Name S.E. Smith
Age Modernly Mature/forever young
Where are you from: Originally?
Montana. I am an Air Force brat. We moved to Florida when I was two, but I’ve always thought of Montana as my home. I’ve been very fortunate as I love to learn. I have a degree in Electronics, Elementary Education and a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology. I taught for a number of years at both the elementary and college level.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I’m super excited about the new app that just came out in the Apple Store! S.E. Smith Science Fiction, https://appsto.re/au/hE7F_.i is brand new and full of great information for everyone who enjoys SFR! Make sure you check it out!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I published my first four stories on March 31, 2012. I began actually writing two years before after my husband told me I needed to find a hobby. I was going through what I call my ‘rebellious’ period where I wanted to escape from the real world. The economy had tanked and while I was laid off of my job after 14 years, I was hired back almost immediately. Even so, it played on my self-esteem and made me realize that I didn’t like someone else having that kind of control over my life and my feelings. After a summer of reading, my hubby decided I need to get a hobby. Now, his idea of a hobby is exercising. My idea of a hobby was – you guessed it! Writing! I like my idea much better. LOL.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think of myself more as a storyteller. I’m telling the story that the characters in my head are sharing with me. I am simply the medium they use to get it down on paper. The realization that others were enjoying the story became obvious by the end of the first month I published. I have to admit that each email, comment, or post I receive warms my heart to know that others are enjoying the stories as much as I do.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Country music and a bad attitude! LOL. Nothing puts you in the mood when you are down in the dumps like listening to country music. I was also going through a Western/Cowboy phase and having trouble finding a story like I wanted to read. Lily’s Cowboys came to me and the rest was history. I wrote her story, then Tink’s Neverland (SFR), then Abducting Abby (SFR/PRN), then River’s Run (SFR).
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Yes and no. All of my stories have a HEA. They all focus on the friendships, loyalty, and relationships between the characters and they all are filled with action/adventure/suspense/romance. I’ve written children’s, Young Adult, and Adult books in a wide variety of genres simply because the stories are interesting to me. I’m also a complete Panster. I never know what is going to happen next, so I’m just as excited as my readers to see how the story will unfold.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The characters tell me. Sometimes I want to argue with them, but they never listen. LOL. Yes, in the old days I probably would have been locked up.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes! Love, family, friendship, loyalty, making the right decisions, fighting for what you believe in, and believing in yourself and what you are capable of doing are so important! Life is about the journey and the people you meet. Accept those that are different, look beneath the surface, and never give up! Those are very, very strong beliefs of mine.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic ?
Most people who read my stories say they feel like they are in them. They feel like they are standing next to the characters or are in that world. I try to make my characters as real as possible so that you know them, care about them, cry with them, laugh with them, and share their pain and love. A lot of my settings start out based on a real place. If you make it believable enough, it feels real and that is what matters.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
All of my stories have elements of people, places, and things that have touched my life. No matter how you try to separate them, your own life experiences will influence your writing. My story Voyage of the Defiance starts out in Tampa where I lived when I was younger and moves to the East Coast of Florida. Makayla’s journey around the state touches on places that I have been. I dedicated the book to Kaitlyn and her dog, Breaker. Breaker plays a huge role in the story. Breaker recently passed away and Kaitlyn asked if I would consider writing Breaker into one of my stories. She said that he was the best friend a girl could ever have. I was honored to be asked and included Breaker in the story.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
My love for children’s books has been the biggest influence. The Secret Garden, The Black Stallion, and more were my favorites. My dad would read to me every night and I’d always beg him for one more chapter. He was the best mentor and father any girl could ever ask for. I dedicated one of my stories to him. He became deaf when he was 12 after becoming ill. He never gave up. He eventually regained partial hearing in one ear, but he still retired from the military.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
None. LOL. I’m too busy writing. I did go on a reading binge and read four of Peggy L. Henderson’s books in two days recently.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Every author is new to me. I’ve recently begun chatting with Susan Grant who wrote The Star King and had a fan girl moment. Greta van der Rol is another squeal moment. I also have my own favorites: Geri Foster, Sylvia McDaniel, Evelyn Ledermen, Cathryn Cade, Susan Hayes and more!
