authors, books, children's literature, christian fiction, christian literature, interviews, kids books, poetry

In the Words of an Author: An Interview with Sandi Smith

Have there been any authors who have influenced your work? If so, who?

I have followed two wonderful authors – Maeve Binchy and Fannie Flagg.

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Out of all the characters you’ve written, who is your favorite? Why?

Well, for my children’s books I would have to say A.R. Achnid is my favorite character. A.R. was the reason I started to write, and his character was so much fun. He thought he was human, and wanted to do everything with his human friend, Harold. Even though people thought of him as a scary spider, he didn’t let that get him down. He just went along with his life, enjoying all of his adventures.

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Are there any types of scenes you find more difficult to write? Which ones and why.

I have been very lucky, and have not had any difficulties with any scenes I have written. My new novel that I am working on now, though, I am having a little bit of trouble getting past one particular scene. It is a little dark, and I am not sure in what direction I want to take the story.

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What would you say the most rewarding part of being an author is?

I have found that finishing a story, especially a novel, is so rewarding. So much time and energy is invested in the writing of the story, and when it finally is finished and comes together to form the feelings you wanted to express, it is a tremendously gratifying experience.

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What advice do you have for authors just starting out in their journey?

Well, I am basically just starting out myself, but I would advise anyone who is starting out to believe in what you are writing. In the beginning, when I wrote something, I was always looking for approval from a family member or a friend. One day when someone told me they didn’t care for my book, my husband told me that there are going to be people who love the book and people who don’t care for it at all, but that doesn’t mean that it is a bad story. Believe in yourself is the advice my husband gave me, and continues to give me, so I would pass that on to anyone starting out.

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Do you have a writing ritual? If so, please explain.

I do not. The words come to me, and I sit down and start typing away. The whole process for me has been very simple. The only ritual I would say I have is making sure I have cookies available for when I am awake and typing at night. They are soothing to the soul.

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Was being an author something you always wanted to do?

Not really. I used to write in high school, but never gave it too much thought after that. Actually, I always wanted to be an opera singer, but, occasionally, I always found myself writing poems or short stories.

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If you could have a conversation with any one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

My mother, who has been gone for quite a few years now. We didn’t have a great relationship, and I would really love to sit and chat with her, getting to know her as a person. I believe, because of our volatile relationship, that I may have missed out on a wonderful friendship with a wonderful person. That breaks my heart.

Would you care to provide an excerpt from one of your books as a sample of your work?

This is from one of my children’s books, Sarah Bella’s Gift of Gold:

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When Sarah Bella was a very young girl,

(let’s say, probably about six years old),

her parents gave her a small ball of yarn,

that they said was a “gift of gold”.

Sarah Bella was then told by her parents,

“A life of adventure is waiting ahead.

Wrap your favorite things in this ball of yarn,

and when you sleep, keep it close by your bed.”

They told Sarah Bella that when she grew old,

in her ball of yarn would be memories so dear.

There would be times and places to remember,

from all of her adventures throughout the years.

The following is from my first novel, Sitting at the Kitchen Table with God:

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Andrew was gone, and Marianne should have been buried with him. There were two deaths on that day, but only one soul was taken. The other was left to slowly decay in the shell of a lonely woman.

For more information on this author, please, visit:


http://www.authorsandismith.com

http://amzn.to/2fdd1YJ


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authors, books, christian literature, nonfiction

In the Words of an Author: An Interview with Carolyn Denise Owens

Have there been any authors who have influenced your work? If so, who?

I started writing short stories, etc. when I was around 7 years old, so I can’t really say if my writing was influenced by other writers, writing is my passion and I started writing at a very young age, because of my love for it.

Are there any types of scenes you find more difficult to write? Which ones and why.

I write from my heart and since my writing is primarily non-fiction I can’t say that one person is any more difficult to write about than another.

What would you say the most rewarding part of being an author is?

For me, the most rewarding part is to inspire a young person who wants to be a writer. I met a 6-year-old girl a couple of years back and she was so excited to meet a “real live author” in person as she stated. I was excited that she was excited and I just hope that the fact that I’d accomplished my goal of writing would inspire her to do the same.

What advice do you have for authors just starting out in their journey?

I want them to know that writing is something that you do because you love it and not to seek, fame or fortune. If fame and fortune comes, then that’s the icing on the cake, but don’t look for it. Writing is a hard business and you have to be very persistent and even more patient to make it, but more than that you have to love what you do and have a genuine interest in the subjects you choose to write about.

Do you have a writing ritual? If so, please explain.

Many of my writing ideas or inspirations will come to me in a dream. I still jot down ideas and write them in a notebook as opposed to a computer. I keep a notepad next to my bed so that if I dream about something that I need to write about, the pad is right there so that I can start writing as much of the information that I can remember. Also, I will set aside time to meditate on my writing and brainstorm to come up with different titles,subjects and so forth.

Was being an author something you always wanted to do?

Indeed, I started writing at a very young age. I was around 7 years old when I started writing short stories and poems.

If you could have a conversation with any one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

If I could speak to anyone person, I think that it would be Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the reason why is that even though great strides have been made due to his efforts and the efforts of others like him, sometimes I wonder and wish that I could ask him if the sacrifice was worth the benefit. It seems that people of all colors, religions, and races take his sacrifices for granted and don’t value his love for humanity to the extent that they have chosen not to build on the legacy and foundation that he laid. Sometimes, I wonder if he would have rather worked at a school or a factory and just live his life in obscurity and raised his family, instead of laying his life down for humanity because of the thanklessness of the people who benefited from his efforts.

Would you care to provide an excerpt from one of your books as a sample of your work?

From “Timeless Wisdom”

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You Have to Execute!

“Gathering up a bunch of ideas and doing nothing with them is just like collecting garbage in garbage bags in your house, if you never make it to the curb with the garbage bags, all you are is an organized hoarder. Sure, the garbage isn’t all over the floor and the counter, it might be bagged up, but you need to get it to the curb for the garbage collector in order to have accomplished anything. You’ve got to execute. That’s the same way it is with an idea. Collecting ideas and doing nothing with them is useless.” (Vincent Owens)
I’ve heard it said many times some of the greatest books that weren’t written, and some of the greatest songs that weren’t put to melodies, are in the graveyard. If you have a goal that you want to accomplish, go for it! It may be a book that needs writing, a poem that you want to recite, or a song that you want to sing. There is no such thing as waiting for the right time, because the right time is now. Waiting is sort of like a runner preparing for the Olympics all of his life, and on the day before the big event he breaks his leg. You have to enter some smaller races before you get ready for the big one.

If you have a goal, start small and build on each success little by little.
Look at three areas of your life:  Spiritual, Financial, Health and set goals that are attainable. See what you can accomplish in the next three months.  Set down write the goals and make them plain and make sure they are not pipe dreams, but realistic, attainable goals. Once one set of goals is obtained, set other goals and build on them.
“Yard by yard it’s hard; inch by inch it’s a cinch.”

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