About Author

John W. Bebout

John W. Bebout
  • Writing:

    Historical Fiction
  • Country: United States
  • Books: 2
  • Profession: Author
  • Born: 12March
  • Member Since: Jun 2020
  • Profile Views: 3,201
  • Followers: 27
  • Visit author: Website, Goodreads, Amazon,
BIOGRAPHY

John W. Bebout is a poet who has been published in such literary magazines as 'The Esthetic Apostle,' 'The Paragon Press' and 'Horseshoes & Hand Grenades,' among others. 'The Cause of Darkness' is his first novel and, always a poet, he has started each chapter of the book with original prose or quotes, which give the book a lyrical quality rarely found in historical fiction.

In a former life, Bebout was a scientist who authored/coauthored more than two-dozen juried, technical articles. Bebout has lived in Virginia for more than 30 years. It is, he says, "A place where romance and adventure are as pervasive as honeysuckle growing on a fence line."

John W. Bebout's Books

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Book
$2.99 kindleeBook,
The Cause of Darkness: A Story of the Civil Warby John W. BeboutPublish: Sep 20, 2020Historical Fiction
$4.99 kindle Free with KUeBook,
The Light from Darkness: A Story of the Civil Warby John BeboutPublish: Jan 07, 2021Historical Fiction

John W. Bebout's Awards and Achievements

    John W. Bebout has earned excellence awards over time. Here is the glimpse of the accolades clinched by the author.

  • Readers' Favorite 5-Star Award
    2018

    The Cause of Darkness: A Story of the Civil War

    award

John W. Bebout interview On 25, Aug 2020

"John W. Bebout always loved telling stories. Like most authors, his first story was sometime in grade school. He is a brilliant writer with an exceptional ability to describe scenes and characters as if you are personally in the story. John's historical fiction thriller, 'The Cause of Darkness' is an exciting and enthralling coming of age tale set in the Shenandoah Valley and Washington D.C."
When did you write your first story? Who was your first reader?

Like most authors, my first story was sometime in grade school. My mother had the fabulous foresight to realize her son was a genius. OK, genius might be a little strong. But she said she liked it!

Was history your favorite subject in school?

No. English was always my favorite. Through 3 science degrees, I always took enough English courses to declare an English minor. History was something I 'felt', if that makes any sense. I feel the ghosts and emotions that linger in historic sites, even millennia after they occurred.

Do you remember your first writing that got published in the literary magazine, 'The Esthetic Apostle'?

They say that actors are insecure, but I would bet they have nothing on writers. One of my favorite poems I wrote was entitled 'The Sailor's Song.' When I submitted it to 'The Esthetic Apostle,' I really opened myself up to painful rejection. But when it was accepted for publication, I felt it validated my worth as a poet.

What challenges did you face while publishing your first novel, 'The Cause of Darkness'?

Definitely the subject matter. In this day and age, who cares about a southern boy coming of age during the Civil War? It was virtually impossible to get an agent to even read it. But there was a story to tell and I felt it was important enough to face a barrage of rejection.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I always loved telling stories. I think that is a human characteristic which is responsible for generations of oral history. I always wondered if I was good enough or even had stories of value to tell. It was only later in life that I had the luxury of time to find out.

Who inspired the character of the 16-year-old boy named Teddy Miller in "The Cause of Darkness"?

Sixteen-year-old Teddy is me, only braver, smarter (taller) and more resilient.

How would you describe your journey as a scientist who authored/coauthored more than two-dozen juried, technical articles?

I was a paleontologist with the USGS for many years. It satisfied my yearning to reconstruct (maybe relive) the past. But I moved on to management and while it was more lucrative, it was less intellectually challenging. Eventually, I returned to my first love of poetry and literature.

In 30 years, which place has become your favorite to visit in Virginia?

There are many. Almost all my favorites are Civil War battlefields. To stand there when the only sound is the wind moving through the grass, where hundreds sacrificed their lives, is profoundly affecting.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

It gave me confidence as a writer, which is exceedingly important. I trust my instincts more. Before, I might have rewritten the same sentence two dozen times, never trusting my first attempt.

What quirky, fun and unique ways do you deal with writer's block?

Everyone has writer's block at one time or another. My solution is pretty simple: I take a nap. There is a time between wakefulness and sleep when creativity seems to peak. The only difficulty can be remembering your ideas when you awake!

How do you learn to write a novel? How do you get started?

Is there a format or a set of rules and procedures to follow? I believe that writing can be taught, but only to a point. What works for one person certainly doesn't have to work for another. Some people, for example, outline their entire novel before writing a single page. Others, like me, need to be surprised lest we get bored. I take my characters, place them in a situation, and then imagine what they will do, When I begin a novel, I honestly have no idea how it will end.

What are the top three things you wished you had known before starting your journey as an author?

1. Trust your skills, 2. trust your instincts and 3. trust your characters.

What is the one book that changed the way you thought about life?

'The Red Badge of Courage' had a tremendous effect on me. It is somehow comforting to think that the same person can be a hero at one time and a coward the next.

What is your next book and when is it coming?

I had not intended to write a sequel to 'The Cause of Darkness,' but my readers have been clamoring to know what happened to Teddy. 'Light from Darkness,' which should answer everyone's questions, should be out by next winter.

When did you join AllAuthor? What has your experience been like?

I joined AllAuthor several months ago and have been very pleased. They are incredibly supportive of new authors.

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