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Friday, 12 December 2014

Stormy smith interview

Stormy Smith
Tell us a little about yourself?

I am 32 and live in a suburb of Des Moines,Ia., with my husband and two cats. I work full time in marketing and attend graduate school at Drake University, which is also where I earned my bachelors. I have always worked in sales and marketing, and spent the past 6.5 years in an agency environment. It was a great foundation for being my own marketing consultant, project manager, budget-maker and media relations expert while launching Bound by Duty! BBD is my first book and I’ve been so proud of the success. In early October, I maintained a number one ranking in new adult college fantasy for five days! It was amazing!!

What genre is your work mainly? Do you tend to stay in the same vein or are you hoping ( if not already) to explore new ventures?

My first series (I’m working on the second book now) is new adult fantasy, which is where I am most comfortable writing because it is the genre I read most often. But, I see myself branching out as I get more comfortable being an author and trusting my instincts. Right now, I’m focused on the Bound series, but who knows where life will take me!

Share with us a quote from one of your favourite characters?
Bethany, Amelia’s best friend, is probably my favorite character. She’s southern, so real, and so supportive. This is one of my favorite lines from her – “It’s too early, honey. You can’t be trying to solve the world’s problems until you’ve been properly caffeinated. Don’t make life any harder than it already is.”

Is it hard to come up with new idea's or plot's?

I wouldn’t say it’s always hard to come up with ideas, but it is hard to come up with new or not predictable ideas! I’m learning that I have to just write the crap to get to the good stuff. I have to get the plot on paper, even if it is ridiculous now, so that my brain can process through and find the gems. And it helps that I have a great critique partner to bounce ideas off of, and an amazing support system in my fellow Rebel Writers. The Rebel Writers are a group of girls who either have, or soon will, publish their books. We’ve been working together and supporting each other since last October and I know I wouldn’t be here without them!
Are your characters based on real people? People you may know on Tv or Movie stars?
They started out being based on people I knew, or being a mish-mosh of people I’ve known, but that only lasted until I trusted myself enough to let them be who they were. Some of those traits remain, but now I understand their identities and don’t try to conform them to any one person. They are themselves.

What's up next for you?
My second book – Bound by Spells – will release in March of 2015! I’m in the midst of editing my first draft and am really loving where it is going. I think the fans of Bound by Duty are going to be excited about what’s in store for Amelia, Aidan and the gang.
Do you have any hobbies?

I used to say that I loved to read, but reading time is much less when you write! I do enjoy yoga, and I love to listen to live music. My husband and I also have recently gotten into trail riding (on bicycles). Central Iowa has a really fantastic trail network and we love exploring.
What are your favourite movies?
I really enjoy a lot of different things! I love suspense (but not scary – I’m a a HUGE wuss), a Rom Com in always a fun getaway, I adore fantasy (Harry Potter, The Hobbit), I loooove all of the book adaptations that are happening right now…I could go on and on. I don’t actually watch a ton of movies, I’m really selective, but it has more to do with my lack of time than lack of want!
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing my whole life. I wrote poetry when I was in middle and high school, I wrote for the school newspaper and majored in magazine journalism in college. I wrote marketing pieces and then eventually feature stories and press releases. I’m a big, giant word nerd!
Who or what has been your biggest literary influence?
I was reading Rachel Higginson’s Star-Crossed series when the plot of Bound by Duty came to me initially. But I also really look up to Jessica Park for her no-holds-barred style and I aspire to write something as brilliantly-complicated and in-depth as Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series. 
Who or what has been your biggest literary influence?

I was reading Rachel Higginson’s Star-Crossed series when the plot of Bound by Duty came to me initially. But I also really look up to Jessica Park for her no-holds-barred style and I aspire to write something as brilliantly-complicated and in-depth as Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series. 
How long does it take you to take for you to complete a novel from concept to completion?
I’m still working out what the best processes for me are. Bound by Duty took 12 months, but it was my first book ever. Bound by Spells is on track for 9 months, and I think that at least while I’m finishing my graduate degree I couldn’t publish any faster than that.
Any funny experiences or quirks you'd like to share with your readers?
A few fun facts about me when I write:
I have to have music on, but only classical. It can’t have words or
 I get distracted.
My best plot ideas and solutions
come during my drive to work.
I create Spotify playlists for my books and listen to them constantly to help spur those moments of genius.
When I write, I can’t use an outline
and no matter how long
I’ve sat there – an hour or four hours – I never remember what I’ve written. When I come back to the words, I’m always surprised. I call it my fugue state. ;)

What advice would you give to others who want to make writing their career?
There is no better time than now. You can do it yourself, you don’t have to wait on anyone else to make your dreams come true. Don’t second guess and don’t worry about anything but putting the words on paper. All the rest will come. Just sit down and write. Don’t worry if you don’t have an outline – I didn’t. Don’t worry about whether or not you’ll toss half of what you wrote – I rewrote 80% of my first draft. Don’t worry about what other people will think. As long as you write the book you would want to read, there will be people out there who want to read it, too. BUT, don’t skimp. Hire an editor. Have people critique it and listen to their feedback You don’t have to use it – but you absolutely should consider it! And hire a cover designer. Nothing will kill your book faster than a poorly-edited text with a crappy cover.
Do you ever get ideas at random moments, and if so how do you hang on to them?
Always! The best ideas come in random moments when you aren’t trying to force them. I send myself a lot of emails and text messages. Especially texts when I’m driving because I can use voice text!

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