March 2, 2014
Author Interview: Wayne Croning
Today I’m welcoming Wayne Croning to my series of author interviews. Wayne is the author of Karachi Backwaters: my love affair with boats and other adventures, the true story of a boy growing up in Pakistan in the second half of the twentieth century.
Elizabeth: Welcome, Wayne.
Wayne: Thanks, Elizabeth. Honoured to be here.
Wayne: You summarized it well. It is a coming of age story; of childhood adventure, friendships and a love for boats and boat building. It is a story about growing up in the 70’s , of a simpler time, when kids had to be more inventive to keep themselves entertained. It is a glimpse into what life was like in the golden years of Karachi. A simple time, an innocent age.
Elizabeth: You are now a resident of Canada. How did that move come about?
Wayne: I moved to Canada in the summer of 1992. Most of my family already lived in Canada. I wanted to hopefully start a new and better life here. The typical immigrant’s dream.
Elizabeth: How long have you been writing?
Wayne: I have been writing on and off for about seven years and have written several short (unpublished) stories.
Elizabeth: What made you write this book?
Wayne: My two children Marjorie and Aaron will never know what life was like in that age and that city. I wanted to preserve those memories especially for them, which is the main reason for writing this book. Also the book is dedicated to my (late) best friend David who shared in most of the adventures.
Elizabeth: Although the story is about your own life, did it require research to get the geography and time line correct?
Wayne: Memory, memory, memory. As I wrote, the memories came flooding back. Music and old photographs helped in the process. Geography and time line are all imprinted in my brain. It was all too important to get this down on paper, before I too start to lose my memory.
Elizabeth: What is your writing process or schedule?
Wayne: I wish I had a fixed schedule. Unfortunately, I work full time, rotating shifts, and it is very hard to set down a regular time to write. I try and write on my days off and luckily have a week off every month, so this helps. I like to look at old family photographs and somehow carve a story out of them.
Elizabeth: Can you tell us what you are working on now?
Wayne: I am currently writing several short stories; one is a collection of ghost stories passed down from my grandpa; another is a true story of a Jewish girl who escaped a death camp in Europe and somehow escaped with another couple and ended up in Karachi during the Second World War; yet another, is my account of a family trip to India about seven years ago.
Elizabeth We’ve now reached the time in our interview for the let’s-get-to-know-the-author-better, nearly-pointless, sort-of-silly, rapid-fire questions:
Elizabeth: Coffee or tea?
Wayne: Tea for sure.
Elizabeth: Ocean or mountain?
Wayne: Ocean. I love the ocean.
Elizabeth: Hiking or shopping?
Elizabeth: Violin or piano?
Wayne: Piano. Even though I play neither.
Elizabeth: Mystery or fantasy?
Elizabeth: Hester Prynne or Scarlet O’Hara?
Wayne: Scarlet O`Hara.
Elizabeth: Love scene or death scene?
Wayne: Can I say yes to both? Okay, Love scene.
Karachi Backwaters can be bought on Wayne’s personal website, http://www.karachibackwaters.com/
or through McNallyRobinson Booksellers in Winnipeg
or at Alibris.com
Thanks to Wayne for joining me today.