Another Column at MyShelf.Com

Beneath the Covers,Past
A Romance Column
By Carol Ann Culbert Johnson

Introducing Barbara Webb...

Carol: What are your New Year resolutions for your book goals in 2009?

Barbara: Last year, I challenged myself to learn more about my craft and decided to return to school. Enjoying a new semester right now!

Carol: What can you tell us about yourself?

Barbara: Iím an avid reader/writer living in Salt Lick, Kentucky with a wonderful hubby, two precocious boys, and a yard full of furry friends.

Carol: What is the name of your current book and give a synopsis of it?

Barbara: Iím currently working on a screenplay for a college course and it does not have a title yet. Itís so exciting to step out of my comfort zone and work with a new style.

Carol: Who is your publisher and how do you feel about this publisher? Would you recommend this publisher to other aspiring authors?

Barbara: As I write mainly narrative non-fiction and general non-fiction, I donít "belong" to any one publishing house, I also write articles, fillers, and narrative stories for magazines. I have a popular frugal-living book with McGraw Hill, The Momís Guide to Earning and Saving Thousands on the Internet (ISBN 0071457763) The editors at McGraw Hill were wonderful to work with during the production this helpful guide.

Carol: What is your publishing journey? How did you get started in writing?

Barbara: I donít recall when I first started writing, but I have scribbles from as far back as first grade. I began reading at the age of 4 and Iíve been in love with the craft ever since. Writing for "a living" began in my late twenties when I started writing curriculum manuals which eventually led me to explore writing for newspapers and local magazines. It was then a natural progression to mainstream publishing.

Carol: Do you have an agent? If so, why and why not?

Barbara: I did but the relationship wasnít a good fit. The most important key, for me, in an agent-author relationship is that the agent works for the author and also helps develop a plan of action (a vision per se) If this is non-existent, then in my opinion, the writer is actually better off without an agent. When the time comes that I find a need for one, I would consider entering into a business relationship with an agent again, but I would take a lot more time to interview, research, check references, and meet the agent first before committing to the partnership.

Carol: Did you self-publish or go the traditional route?

Barbara: I went the traditional route first, but did (by naivety) wind up publishing with a publisher that bordered dangerously close to being a vanity press. It was a terrific learning experience, and a somewhat lucrative one, though. I would do over again, but this time with a wiser approach. Whether one makes a living writing by self-publishing or traditional routes, what matters is that the writer understands the relationship they are entering with the publisher: the rights, and the responsibilities of the publishing path chosen.

Carol: What are your New Year resolutions for your book goals in 2009?

Barbara: Last year, I challenged myself to learn more about my craft and decided to return to school. Enjoying a new semester right now!

Carol: What are your views on the writers of today?

Barbara: They are lovely and diverse! And isnít that what makes us readers keep coming back for more? To discover new voices and new ideas is divine.

Carol: Who is your favorite author and why?

Barbara: I adore many authors but Joel Osteen, Dean Koontz and Alice Hoffman rise to the top of my list. Joel Osteen offers powerful, uplifting messages and a friendly style of writing that I appreciate. Dean Koontz offers the most riveting brain candy with a soulful message. Alice Hoffman, in my opinion, simply said, is the best lyrical writer of my generation.

Carol: How do you feel about writing?

Barbara: This question gave me pause because I donít really feel about writing, per se, itís such a part of who I am, that it is joy, sorrow, love, anger, and all the emotions of my being.

Carol: Is writing a hobby or a full-time goal?

Barbara: I donít view it as just a goal or a hobby, itís a little of both and some gray-shaded areas, too. I have writing goals and then there are some aspects of writing that are a hobby for me, such as poetry.

Carol: What is your genre of writing? Explain.

Barbara: Iím most passionate about paranormal/fantasy in the fiction genre. In non-fiction I enjoy writing true stories, frugal living, parenting, education, and entertainment topics.

Carol: What are your other published books?

Barbara: Recent publications include:

The Mom's Guide to Earning and Saving Thousands on the Internet (ISBN 0071457763)

And contributsions to:

A Cup of Comfort for Weddings: Something Old, Something New (Anthology)

Stories of Strength (Anthology)

Carol: Who inspires you to write and why?

Barbara: Many people have given me encouragement along the way, particularly my teachers throughout my school years, but mainly, itís life—everything about this amazing universe—that inspires me each day. Iím fortunate to experience the miracle!

Carol: Do you write short stories and poems?

Barbara: Yes, Iím particularly fond of writing in both genres.

Carol: Have your stories ever been in an anthology? Why or why not?

Barbara: Yes, and I Confess 3 is the 9th anthology my short story work appears in.

Carol: Have you done a book signing? If so, was it successful?

Barbara: Yes, several. Define success? My books sold out, I learned from each one, and I had many, fun conversations with lovely people... so yes, to me they were all a wonderful success!

Carol: What voice do you write in and why?

Barbara: My own ☺ because it is the one God gifted me with.

Carol: What advice would you give to other writers?

Barbara: Write and persevere!

Carol: You have to write constantly to keep honing your craft and of course, to keep producing material.

Barbara: You must believe in yourself and your writing and keep pushing the boundaries. Believe! Most of all, you must believe in your magical prose.

Carol: Do you have a website? If so, please showcase it to our readers?


Carol: What is your email address where readers can learn all about you and your books?

Barbara: Readers may contact me at my Yahoo address

Carol: Have you attended any writing classes, or workshops? If so, explain.

Barbara: Many! There is always something new to be learned and I love the "ah-ha" moments.

Carol: How do you come up with your stories?

Barbara: By living and experiencing all life has to offer.

Carol: Do you write them in long hand, on the computer, or does someone type them for you?

Barbara: I write in long-hand and on the computer. It depends on what mood my muse is in that day

Carol: What book are you reading now? Give the title, the author, and a synopsis.

Barbara: I wish, wish, wish I was reading something other than a college text book right now. Iím really looking forward to catching up on my leisure reading again next summer

Carol: If you had three wishes, what would they be and why?

Barbara: Iíd wish for a brighter world with less pain and strife and a better economy for all.

Iíd wish for Godís love to fill every heart with hope and kindness.

Iíd wish for everyone who reads this to be blessed by all the joy and wonder life has to offer!


2009 Past Columns

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