Sunday, October 26, 2014

Do You Welcome The Bumpy Roads And What They Teach You?

BUMPY ROADS.  All of us have times in our lives when we travel roads that are not smooth.  Often, it is a very unpleasant experience but we become stronger and wiser for going down those paths.  Brian Wilson has written a compilation of short stories about people whose journey may have  been bumpy, but they have faced the challenges and are better people for it. 

I connected with Brian Wilson on Linkedin and had the opportunity to interview him here. His website is Hidden Treasure Books, Where you find great books.   He has authored two books, Moments in Time and Bumpy Roads. Both of these are collections of short stories to entertain you and provoke thought.

Brian, what made you want to become a writer?

I have always been interested in short story writing and saw an opportunity on February 22, 2011 when Christchurch City, New Zealand was leveled by a 6.3 earthquake.  Across the road from where I worked, a six story building collapsed entombing all 113 occupants and 185 died that day.  This was considered one of the worst earthquakes to hit a modern city.  Based on these events, I wrote a number of short stories and told them in my first book, Moments in Time, along with other stories of my experiences in other countries.

Where have you traveled?

I live in New Zealand and have traveled to Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Fiji, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Zimbabwe, Zambia, China and Japan.  I spent six weeks in Northern Zambia working at a missionary hospital as a voluntary worker.

That is quite an impressive list and I am looking forward to reading about your experiences in these countries.  Have you always been a writer?

No, but my job as an investigator required writing reports and now that I am retired, I can incorporate that skill into sharing great stories about real people and events.

Tell me about your family, Brian.

I am married with three adult children.   I have three grandchildren; two identical twin boys who are months old and also a two-year-old.

What can you share about the destruction that the earthquake caused and how you coped?

The earthquake took 185 lives and numerous other people were injured.  Some people had to have their limbs removed in order to free from the fallen beams, etc.  In two large buildings that collapsed, most of the people lost their lives.  

Over 10,000 houses were destroyed.  Some areas remain uninhabitable due to liquefaction caused by the earthquake.  Liquefaction is a phenomenon whereby saturated soil substantially loses strength and stiffness in response to an applied stress, usually from an earthquake, causing the soil to behave like a liquid.

Our house is on a hill but our area got badly shaken.  We still have a few neighbors but most of our neighbors houses had to be demolished and rebuilt.  Some of us are still waiting for a rebuild, after meeting with the builders almost two years ago.

Why is it taking so long to rebuild?

Initially, the time lag was due to the insurers.  They needed to process all the claims and have loss adjusters and engineers check everything.  In addition, we had the 7.1 earthquake in September 2010 and during the period of there years there were over 10,000 tremors and earthquakes higher than 3 on the Richter Scale.  Insurers did not want to start rebuilding until the tremors had ceases.  There is a massive demand for housing repairs and rebuilds with a limited number of tradesmen.

Did you lose family or friends?

No, but one of my wife's workmates lost a sister (a mother with two young children) and another workmate lost a brother.  A doctor that we knew and my daughter's tennis coach were also killed.

Why did you decided to stay in Christchurch?

I believe we need to face the hard times instead of fleeing from them.  Eventually, there is light at the end of the tunnel and things are now starting to look brighter.

Brian, please share a bit about your book and what inspires you to write.

Bumpy Roads, is a play on words.  Nearly four years after the 2011 earthquake our roads are still quite bumpy.  Roads would be repaired and then sink and have to be repaired again....and again. Hence, post-earthquake Christchurch could be called Bumpy Roads.  

Bumpy Roads also refers to what all of us go through at times in our lives.  Sometimes, when we reflect we can have a good laugh and sometimes it can be thought provoking.  The stories are fiction but based on my experiences in several of the countries I have traveled.  

What inspires you to write?

Initially, it was the earthquake but when a friend heard my stories he encouraged me to publish them. Many ideas for my stories come from personal experiences and others just come.....maybe from God.

Is there a message of hope you would like to share with our readers?

Yes!  This time last year my daughter was expecting identical twins.  Earlier in her pregnancy, the specialist suggest that she should consider aborting the smaller baby as it did not seem to be getting as much food from the placenta.  As a Christian, she rejected this advice.  The specialist then suggested laser treatment on the placenta to improve the food flow to the smaller baby.  Again, my daughter rejected this as it would mean a chance of losing the baby.  Then he suggested to induce her at 28 weeks.  And again, she rejected this as she wanted the babies to be born naturally.

As a family, along with our church, we prayed and believed for a miracle.  Several hours before a planned inducement at THIRTY SIX weeks, both babies were born fit and healthy.

Life has uncertainties.  Sometimes we travel the highways of life and it is wonderful.  Other times, we come across bumpy roads which present challenges.  Through these, we often become stronger.  Irrespective of how bad life can seem at times, we always have prayer and hope.  It is what has sustained us.

Thank you, Brian.

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