Name Tina Smith
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc?
I was born in the Bega Valley in New South Wales Australia. I have one younger brother. I’m the oldest. I spent the first 7 years of my life in a tiny town in Victoria before moving back to the Valley where I attended Candelo primary and Bega High. I had a terrible reputation as a ‘bad girl’. My friends new the truth, it was a complete ruse.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I am producing two anthology novels, Night Life and Lacing Shadows. I have plans to extend the short stories I have written about vampires and Aliens into novels. I am also aiming to complete the Wolf Sirens Series, releasing book #6 next year. It will be followed by The Shade Before us—a prequel to Wolf Sirens.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I was born a writer, I have a wild imagination and I’m very introverted. I stared writing as a child. I used to make up stories to tell my friends and my brother. I didn’t attempt anything serious until I started on Wolf Sirens, though I was a journal and poem writer since I was a kid. I suspect that I cultivated the idea of Wolf Sirens for some time in the back of my mind.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I published Wolf Sirens, my first book. It wasn’t until I had it in my hands that I realized I was a writer.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Twilight, to be honest—that book has a lot to answer for! Wuthering heights was an influence as well as my life and personal heartbreak.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I think I do have my own style. It’s detailed and I like to mislead the reader. I have a lot of conflicting reviews. But I feel if you want more from the genre of PNR, you’ll appreciate what I do.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
A lot of thinking and word combining. It’s original and it fitted so well.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Probably, I think you can tell from reading it that I am a firm believer in true love. I don’t think books should reflect the author’s morals but funnily enough I think my dislike of high scruples and convention shines through. At the same time it’s chaste in style, I am quite liberal. I like strong female protagonists with heart and I’m somewhat of a feminist. I think girls should have good female role models. I believe in gender equality and I tried indirectly to paint that kind of world.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
It’s a strange cataclysm of things, one of them being experiences I have had. The setting is based on Bega. Pieces of relationships and feelings I have felt. Art versus life. Lila is the tougher version of my younger self. I think I am a lone wolf at heart. It’s my totem animal. PN is a metaphor for life. It’s a heightened reality in a way, a tool I use to enhance and explore emotions.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Cres is closely based on friends of mine from high school. I’m a pantser and I layer up my novels, by about the fifth going over I have developed my characters and the interesting detail. It happens as I go along. I just have to be in the Wolf Sirens zone. I channel parts of my life into it.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
Twilight, Call of the Wild, White Fang, Checkers, Shiver and Children of the Dust. Everything I read or see or hear about is fodder. But those are strong influences. As were Roald Dahl and Paul Jennings and Emily Rodda when I was a kid. John Marsden’s When the War Began and Lindsay Andersons Looking for Alibrandi, in high school. All of those stories and story tellers influenced me.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I am reading Thirst by Ava Delany. It’s about vampires.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I love Amanda Hocking actually. I also really love Colleen Hoover’s books.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I am chipping away at Wolf Sirens #5, Dawn in Shade. We are almost done. Then I start work on Wolf Sirens #6, Storm in Shade. I am also going to extend the short stories that I have written for the anthologies. They have been well received and I would love to take them further, one is about vampirism and the other is about aliens—good looking aliens. The novellas all seem to have my trademark mystery and detail.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My mother’s best friend, Sally and her husband have encouraged me from the very start. They read over my work when no one else had seen it and it’s due to their enthusiasm that I took the plunge to show my secret to the world.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I do now, though at the same time I know more than ever that that is a hard thing to achieve. I hope to be able to financially support myself on my novels and spend every day doing nothing but writing.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, I work over them as hard and as much as I can and when they are done, they are done. I cannot go back and read them over once they are out. I am evolving as a writer and I am usually in a different zone once a work is done. I would hate to think that I could make it better, it is what it is. I hope that it is well received; I might rethink my current opinion if it was not. However I plan the plots in my head long before the words hit the page and long before the public read the pages. So I stand by all twists and turns. They aren’t up to me, the story writes itself.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I like tales. I loved the story of Puss in Boots and other fairytales as a small child. I used to beg my parents to read to me. They were so sick of it they bought me books on tape. There is something innate in me. When I was inline in heaven God handed me a love of words. No one else in my family shares my passion, but my mother’s side are all very creative. Writing is my outlet, my art. Plus I like being alone for extended periods so it’s all fallen into place.