only an old curmudgeon can.  So, I grabbed the hermit and the rest of the out-of-control characters and locked them and a rough draft in an old briefcase, and they’ve been languishing in there ever since.

Every so often, as I walk into my study, I can hear them banging against the inside of the old briefcase screaming they want out.  But until I rework the story and do a better job of thinking through the plot, etc., the characters will remain inside that smelly old briefcase.

Such wise words! Thank you so much. If you could tell my younger writing-self something, what would it be?

I’d tell myself to read the above advice for aspiring writers, as it was obviously written by an older and wiser man, and to not be afraid to lock up misbehaving characters until all (or at least most) of the basic elements of the story are in place. Otherwise, an author is spinning wheels.

In your opinion Wayne, what is the most important thing about a book.

Tough question because there are so many kinds of books, but I think if there’s one element that’s common to all good books, it would be the element of readability.  Regardless of whether the book is a textbook, a romance-mystery novel, non-fiction, or the biography of a deceased family member, if there are too many misspelled words, sentences or paragraphs that don’t flow well, obvious (and not so obvious) grammatical errors, and others, the book isn’t going to be read, and if it does get read, it’s doubtful that the reader will recommend it to others?

Its official book lovers, I am obsessed with Wayne Winterton! If you have liked what you have read about Wayne Winterton and are interested in learning more about them and reading their work, then please do have a browse of the links below and be sure to have a read of the preview for From Ace to Zamboni too! You will not regret it.

Goodbye for now book lovers,

From Ace to Zamboni: Review by Aimee Ann – Amazon U.S. – Amazon U.K. – Goodreads

Wayne Winterton: Website – Amazon Author Page

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1. Availability: A quick internet search for From Ace to Zamboni (ebook & soft cover) on the following sites: AbeBooks, Alibris, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, Thriftbooks, and ValoreBooks. And my guess is that if you don’t use one of the sites named, that it will be on your favorite bookseller site as well. Also, you are interested in library availability, here are the important numbers for ordering: ISBN-13 (paperback): 978-1-9790-1927-9 ISBN-10: 1979019274 ASIN (ebook): B079Q89CZ1 2. Inspiration behind the book: The inspiration to write From Ace to Zamboni came from the success of an earlier project, a 3-volume set… Read more »

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