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An Interview with Barbara Laymon

How did you get the idea for the Inbox?

I had already published some short pieces - articles for religious periodicals. But I had never tried anything book length. I didn't really intend to, when I started on this project. Then one day I was driving a carpool with my two daughters and five of their friends were all piled into our station wagon. It was around 5:30, that fussy time of day, and the girls were all picking at each other and the traffic was just miserable and I began to think about the classic temptations of life - not the big, dramatic stuff, but the little things that make up most of life - and how I had a female version of "The Screwtape Letters" going on right there. When the girls got out, I started writing. Kept at it day and night, and in about 6 weeks I had my first draft. And 7 years later, I had a published book!

How did you get published?

When I finished my first draft, I sent ten copies out -unsolicited, simultaneous submissions - all summarily rejected. But I also gave a copy to my New Testament Greek professor, who kindly read it, made comments, and encouraged me to talk with another professor who was also working on a manuscript. He connected me with his freelance editor, and that turned out to be a huge break for me. I will never forget the night that I opened the email from Augsburg Books, indicating an interest in publishing my little book.

So you recommend a freelance editor?

It made all the difference in the world for me. The editing process took a long time, but it was worth it. It brought my writing up to a level I hadn't even imagined. I wouldn't consider submitting a manuscript to a publisher now without first working with a freelance editor.


Modeled on C.S. Lewis's "The Screwtape Letters," Laymon's book presents the life of faith with all its ups and downs, joys and temptations. The devilish Anesthesia communicates with tempter-in-training Termite via e-mail. We meet Termite's "victim" as a young woman and witness her struggles with faith throughout the stages of her life.

The Preface


The Back Cover

A short summary and brief reviews.