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I used to think I hated writing high action but strangely I do like writing action books, I just don’t like writing the intensive parts like battles. I do it well, apparently, but it is my least favourite part of the job of telling a story. That’s why I like Fever so much (book #2 Wolf Sirens series), it’s a slower pace, a slow burner. All my books have a pace all their own. I feel like every with novel in the series the pace increases. It all heats up and by book #6 it’s on fire.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I love Colleen Hoover, I love the twist, she excels at good surprises in her stories. The nice ‘slap in the face’ surprises make her stories great. Amanda Hocking’s style is very different and I have strived to emulate her zombie novels, I love her pace and Hollow men and Hollow Land inspired me hugely. I hadn’t read much action and the style rubbed off. I also adore An Rice’s Vampires. Their personality is so well depicted. I also like to take my love of contemporary fiction and inject it into my Paranormal. Books like Atonement and The Book Thief. I hadn’t read Hunger Games until after I had written and published WS1 and I think my style was comparable. Katniss and Lila have similarities— attitude and a bow.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
No, but here’s hoping that I might get that opportunity in the near future.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I did, necessity is the mother of invention. I have a limited budget and I am a perfectionist, so I worked hard and taught myself how to use photo shop. I am happy with the results.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Editing, first and second rounds before I give it to my editor and proof reader. That is work! The story still has some very rough edges and you have to squeeze and push until it pops out the other side as a fully formed baby/book.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
What didn’t I learn! I learnt so much about editing. I was a newb before I started writing the series. I have learnt about formatting, cover design, computers, facebook, promo, touring and bloggers. The one thing I employ a lot in my writing is “Show Don’t tell.” The reader doesn’t want to be told what you said, they want to hear it. They don’t want to be told the Bar was grimy, they should be shown.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
I like that saying. “Write like no one will read it and edit like everyone will.” I also abide by the idea that, apart from spilling your heart and soul on the page and working really hard at it, that you must write what you would never tell your mother. That’s what people want to read.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Tell your friends how great the book was. The hardest part about being Indie is that I have a small advertising budget. Word of mouth is the best thing you can do for a book and a writer you love. It keeps me in business.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
It was probably Roald Dahl’s Rotten Nursery Rhymes—and I loved it. I starred in the primary school play based on it and I knew everyone’s lines. However, a case of stage fright meant I didn’t face the audience on opening night. I had my back to the audience most of the time because I was so shy!
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
What doesn’t! I am an emotional creature, I’ve had to toughen up a lot. It’s a cruel world and the strong prey on the weak. As far as laughter goes I am amused by fairly immature humour and embarrassing tales (who isn’t?). Certain people think I am hilarious and others don’t get it at all. I am the queen of the dead pan, so if you aren’t on the wave length you can think I am serious, at times I am being serious (I’m very melodramatic) but I do see the funny side. My daughter thinks I am a bag of laughs and my mother just thinks I am complaining, she frequently scolds me.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Yes, beading, walking the dog, soaping and I can cook. Most of my spare time is spent watching movies for inspiration, reading for inspiration and eavesdropping for ideas. I try to soak up art like a sponge. But writing my series is my life, when I am not at work in customer service and more often than not nowadays I am marketing or promoting the series and the anthologies—so I have to squash in spare time.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I watched Divergent recently and loved it! They did a good job of keeping it close to the book. It was a thrill.
I love reality talent shows at the moment. I like So You Think You Can Dance and any one of the Singing shows like Idol. I get a kick out of seeing people pursue their passion. The dancers remind me of the wolves in wolf sirens. They are agile and strong and super fit.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music?
Aqua, chocolate, and my favourite song is ‘My Immortal’ by Evanescence. Last night I had ‘All about that Base’ by Meghan Trainor spinning on replay in my head. I was up at 2.30a.m in the morning singing it. I had had no coffee (I can’t handle the stuff), so it remains a mystery…perhaps it’s a full moon?
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I’m able to adapt and pick up most things, I work in customer service and I find it so draining and not something that I naturally excel at. My mother runs a store so that’s where I started out. I imagine that I could have been a baker of fantastical cakes, in reality I would probably practise as a naturopath but my heart isn’t in it. I have spent the last seven years completing the over 30 subjects required for the advanced diploma whilst working in a health food store. Unlike with writing there were many road blocks and it was a long road but I always finish what I start.
Writing comes naturally to me. I dislike reality; I am only truly at peace when I am creating an alternate world, even one filled with sadness, death and violence. I am the first to admit I am an oddity. But don’t oddballs make the best authors?
