Tuesday, September 30, 2014

FOR LOVE OF THE STORY BY Peggy Webb AKA Elaine Hussey

If you'd told me nearly thirty years ago that I'd still be writing, I wouldn't have believed you. In the early days of my career, I actually believed I might run out of ideas!  I thought publishers would stop buying my books and readers would move on to the next good thing.

The truth is this: I will never live long enough to write all the stories I want to tell. I will never tire of opening a brand new document then typing the title and my name underneath. My children and grandchildren will have to pry the keyboard from my cold dead hands. And why? Why do I pursue a lonely profession day after day, year after year? I do it all for love of the story.

Stories come to me many different ways. They can come in a dream, a memory, a song. They can come from an incident I've witnessed or fly off the page of a non-fiction book I'm reading. Such a small thing, this tiny idea, and yet I grab hold and start typing as if my hair is on fire. I put characters on the page and fall in love with a story, all over again.

My latest novel, The Language of Silence, sprang to life when I discovered a non-fiction book about Mabel Stark, the first female big cat trainer. Shortly after I read about Mabel, the circus came to my hometown (no coincidence there, just a bit of magic), and I got to interview a charming, ancient woman who actually remembered when Mabel was with Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey. 

Mabel inspired Lola, who brought with her a whole host of characters: a granddaughter caught in domestic violence with nowhere to turn, a sister longing to know if Lola got away Scott free with murder, a beat-up old big cat trainer whose secrets are eating him alive, a circus owner who founded a dynasty of equestrians and is determined to die under the Big Top.

Oh, I LOVE this story!  Publisher's Weekly calls it "magical," and fans across the country are telling me what this story means to them. In The Language of Silence, I tackle a serious issue: spousal abuse. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women, more than car accidents, muggings and rapes combined. Fear keeps many of these women silent. I spoke for them. I gave my abused characters hope, and then I gave them wings to fly away to freedom. If any of my readers identify with Lola and her granddaughter Ellen, I want them to grow wings, too. I want them to fly to the nearest shelter and speak out.     

Thank you so much for stopping by to chat.  One person who comments on this post today will receive a signed copy of The Language of Silence.

The REALLY BIG NEWS, though, is that all this month you've been leaving comments on the posts of my most wonderful Southern Magic sisters!  Boy, what a treat we have in store for you! A Kindle Fire to the grand prize winner, announced TODAY!

Also, you’ve seen our posts about the fabulous Readers Luncheon, hosted by Southern Magic. New York Times bestselling author Sylvia Day will be the guest speaker. Each attendee will receive a bag of books plus author swag, sit at the table with one or two published authors and have a chance to win baskets full of goodies!  It’s like early Christmas! To register for the luncheon, go to http://southernmagic.org/luncheon.html

Do visit me at my websites, www.peggywebb.com and www.elainehussey.com. You can also follow me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/#!/peggy.webb.92 and Twitter https://twitter.com/


Rita Bay said...

Congrats on a long and successful. Not everyone can tackle abuse in fiction.
It's been an enjoyable month meeting all the Romance Magicians and friends.

Charlotte said...

I began collecting oral histories twenty two years ago to be sifted through and used in our local community play. I have filled volumes of transcriptions that were sifted through by a professional play write and adapted to the stage performed by community volunteers. There is such power in them thar stories. As I began to share my own, they somehow validated my life. Our second year an influx of abuse stories came in and were adapted for our play in the telling of thoses stories, we had forty eight people, audience members come forth and tell their own stories for the very first time. Hearing other's stories gave them courage to tell their own and that's where their began. Thank you for going to those hard places and bring to light the dark secrets of the human soul. I will be reading your books. Best of love and wishes. baxleychar@yahoo,com

Charlotte said...

healing began

bringing to light

sometimes my fingers don't hit the right keys, sorry

Shadow said...

Wow! What a powerful post. I commend you. Giving the silenced out there a voice, the courage, the magical thought of freedom and happiness. Ive read some stories and they always break my heart. I love that you touched a subject many turn a blind eye to. Good for you!
And writing, lonely? Nope! If anything, your extremely busy & popular, and constantly keeping characters at bay and planing there future! :)
Congrats on your success!! Best wishes to you!

bn100 said...

Nice you have a lot of ideas

KiKiD said...

I love hearing authors' beautiful posts, and yours today was no exception! This really encouraged me to fulfill my dream of writing in the future-and hopefully, become a published author!
I loved reading how your story came from just a simple idea and grew into a whole book!

Peggy Webb said...

Thanks to everyone who stopped by today! It's heartwarming to hear about your dreams and to know that something I have said might inspire you.

Also, thanks for being patient with me. As many of you know, I've been on book tour for The Language of Silence. I still have one event to attend, and so I've spent all day at my computer catching up on a massive backlog of stuff before I head out again. Such is the business end of writing.

It will be my pleasure to send one lucky winner a signed copy of the book! Readers and fellow writers are the true blessings of this business. Happy reading!

Mary Preston said...

An issue that needs to be highlighted. I'm looking forward to a very interesting read.

Peggy Webb said...

Winner of a signed copy of The Language of Silence is Charlotte! Thanks to all of you who stopped by! Charlotte, I'm going to contact you via the email address you provided. If you don't hear from me within the next two days, please use the contact link on my website, www.peggywebb.com.