MELBOURNE – Reading transports us; it’s a form of astral projection that allows readers to learn, grow, and experience without ever leaving one’s homes. And the best authors – whether fiction or nonfiction – expertly provide their readers with exactly that; a profusion of emotions we crave time and again. As it turns out, Brevard County has no shortage of authors that transfix, transport, and transform. Wayne Gales of Melbourne is one such wordsmith.
Although he hails from southern California, Mr. Gales is a true global citizen having traveled to more than 24 countries, spanning five continents, and all 50 states. “I love to blend in with the crowd,” said Mr. Gales, “I love to meet people and immerse myself in new cultures.”
His hobbies are far and wide. Mr. Gales is an avid fisherman, award-winning gourmet chef, and performing guitarist. Moreover, he has raced cars and motorcycles in Baja, where he grew up as a rodeo cowboy.
Mr. Gales was lucky enough to have worked for a travel tour company and as Director of Sales & Marketing for a Key West resort. Intrigued by the history of his ex-wife’s Key West heritage (Russell), he embarked on a genealogical study. This personal project had him spend countless hours at the Key West Public Library pouring over microfilm records of his family’s conch roots. The project culminated with a family account that would go back 10 generations, revealing truths and facts the family would never have known.
While in Key West, Mr. Gales lived in a houseboat owned by none other than Captain Bob Morgan, a seafaring adventurer heavily affiliated with Mel Fisher, the famed treasure hunter. “Captain Morgan shared dozens of stories with me over the years,” said Mr. Gales, adding, “He inspired me to research and ultimately write treasure stories.”
Mr. Gales enjoyed writing articles for the local paper and various magazines during his time spent in The Keys, but it wasn’t until he moved to Melbourne, his wife’s hometown, that a story started to take form.
“All my research and personal adventures in Key West left this ‘character’ banging around in my head,” mused Mr. Gales. Years later, recovering from a heart attack and stroke, he found himself alone for hours as his wife, Tina, worked nights and weekends. He it was high time to put his experiences of him to good use decided, and his ‘character’ of him was born: Russell Bricklin Wahl; Bric Wahl, for short.
Bric found a home in the book Treasure Key. “I banged out that story using only two fingers!” recalled Mr. Gales, having lost functionality in his other digits from the stroke.
Bric Wahl is the guy every Key West local knows, and every tourist wants to be. Bric, an ex-Navy Seal/full-time treasure diver, weaves us through a tale of intrigue, mystery, and all things Conch Republic. The Bric Wahl series-a combination of contemporary and historical fiction-pulls from Mr. Gales’ lifelong experiences of him. Readers can vicariously tag along, as all good books allow them to do.
Another treasure hunter, Bill Black, found Mr. Gayles’ books on Amazon and had to reach out to him, “I’ve read so many books on treasure hunting, and I couldn’t shoot any holes in your story.” To date, the two have become friends and associates.
Taking a break from the swashbuckling adventures of modern-day fortune seekers, Mr. Gales has also written several children’s books. We Wish to Fish is a 24-page illustrated book ideal for parents to read to toddlers or as a primer for children to learn to read and count.
His latest children’s book, My Sister is in Heaven, is a cathartic expression aimed at helping his family recover from the loss of his granddaughter, three-year-old Elli Mae. Little Elli Mae suffered fatal injuries in a tragic accident, leaving the family heartbroken and searching for answers. Mr. Gales channeled his emotions by writing a story, hoping it would soothe the pain. All proceeds from My Sister is in Heaven are donated to the PICU at Aurora Colorado Children’s Hospital for their effort in attempting to save Elli Mae.
With a ninth book currently underway in the Bric Wahl series, what more could possibly be in store for Mr. Gales? “I’m an avid gardener and woodworker,” he shared, “I enjoy repurposing old wood into frames, coffee tables, and what not. But right now, I’m seriously considering going back to work,” said the 72-year-old, because, why not?
Mr. Wayne Wales lives in Melbourne with his wife Tina Reigel. Together they share five children and 13 grandchildren. For more information regarding the Bric Wahl book series, please visit https://www.amazon.com/Wayne-Gales/e/B003Y408NS/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1 . For educational appearances or book readings, please contact Mr. Gales at firstname.lastname@example.org.