Talking with Jeff Wheeler was so inspiring! We took a deep-dive into his creative process, including the surprising inspiration for The Queen’s Poisoner! (Plus he reads us a bit from the beginning.)
Jeff Wheeler took an early retirement from his career at Intel in 2014 to become a full-time author. He is, most importantly, a husband and father, and a devout member of his church. He is occasionally spotted roaming among the oak trees and granite boulders in the hills of California or in any number of the state’s majestic redwood groves. He is the author of 20 books, including the Legends of Muirwood Trilogy, the Whispers from Mirrowen Trilogy, and the Landmoor Series. His most recent books are the Kingfountain Series and Storm Glass.
You can listen on Podomatic or listen now.
Note: We had a slight technical problem with Jeff’s mic on recording day, so the episode has a bit of underlying noise—sort of like whale song, which works perfectly for talking about writing epic fantasy.
ON THE HABIT OF WRITING
- Jeff wrote several books—his “million practice words”—before publishing.
- How he wrote 15 books—with one writing session a week!
One of his favorite quotes: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” –Aristotle
- Being a good writer is really a habit.
- How he became a full time writer and what’s changed in his writing life
- Understanding his writing cadence—and being willing to step back in order to not burn out
ON CRAFT AND CREATIVE INSPIRATION
- How a talk by Simon Sineck led Jeff to examine on what drives him in writing (and life). You can read his thoughts here: A Manifesto on Virtue.
- As a history buff, Jeff draws on both history and myth (plus more recent tales) as inspiration for his stories.
- He shares the seeds of inspiration for the magic system in his latest series, including a Ted Talk, the natural splendors of the Red Woods, and Arthurian legend.
- Jeff carries around a story for several years before he writes.
Why he loves writing fantasy: I get to create the rules to follow for myself…I hated being constrained by history.
- Who he writes for (mothers and daughters) and how he’s found that his work appears to a much wider audience of all ages.
- How he managed taking a risk with new series.
- His thoughts on how writers can learn to write and improve craft. (hint: reading!)
- How he drafts by getting the whole story out, then reading it as a reader before he edits.
- The tools he uses for writing and for managing the business side of being a writer.
LEARN MORE ABOUT JEFF WHEELER
Jeff’s on facebook as Muirwood Wheeler
Jeff tweets @muirwoodwheeler
Learn more about Jeff at jeff-wheeler.com