Author Q & A with W.W. Webb
September 8, 2022
This week’s Author Q&A is with W.W. Webb. Wesley is a farm-raised Georgia native. He knows how to use dynamite and graduated from Yale University. He is a former trucker, pharmacy tech, teacher, computer programmer, carpenter, handyman, political operative, roofer, and business owner… A man of many talents!
In fact, we’re very grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Wesley as he was kind and patient enough to help with code behind the scenes in WordPress. We’ve been publishing stage and screenplays since our 3rd issue and are excited to learn the best way to format scripts so they are displayed correctly. Thanks again for that Wesley!
His script “Road Music” was selected as the runner-up for this year’s Honeybee Prize in Poetry by guest judge Charlene A. Donaghy. She had this to say about it–
There is an eerie truth to Road Music even as it lives in a world of magic with a tinge of horror. As humans we take many roads: easy, less traveled, right turns, left turns, tough uphill climbs, easy downhill slides, roundabouts…all metaphors for our lives. Ward and Dee emphasize these human “travels” adrift on a deserted country highway, a location that seldom means sunshine and butterflies. As a stand-alone piece, Road Music is just enough to make the audience ponder. As a precursor to a longer piece, if that is the road the writer might decide to meander down, Road Music sets up many possibilities along the “…lullaby of asphalt or the steady crump, crump of concrete.”
We asked Wesley for some unique or surprising detail about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of his script and to share something he learned through writing and revising.
His response: “I wrote the old cowboy’s soliloquy in July 2018 during a road trip to visit family and attend a film festival. The visuals for the lonely landscape came in October 2018 during a road trip to another film festival when I drove along US 160 on the plains east of Trinidad, Colorado. I wrote the script itself in February 2019.”
“My original plan was to produce and direct this script at some point. I hadn’t bothered to submit it anywhere until April when I discovered the Honeybee contest and its theme of the Plains. I thought, oh, Road Music might fit into that.”
Indeed it is a great fit! We then asked Wesley what the most challenging part of writing is for him and then on the flip side, what part is the most satisfying.
His response: “With a family, children, film crew jobs, and a farm in the mix, protecting my writing schedule from interruption and distraction is a continual challenge. In 2019, I remodeled the farmhouse’s kitchen and added a high counter where I can work on my laptop while keeping an eye on the main field. In 2020, I converted part of a tool shed into a mini-studio where I can retreat to read, write, and draw.
“Writing is when my mind feels most engaged, challenged, and happy. Frequently, in every project, I experience moments when the dam breaks and the words pour out onto the blank page. That flow brings a serene joy.”
These questions lead us to ask what fuels his desire to write.
His response: “I grew up in Georgia and storytelling is a key part of any Southerner’s DNA. Reading was a huge comfort in my youth and has remained so throughout my life. As a teen and onward, my secret dream was to join the fellowship of writers and perform that special alchemy of turning words and sentences into stories.”
We then asked what his biggest fear is as a writer.
His response: “Starting out after college, obscurity was a concern. My sister once asked if I would leave behind a trunk full of unpublished work somewhat like Emily Dickinson. In recent years, as I’ve picked up accolades here and there, my current worry is that I will run out of time long before my ink runs dry.”
That sounds like there’s not only a lot of past writing that has potential but current too. With all that, we asked Wesley to share what projects he has that are currently “in the works.”
His response: “I have always enjoyed animation, and I have an animated short for children in the works. In March, I finished Legacy of the Witch, my first TV pilot spec and first collaboration with another screenwriter, Michael Keeling. In our fantasy script, witches and Vikings battle to save humanity from a dark sorcerer and his army at Stonehenge. Although our initial contest submissions haven’t earned any recognition yet, I remain hopeful about its prospects.”
We then asked him what books or authors have influenced his writing or what he likes to read.
His response: “Shakespeare is an essential source — the eloquence and depth of expression is like drinking from the purest mountain spring. During the pandemic, I needed a break from the daily burden of reality and turned to fantasy: Naomi Novik’s novels were particularly delightful. (Uprooted, Spinning Silver, and her Temeraire series.) Another memorable treat was the All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness. (Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, The Book of Life.)”
And to round things out, we asked Wesley what he thinks of when he hears the phrase “The Good Life.”
His response: “Among my books rests a Penguin Classics copy of Cicero’s On the Good Life. I haven’t ever read his thoughts on happiness, but now I have the perfect reason to begin.”
Huh! We should probably take a look at that one too. Congratulations again, Wesley, on your winning script and thanks so much for participating in our Q&A!!
~The Good Life Review Team