SE Smith talks with Readers

I had my first Meet the Author webinar in June of 2013 and the recording is below. I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with my readers and we covered all sorts of questions and just about every book I have written.

Highlight Questions from my first Meet the Author webinar. These are just a few of the questions I answered.

I love the current series and want more in them, but am curious about what new stories are trying to get your attention.
My head is always swirling with different stories. I actually have several that have been getting stronger and stronger until I know I will have to stop and write them. One is about a group that live in the Appalachian Mountains and are called elementals. I have additional stories for the Heaven Sent series, time travel, and a teen and children’s series in my head.

How on earth did you come up with the… um… er…blush… anatomy for the Zion warriors? Hot! Whew!
I have a very vivid imagination! LOL. I’m not really sure how I came up with the idea, truthfully. As I say, the characters tell/show me what to write. That was what Kordon looked like and who was I to argue with a man like that?! I have to admit, he was very, very hot!

How do you manage to write several novels simultaneously and not muddle them up?
I’ve always thought of my mind as a huge file cabinet, where I store stories and pull them out when I want to read them. Much like you do when you are on your Kindle or your bookshelf. Are they organized, no – much like everything else in my life I consider myself one of those that function with organized chaos. But, each world comes alive as I revisit it and everything falls into place. It was wild because there are several books that I did write at the same time, hopping from one to the other. Hannah and Gracie were two as well as Riley and Star.

How did you get started writing?
That is a great question. A long story short, the school district I work for was reorganizing. I had been with them for 15 years as both a teacher and as a TSS. One day I go in and they say, everyone is gone, you have to reapply for your job! Talk about a shock to the system! I was rehired and I do a wonderful job and enjoy what I do but it also put me into a rebellious mood of wanting to escape the ‘real’ world for a while. I began reading – a lot. Soon, I was having a difficult time finding a book that satisfied me. I wanted to read about a certain type of female who was strong, fragile, brave, scared, namely one that was real to me and I wanted to read about an alpha guy who was strong, vulnerable, willing to learn and who wasn’t afraid to admit he was in love even if he wasn’t sure what to do about it. After reading some books that were not that great and a few that I wanted to strangle the heroine/hero, I thought about all the stories in my head and decided I could always write them down for my own pleasure. I wrote Lily’s first as her story kept playing over and over in my mind. Abby’s came next followed by River. After I wrote them, I broke down and told my sister about what I had done and she asked to read them. I gave her River first and she fell in love with it and told me it was as good as the books she was reading and I needed to publish it. I sent River to a publisher and they said it was good but not what they were looking for. Depressed, thinking no one would want to read any of the stories, I just kept writing for my own curiosity to see what happened next to the characters. After sitting on the growing pile and my sister begging me to publish so she could share them with her friends, I took my courage in my hands and started researching. I found out about KDP, researched more, couldn’t find out how to do the covers, couldn’t find anyone to help with the covers, tried to learn how to the covers, while working full time in a job that was now 8 schools instead of 1. Late on a Sunday night, I put what I had together and published the books I had written. I was shocked that more than my sister and a couple of her friends bought them. Yes, I almost quit when I was slammed for grammar/spelling but instead, I went back through the books and did more research. It has been a huge learning curve as I was doing all this on nights and weekends. After three months and a growing number of readers, I finally told my husband what I was doing. (He thought I was either reading or writing a lot of emails, he had no idea I was writing books). You know the rest! – )

What do you love most about writing?  And on an opposite note, what do you hate?
Seeing the characters, their worlds, and what happens to them. It is almost like a relief to let them out of my head. I get a little down after each book because it is almost like saying goodbye (I guess it is like having a dragon and symbiot with me all the time and suddenly losing that feeling). I won’t say I hate the paperwork involved, it is just overwhelming at times. There is a lot to being an indie author. I love the freedom of not having someone telling me what to write, when to write, and how it should be done but there is a lot to coordinate on the publishing side.

Just want to say how much I am enjoying your books – not really any questions.
That is what gives me the strength to keep writing. If it gives someone else the same pleasure and a way to escape from this world for a little while than it is worth the hours it takes to write out one of my stories.

Will we see more of the Eastern Mointain Clan? (Cosmos´Gateway)
Yes, Merrick, Core and the others will have stories as well as Lan, Brock, and Derik.

Do you have some new series in the works?
The Elementals. I can’t wait to write about them. I also have a teen book and a children’s series I want to write.

If you were given an opportunity to change a personality of any character(s) in any of your books who would it be and why?
That is a tough question. Each of my characters talk to me and even the ones I would change I don’t think they would. The only character that I didn’t really like his personality at first was Jonathan Tucker. He was a bit too arrogant for me. But, he turned out to be an okay guy. Then, I had to think of the time period he was living in. As far as the women, I like all my heroines. I was a bit worried about Star at first. I was afraid she would be a whiny wimp but she proved me wrong. This goes to show I don’t know the characters any better until they are written down.

When will the blue guy from star’s story be out?
Risteard and Ricki will be out either later this fall or spring of 2014. I have a lot of stories going on right now.

What other characters will get their story told?
Jarmen, Kev Mul Lar, Ajaska and more as the characters come alive. I even might write a short story for the Frenchmen! – ) Oh, and Madas and Gril!

Out of all your books who is your favorite male character and why?
Kordon was the first name that came to mind. I think there is just something special about him. He is this tough guy and in tight control but the way he reacted and treated Gracie was awesome. His love for her came through but also his willingness to learn and grow and accept the deep feelings he had for her. Plus, I loved the way he handled Violet at the end. LOL. He was her hero!