To look at Wayne Gales’ experiences, you would think he has a great imagination, or has really packed a lot into his life. Wayne’s career includes being an off road motorcycle and car racer, gourmet chef, world traveler (24 countries and all 50 states), airline employee, tour operator, rock & roll and country musician, hotel sales and marketing director, and most lately, published author.
“My late father said ‘write what you know about.’ I did lots of articles and stories about my racing, mostly off road, Baja 1000 and things like that,” said Gales. “When I moved to the Florida Keys in 1997 as director of Sales and Marketing at Ocean Key, I started doing articles for the local paper. They were mostly local light humor. I always had this novel rattling around in my head. When my wife Tina started working nights a few years ago, I sat down at the keyboard and cranked out most of this thing in 89 days.”
His new novel “Treasure Key” focuses on a native Conch treasure hunter, Russell Bricklin “Bric” Wahl. Nearly homeless and penniless, Bric finds three massive gold bars on Boca Grande Key. While dealing with his apparent newfound wealth, he encounters drug dealers, thieves, an attempted murder, and an unexpected adventure while he tries to navigate his four-unit houseboat on a voyage from Key West to Tarpon Springs. Bric’s experiences, often humorous, are rarely dull.
“Treasure Key” is a fictional novel but many parts of the story ring true. Gales has two teenage children and lived for a time in a houseboat like his fictional main character in the novel, his family heritage goes back in the Keys more than 10 generations, and the time spent pouring over microfilm in the Key West library presented him with a wealth of historical information that also contributed to the book. His years in Key West gave him opportunity to weave both local people and familiar places into the story that both locals and tourists will enjoy.
When not writing, fishing, playing golf or sitting in with a local country or rock & roll band, what does Gales do with his time? His current “real” job is director of Sales and Marketing at the Crowne Plaza in Hollywood Beach.
Gales will be signing paperback copies of Treasure Key at Smokin Tuna Saloon on Friday, May 31 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.