Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Cozy interview with Stormy Smith

Having reviewed Stormy Smith's two books Bound by Duty and Bound by Spells, I figured it was time to have a chit-chat to get to know Stormy better, and to talk about some writing and bookish fun 

About Stormy:

Q: Tell us something special or different or weird about yourself
Stormy Smith: Something weird: I have double-jointed elbows and hyper-flexible shoulder joints. The elbows makes it really complicated to do certain exercises (like push-ups), and my shoulders make a variety of yoga poses much easier.
Q: What are your favourite classical books and modern ones?
 SS: Classic – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Modern – Left Drowning by Jessica Park (contemporary) and The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning (Fantasy)

Q: Apart from YA, what is your favourite reading genre?
SS: I love all things fantasy/paranormal!
Q: Do you speak any other languages?
SS: I took French for six years and there was a time when I was fluent. Now, I can pick up on it but can’t really speak it anymore.

Q: What is your favourite food?
SS: Ever? That is hard…I really love food…I would have to say shrimp pasta!
Q: What countries would you like to visit/are on your to-travel-to list?
SS: I would really like to do the UK, Ireland and Scotland tour and after that, visit Australia.
Q: If you could experiment with a new genre, outside of your favourites, what would it be?
SS: I’m really curious about Steampunk. I think I would enjoy it, but I’ve never tried it out.

Moving on to writing and her books

Q: Before the Bound series, did you publish any other works?
SS: I published a poem in middle school and wrote for a variety of newspapers in college, but I had not published any other books.
Q: How many parts are you planning for the series?
SS: It’s funny you ask, because a lot of people have been lately. Originally, I always planned for the series to be three books, but I am not a heavy outliner; outlining just doesn’t work well for me. So, often my writing is a journey that I can’t anticipate and Bound by Prophecy (book three) is very much that way. I know where I’m heading with the story but we are getting there in a way I hadn’t directly anticipated. I see a strong possibility the series goes past three books. They may not all be full-length, but I have a lot of great secondary characters that could have their own side stories.

Q: Do you have anything works in progress? Or plans after Bound?
SS: I can only write one story at a time, given I have a full time job and I am in graduate school, so my focus in on the Bound series right now. I’m not sure what I’ll do when I finish it! I guess that will depend on how many more books there are waiting to be written. J
Q: What is the best writing advice you could give to new and upcoming writers?
SS: Don’t think about anything except writing the book until it's written. Don’t worry about going traditional or self-publishing, don’t worry about marketing or building your brand and don’t worry about what anyone will think. Write the story you want to read and don’t stop until it's done.
Q: How many drafts do you go through – give or take – before the final work is ready to go out into the world?
SS: That very much depends on the book. Bound by Duty took four drafts plus professional editing. Bound by Spells took two plus professional editing. I would guess Bound by Prophecy will be three.
Q: Beta readers, how many do you have before you think your book is ready? And are they for the final draft or do they come in a bit before that?
SS: I have a critique partner that reads the rough stuff and helps me mold and shape the story. My betas don’t come in until the second to last draft. I look for betas to help me tweak, to find missing words and small issues before I go to my professional editor. I only use four betas, any more than that becomes overwhelming.

Q: How do you incorporate writing into your everyday life? Do you have a part-time or full-time job? What's your day like?
SS: It depends on how you think about it. I don’t write my story every day, I don’t have time, but I think about it every day. I talk about it in my marketing efforts every day. I communicate with bloggers and fans, I develop my own graphics, organize blog tours, work with a street team, work with my writing group…all of that happens daily. But I really only have time to write on the weekends and I generally get 6000 – 8000 words each weekend. I do have a full time job and I’m in graduate school, so there are many demands on my time. I’m also married and try to have a tiny bit of a social life.

Q: Is there anything else you'd like to add for Nadaness In Motion? J

SS: Just a heartfelt thank you for everything you do. Bloggers are a self-published author’s lifeline and your passion for our stories finds its way to new readers, and many times, loyal fans. I can’t thank you enough for your assistance in helping me achieve my dreams.

Check my reviews of Stormy's novels: Bound by Duty and Bound by Spells.
Get in touch with Stormy Smith via Twitter and Facebook