Sunday, 23 June 2013

Tina Smith Interview

1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? I just wanted to write. I felt like I had a story to tell. I had the time and the inspiration so I just very quietly went about it. I wasn’t one of those prolific readers or anything like that. I just had a history of writing poems and keeping diaries and writing letters. I only ever said I was a writer for the first time when I had just been to the local S.A writers centre and was talking to my editor. I had signed on to publish and after that meeting I realised I was at least a writer. 

2. How long does it take you to write a book?
 The first book took three years, roughly. I was working a job studying and I am a single mum. After work when my daughter was away I wrote. After editing I had the first book and most of the second. During the editing of the second I wrote most of the third. It has been about twelve months and I have published three books (well the third will be released in June 2013).  But the work became quite feverish in the last twelve months. Study has been put on the back burner to really give this whole thing a go. 

3. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
 I write when I can. I make notes and write down words I like whenever I think of them. I arrange it around school pick-ups and work and cooking dinner. I tend to get more inspired as the day goes by and usually by night I am working like a demon. Nowadays I have to work writing around a lot of marketing, which is just as time consuming. 

4. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
 I think I probably have a few. I am a mad multi tasker. I keep jumbled notes and to the untrained eye my work is a shemozzle, and it is, but I have a mad capped system. Time waits for no man and I am not methodical.  

5. How do books get published?
 I format them after some rounds of editing and blood sweat and tears. I upload them to sites and for my paperbacks I had them formatted.  

6. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
 The net. Television, conversations. Anything from books to movies and music. I listen for words I like.  

7. When did you write your first book and how old were you?
 Seven, I rewrote fairy tales from memory. I grew up on Roald Dahl and Puss in boots. 

8. What do you like to do when you're not writing? 
Texting, sleep, watch shows on t.v. Cook, make soap and shop – though I don’t have the time or finances anymore. 

9. What does your family think of your writing?
 Ha, familiarity breeds contempt. I am a strange nut and let’s just say most of them were blind sighted by my new hobby. But as I have explained I was always a writer at heart. A quiet one, and it’s the quiet ones you have to watch. 

10. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
 The whole experience was and continues to be a learning curve. I was a little shocked at how easy it is to publish now, once you have done the hard part – written a decent book, edited it and found a good editor. 

11. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
 I have written three (the third in the Wolf Sirens Series Night Fall has not been released just yet). The first book is my heart cut out and sliced open on a plate, I worked and toiled over it with everything I had. It has to be my gem, but I’ll admit I love sequels and Fever is this strangely calm beautifully gothic tale of the aftermath that I had to tell. People say I took a gamble with the angle I took with it but like I mentioned I had written most of it before the first one was released, so I wrote it for myself. I wanted to know what happened to the pack and I had been Lila. 

12. Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
 Spend time on it, develop something great and then make it greater. Follow your heart and write for yourself. I love that saying write like no one will read it and edit as though the whole world will. 

13. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
 I get a bit of support, I occasionally have had someone tell me to hang in there when I have done some posts on my blog that describe where I am at. It’s a rollercoaster, this writing game. That’s why I believe in being honest but not whiny because people can be lovely and that can make all the difference. 

14. Do you like to create books for adults? 
I believe my books are for 13 to 100 year olds. But I am considering writing New Adult in the future. 

15. What do you think makes a good story?
 As Stephenie Meyer has said its love that is the heart of every good book. I like suspense too and red herrings, I like to be forced to think about things and to be surprised.  I like elements of the heroes journey, the old school format and a build is good, a nice slow build of pace. Though lately I have been enjoying books like Amanda Hockings Hollowland which starts in 5th gear and remains there and I have loved it. The Hunger games sequel was amazing as well. And strong chicks definitely rock.

16. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? 
When I was about twelve I discovered herbalism and I wanted to be a herbalist and maybe I wanted to write, I considered writing courses. But It was a dream I protected and when I was ready I wrote out what I had held for a long time. All my teen angst and pain, because I am nothing if not emotional and intense.

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