For the Artists Who Like to Remain Strictly Out of the Box
B. Swangin Webster is the author of ‘Let Me Just Say This’ and ‘And Again…Let Me Say This’ B. Swangin Webster was bitten by the writing bug in high school when an assignment was given to write about an experience that you would never want to endure. The paper was to be no more than one page in length; however an eight page paper was turned in. She didn’t get a grade, because she didn’t follow directions, however, the English teacher told her that she definitely had the knack for telling a story and that she should put those “voices” into a novel form someday.
B. Swangin Webster took over twenty years to finally listen to those voices and put her first novel in her file cabinet until she reluctantly gave it to a co-worker to read and they asked “Why is this sitting in your cabinet, you need to submit this and get this published?” B. Swangin Webster took the plunge less than a month later and her manuscript was accepted and published in Jan of 2009.
1) I think that endurance plays a big part in how a writer becomes more successful within their craft. What relevance do you think endurance has to being a writer?
Well, the relevance that endurance has to a writer, is that if you have a good product (book, poetry) then people will expect you to keep putting out good products, just like a singer has to always put out good music in order to endure their business, an author has to always be on point with their writing, because there are a lot of other books to choose from.
2) When did you know that writing was something that you wanted to incorporate into your life? What was the first thing you can remember ever writing?
Hahahaha, funny you should ask that. I always knew that I wanted to be a writer, probably from age 11ish. I always had a vivid imagination and always loved to read and everytime I would read something, I would always think the same thing, “I can do better than that”. The first thing I ever wrote was a short story, untitled in the seventh grade and gave it to my best friend as a gift. It was about friendship.
3) Without giving away too much of the novels, tell us about your novels, “Let Me Just Say This”, and “And Again…Let Me Just Say This”? Where did the idea of the story come from?
LMJST is about Cheryl and Kevin (main characters,) who try to hide the secret of domestic violence. Kevin is this very successful buisnessman in the DC area and Cheryl is the dutiful wife, but she suffers from low self esteem and hides the fact that her husband is abusive. The sequel (AA…LMST) follows Cheryl as she has the strength to leave the marriage but still allows him (Kevin) to control her life, but she has met a man and the new man doesn’t like that she allows her husband to control her, but also he is hiding a secret that could kill the relationship, literally.
The first novel, (LMJST) came about as a writing assignment entitled, “what I never want to go through” and I wrote about domestic violence because at that time I knew of someone going through it and figured, they were always sad about it and worried about it, and I knew I never wanted to live with that and for the sequel, (AA…LMJST) it actually was because the first book would have been over 400 pages, so I stopped it at a point which created the second book.
4) What writers inspire you to keep writing? What is the first book you’ve ever read? What are you currently reading?
OH MY GOSH!!! E.Lynn Harris was my favorite all time author. My first novel was “Invisible Life” by E. Lynn Harris. Currently I just finished reading Dirty Old Men, by Omar Tyree and I just finished reading Rich Man’s Baby by Daaimah S. Poole
5) How do you find the balance in your schedule to actually sit down and write and keep everything else in your life going smoothly?
Chile, there is no balance. Whenever the “characters” start “cutting up and want attention” I stop whatever I am doing and start writing. It’s funny because I talk to them and say stuff like, ‘will you quit it! I’m at my other job’ and they will actually talk back and say stuff like, “well, I got somethan to say, so handle it!”..so most of the time, I stop, take out my trusty flashdrive and start typing….excuse me….”ok not now, Jimmetta is interviewing me, give me ten more minutes”…Sorry, Rebecca (character) is screaming about somebody trying to kill her! Ugh! If she didn’t….oh sorry, that’s book three. (smile)
6) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel?
No, no schedule, but I do try to do something related to writing everyday. If my characters are on “vacation” I might create a book trailer, or more promotional materials, or meet with my assistant about upcoming events. Yes, Renesha I know, we have a meeting today….
I never liked outlining and never really learned how to do it, so that is not something that I have to do in order for my books to take shape.
Generally it takes about 4-6 months, but for this book I’m working on, it has taken me longer, because I had to have surgery on my hand (no, not carpal tunnel) but I literally couldn’t use my hand for over a month, ok, well I was like a kid and didn’t listen, so I had popped all of the stitches and had to get them put back in so it took longer for my hand to heal, but don’t tell Dr. Joson….shhh
7) What current projects are you working on if anything?
I am currently working on book three: Once and For All: The Final Chapter, which as you can tell, Rebecca has gotten herself into a little trouble with Cheryl, Kevin and someone from her (Rebecca’s)past
8) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far?
Oh my! Well I would say having my first newspaper interview, in the March edition of the Maryland Independent Newspaper, which is a local newspaper. Sara Poyner did such a wonderful job, that my books sold out in the Borders in Waldorf, within a week of the article being printed. It was so funny because I had done the interview about two weeks before and the day it came, was the day I had surgery, so I didn’t know about it, until people started calling me about it. I was scheduled to be at an event, but due to the effects of surgery, I couldnt go, but I was told by the hostesses that people came “just to see the author featured in the paper” I felt so bad that I missed it.
9) Where do you see yourself within your career in the next ten years?
Definately as a full time author, traveling across the county and speaking to different groups about being an author. Chile, right now it’s all I can do to stay focused at my “other” job. I routinely tell those folks that I work with that “I’m an author and don’t get it twisted.”
10) What advice would you give to aspiring writers today?
My advice would be, no matter what you are going through, ALWAYS surround yourself with authors and writers. You have to be around someone who thinks similar to you and has the same goals of producing a ‘great read’
Thank you for doing this interview with me and I can’t wait to see what you have come out with next. I wish you the best of luck.
Thank you so much for having me and I have had a ball talking to you and make sure you let your readers know they can keep up with me by joining my website.
For more information on B. Swangin Webster and what she has in the works please go check out her website at http://bswanginwebster.webs.com/.