Women’s fiction author Densie Webb shares the inspiration behind her latest novel When Robins Appear and gives us a look into what she’s writing next.
Tell us about your novel.
When Robins Appear tells the story of the Earle family—Deb, Richard, and their teenage daughter, Amanda and how a crisis shakes their family, forcing them to recreate themselves, with bittersweet results. The story touches on young love, past love, the weight of long-held secrets, and the agonizing decisions women are sometimes forced to make when forming families. You might want to keep tissues handy.
What inspired your novel?
It’s a roundabout inspiration. When my daughter was in high school, a classmate was seriously injured in a skateboarding accident, and it got me thinking about a story that centered on a skateboarder. If you read the book, you’ll see that there’s skateboarding in it, but, as often happens, the story drifted far from the original premise. Aside from that, I have to say that my close relationship with my grown daughter was the inspiration for some of the strongest emotions expressed in the story.
What are you currently working on?
I’m working on two projects. One is a recasting and rewriting of an older manuscript—turning a romantic suspense into more of a domestic suspense. It involves a celebrity stalker and the damaging effects the stalker has on the celebrity as well as the collateral damage that occurs to the people close to him. The second one is straight-up women’s fiction about the relationship between a young Irish musician and an Austin, TX girl (I live in Austin) and how that plays out over the years. And, as with most of my stories, motherhood plays a central role. I had just started that one, when I decided to rework my first manuscript. I’m hoping to get back to it later this year. I have a couple of people from Ireland who have graciously agreed to help keep my “Irishisms” real.
What do you hope readers take away from your novel?
Serendipity always plays a role in my stories. The quote I have on the first page of When Robins Appear is “No trumpets sound when the important decisions of our life are made. Destiny is made known silently.”— Agnes DeMille. I hope that the story touches readers and makes them pause. Life can be full of good things, lots of love, and hope for the future, but it’s also fragile and should be handled with care.
Share your publishing story.
It’s kind of all over the place. I’ve been a freelance writer and editor pretty much my whole career, writing about health and nutrition, but I started writing fiction about 7 years ago. My first novel, which I’m currently recasting, was romantic suspense. The rights have reverted back to me as of January, 2021 and, as I mentioned, I’m reworking it in the hope of a re-release. My second novel was a paranormal romance, Le Remède, with Wild Rose Press. My third novel, When Robins Appear, is women’s fiction and is with Red Adept Publishing. I’m hoping to pick up my story about the Irish musician later this year and push it forward. I really like the characters I’ve created in that one.
Densie Webb (not Denise) has spent a long career as a freelance nonfiction writer and editor, specializing in health and nutrition, and has published several books on the topic. She grew up in Louisiana, spent 13 years in New York City, and settled in Austin, TX, where it’s summer nine months out the year. She is an avid walker (not of the dead variety, though she adores zombies, vampires, and apocalyptic stories), drinks too much coffee, and has a small “devil dog” that keeps her on her toes. She has arrested development in musical tastes and her two grown children provide her with musical recommendations on a regular basis.
The fiction bug bit her several years ago and she now has two published novels and is working on republishing her first. Her second novel, a paranormal romance, titled, “Le Rémede” was published with Wild Rose Press in 2018. Her third novel, and her women’s fiction debut, “When Robins Appear,” was published October 20, 2020 with Red Adept Publishing.
Her flash fiction submission, title, “The Prank” was a runner up in the Women on Writing Fall 2019 Flash Fiction contest. She also had her essay, “Boob Job Regrets: In appreciation of Your Previously Small Chest,” included in an anthology compiled by author Randy Susan Meyers, titled “Women Under Scrutiny: An Anthology of Truths, Essays, Poems, Stories & Art.” All proceeds from the anthology go to Rosie’s Place in Boston, a sanctuary for poor and homeless women.