Today I welcome back author Wade Webster as he shares more about his writing process. Read all the way to the end to see how you might win a free copy of Eek’s Gifts, as well as a sneak peek into the first scene of the book. Wade also answers some tough questions for us.
Opening lines are crucial to the success of a story. Get it right and a potential reader will buy your book quickly. Miss the mark and you miss the sale.
I remember accepting a driving assignment one Saturday to go to Abilene, Texas. Only after I said yes did I discover I had to go to Wichita Falls on the way back. A seven hour trip suddenly turned into a twelve hour ordeal that would get me back in the late evening.
The radio was turned off as I let my mind wonder in the solitude of west Texas. The winter vegetation was dormant and dark. The horizon stretched out as a 360 degree pancake.
In my writing world there was a story that needed to be lengthened. I now had to start at the beginning of Eek’s life to get him from the woods he was born in to a house. The details were still taking shape, but I wasn’t focused on that.
Suddenly, it hit me. “A good mouse mom knows that, since a mouse’s life is so short, you must make the most of every moment. Eek had a very smart mom.”
Since I didn’t have anything to write on I kept repeating that to myself so I wouldn’t forget it. Any reader will know we have the story of a mouse who will be guided by his mom.
I knew from the part of Eek’s life I had previously written that he could understand what people say. I added a whisker that twitches to warn of impending danger. These two gifts from God would form the title of the book and tie in God’s gift to people who accept Jesus’s gift of salvation to them on faith alone.
As Eek watches each of his siblings being eaten by various animals he gets mad at God for making him a mouse. What young person isn’t mad at God for something about themself?
As Eek steps up to help his mom and he discovers his unique gifts he finds more purpose in his life than he ever thought possible. Who doesn’t need that message?
When I added all the backstory to the beginning of this book I knew it needed to be told this way. Even though the main character gets his dark moment in the first chapter it sets the tone for this incredible, adorable little guy’s life journey.
I hadn’t learned the various “rules” to writing that I know now. If I had this book would have been structured differently.
I’m convinced that when God wants a story written outside the box of conventional standards He’ll give it to someone who doesn’t have a clue what goes into that box to begin with.
Don’t write your stories based on anyone else’s disposition. Write the story God has given you to write. A publisher may change it later, but your uniqueness must come through your writing.
Publishers didn’t know what to make of Dr. Seuss.
Thanks, Wade. Now, time for the tough questions…
What do you enjoy most about writing? Writing is an escape for me. When someone finds their calling from God there’s nothing they’d rather do with their life. When I see the words come together I’m touched that God is using me in this way to help build His kingdom.
What can readers who enjoy your books do to help make it successful? First, they can buy a truckload of them from me personally since I make the most money per book that way. Second, they can tell everybody they know, and some folks they don’t know, about my books. A great way to do this is by leaving a review on sites that sell books so other people see how it has impacted them.
Wade Webster makes most of his livelihood from driving trucks. He can’t be held responsible for any mice who tried crossing the road in front of him. His reflexes aren’t that quick.
Links: Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorWadeWebster/
Tate Publishing Buy page: https://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=9781683330332
I will mail a copy to a random commenter.
OPENING SCENE FROM EEK’S GIFT
A good mouse mom knows that, since a mouse’s life is so short, you need to make the most of every moment. Eek had a very smart mom.
“Come outside so I can teach you a game. Come on, all of you.” Mom moved her paw in a circle toward herself.
The youngest mouse looked at his mom standing in the sunshine. She looked like she was glowing. He followed the other mice outside. The sun was so bright he almost closed his eyes. His nose sniffed the new smells. The large space felt scary, but one look at Mom and all was well.
Mom clapped. “Okay, the game is called hide-and-seek. One of you waits for the others to hide and then you have to find them. Who wants to be first to seek?”
Eek sat back as the others jumped at Mom.
“Me, me, me…I wanna go first!”
Mom looked at the other son. “A true gentlemouse lets a lady go first.”
Eek’s brother shook out his fur, then scampered over next to Eek.
The two sisters continued pulling on their mom’s fur.
Mom pushed them back. “We’ll let the older one be first.”
The younger sister rubbed her paws over her face. “She always gets to go first. Why can’t I be first once?”
Mom put a paw on the younger sister’s shoulder. “Don’t worry. Hiding is as fun as seeking, sometimes funner.”
Mom gathered everyone around. “Now your sister will cover her eyes while the rest of you find a good place to hide. Don’t make any noise, or she’ll be able to find you with her ears and her eyes.”
The mice all giggled. The oldest sister covered her eyes. Mom waved her front paws. “Okay, find a good place to hide.”
Eek looked around. He saw a leaf growing close to the ground, so he scurried under it. A long bug ran away. He folded his ears back to keep them from being tickled. His tummy felt cold, but he stayed quiet. He lifted the leaf up to peek at his mom and sister. He hoped they couldn’t see him back and scrunched lower into the cool dirt.
Mom waited for the other mice to hide. “Okay, I’m going in to fix lunch. Let me know when you find everybody.”
The oldest sister uncovered her eyes. “This won’t take long, Mom. I’ll help you with lunch when I’m done.”
Mom smiled. “Don’t be so sure of yourself. They found some very good hiding places.” She scurried inside their hollow log.
Eek’s sister scampered away from him behind a tree.
He giggled. “She’ll never find me,” he whispered.
Suddenly, one of his whiskers twitched. Then something pushed down on the leaf. It felt like something was moving across the leaf, so Eek stayed still. Then it stopped. Eek heard his sister scream. The leaf shook, then it was really quiet.
Finally the thing on top of the leaf slid off and what looked like a very big mouse tail slithered away from him.
Seconds later, Eek’s mom came out. “The game is over. I need everybody to come here. Now!”
Eek pushed the leaf up and scampered to his mom. “Momma, what was that?”
The other two mice that were hiding came to her and asked the same question.
Mom looked at each one of them. Her eyes were wet. “That was a snake. I looked around a lot to make sure there weren’t any snakes out here, but sometimes they come when you don’t expect them.”
Eek pulled on his mom’s fur. “Momma, where’s sister?”
A tear rolled down her cheek. “She’s gone.”
Brother stood up. “When will she come back?”
Mom shook her head. “She isn’t coming back. The snake ate her. She’s dead. When God made mice, He made them so other animals could eat them so they can live. That’s just the way God made things work. Everybody has to die sometime. Now was her time.”
Everybody was quiet. Mom turned toward home. “Let’s go inside. Lunch is ready.”
Brother sat still. “I’m not hungry.”
Mom kept walking. “I know. Let’s go inside.”
They all followed her in.