Born in 1983 on the west coast of Florida, Wesley Banks graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in civil engineering. After spending seven years building movable bridges, he decided to focus on his true passion: writing.
In May of 2015, Wesley’s debut novel, Hope in Every Raindrop, was released. An inspirational, thought-provoking tale of kindness and loyalty, Hope in Every Raindrop tells the story of Katie Price, a writer who relocates to a small town in South Carolina in search of a story. She finds more than she bargained for, however, when she encounters the town doctor, his nephew Kyle and the rare dogs they breed.
Along with his wife Lindsey and their two dogs, Wesley recently moved from Florida to Oregon, where he spends most of his time writing, rock climbing, hiking and skiing.
To learn more about Wesley and his writing, visit him online at wesleybanksauthor.com.
What was your childhood like, and how did it shape who you are today?
I grew up with parents who were teachers, so there was a lot of structure in my life. I think this is what partly shaped me as an engineer, and eventually a writer.
Growing up, who were your biggest creative influences?
I didn’t really start writing a lot until around my junior year in high school. It may sound funny, but I always carried around this huge book of quotes that I’d read during class. Every now and then a quote would inspire me to write something. As time went on though, I think Emerson and Thoreau had huge impacts on my philosophy of life and writing.
How did you initially become interested in civil engineering?
I originally discovered civil engineering because my older cousin was majoring in that at UCF. When I first got to UF, I was a creative writing major, but I kept getting asked one question: “How are you going to make money doing that?” At that time I really didn’t know, so I ended up switching to civil engineering, because it interested me and it came very easy to me.
What inspired the story of Hope in Every Raindrop?
The loss of my first dog Pace, and my time spent with Carolina Dogs in Bishopville.
What challenges did you face in bringing the story of Hope in Every Raindrop to life?
Before I started writing, I had everything planned out except for the ending. Tying all the themes of the story together in the end was probably the toughest part.
What were your reasons for writing Hope in Every Raindrop from a female perspective?
Being male, that is a really tough question, haha. When I originally developed the story I had the male lead all figured out, but I wanted a strong dichotomy for the female lead. I wanted someone that came from an entirely different world, and I figured that you couldn’t get farther apart than a girl from California and a guy from Carolina. To be completely honest though, even though I had the male lead figured out, the story truly originates with the dogs, and having a female and male perspective of them is something that helped round it all out.
How much research went into the writing of this book?
To be honest, not a lot. Most of the book is based on things that I actually experienced. However, as I’m writing my next book I’m doing research almost daily.
What does your writing environment look like?
I just did a video about my writing setup last week. My writing area is very clean. However, I do use a 42″ LG TV screen as my monitor, which some people find to be hilarious, but I love it.
What made you decide to move to Oregon, and what do you like most about living there?
My wife and I knew that we needed a change and came up with a plan about a year before we moved. We originally looked at 30 or so “outdoor cities” and narrowed it down to: Truckee, South Lake Tahoe, Park City, and Bend. After visiting, we fell in love with Bend. Central Oregon is amazing in terms of how much there is to do outdoors here.
What do you miss most about college?
Probably the freedom. That feeling of going to bed or waking up, knowing that for the most part, you can do whatever you want to today.
What’s the best meal you’ve had recently?
There’s this place called Greg’s Grill that’s right on the Deschutes River in Bend. I had a 6 oz. filet, mashed potatoes, and asparagus. The steak and potatoes (which I think they added some type of cheese to) were unbelievable. Definitely going back soon.
What are you working on next?
I am working on another stand-alone novel in a similar genre. I kind of like to think of it as Nicholas Sparks meets Steve Prefontaine. Can’t say much more just yet.