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’m finishing up Command Decision: Project Gliese 581g and Dust (I’m totally in love with both of them), then finishing Jaguin’s Love: Dragon Lords of Valdier Book 8; The Dark Prince’s Prize: Curizan Warriors Book 2 and Roarrk’s Revenge: Zion Warriors Book 3. Did I mention I have 11 stories currently in progress?! Yep, I have some writing to do!
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My best friend from when I worked with the school board, Lisa. She listened, read, encouraged, loved and accepted me. She still does. She is the most amazing person I’ve ever met in my life!
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Very much so. There is a lot to it. It is more than just writing, it is a way of providing a chance for others to grow and become independent. It also gives me a chance to mentor and teach others what I know. That is what my background is in and where my heart lies.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Nothing! I love how I’m growing as a writer. Each book is different from the last. That is what makes them special to me.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I’ve always enjoyed it and was good at it, but never thought I would make a career out of it. I never thought anyone else would care about the stories in my head. I’m glad they do. It makes the journey a lot more enjoyable having someone to share it with!
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Command Decision is the first book in a five book series called Project Gliese 581g. The Gliese Galaxy is a real galaxy with the possibility of planets that could have life on them. This story is a combination of several different series rolled into one with a more grounded science fiction background. I’m excited as it is filled with action/adventure/suspense/ and yes, romance.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Life! Life has a tendency to get in the way and I have to remember that it is the journey. I don’t want to one day stop writing to find that I’m all alone because I shut everyone out or find that I’m too old and sick to enjoy the fruits of all the hard work I’ve done. Life is to be lived – both in my head and out of it.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Again, I love children’s books. I love stories that capture the magic of a situation. There are far too many to name.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Yes, this year especially. Part of writing is getting your name out there so readers can find you. If they don’t know me, they can’t find my stories, unless they stumble upon me, they will miss the magic that I’ve written. I enjoy traveling and luckily, I can write anywhere.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Melody Simmons from http://indiebookcovers.com/ does her magic on all my covers. She lives in South Africa and has been doing my covers since I discovered her almost four years ago.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
When it is finished. I go through a period of grieving and depression. For months, I pour everything into the story and suddenly it is gone. Then the fear comes as to whether I can write another one. After over 40 books, you’d think I’d be over that, but I still go through it.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
That the learning never ends! To get good at something you have to do it over and over. To become an expert and master a skill, you have to do it for at least ten years or longer. I still have a ways to go!
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don’t give up and keep pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. If you fall down, get back up and don’t give up. Also, remember, the only one you have to compete with is yourself. There will always be more successful authors than you. Do not focus on them. Focus on making each story better than the last, and remember, write the story that you would want to read.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Hi! Hello! 🙂 ❤ LOL. I love meeting new people!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Thumbelina. Still, one of my favorites!
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
A lot of things. I’m a very visual person so anything that can give me an image can make me laugh or cry.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Thomas Jefferson. I’d really love to go over the Constitution and add a few things to it!
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
My life is about who I touched, not who I was. If I touched someone and made a positive impact on their life, than it doesn’t matter who I was, it is what I was able to leave behind.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Camping, traveling, photography, and painting/drawing.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I don’t watch TV – at all. I do love going to the movies. Animations, fairytales, and movies like Star Trek, Star Wars, StarDust, and Guardians of the Galaxy are among my favorites.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music:
Pasta, Black, and anything but heavy metal and Rap.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
What I was doing, working on computers and teaching.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Yes, http://sesmithfl.com. I hope to see you there. Don’t forget to sign up for my Newsletter, new app, and read my Free Reads! I have some awesome stories there! Bye, everyone! See you soon!! ❤
Amazon Authors page USA http://www.amazon.com/S.E.-Smith/e/B007Y85YQG/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1