STANDING IN THE STORM, The Many Worlds of William Alan Webb

We Sleep At Night Because America's Armed Forces, Police and Fire Fighters Never Do

Why writing is fun


Any writer will tell you that writing books is often a grind. You’re not really inspired but you have to produce words anyway, so you do it. Usually what you write comes out better than you thought. For me, at least, this holds true.

But every now and again your novel surprises you. That happened to me today. I’m writing a scene based on a plot line suggested by the awesome Joshua on facebook. I thought I knew how this would go, I had everything planned out in my head.

And then I wrote something almost the opposite of what I’d thought I would write. It’s a lot more fun, too, for me to write, and I hope for you to read.

Okay, back to the book to see what new surprises await me.

The writer’s life: update on current projects


Whew! May and June were hectic. I did seven booksignings at Barnes & Noble stores and one at the Barr Memorial Library at Fort Knox, Kentucky. But now they’re done and the only thing on the calendar for July is attending the Tennessee Writer’s Workshop in Nashville. So it’s time for a writing sprint!

I’m working on three projects currently and here’s where I stand as the month begins:

The working title for book 3 of the Last Brigade has changed. Standing At The End was misleading and inaccurate, so now it’s Standing At The Vortex, which currently is at 36,870 words. What will its total word count be? Heck if I know. Long. It may wind up being two books before it’s all over, but the publishing date is penciled in as October 1st, so…

Killing Hitler’s Reich is at 29,478. The word count here shouldn’t change much, as I’m editing it for submission with a book proposal. However, I do have to write an accompanying synopsis, which could top 1,500 words and will be slow going.

The Demon In The Jewel is a fantasy novella that may, or may not, join three others in my first fantasy book coming soon. It’s at 6,158 words, projected in the 20-25k range. I would love this book to come out August 17th, the one year anniversary of my new career as a novelist.

Those are my focus for July. Unfortunately, yours truly gets distracted easily, and there’s still artwork to finish and other project that interest me.

I’m going to try Chris Fox’s suggestion for writing sprints, but my hands may not allow it to happen. The idea is to set a timer, tune out all distractions and then write like hell for a period of time. Unfortunately, I have an issue with my left ring finger the doctors can’t figure out yet. After I’ve been typing a while, like right this second as I write this sentence, my left ring finger droops and won’t take orders. If I let it rest, it’s fine again.

So that’s it. Wish me luck!

Thirty thousand words and counting


Several of you fine folks have asked about the third book in the Last Brigade series, when it might be released and a potential title. So here’s a fast update. I can’t write much, because I’m not working on the book to write this. I need to get back to it.

Today I passed thirty thousands words of what will likely be a one hundred thousand word book, if not longer. There’s a certain inertia that happens once you pass the initial stages of writing a book where scene begets scene and the ideas come so fast you can’t keep up. At least, that’s how it works for me.

The working title has changed a number of times, so let us know if you like the current one, Standing At The Vortex. I think it perfectly describes how the book will play out.

So, there you have it, a couple of flashes from the front lines. See you soon!

My voice audition for Standing The Final Watch


Hey folks, I’ve had requests for audiobooks and I’m starting the process. I may do it myself, or I may not. The following sample is to get a general impression of how it sounds. This is just a first test and the acoustic aren’t great, nor have I practiced much.

Before I open it up to producers, and thereby lose some control of the finished product, I’d like to at least try my hand at it.

World War 2 book


I thought some of you might like to read something I just wrote five minutes before making this blog entry. What you might find interesting is that the two paragraphs below took maybe three minutes to actually write, but represent about 45 or 50 minutes worth of research. Not only that, but I had to buy the book I used for the research, since it’s not something you can find on Kindle or in the library.

The cheapest copy currently on Amazon is $195. I bought it from the publisher years ago for, I think, about $75. My personal library for producing this book exceeds 300 volumes of all kinds.

Near the southern end of the Vienna Woods at Heiligenkreuz, the storied 1st Panzer Division re-grouped and counted its losses. The town had long been an island of solace close to Vienna, with a backdrop of firs and pines to ease the pressures of the capital. The ancient Cistercian Abbey in the town had been continuously occupied since the Twelfth Century and was not abandoned even as war approached its gates.

