Tug of War: Trusting God Through the Unexplained by Terry Johnson Weber
Tug of War: Trusting God Through the Unexplained gives us a glimpse into the faith journey of a retired Christian nurse and church office worker. In over 30 short stories, she shares precognitive dreams and true encounters with angels, demons and ghosts. Although short and simple, the stories will stay with the reader long after reading them. These true stories with their relevant accompanying quotes will provide something to ponder for those of all faiths or those of no faith. Life is in the stories, even in the shadowy tales of the mystifying.
From the Author
I would love to hear feedback from my readers.
Interviewing author Terry Weber
Hello and Welcome to our special guest Terry Weber author of Tug of War
to answer some questions for our readers
Q.Who are your greatest support – who believes in you? A. My sons, my parents, my lifelong friends and many of the fellow members of my church. They are a source of encouragement to me and were my first faithful readers.
Q.Where do you write from? e.g. Kitchen table? Study? Bedroom? Garden shed? A.My first draft is always handwritten and much of that is done sitting in the car at a park or on a fast food parking lot; I’ve been known to write on the napkins. I have an office upstairs which is hot in the summer and cold in the winter so I tend to gravitate to the dining room table when it comes time to type the second draft.
Q.Do you write at set times e.g. morning, afternoon, evening, very early morning?
A. It varies day to day, but mostly I write during the day while my husband is at work. I prefer to have a quiet house while writing; TV or the radio tends to be distracting to me. Usually the hours between 1 pm and 6 pm are the most productive hours for me.
Q.What motivates you to write?
A. My life experiences are filled with stories that just need to be told. So it is the stories themselves, banging on the door of my brain to get let out. I recognize that the traumas, paranormal and supernatural events of my life can be used to help others and strengthen their faith in God; that motivates me to share my own stories. Advocating for those who are living under injustice or domestic violence is a strong motivation as well. My second and third books, written but not yet published, speak to those issues. One in the church office and one in the home.
Q.What are the biggest distractions to your writing time?
A. Noise and interruptions. And the rest of my life in general. My husband deserves some of my time and I am an avid crafter, so the counted cross-stitch, fabric and crochet projects are always calling for my attention as well.
Q.What part of the world do you live in?
A.I live in Williamsburg, Virginia, very near Jamestown Island and Jamestown Settlement, with my husband; our youngest son lives nearby in Toano, Virginia. My heart lives in St. Louis, Missouri where I grew up and spent the first 45 years of my life; my parents, sisters and lifelong friends live there. A piece of my heart lives in Phoenix with my oldest son and his wife and in Omaha with my second son, his wife and my grandchildren. I’m scattered.
Q.Are you from there originally?
A:I grew up in several different homes in St. Louis County – Woodson Terrace, Vinita Terrace, Florissant, Maryland Heights and Overland. As an adult I lived in Overland, Chesterfield, St. Peters, Bridgeton, and Marylad Heights. They are all part of the greater St. Louis Metro area.
Q. Have you ever suffered from writers’ block?
A.Never. My bigger challenge is to find the several uninterrupted hours a day that I covet in which to write. Once I start writing, it just flows until I make myself stop. I can get quite lost in my writing.
Q.How do you overcome it?
A. I think if I ever got stumped and hit a dry spell, I would just use some of those writing prompts
. Q.Have you taken any writers’ courses and have they been worthwhile?
A. I took one that was offered at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. Its focus was on writing for the church and it was quite helpful in that it gave me leads to have devotions published on a regular basis; I am still one of the regular writers for Hope-Full Living for Seniors by Creative Communications. I am taking another course through WAMS right now on writing devotions, but I find that I have already developed my own writing style and don’t take well to suggestions. Still I am picking up a few pieces of advice in general so it is not a complete waste of my time.
Q.Have you ever belonged to a writers’ group? And what value did you gain from it?
A.I am just now in the process of starting one with two friends in the area who are also local writers. But if I did not do that, I would continue to write. I see value in the group in terms of networking and finding publishers and publishing advice, but not so much in writing advice.
Q.Is self-publishing satisfying enough for you or would you prefer to be traditionally published?
A . I love self-publishing because it is quicker and I am freer to express myself. I tend to write in a very conversational tone and I am happy with that even if an editor is not. I am my own boss. But the marketing and promoting is a necessary evil. I wish that were easier and cheaper.
Q.Have you ever tried to find an agent? A. Not yet.
Q. What would you expect an agent could do for you that you can’t do for yourself?
A. Probably marketing the book itself to publishing houses and possibly promoting it in general.
Q. Do you think you can make a full-time career being an Indie writer?
A. Realistically, my husband works and we could not survive on what I make as a writer to date. Someday it would be nice, but I am already 61, so likely for me this will always be a hobby. Just not enough time at this stage to become a millionaire – ha ha. But I definitely believe it is possible.
Q.How long have you been writing?
A. I wrote my first story when I was 10 and a neighborhood girl falsely accused me of doing something that I did not do. It was quite therapeutic, but I tore it up and pitched it. About 10 years ago I began writing stories for my 3 sons each Christmas. That grew each year to include family and friends until I was hand-making books for 28 people. In 2008 I had a short story accepted for publication by Diversion Press; it finally came out in 2012. (One of the drawbacks of traditional publishing). The short story is a true ghost story from my childhood; my best friend in the neighborhood lived in a haunted house. It is called The Monroe Ghost and is in After Dark: A Collection of Haunting Tales. My first book, Tug of War: Trusting God through the Unexplained was self-published through Infinity Publishing in January 2014.
Q.What drew you to want to write a book?
A. I’ve always been an avid writer and wanted to return the favor for all the joy and entertainment I’ve received from reading.
Q.From where did you get the idea for this current story?
A. The ideas came to me through my life itself. It is a collection of over 35 true stories of good and evil/God and Satan that actually took place at various times throughout my life. I saw angels at my baptism. I dreamed I met God. I was oppressed by demons. I had several dreams that came true. I pulled all of those stories together in this book ad examined them through the lens of Christianity, which is my faith.
Q.How did you go about developing it?
A.I wrote the stories in the order in which they occurred and added quotes or scripture at the end of most stories to give the reader something to ponder in relation to the story itself. I tried not to label each story as this is paranormal, this is a ghost story, this is a precognitive dream, etc. Rather, I simply told the story and left the interpretation up to the reader.
Q.What is your next project?
A. I was an RN for 25 years and became a church secretary for 11 more years. My next book is written and in the first edit. It is called A Healthy Church and it about the tug of war between good and evil that exists in church work. It is designed for all church members and church workers and the last two chapters specifically deal with basic church office secretary issues such as the job description itself and how to make a church office manual. Like everything I write, it will have my signature ghost story included in there somewhere. My next book will be on domestic abuse; I was an abused wife for several years and it will be the story of how I survived extraordinary emotional and verbal abuse. It is written in a multitude of journals already and will need to be assembled still and given some framework. By the way, you didn’t ask but some of my favorite authors are Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King. I believe Stephen King is the most gifted writer I’ve ever read when it comes to creating characters and understanding human nature. As popular as he is, I think he is quite under-rated when people just consider him the “King of Horror”. In the Christian world, Max Lucado is my favorite author because he can make God come alive in amazing ways for the reader. Thank you Terry’s, To purchase your copy of Terry Weber Book click HERE