Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Probably more than I can quantify. Everything that I see, hear and touch is filtered through my perception; so when I feed it back through writing or other means it will naturally have some of me in it.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
My wife Vicki and I were vacationing on a Florida Island. She wanted to look for a carved wooden pelican for our patio at home, so, hopping into the car we headed back across the long bridge to the mainland. We did not find a pelican on that trip, but I did discover that I had left my wallet back at our bungalow on the beach. We did not have a nickel between us, and the bridge was a toll bridge. So – I did the only reasonable thing. I parked the car in a super-market parking lot and begged passers-by for a dollar. I finally found a kind manager inside who provided the necessary cash. Vicki and I crossed the bridge, returned to our cabin and enjoyed the remainder of our vacation at the expense of a little humiliation.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I started keeping a journal when I was eight, I think. I really knew that I wanted to write, though, when I read adventures like Treasure Island, Call of the Wild, Moby Dick . . . at about the same age.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Over my lifetime – a wide range. Fiction – classics and modern. Non-fiction – theological, spiritual, self-help, political, biographies.
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
The Pallium Project is my second published novel. My third book, The Beginning of Sorrows is at the publisher, and I am writing my fourth, Denial of Power. My Sci-fi novel, The Landau Journals, was rejected many times. I thought it was quite good. About 30 years ago I wrote and illustrated a manual titled What’s All This Fuss About Feelings? We copied and used it in church for counseling. Revell was interested in publishing it, but I foolishly said I did not have the time for the process at the moment. I don’t know what I was thinking.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Jesus Christ and my wife Vicki – always in that order. I do not see how a lost people can lay their heads on their pillows without Christ, The Hope of Glory. Vicki often reminds me that Christ is my hope. She helps me stay grounded.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
That is one of the fun parts of writing – naming these guys, then watching them come to life. If they are foreign characters I rely a lot on the Internet. There are a number of Israeli and Russian characters in my novels. English names are sometimes composites of friends. Character’s names say a lot about the character, and can evoke an image of the person.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
High on the list is getting published.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I would be a dog. Dogs have great qualities, they are generous and faithful; and they love unconditionally.
What is your favorite food?
It would have to be chicken-fried steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, pinto beans and corn bread – topped off with a slice of pecan pie.
That sounds like just the meal my husband would say was his favorite, too. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I find that making the time to write is a huge roadblock – there are so many time stealers. It takes a lot of discipline. I am still working my way through this roadblock.
What advice would you give to an author just starting out?
a) Write what you like to read. Ask yourself if you are enjoying the process. If it’s drudgery to write, it will probably not engage the reader.
b) Write it, write it again, and write it again. I think a common misconception for some writers is to write a paragraph or page and move on. Go back and write it again. Write and re-write a paragraph until it’s right, then a page, and then a chapter. Then go back and re-write it. Then don’t get upset when an editor asks you to re-write it once more.
c) Let family and friends read your work before you submit it. Listen to their comments and critiques. Find as many readers as you can.
e) Read. Why did you like what you read? Why did you not like it?
Tell us about the featured book?
Please give us the first page of the book.
The first page is the prologue.
His cooling off period between recipients was becoming shorter, and still he had not accomplished his mission—to bring the Light into the world. Perhaps—he was not sure—his last object for introduction to the Light had received a glimpse of it, but nothing more than a tiny glimpse. That was just two months ago, and he was ready to minister again. He was not quite ready for his supreme ministry, however. There still remained the necessity for another interim challenge. He was almost there, just not quite. Needing some fine-tuning, he knew just the right subject to provide it. She was so close to the ultimate object that it was exhilarating just to think about her.
There had been a time when he had wondered if he was crazy. It was only a brief span of uncertainty; then he had put it aside. His mission was too crisp, his strategy too clear, his means too perfect for him to be crazy. Also, it had occurred to him that genius was often mocked, considered peculiar and even crazy. Certainly he was not crazy, but it would be an honor to be considered so by others.
Would a crazy person be given the privilege, the tribute, of seeing the Light?
He had seen the Light—twice. That first time, of course, was when he was six and had died. The other time was in 1980—he was just thirteen. The second seemed more special than the first for a number of reasons. First, it had occurred, not as a result of any physical trauma, but simply, apparently, as a tribute to him, as an accolade of admiration directed toward him. Secondly, it had been accompanied with a message, a message that had given him a purpose and a destiny, which, as a result had provided healing to his psyche. This healing was his third reason for remembering the second sighting. After that he no longer cared how people looked at him, nor what was whispered about him behind their shameful hands, nor who were openly repulsed by him. He was, now, who he was.
He remembered lying in his bed, his body damp with sweat. Something had awakened him, a noise, and a movement. The green numbers on his bedside clock face said 3:00.
Then, suddenly, there came the soft refrains of music. But, not really music—more like an orchestra tuning up, except softer and more melodic. Then came the gentle breeze, cool and quiet.
At once there had appeared a dim, steady light at the foot of his bed. He sat bolt upright, fully awake now, his skin prickling. Growing brighter, the light emitted a greenish glow. Beginning slowly, it drifted upwards until it was about even with his feet, where it remained, about the size of softball, slightly bobbing up and down.
The voice was in a low whisper.
I am truth and light.
Straining to hear, his trembling wouldn’t stop.
I have chosen you; you have not chosen me. You are special to me, and you shall be my special envoy. Do not be afraid to do what I say. I will be with you. You will bring my light into the world to whomever I will.
The light brightened as the music rose to a screeching crescendo. He did not care that everyone in the house might be awakened. The light became so brilliant, the breeze warm then hot, and the shrieking dissonance so loud that he had to cover his ears and close his eyes. Strangely, no one came into his bedroom to rescue him or investigate the ruckus.
Then it stopped. The room was cast in darkness and became utterly quiet. The only sound was his rapid breathing. He fell backwards onto his pillow, heart pounding, perspiring profusely.
It was true.
It was confirmed.
He was chosen
Then, improbably, he fell asleep.
Intriguing. How can readers find you on the Internet?
I can be found at http://www.erwebb.com/
Thank you for spending this time with us.
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