Peggy Webb is the author of romance and mystery novels such as Elvis and the Tropical Double Trouble and Elvis and the Blue Christmas Corpse.
What is your method for overcoming writer’s block?
Writer's block is a crutch some people use when they don't want to do the hard work of figuring out why a book suddenly stalls. When a story stops flowing for me and I can't seem to move forward, I read the previous pages to see where I took a wrong turn. That so often happens. I think I know exactly where the story should go, but my unconscious mind has a different and much better idea. My advice to you is, "Don't try to force a story to go in the direction you've plotted. Relax and let the story and the characters show you the way."
What are your favorite or most helpful writing prompts?
I've discovered a remarkable way to jump start my work. At the end of the day, usually when I'm wrapping up a chapter, my creative energy is very high and ideas for the next chapter are firing through my brain. I type a few notes to myself, and sometimes even the first sentence or two of the next chapter, so I will not have to face a blank page in the morning.
Also, I have a routine which signals to my brain that it's time to write. I select a mug from my collection, fill it with a warm drink, either tea or coffee, then set it on a special tile on my desk, inscribed "Give your soul a bubble bath." Next, I choose music to write by, usually Native American flutes by Marina Rae or an Italian opera. Then I open my curtains to my view of the gardens, the bird bath and feeder, and I am ready to go.
What is the most valuable advice you received as a young writer?
The most valuable writing advice came from my daddy. "Peggy, you can do anything you want to do. Just believe." Because of him, I never stopped to question how a country girl who grew up on a farm in northeast Mississippi could possibly become a writer.