Interview with Kim Smith.. Author of the Shannon Wallace Mysteries
Today I am interviewed by Kim Smith, Author of the Shannon Wallace Mysteries.
KS: Tell us a little about your latest novel and when and where we can get it.
CM: My first novel is called The Chosen. It is a Supernatural Horror, set in modern times. It is the story of Alex Manning who is “The One”, well actually Alex Manning is a nice guy, with anxiety attacks who has visions. He doesnt know he is “The One” until he gets wrapped up in the investigation of the Jamiesonn house. Then he is drawn neck deep into betrayal, battling demons, freaky scary ghosts, and falling in love again tossed in for good measure. My novel can be purchased as E-Book from my website http://authorcamilson.blogspot.com, or as paperback through Amazon.com and various other online retailers
KS: How do you balance the creative process of writing with the demands of public appearances, maintenance of your website, and your family?
CM: Balancing is quite a term to use. For the past month or so I have been working as a recruiter for a research company, so I have not had as much time as I would like to spend with family or promote my book. I have found that recruiting, even virtual recruiting, is as demanding as having a regular job and it has been an effort to do anything else. So when I have had time I try to update my website and various blogs once a week, even if it means taking a whole Saturday to catch up with Emails, postings, and interviews. I am thankful that I have a wife who understands just how complex my life can be. She has stood by me through the hecticness that is otherwise my daily life 🙂
KS: Give us an example of a day in the writing life of. Do you stick to a schedule of X amount of hours writing, editing, answering email, etc.?
CM: A typical day for me will start with coffee. Coffee kick-starts my mind into gear and when I get around to it, I start answering emails, writing new scenes, and then editing those scenes if I dont like it. There is thins one chapter I wrote recently about a new character I decided to introduce, based on his life and his success with YouTube, but I scratched that entire chapter as it was too close to my own life. So I may yety keep that character and have him introduced in a diffent time-frame. I dont stick to any type of schedule. That would put me into a category of being routine and then the flair for writing wont be as fun anymore. For me, writing comes from the heart.. from inspiration. I have to be inspired to write. Mostly, I find I write best when I have the headphones on and listening to my fav songs on YouTube.
KS: About the great ‘rule’ debate: we are told you can’t do this and you can’t write that. But it is stepping outside the lines that gets many authors noticed and eventually published. What are your opinions on the rules?
CM: I believe that if you create rules to take something away from the writer, then you take something away from the writer. I would never want to conform to the rules of “you cant do this” and “you cant do that”. Such rules are designed to take away the create talent from the writer, and when that happens, the joy of writing no longer exists and one becomes a slave to what someone else wants them to write. Now where is the joy in that? An author has to enjoy what they are writing. If I was told I could not “do this and that”, then I would not write.
KS: What music do you listen to when you write?
CM: Typically I listen to my music favs on YouTube. My list includes music from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and today. (Sounds like a radio staion promo, doesnt it!!)
KS: Has a song inspired you to write?
CM: Different songs give me inspiration. There is a song by Eskimo Joe called Black Fingernails Red Wine. Now when I first heard it I always envisioned that this song would be the main song for my novel.
KS: Do you have a favorite show on TV that helps in moving your muse?
CM: Not really. I am too much of a critic. I tend to like to watch horror flicks on occasion and being a horror writer I find horror movies far too predictable. I think the style of M. Night Shyamalan is unique. If my book ever became a movie I would want him to direct it 🙂
KS: If you could collaborate with any author, living or dead, who would it be and why?
CM: I have two that come to mind. H.P.Lovecraft and M. Night Shyamalan. First off, Lovecraft was a master horror writer for his day, and even today he still remains the true master of horror. It is a shame that he wasn’t recognized for the genius he was until after his death. M Night is also brilliant. It seems that anything Shyamalan touches turns to gold. So if I could work with any two writers it would be these two. I would write with Lovecraft for the priviledge of writing with someone so gifted, and Shyamalan because I know he would make an excellent movie version of my book 🙂
KS: What is your thoughts on promotion for books?
CM: Promotion is everything for a new author. Any new author these days has to put in the “leg work” to get noticed by the public. Writing does not end when the book is published, as some may think. It is the case of “okay, your book is released, now it is time for the next level. Promotion, Promotion, promotion”. The life of an author is not easy, unless you happen to be Stephen King, Dean Koontz, or any other author who have made it to “that” level of success. Promoting is not always easy either as you have to get your book infront of the right people, which can take hours of emailing every day.
KS: What advice do you have for authors who haven’t quite gotten their manuscript to the next level, which for most is publishing?
CM: Dont give up! If you have the talent to write, then do it. It does take alot of work to get a publisher, but just dont settle for any publisher. Vanity publishers will certainly take your manuscript and charge you a huge fee to publish it. Same goes for Literary Agents. There are alot of agents who will gladly take your manuscript and offer to reprsent you for a fee. My advice is stay clear of those sharks. Any reputable agent or publisher will not ask for a fee in advance. So do your homework on both agents and publishers. Write a good enquiry letter; Seek out those who publish your genre, check and see if they are currenty accepting new submissions and start contacting them. Yes, you will get alot of rejection slips, but dont get discouraged. I see rejection as being on the right track. You will get your work published if you are determined enough to follow it through to the end.
Be sure to check out the Book Blurb with Kim at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/KimS/blog/2008/11/13/Book-Blurbing
Also in December I catch up with Kim Smith, on BlogTalkRadio