Typical of the time, 1st Panzer was assigned to whatever corps headquarters made sense at the moment. At the beginning of April that was IV SS Panzer Corps. A strength return on the 1st indicated how devastating the material losses had been during the retreat across Hungary. Total manpower (ration strength) remained high at 11,473 men. But the equipment ready for combat tells the true story. 3 Mark IV panzers were on hand, but none were operational. A whopping 39 Mark V Panthers remained on the rolls but just a single tank could fight. The SPW numbers were about sixty percent of authorized numbers. The division’s heavy flak regiment was reorganizing at Bratislava, where the flood of war washed it away.[i]

[i] Nevenkin, pp 85

3 at once


Not that.


Today I’ve written parts of three different books. I didn’t plan it this way, it’s just how my mind works. Or doesn’t work.

Inspired by suggestions from my street team and in brain-storming with the world’s best publisher, Gunnar Grey, the plot points for Book 3 of The Last Brigade are really coming together. As the series goes on the stories become bigger, because the 7th Cavalry’s influence spreads and they encounter new friends, and new enemies. I keep getting ahead of myself writing it because I’m so excited by where it’s going. October 1 is the target date for release.

Meanwhile, the fantasy stories are coming along nicely. The publisher has a semi-edited version of Two Moons Waning, the first of the four novellas I’m working on. Today I worked more on The Queen of Death and Darkness, the second one. It’s 95% written, I’m just doing some back fill and minor editing. A Night at the Quay is about 98% finished, with one minor scene change to write. The last one, The Demon in the Jewel, is about 20% done.

And the third book is my WW2 history of the Battle for Austria in 1945. Still without a final title, I’ve cranked it back up in a big way and made a lot of progress. Now I’ve got to write a synopsis, which I dread.

So that’s a fast update for now. As always, if you have any questions just ask me!


Open writing call


If you’ve read the first two books in The Last Brigade series, especially if you’ve also read the shorter book The Ghost of Voodoo Village, I really want to hear from you!

What do you want to see in Book Three and beyond? What did you like best and least in the first 2 1/2 books? Who are your favorite characters, and do you want to see more from them?

I’ve done the basic plotting for the future adventures of the 7th Cavalry, and book three is 26k words long already, but I’m trying to do things differently from most writers. I want this series to be as interactive as possible, but for that to work I need YOUR input.

The best way to do this is to comment on this post. And watch for my next request, because I’m going to suggest some titles and get your thoughts on what you like best.

Thanks for being part of the creative effort!



ZERO TO HERO: 8 Months from First Draft to Top Seller


I’m thrilled to have published the first part of my story about writing Standing The Final Watch. I hope readers find it interesting and writers maybe find something helpful to their careers.

Purchase it here:

Zero to Hero: My 8 Months From First Draft To Top Seller


I’ve just completed the first draft of a short new book, Zero to Hero: My 8 Months from First Draft to Top Seller.

When my first book launched last August 17, Standing The Final Watch, a number of long-term friends wanted to know how I came to write a book so fast.


To me, writing both Standing The Final Watch and Standing In The Storm back-to-back seemed to have taken years, whereas it really only took thirteen months. Now, for some writers that is agonizingly slow. But I hadn’t written any fiction in thirty years, much less two novels, and compared to my usual output it was a whirlwind.

Anyway, I tried to explain what all I did but it just never seemed clear, even to me. What exactly had I done? Then I focused on the final eight months leading up to publication and it was all a blur.

So for those interested I created a timeline, did my research and wrote an account of what I did and when, all leading up to publication day. I also want non-writers to get some taste of what it’s like to be a fiction writer in today’s saturated, hyper-fast market.

Challenging would be an understatement.

I’m hoping to finalize it and get it published within the next two weeks.

Be my advisor


I need help.

To be more precise, I need your help.

If you’ve ever wanted to be part of the publishing process, now’s your chance. See, I need folks whose advice I can trust to give me feedback, honest feedback that tells me what is good and bad in my work. The only requirements are that you love to read, you promise to be honest, and to leave a review when a work is published.

In return I’ll keep you up to date on the inner happenings of my writing business, (things such as how many books I sold last month, which many might find of interest. Or which writers/agents/editors I had a chance to chat with recently, and their input on the business).

You also might get a freebie from time to time. For example, your name in an upcoming book. Or a signed copy of a recent work.

To help me, please do two things: first, subscribe to the site and second, leave me a comment with your name and email address.

Thanks in advance!




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