Author Interview of the Week
Meet Calista Smith, author of the Rocky Romance Series.
What made you want to be an author?
At a very young age I became a total bookworm. Once I learned how to write, I fell in love with that too. I used to write stories and poems all the time. My collection grew to well over 500 poems by the time I was 16 yrs. old. Sadly, most were lost (but that’s a whole other story). As life went on, reading and writing were my escapes, my outlets.
I remember the day I made the actual decision to become an author. I had mentioned writing a book, in the middle of a conversation with a couple of people. I got a few laughs out of that. They clearly thought I was joking. I remember sitting there thinking, I’m going to do it. I’m going to write a book! I had a story in my head for quite some time, but had never actually taken the time to get it out. Later that day, I told my husband that I was serious about writing and without hesitation he encouraged me to do it.
So I guess to answer the question more directly, my lifelong love of reading and writing, along with my sheer stubbornness; wanting to prove to myself that I could do it, made me want to be an author.
Who has inspired you the most?
My family, my kids; their support and encouragement inspire me. My husband! He’s my best friend, the love of my life, and the most inspirational person I know. The man pushes me to surpass the limits I place on myself. He reminds me what I am capable of, when I apply myself. I don’t think I’d be where I am if it weren't for God, my husband, and kids.
Can you tell us about some of your earlier days of writing?
In my earlier days I mostly wrote poetry. As a small child, they were silly poems but when I started to grow up, the subjects matured with me.
I remember when I was younger; I made up this story for my little sister. She loved it. Even as adults she remembered it. When I later had kids, she shared it with them. I thought it was kind of neat that it impacted her so much that she remembered it after all those years.
Another sort of neat, kind of odd bit of information… I've written quite a few tributes for family members who have passed away throughout the years. Usually it was at the request of someone else. When I write (like others, I’m sure) I pour my heart and soul into it. I was always far too emotional and nervous to read them out loud. So, I would write and then have someone else read it for me.
It’s taken many years for me to get the courage to share my writings. It’s a very vulnerable feeling. Sort of like having someone look at you stripped bare.
Your first series of books is in progress. How exciting! How are they coming along?
My first novel in the Rocky Romance Series, Breaking Down, is done. I’m currently working on trying to get it edited. It’s a pretty long novel.
It’s really exciting to watch the love story between Rocky and Dante unfold. The struggles and situations that are developing with my characters are flowing nicely and propelling me forward to the next book. I’m completely happy with it. I’m already halfway done writing the second book, Breaking Away.
I honestly cannot wait to publish. I'm anxious, really. I just hope everyone else will love this series, as much as I do. (Fingers crossed)
What has been the best experience so far on your journey as an author?
I've got a pretty great group of people who have been on this journey with me. There are a small group of girls, who have been there since the very beginning, who have totally inspired me. I would share my writing with them and they were always eager for more. That pushed me and I can’t thank them enough. They made this whole process awesome.
Also, the people I've networked with. The people on my fb author page, in my groups, facebook friends, fellow authors, editors, cover artists, bloggers and others who have reached out to me and given their encouragement and helpful tips. So many people have made this journey a really exciting experience.
Can you give us some insight on any upcoming projects?
Well, I hope to have Breaking down edited and published soon. I've got Breaking Away halfway done and then I will be working on Breaking Through. That’s the final book in my Rocky Romance Series. I also started jotting down notes on a different story that’s been tugging at me. It’s going to be quite different from this series though.
What advice can you give to any upcoming authors?
Write :) Find the time, make the time, and just do it. Believe in yourself. Don’t give up! Research and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Did I mention research? There is so much helpful information out there. It can be so scary starting out, but find a good group of people to support you on your journey. It makes a difference.
Each time I let someone read my book I feel so vulnerable, I swear it’s really nerve-racking. Don’t let fear stop you. Writing is an art, it’s an expression and there are so many stories out there just waiting to be told. Go for it!! You might surprise yourself and just think of all those people out there waiting to read a great story!
Thanks so much, Calista for interviewing with us! Don't forget to follow her on Facebook!