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Kindle: Forbidden; http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009GG06AS Wolf Sirens Fever; http://www.amazon.com/Wolf-Sirens-Fev… Night Fall: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00D6BUDH0
Dusk in Shade: http://www.amazon.com/Wolf-Sirens-Shade-Wolves-Sunset-ebook/dp/B00HKQLLBY
Smashwords: Forbidden; https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/210115 Fever: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/248222 Night Fall: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/321480 Dusk in Shade: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/388578
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tinawolfsirens Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/wolfsirens/boards/ Facebook; http://www.facebook.com/wolfsirens
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Tina-Smith/e/B008V3H97A
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us? Sure. (I’ll attach it). Wolf Sirens #5 Dawn in Shade. It is due for release in October.
Wolf Sirens #5 Teaser:
Due for release October 2014
We all relaxed a little as we hit the open countryside but the sky was still buzzing with electrical threads that seemed to culminate around a white sun in a frosty blue sky.
Dillon reached across behind Marcus, and handed me something. Bullets. I found the pistol and loaded the magazine as I nodded my thanks.
“Crain, remember that I’m the only one who knows where your friends are.” He reminded me. As we neared the other boundary of Shade the sky was the same; it cut off our way out of the Valley. Mason got out and tried throwing a rock that dissolved into it. He paced the glowing perimeter.
“What is this?” he asked, I realized he actually expected an answer from me. The wounded guy who was already starting to sweat looked at me sullenly like he too might expect me to answer them. “You said it would be the same, how did you know?”
“Ha, now you think that I have the answers?” It was ironic. “You are on your own.” I jumped down and tucked the gun in my belt, casting a worried look at Fre before addressing them. “Oh, and just a heads up; that guy is infected, he’ll be one of them in about an hour.” I looked away from him and started walking.
“Wait, wait!” Dom called, clambering out of the vehicle “Please, is there any cure?” Marcus followed him, equally anxious to hear what I said as he clutched his bandaged arm.
I strode back over to him and shoved the army issue rifle slung on his shoulder into his arms, pointing the muzzle at his chin.
His face was pained and he looked dirty and damp with sweat.
“Do it now,” I urged through clamped teeth, “and it will be quick or you will cause these men a lot of pain.” My heart was beating fast as I held his horrified stare.
“If you had any guts, any mercy, you would do it and if it was you, you’d want him to do it for you.” I swallowed. That was the cold truth.
Dom had his hand on my shoulder. “Let him go,” he cautioned. But there was no need.
“Have it your way. But maybe you should know something before I leave you for dead.” All attention was on me. “Shoot them in the head or with a direct shot to the heart, otherwise they heal.” I stepped back and turned. “Take care of the kid,” I said over my shoulder as I strode away, I avoided her innocent face. Neither did I look back as I strode down the road. Night would be falling, soon. I needed to find a hiding spot on high ground. I watched the weaving white blue wavy lines in the sky above the mountains with interest.
I was about to head off-road when I heard the familiar whir of the Hummer. I stepped further aside. But they slowed and pulled up.
The sick guy, Marcus, was still with them. “I told you to kill him,” I snarled.
“Get us out of here alive Crain and I’ll make sure you get to see your friends.” I stopped and looked at Dillon. I glanced at Dom.
He could do better than that. “You’ll let them go.”
“They’ll be released,” he assured me. I hid my relief behind a scowl.
“What should we do?” Dom asked.
They were lost without me and they knew it. Things had swung in my favour, only my instincts told me I was better off alone and Dillon might not even have the kind of authority to return my friends, if they were alive.
“Kill him,” I advised ignoring Marcus.
Dom stated his case. “Look, we are soldiers; killing is what we do. But we don’t kill our own.” His voice deepened. They all stared hopefully at me, even the driver, O’Donnell, as his arm rested over the top of the steering wheel.
“Maybe that’s been your biggest mistake.” I looked at Marcus Green. He was already turned. I knew what I had to do for Fre. “He isn’t a soldier anymore,” I warned. His face was clearer. I lifted my gun to pull the trigger but Mason dived on me and I fell back under the force as the infected soldier leapt, transformed, at Dom. I was winded and I struggled to get up, but all I could see was Lab Coat struggling. Fre. I thought with despair as I wriggled under Mason’s weight.
Mason grabbed my arm. He let me up but held me back, firmly. Thankfully, I saw a hypodermic needle protruding from a wolf’s eye, then Marcus reformed into a dead naked human. Dom panicked, pushing the body back. Mason let go of me. I struggled for breath as I walked over and shot Marcus in the head point blank. The bullet blew out the back of his skull, the splatter flicked over my face. We were all in a state of shock, breathing heavily, still tense for action as the echo of the shot died down and I dropped the hand that held the pistol.
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