Name: Brian W. Smith
Where are you from: New Orleans, LA
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
Brian W. Smith is the bestselling author of fifteen novels. His novels have appeared on several bestsellers list to include: Dallas Morning News, Amazon, Black Expressions, and others. He’s been awarded, Male Author of the Year, by several literary organizations (AAMBC and OOSA Reviewers), and has been nominated for an AALBC Literary award. Brian has owned a publishing company and is currently signed to Simon and Schuster.
Brian holds multiple college degrees to include an MBA. When he is not writing novels and touring he serves as an Adjunct Professor of Creative Writing at Collin College in the Dallas, TX, area.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My latest novel, QUAGMIRE, was released in August and has already made the Amazon Best Sellers list.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing in 2006 after going through a personal tragedy. That incident became the inspiration for my first self-published novel, Mama’s Lies–Daddy’s Pain.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I considered myself a “real” writer the first time one of my novels, Nina’s Got a Secret, made the Dallas Morning News Bestsellers list.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I can’t say that I have a particular “style”. I will say that there are three common threads in my novels: 1.) I take a moral dilemma and wrap a story around it. 2.) I write plot driven books; once I’m through with a book, I’m also through with those characters. Which is why I don’t write many sequels. 3.) I prefer to write in third person because I find it easier to tell the type of plot driven story lines I enjoy writing.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I wanted to write about a very tough moral dilemma, and since the word “dilemma” has been used overused in titles, I thought the synonym, QUAGMIRE, was ideal and catchy.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The premise of the novel is simple, yet complex. If you are married, does your loyalty to your spouse trump your loyalty to your sibling? In this novel, QUAGMIRE, a young lawyer (Eric Braxton) is trying to console his wife (wo is eight months pregnant with their first child) because her twin sister is missing. After he finally convinces her to go to sleep, his doorbell rings after midnight. It’s his troublesome brother, Nick. Nick says he’s in trouble and needs a lawyer. When Eric asks Nick what kind of trouble he’s in, Nick reveals that he’s killed someone. The person he killed is Eric’s missing sister-in-law. Eric suddenly finds himself caught in the ultimate quagmire: should he inform his wife or protect his brother.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
No. This storyline comes from my head. Any similarities to any other stories or some real-life story, is purely coincidental.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I don’t have a literary mentor. I am a mystery buff so I’ve always loved Agatha Christie’s, Hercule Poirot series and Sir Arthur Conan Boyle’s, Sherlock Holmes series – so I guess those two series would qualify as influences for my Sleepy Carter Mystery series.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
The latest book in Agatha Christie’s, Hercule Poirot series, The Monogram Murders. It’s written by Sophie Hannah.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
She’s not new, but I’ve recently started reading Tami Hoag’s novels. I like her style.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
My next Sleepy Carter Mystery novel, Passé Blanc, will be released Summer 2016. For those who don’t know, the Sleepy Carter series is about a successful former NOPD Detective whom everyone thinks is dead. But, Sleepy is alive and secretly helping a young female detective solve her cases. Each Sleepy Carter Mystery is set in New Orleans and has a title that highlights a place or thing that is “uniquely” New Orleans (i.e., A Murder in the Quarters, The Audubon Park Murder). Passé Blanc is the latest book in the series. It’s about a taboo topic—black Creoles in New Orleans who have (and in some cases continue) to pass for white (hence the term Passé Blanc). A young lady is scheduled to marry the great-great grandson of the wealthiest former slave owner in the state’s history. The day of the wedding she’s found dead. Someone discovered her secret and made sure she never said, “I do.”
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Book clubs across this nation have been the biggest supporters of my career during the past ten years.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
My biggest challenge is remaining focused on the writing. Selling books is just as important as writing books for those of us who are full-time writers. It’s easy to get engrossed in the sales side of the business and miss writing deadlines.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I travel year round. I’m usually a Featured Author at five or six literary festivals each year. Every year I do a book tour that’s usually takes me to six or seven cities. I also meet with approximately twenty book clubs, from coast-to-coast each year. This year I will be attending events from Daytona Beach, Fl., to Atlanta, GA., to Los Angeles, CA.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I’ve used several graphic designers over the years. Who I use is often dictated by their availability.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
My advice to writers is simple:
- Study the craft.
- Writing the book is the easy part. Getting people to spend their hard earned money on your novel is the hard part. Study the art of selling products.
- Have thick skin. If you can`t take criticism then you shouldn’t write books.
- This is a marathon not a sprint. There are VERY FEW overnight successes.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thanks for the support and please write reviews. Every review matters.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first fiction book I ever read was, Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Re-runs of the Martin show make me laugh. Thoughts of my deceased mother make me cry.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I’d like to meet President Obama. I believe there has NEVER been a President who has had to put up with as much blatant disrespect as he has. Yet, his intelligence remains undeniable and he continues to carry himself with more poise and dignity than most people could only dream of having.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
This man wasn’t perfect but he was honest and consistent.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I enjoy hanging out with my family. At this stage in my life, that’s the only hobby I have time for or need.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I enjoy watching: Martin, Sanford and Son, classic movies on TCM and Netflix.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Favorite food: Seafood
Favorite color: shades of brown
Favorite music: Hip-Hop and Jazz
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
If I wasn’t a writer I’d probably be a Family Law Attorney – specializing in helping men gain and keep the parental rights that I believe are often ignored.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
My website: www.authorbrianwsmith.com
My Twitter: @AuthorBWSmith
Amazon Authors Page http://www.amazon.com/Brian-W.-Smith/e/B00KE5ZUD8/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1452019121&sr=1-2-ent