Today I am happy to have S.E Smith here for an interview. I first heard of her when I won her book Hunter's Claim and after I received it and read it I absolutely loved it. First a little about S.E. Smith. S.E. Smith enjoys the art of writing and being a storyteller who shares love and laughter through her works. She likes to travel and go camping in between working on computers and spending time with her family. Readers can check out her website at http://sesmithfl.com. She would love for you to stop by her site and say hello. So without further ado, here is my interview with S.E. Smith.
1. Did you always want to be a writer?
I think the question is more did I always dream of being a writer. I did but never believed it could ever be a reality. So often you hear of being rejected by publishers or having a great story but no one reads it. That can be a huge deterrent to most writers. For me, I started writing for my own enjoyment and continue to do so. I know if I enjoy the story, it came out right. I am fortunate that others enjoy them as well.
2. You write in a lot of genres. What is your favorite?
That is a hard question to answer. Truthfully, I have had stories that would go right along with Stephen King and Dean R. Koontz to children and young adult to Science Fiction, Paranormal and Time Travel romance that I have shared. My favorite is any that has to do with a fantasy, sci-fi, paranormal element. Those capture my attention and ignite my imagination.
3. I read "Hunter's Claim" by you after winning it in a giveaway. I will be honest romance is not my favorite genre. However I started the first few pages and was hooked. You did the romance part so well. I know this is one of your most recent books. Tell me a bit about how you came up with the concept. And then please tell me about the strong bond between Jesse and Hunter, because it was very romantic without being overdone and I cried at some points and I am NOT a crier!
For me the story is about the relationship between the characters. How they handle the situations they are in and react to each other. While all my stories have a romantic element through them, it is not the primary focus of any of my stories. We all have relationships in our lives, whether they are between siblings, parents, friends or someone we fall in love with. When you meet someone you fall in love with it isn't like you say, 'I'm going to fall in love with that person', it usually hits you one of two ways, gradually you realize it or bam, right between the eyes when you least expect it. That is part of life. In Hunter's Claim, this is what happens. You see the relationship that Jesse has with her sisters, how they handle the situations they find themselves in, who they are in good times and bad, and how she finds love when she leasts expects it. This goes for Hunter as well. In any good relationship, there is learning, acceptance, understanding and the willingness to be a partner. I'm glad to see you saw and felt that in their story.
4. I love the strength and endurance and closeness of the characters in Hunter's Claim. Is this something you do in other books with your characters?
Yes, is the best answer to this question. I think this is why my secondary characters are just as strong as my leading ones. You want to know more about them because you see the bond between them. As I mentioned above, the stories are about the relationships between the characters. Even the most minor are important as they influence and affect those around them. It is who we meet in life that makes us who we are. Even seeing something special that a stranger does for you or someone else can have an impact on you later on.
5. Tell me about writing strong female characters like Jesse.
Jesse is your every day girl. She is you, me, my sister, my mom, my friends. Each of us faces challenges every day. The strength comes from how we handle them. Sometimes it may be with a scream, a cry, then pulling up our 'big girl panties' and moving on. Sometimes it is just with a grit of our teeth and a let's get this over with. It is okay if sometimes we are overwhelmed as long as we push ahead. We are strong like Jesse. That is what I think of when I write my female characters.
6. Are any of your characters based on you or anyone you know?
I see a touch of my characters in everyone around me. I think that is what is the most interesting thing. I know I've felt like Gracie when I wanted to throw the mother of all temper tantrums. It feels great once you've done it and then you move on. I see men and women every day, both in person and on the news, that have triumphed over huge obstacles. I see my friends and family who love and care about each other. I think it is using them as role models for my characters that make the characters seem like someone you know.
7. Who are your greatest influences?
The everyday people who don't give up. There are those who became famous, of course. But it is the everyday people I live and work with that continue to amaze me. Sally, Julie, Elizabeth and Narelle who would reach out to a stranger and offer their hand, strength and shoulder even though they didn't know me. Lisa who laughs and brightens the world around her as she juggles a daily schedule that would send most people screaming. And my own hero, who has given me the strength to believe in myself and my dream and stand next to me through thick and thin.
8. Out of all of your books, which do you like the best and which were the most fun to write?
My favorite is a toss up between Lily's Cowboys and Gracie's Touch. I love all the stories but those two are very special in their own ways because of the female leads. My most fun to write would have to be Choosing Riley. I swear, she kept me on my toes the whole book and I couldn't wait to see what she would have to say next or how Vox would handle it. Though, Capturing Cara was a very close second!
9. Where do you like to write? For example in a nearby park, out of your patio, at a favorite desk?
Now, I most write in the small bedroom I've converted into an office, though I'm sitting in the car in the driveway answering this question. LOL. I can write just about anywhere which is awesome.
10. What is your must have snack/drink while writing?
Hot tea. I love drinking a cup of hot tea while I write. Sometimes just holding the cup between my hands while I think, read or re-write a section helps. There is just something very calming about it.
11. You have such a body of work. Do you carry a notebook around with you for all of your ideas or are you able to remember everyone and keep the characters and stories straight?
I wish! Actually, Julie has taken on the task for me now. Until now, I keep everything in my head. For me, when I return to a world it is like visiting old friends. Still, as the number of series grows and the worlds get bigger and more detailed, I know having a guide will save me from going crazy.
10. Tell me about what you are working on now and what we have to look forward too from you.
I just released Krac's Firebrand: Zion Warriors Book 2. I plan to take a few days off to catch up on other things (like cleaning the house, mowing the yard, organizing my office) before I start on Twin Dragons: Dragon Lords of Valdier Book 7. I will also continue work on my young adult story Milo and the Wizard's Ink. Just the first chapter gave me goosebumps!
Thank you for having me. You asked some really awesome questions and it was a pleasure to share my thoughts and answers with you. For more information on my books, readers can check out my website at http://sesmithfl.com/ Join me for additional information about the books at http://www.pinterest.com/sesmithfl/, https://twitter.com/sesmithfl, https://www.facebook.com/se.smith.5?fref=ts, and at my new book discussion forum at http://www.sesmithromance.com/forum/.
Wow that was an awesome interview! Thank you so much for putting so much thought into the answers. I am nothing if not honest and if there was an award for the most pleasant surprise in a book and favorite new author, you would win that. I am really looking forward to reading all of your other books. You are welcome to come to my blog anytime to promote your new books or to do a guest blog. I would be happy to have you. Thank you again for agreeing to the interview and I hope to have you back soon.
Please be sure to stop by and visit S.E Smith at the links provided above and I can personally recommend Hunter's Claim as a book of hers to read. My review is posted here on my blog.
We are not done yet! S.E. Smith has been nice enough to host an awesome giveaway so here are the details. S.E. is giving away two autographed sets of the Zion Warrior series which includes the books Gracie's Touch and Krac's Firebrand. So I want to thank S.E. for this generous giveaway and I encourage you to enter. Just look to your right and you will see the rafflecopter form. I am going to let the giveaway run for a week so get your entry in or miss out on two great books!
GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!