****I do not endorse, nor am I affiliated with any of the following authors. Their works are their own and my opinions have no basis on any author featured. The sole purpose is to connect authors and readers who may have similar interests. Please be respectful of all authors featured and as always, please feel free to share.****
Good morning, lovelies! Today is Friday and that means it’s time for another Featured Author. Today is all about Barbara Webb!
- How long have you known you wanted to be a writer? I have always been a writer, from school days to University courses, to teaching days. The writing took on different formats- reports, essays and articles for professional magazines. From childhood I was fascinated by what makes people tick. I would willingly help my parents with any tasks just to be allowed to observe the adults at one of their parties. Nothing seriously happened bookwise until 2014.
- What novels/works have you published and what are you working on now? Twelve years after my husbands death, I had thoughts nagging me about sharing the experience of my husband’s dying while I was his caregiver. It was about facing human mortality. One day I got up at 6 a.m. and just wrote until 10 a.m. This pattern was repeated, Monday to Friday for eight weeks. Then I was ill for two. So I sent off the manuscript to a professional editor. More rewriting, then proofreading. More rewriting and again, more proofreading. Finally the book came out on Kindle in Auust 2014, six months after I had begun. The paperback version came out in October. This book dealt with the dignity of the dying process, the grieving of the survivor and moving on, which in my case meant going to live on my own in Quito, Ecuador. Some reviewers suggested I write more about South America. The second book, which flowed on from the first and was published in May 2015. This book was a memoir of adventures and fun during the eight years I lived in Quito. During that time, I explored other South American countries on my own. The focus was on getting under the skin of a foreign culture. Both books are non-fiction. My previous writing experiences prepared me for this type of writing. Now I am a third of the way through writing a novel, my first piece of fiction. This book is about a 38-year-old woman who leaves her serets in Sydney, Australia, and arrives in West Gidding in Sussex in the mid 1980’s. She begins her new life, but the past has a way of catching up with her. And then there’s Mike….
- Do you have any tips for other authors who are just starting out? I graduated with a degree in English, but modern writing has few links with methods used in the past. In the same way as emails and brevity have replaced letter writing, so modern novels have eliminated what used to be regarded as literary prose. I believe there is a “cooking” process involved in writing books, in becoming known in social media circles and in marketing. It’s about “letting go” of the processes and accepting the little miracles that take their place. You know that turning up the gas or electricity overcookds food and leaves it tasteless. The same applies to writing. Pushing forward too quickly robs us of the moment of magic that is there without any pressure. I always carry a little notebook where words, or ideas, can be jotted in the heat of the moment. The most prosaic places can inspire us with ideas. Social networking is essential, but for me it comes AFTER I have completed the daily writing quota. I also believe that good quality writing will always win over readers. With bad writing, even the best marketing efforts will flounder.
- Is there anyone who has influenced your writing? My writing is closely connected with imagination and creativity. No one can give you that. I believe that the creative process in writing in connected with the playfulness in life as well as with music, drama or poetry.
- Any favorite authors or quotes? I can’t remember who said this…. “Writing is just the first step to producing a book. The other four steps are rewriting, rewriting, rewriting, and rewriting. If you are not prepared to rewrite and rewrite your work fifty times if necessary, then you will not be a successful writer.” I take this advice very seriously.
- Tell us about yourself. I have visited 50 countries and lived in 7 of them so I am very much a citizen of the world. I now live between Cornwall and Quito, Ecuador. Likewise I have had a number of careers from teaching and self-training to being an air hostess with an international airline. I’ve exhibited paintings to teaching on painting holidays in Spain and the Greek islands; from staff training to running a management course in retailing. I am as comfortable with cleaning the floor as I am going to a concert. All of life, ordinary and extraordinary, represents the rich patina of life that an author can tap into. I like to use all of life in my books whenever I can.
A few reviews of “South America”
By Lally on 6 Jun. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book has given me itchy feet and I’m now planning a trip to Quito (and I must see the Salt Cathedral in Colombia, and the Galapagos) South America here I come!
By Albina Hume on 27 Dec. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
This book can literally transform people’s life. Highly recommended!