Would you like to get to know more about how the inner book brain of an Indie Author works?
This is the place!
Periodically, we'll invite an Indie Author to open up their brain, and show us inside. We'll have a conversation that deals a little bit with writing craft, reading influences, and some other fun stuff.
Today, we thumb through the pages of
Indie Syntell Smith's grey matter...
Discover More About Syntell Smith HERE!
What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
The journey of self-publishing was serious trek, I met some friends along the way and lost some as well.
What is the first book that made you cry?
Fearless Jones by Walter Mosley, Page 116. I have the scene memorized, along with the page. The protagonist, Paris Minton recalls an incident when he was six years old involving a racist schoolteacher taking Paris to a library and show him books he’ll never read in her eyes. It was heartbreaking but I’ll always remember reading it and being inspired to tell my stories one day.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Video Games, they can be very distracting and addictive. Luckily, I maintain a balance of writing and gaming.
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
I would like most of my works to reference each other in some shape or form.
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
I learned from my mistakes, what not to do the next time. Each misstep is a choice I definitely won’t do again.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
If I had to pick, I’d say Bugs Bunny…every novel I plan to write will have at least one reference to him.
What did you edit out of your books? (keep it family-friendly, please)
There are several scenes and storylines I left “on the cutting room floor” they’re not forgotten however, I believe in using discarded material in future works (or even in film and TV adaptions!)
What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?
I guess Video Games?
What is your favorite childhood book?
Sam by Ann Herbert Scott. A story about a boy who was bored one day while the rest of his family were busy.
What is the most difficult part of your writing process?
Finding time to actually do it. I really don’t have enough of it during the day.
What is the easiest part of your writing process?
In my opinion there really is no easy part when it comes to writing, every aspect is a challenge.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Usually two years, I wrote my first two back to back in a span of four.
A common misconception entwined with authors is that they are socially inept, how true is that?
That sounds somewhat accurate.
When did it dawn on you that you wanted to be an author?
Back when I was blogging. My followers who read my posts said I had a great Stream of Consciousness writing style.
Who are your biggest literary influences?
Walter Mosley, Robert B. Parker, and James Patterson.
What’s your favorite movie which was based on a book? Why?
Devil in a Blue Dress with Denzel Washington, the movie was as good as the book, I really wish they did more of Mosley’s novels on the big screen.
How did it feel when your first book got published? How did you celebrate?
It was great, I published on my ten-year wedding anniversary and my wife and I celebrated all weekend. I treated myself to some Pizza Hut.
What is that one thing you think readers generally don’t know about authors?
How much pride we take in our work, we work hard and there are so many who tear us down, who think we’re not good enough because we’re independent.
Can you tell us about your current projects?
After starting the Call Numbers series last year, I have the second book in the series coming out in September. I’m working on the third book which I hope to release in 2022, then finish a standalone project that’s 60% done. I have so many books waiting to be written!
Are you attending any conventions/festivals where readers can meet you and/or buy your books? Please provide all the “find it” information.
I wish there were some local book events around Detroit I could say I’ll be doing, but the pandemic has really limited those plans, I’m looking forward to getting back out there in 2021.
Please provide links and/or instructions about how readers can purchase signed copies of your books.
I have around 16 first-editions I’d love to sell to anyone interested through my author site I’ll setting up at the end of the year.
Any advice you would like to give to aspiring authors?
Prepare for the uphill battle, nothing is ever easy; build a tribe around you, but be careful about who you trust. The industry is very Dog-eat-Dog.
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