Author Interview: David Alan Webb of The Giant Secret (1899AD): Finding Christopher

1. Who is David Alan Webb?

Over four decades ago at age fifteen (when he quit Advanced Composition after a major misunderstanding with the instructor), David committed himself to master writing English. He’s been working on it ever since.

As a young man, he studied Anglo-Saxon and ancient Greek in order to understand English better. He loves languages of all kinds, especially because they let him “carry his thoughts in different containers.”

He reads Spanish well, used to read Russian well, and has familiarized himself with others for fun and relaxation.

A diligent pursuer of truth, David is something of a mystic and has spent quality years in all three branches of Christianity in the West—Anabaptist, Reformed, and Catholic. He has also lived in several other countries, visited more, and generally has lived and worked among very different kinds of people in his own country. This has made him into a sort of bridge—with compassionate understanding for the inhabitants of very different worlds.

It has taken him a long time to coordinate the two halves of his brain, but the result (although as yet incomplete) seems to him to be worth it. One half has worked jobs like information analyst and computer technician and chose Mathematics as a college major because this would be “easy and fun.” The other half grew up with a piano, has composed three CDs of instrumental music, and sang in various church settings for years.

David has always cared deeply about people—especially the weaker, smaller, and younger. In recent years, there seem to be more and more of the “younger” around everywhere, and in the last third of his life, he finds himself empathizing and identifying more and more with weak, wounded, hurting humanity.

Storymaking has been a lifelong ambition. With study and practice, David is learning how to organize an ocean of imagination into rivers of story.

He hopes to contribute something beautiful and good to the lives of his readers.
(David lives in the central Appalachian mountains in the US.)


2. What genre of book do you write?

This one is historical fiction—although with a twist into fantasy/paranormal. I’m working on a sequel that would be similar, but I’m also working on two other stories. One is alternative historical fiction—set in an alternative North America with many countries, instead of just three. The other takes place in the recent past, but is more speculative fiction or soft science fiction and also includes what some would call a paranormal element.

3. What is the title of your latest project?

The Giant Secret (1899AD): Finding Christopher

4. How did you come up with the title of the book?

This story was originally part of the backstory of a larger work, “The Giant Secret,” but I decided it made a great story on its own. I would like to tell three or four shorter stories that go together as a series, but this one stands alone. I added the date “1899AD” to tell when this one takes place. The subtitle “Finding Christopher” hints at what it is about, but I also added it because the opening scene is so sad, and I wanted to give the poor reader some hope that things do get better.

5. What do readers say about The Giant Secret (1899AD)?

Beautifully written throughout and very compelling! I have no suggestions to offer for improvement, as it needs none.

You have the gift for flowing the scene from your mind to mine. You let me take my own eyes and look from left to right and breathe it in… When the author can get himself out of the way… the bond between reader and writer is now based on honesty and trust. It is a beautiful thing.

I love the way you capture the gentleness and the sincerity between Hans and Ava.
It’s not just good writing, it is refreshingly “new” in the sense that you are creating a world where people model truly decent behavior and thought processes and truly want to do the right thing.

Fantastic story!! Thank you for this. Was hoping it would go on longer. 🙂

And what can readers expect from the book?

In an Appalachian valley, a young German couple has just buried their second stillborn, their dreams of raising a family in America gone, when a monster is sighted on their land. An investigation turns into a rescue, and their lives are changed forever, as they discover that reality is stranger than they had ever imagined…and that sometimes we find our heart’s desire where we never thought to look for it.

This is a novelette of a little more than forty pages or about 14,000 words. The first three short chapters are on my website and the e-book is available free to new subscribers.

This story is also available on Wattpad, on the Featured List under Historical Fiction. It has readers from all over the world, but by far the most reads are from the Philippines—many more than from the US.

6. Who is your favorite author/books and who is your inspiration when writing?

I have always enjoyed the fiction of C.S.Lewis and J.R.R.Tolkien. I will not tell you how many times I have read some of their stories.

7. Any message to the Book Geek Wannabe out there who wants to read more books?

The “real” world has lot more in common with fiction that most moderns imagine, and all of us believe lots of things that we got from someone’s “narrative”—a story that tries to make sense out of events—whether history from years ago or just yesterday’s news. One of the biggest problems of our era is that so many people don’t realize how much they are shaped by stories. If stories weren’t important, powerful organizations wouldn’t spend so much money and effort on propaganda and public relations.

Although fiction may not be factual, stories still illustrate truths about the world—or at least propose deeper truths about the world. Does the good guy really win in the end? Can people change and grow and how? Does life have any meaning? These are Big Questions—religious or philosophical questions, and stories—whether in books, movies, or TV—shape our beliefs.

As I like to say, “Storyworlds matter. We each live in one.”

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Chief Blogging Officer, Books in My Baggage and The Book Geek Wannabe "Readers and Book Geeks are the next generation's coolest bunch of kids"

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