Name HD Smith
Age 3 years younger than Jennifer Aniston 🙂
Where are you from
Originally from the Upstate of South Carolina, but I’ve lived in Florida for almost 20 years
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I have a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Computer Science. My day job is a software developer … but writing novels are more fun (most days)!
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I’ve just released the third novel in the Devil’s Assistant series, Dark Forsaken, December 25th 2015. There will be one more (Book 4) in Claire’s story arc. Book 5 will be in the same world, but with a different main character. The audiobook (my favorite format) for Book 3 will be released in May.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started my first novel (which was never finished) shortly after finishing my master’s degree. I planned it to death, and finally gave up. I started my second novel shortly after, and although several chapters made it to the page, it also fell victim to too much planning. I then discovered I was a pantser (fly by the seat of my pants), not a plotter (plan and outline to the n-th degree). The next book idea made it to completion … Keegan’s Point … a middle grade novella, which is now available in print and paperback.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I finally finished a book that I allowed friends to read.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I had all these ideas, but never had time to work on them. After I finished my degree, I ran out of excuses and finally decided to give it a try.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Pantser … I do very little planning before beginning a book.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The original title of Book 1 was THE DEVIL’S ASSISTANT, but I was told by an agent that that title was very popular in queries, so I brainstormed other title ideas, and googled them to make sure I wasn’t picking something that was already taken … I only found one DARK HOPE (non-fiction), although after releasing I discovered another DARK HOPE on Goodreads. After re-releasing the book again (rights were reverted), another DARK HOPE was released, but that’s how it goes with titles. THE DEVIL’S ASSISTANT became the series title. Working title for Book 2: Dark Promise, final title: DARK AWAKENED. Working title for Book 3: Dark Truth, final title: DARK FORSAKEN.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
My book is total fantasy, no deep hidden meaning, just a fun escape.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
I have the world grounded in a version of reality … present day NYC, but there are hidden realms and magic exists, so not too realistic 🙂
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
While I’ve had some boss’s that I wouldn’t trust as far I could throw them … I wouldn’t call any of them the Devil … although a friend and previous boss (one of the good ones) said he heard my voice as Claire the entire time he was reading Book 1 … it has to be the snarkiness.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? A mentor?
I have read lots of good Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. A few authors that come to mind are: Kim Harrison, Karen Marie Moning, Thea Harrison, Jeaniene Frost, Ilona Andrews, Kresley Cole, Gena Showalter, Molly Harper … the list can go on and on. No mentor per se.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m an audio-book-a-holic, I just finished listening to Queen of the Hill By Genevieve Jack, next up will be the fourth book in her series, Mother May I.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
New to me Genevieve Jack and SE Smith, both are excellent.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Book 4, then Book 5 in the Devil’s Assistant series.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My friend Stacie … she has probably read my book six times … and they weren’t all as good as the final version 🙂
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Maybe in the future. While I’d like to be an independent writer, I would need to be much more settled in this career before I decide to give up the day job.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I think there is always something you could change … but I like the final product. At this point, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Lots of crazy ideas that needed an outlet.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Book 4 will also have Claire as the main character, it wraps up all the remaining loose ends in her story arc. Unfortunately I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but Claire has to fight for her place in the pecking order and by the end of Book 4, the “big three” will need to add one to their ranks.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Since the world contains magic and villains that have power and crazy tendencies, it is sometimes hard to keep the level of violence realistic when the bad guy can literally throw you across the room with his will, but I try to keep thing realistic in a totally unrealistic reality.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I really like a lot of different authors equally well, and I often find my favorite is really my favorite right now. With that said, I’m looking forward to the newest release of Jennifer Esteps Elemental Assassin series: Bitter Bite.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I only have four events planned this year. The first two, SE Smith’s WRIR in Orlando, FL and Coastal Magic Conference in Daytona, FL have already taken place. The next reader conference for me is Indie Bookfest 2016 in Orlando, FL in October. I’m also attending a professional writers conference in September.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
After rights were reverted I hired Robin Ludwig Designs to redesign Book 1 (audio, ebook, & print). She has also designed the other books in the Devil’s Assistant series and my novellas.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Editing. You really have to have a good editor. I use Story Perfect Editing.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
The editing process with a publisher can be brutal, but rewarding. With Book 1, that was the real takeaway from that experience. Since then I’ve hired my own wonderful editing team and have had awesome results with them.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Never give up. Keep going until you find the story that’s right for you. As I mentioned above, I started two other books before I finished the first one. You can do it, but you have to stick with it.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Rate or review the books you read on Amazon or Goodreads, it really helps authors get noticed by new readers!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Sweet Pickles, then later on Choose Your Own Adventure (I loved those)
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
A don’t read many overly emotional books, although occasionally you’ll get one with a scene that really speaks to you. Ceci Giltenan’s stories always have moments that tug at the heartstrings.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Queen Elizabeth I … I’d be curious to know exactly how it was “back then”, because I seriously doubt Hollywood got it right.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
No headstone … ashes sprinkled on the wind.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I design t-shirts and other fun products for cool swag at events.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I hope they bring back Minority Report next season, I was interested in how they changed it from the Movie and I’m curious to see more.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Not a foodie … color Red … not into Music (tone deaf) … my favorite number is 4
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I’m actually doing what I love (from a real world, need to have a job to live, perspective), I’ve always enjoyed writing software (yes, I’m a geek).
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
http://www.hdsmithauthor.com/ … you can find all my social media links from there
Authors Amazon Page http://www.amazon.com/HD-Smith/e/B00HX7B5P2