Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Writer Interview #16

-- Quote of the Day --

"The beautiful part of writing is that
you don't have to get it right the first time, 
unlike, say, a brain surgeon.
You can always do it better,
find the exact word, 
the apt phrase, 
the leaping simile." 

~ Robert Cormier

-- Chatter --

Wow, Can you believe it is May 26th already? Time has sped up for me this year, more noticeably that the past. It has been an incredibly busy spring season, dealing with my parents' estate matters since January, all the work around the property, a heavy schedule in the office... And here it is, nearly the end of May! I'll be taking a few days off this month - which means I'll be out of the office -  between  May 28 and May 31... Your patience is appreciated during that time frame.

-- Writer Interview #17 --

Our discussion today will focus on authors promoting literacy. Joining us is B. Swangin Webster, who worked on her first novel, Let Me Just Say This, for three days before it was completed, straight out of high school. However, it took more than 20 years for her to finally submit it for publishing. Her second novel, And Again…Let Me Say This, was actually released less than a year after her first. She is currently finishing up her third novel, Once and For All. As you can see by the interview below, this author has a passion for writing, mentoring other writers and encouraging everyone to read. When she is not writing, she is cooking or reading one of her 200+ books. Find today's guest at:

Q: What makes a good story?

A: You really have to look at what context of the story. Does it catch your eye from the synopsis, or does it cause a reaction when you read any page that you might flip to? If you can answer yes to both of those questions, than you have a good story.  To have a great story, you have to answer yes to the following question: Does the story jump off of the pages, so that you can't put it down - before you buy it?

Q: Do you have any suggestions to help others become a better writer?

A: Yes, definitely. My suggestion would always be: never second guess a character, circumstance or voice (first person, second person, narrative). If you do that, your story will not remain true to what you want it to be.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who is interested in your topic?

A: Well my topic is not an easy topic to discuss. It deals with issues, which in today's society, is not talked about. Dealing with domestic violence and self-esteem issues have been a no-no, but recently it gains more light, because of the "professionals" (those in the public eye) now being exposed to it.

Q: What kinds of benefits come from participating in groups and organizations?  

A: The benefits are wonderful. I participated in a writing group, where I gained some wonderful critiques from people who only liked to read, and when they told me what they like to see in a novel, I took that and ran with it, like a kid getting handed a five-dollar bill and sent into the dollar store!

You also can interact with more people who share your vision of being an author and gain valuable experience from their "travels" in the land that I like to call "Authorville".

Q: What are your thoughts on the publishing industry?

A: My thoughts are varied. First I thought small publishing houses were the way to go until I saw, how some authors are getting ripped off by them. Then I thought, big publishing houses was the way to go, but unless you have a sure fire best seller on your hands, you are taking a big gamble. I think that the publishing industry to often overlooks people that have real talent, to go with someone who has a product that might be a one hit wonder. Yes, it happens just like in the music industry.

Q: Often we hear about the issues with literacy, how can writers help this issue?

A: The way that writers can help is go to schools and volunteer in an English class, or what we call Language/Reading classes. Too often schools are "teaching a test" meaning they are not putting in the time to teach our students the joy in writing and reading. My first goal as an author was to talk to students in the middle school I work in about reading and writing, and you would be amazed that they actually believe that Texting is reading/writing. I tell them that if you develop that love early, you can become a poet, an author, or even someone in the publishing industry, but first you have to develop a love for it. 

I challenge all authors and writers to volunteer at least once a month at their local school. It doesn’t matter what level -, elementary, middle/junior, or high school...even college - students love to hear about authors, especially in their own communities.

Q: In what ways can an author help other writers? (i.e. -how do you help writers?)

A: By always offering my help, even when they think they don't need it. I look on social networks for authors, and let them know that I was where they are right now. I reached out to some bestselling authors, and amazingly, they gave me valuable lessons and I said I would do the same. So right now, I mentor at least 4 authors with everything from writing style to website development, and my only requirement is: they must mentor someone coming behind them.

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, information about their radio shows and free resources and more at:

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