Our interview today is with Tina Webb. Thanks very much for being here Tina, and for doing this interview.
Answer: My husband Doug and I have six children, two girls and four boys. Their ages are 21, 19, 17, 14, just about 4 and 22 months old. Our oldest, Christina is a 4th year at our alma mater, the University of Virginia and our second, Christopher is a junior at Virginia Commonwealth University. I have home schooled now for 15 years and I love it. In college I had explored a career in teaching, but decided to teach my own children.
Needless to say, I have a very active life, from teaching to taking care of my little ones, to marketing and writing, to cooking and house cleaning. It’s basketball season and my husband coaches my son’s JV team so I’ll be a sports mom until March. I do enjoy seeing my kids play sports. Life is definitely a juggling act. Parenthood is just a season in life so that takes priority over writing still. I’ll be able to write for the rest of my life. On a given day I may get 1-3 hours to actually work on marketing our books (my husband just released his first nonfiction book) or writing. Marriage, after my faith, is my next priority and it’s wonderful that Doug and I are partners not just in our family but also in our new writing careers. We inspire each other.
2. Question: Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal satisfaction?
Answer: I am an HGTV and Food Network junkie. I love to cook so I do cook dinners from scratch almost daily. I got this example from my mother, who worked full-time but still provided us with healthy home cooked meals every night. I play the piano for a local prayer gathering. I really enjoy that. As a family, we love to play the Wii and card games. I’ve recently begun to play golf with my husband. One of my most refreshing hobbies is to just hang out with my best friend, who designed the cover for my book.
3. Question: Tell us about working with any people who help you create your books — Do you use Beta readers? Hire an editor or proofreader? How do you get your covers?
Answer: My debut novelette was inspired by a bible study that my husband did with our teenagers. His intent was twofold: to teach our teenagers how to study the Bible and to help them understand God as a Father. So as I wrote, I had him read, to make sure that I was being as true to scripture as I could even though I was writing speculative fiction. My best friend, Sena Woodall used to work as a graphic designer and did my cover. My daughter Maria is a wonderful photographer. I use her for my blog, my FB page and she took the pictures which Sena manipulated for the cover. I asked various people to proofread, but next time I’ll hire a professional editor.
4. Question: Have you done anything writing-related, but besides your books, that seemed to get a lot of positive response? Something that encouraged you?
Answer: I write poetry. Years ago, I volunteered to read my poetry and asked a very talented friend, Bernard Hankins to write instrumental music to go with the mood of each poem. About twenty-five people showed up to my poetry reading and really were impressed. That definitely encouraged me.
5. Question: Tell us about your newest book. Make us want to read it.
Answer: I thought it would be cool to write a fictional account, with as much Biblical support as possible, on God’s reaction to the loss of one-third of his created angels, especially as a loving Father who did not create evil. The plot includes some interesting speculations on God’s original intent for creating other planets, the Gap Theory, and how iniquity could have developed in a being, Lucifer, that had only ever known pure Love and Goodness. I was inspired to write about the necessity for God to create the concept of justice and warfare, because according to the Bible, before the angelic rebellion, all of creation only knew peace. The book paints a picture of Earth before any ugliness, any disrepair, and any deterioration. Can you imagine how beautiful and majestic is must have been? We follow the characters, Helel, Atara, Michael, Phinael, Adi and Gabriel through the process of discovering the corruption that sin brings. They experience fear, loss, grief and violence for the first time. In fact two of them, are banished by God forever because they refuse to turn their gaze back to God the Creator and keep it on themselves…the created. The end of the novel hints to a new creation that God plans for Earth.
Answer: A dream came true a few years ago, when out of the blue, an acquaintance called me and asked me if I wanted to see Maya Angelou perform. Wow! I think we sat in the seventh row. Maya Angelou is a part of not only African-American literary history, but also American literary history. In college, I studied the lyricism behind African American poetry. It brought my love for music into my study of literature. Angelou’s use of vocal tone, rhythm, attitude and facial expression, as well as the messages of her poetry…goodness, in my opinion, her performance was spoken literary art at its best.
7. Question: Share something that makes you laugh, with just plain humor, or happiness, or because it’s so stupid.
Answer: I love stupid, silly humor. My friend, Sena, began writing Facebook posts like: “A day without sunshine is night” and “Fact: the average human body contains enough bones to create an entire human skeleton.” I joined in and so now it’s this ongoing silly phrase thing. I love it! It’s great. My husband will tell you that not even the best comedians can make me laugh. . It’s the simple silly things that make me laugh. I’ll make up one now: Outside of a window, you can see the outside. LOL. My teens are shaking their heads right now. They don’t quite know what to make of my silliness sometimes.
8. Question: Share something that’s amazing, touching, or that makes you angry.
Answer: The way some people view children and the unborn makes me angry. Children are never a curse and should never be viewed as an inconvenience. I think people today can be too self-centered regarding their own agendas. The Bible calls children arrows. Sure, raising children is hard work. Children refine us. We were all kids once. We know what our parents went through! Children are blank canvases of promise. I pray that there is a revival of good parenting.
Question: What’s the worst trouble you ever had with getting a book written (plots, finding needed information, getting a cover done)?
9. Question: What is your current WIP?
Answer: I am working on a devotional called Selah: Daily Quotes for Daily Meditation. I use many of these quotes on my FB page: https://www.facebook.com/BeforeTheBeginningTWebb. Quotes like these help me when I’m driving and I want to ponder an aspect of biblical truth, life or present societal issues. For instance, here are a few:
The sense of His presence defies the intellect but invigorates the spirit.
Accusations from the enemy are like gnats. You swipe one away to find another one in your face.
Love invests with no guarantee of a ROI. (Return On Investment)
After that I’ll be editing the next two books in my husband’s series: The God On Trial Series. When I get time I’ll work on my fiction series: The Ages of Laus Perennis. Laus Perennis is Latin for eternal praise.
Although I’d intended it originally for children, my writing style tells me it will be better suited for a young adult audience.
10. Question: What is your writing style?
Answer: Another author called it “poetic prose”. I like that and it is true. Since literature and public speaking is my favorite subject to teach, I get a high off of wording that is metaphorical, or the use of symbols in a setting. Words are so powerful, I like to take the time to write in a way that causes the reader to envision or emote.
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