Interview with Tabitha Ormiston-Smith

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Who says I'm grown up?
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My bladder. And the fear of what will happen with regard to my dog's bladder if I don't get up promptly and let her out.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Not sure. The earliest story I remember reading was called "Kitty In The Kitchen". But I couldn't swear to it having been the first thing I read.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
People come along and tell me things. As a writer myself I get sent review copies. Also, friends often recommend things to me. Other than that, the same way everyone does - by browsing.
Who are your favorite authors?
Jane Austen, Anthony Trollope, Tanith Lee, Mercedes Lackey, Erin Hunter, Mary Gentle, Robin McKinley/Robin Hobb
What do you read for pleasure?
Practically everything, with the exception of pornography, which sadly nowadays seems to include most romance novels. Oh, and I'm not keen on horror either. I do love books with animal characters. Right near the top of my list would be the Warrior Cats series by the Erin Hunter team.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Now that's too hard. These are ones to which I constantly return for comfort, though.

Pride and Prejudice
Golden Witchbreed (Mary Gentle)
Ash (Robin McKinley)
Drinking Sapphire Wine (Tanith Lee)
Arrows Of The Queen (Mercedes Lackey)
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. It was a salacious anecdote about Robert and Nicole, the protagonists in my Upper Fourth French textbook. Robert and Nicole murdered their father and buried him in a shallow grave. Robert then raped Nicole, but that was only because I didn't know the French for consensual sex. I got into a lot of trouble when the Deputy Headmistress somehow got hold of it. I still wonder how she did.
When did you first start writing?
I started my first novel when I was about 20. It was an adventure mystery about a jewel robbery. I never finished it, though. I'm sure it wasn't any good.
What is your writing process?
I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.
Describe your desk
Large, solid, wood, usually has a cat in the in tray.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Working in my editing business, playing with my dog, reading and fighting the war on clutter.
How do you approach cover design?
The short answer is that I don't approach it at all. I know better than to foist my shitful design skills on the reading public. All of my covers are done by Patti Roberts at Paradox Book Cover Design, and I've always been extremely happy with that.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Sadly, none of them! I have to admit, though, that the amount of effort I have put into marketing wouldn't float a matchbox.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Dance of Chaos, expected to be published in early 2014, is a prequel to my novel Gift of Continence, in which we see Fiona at home in her dysfunctional family, and at work in her dysfunctional office.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Seeing the magic creation of something that didn't exist before. For me it is like drawing down gossamer strands from the sky and weaving them into a shining castle. I never cease to marvel at it.
Published 2013-12-06.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Sophie and the Frog
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,330. Language: Australian English. Published: August 9, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
Jenny was suffering from a bad case of Mother-In-Law from Hell.... until Sophie moved in next door.
Grammar Without Tears - Second Edition
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 30,150. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: April 21, 2018. Categories: Nonfiction » Education and Study Guides » Literacy, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
Historical and fictional characters explain common grammatical errors in a funny-as-hell book that will forever change the way you see grammar.
Fifty Shades of Grammar
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 52,770. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: November 30, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Education and Study Guides » Literacy, Nonfiction » Publishing » Self-publishing
(4.50 from 2 reviews)
Everyone, it’s said, has one book inside him, but getting it out can be problematical. Perhaps you can’t English very well, or you work long hours and just don’t have time, or you started writing and then got stuck? Fear not, for help is at hand. Packed with friendly, no-nonsense advice, Fifty Shades of Grammar will answer all those questions you were too afraid to ask.
Dancing Feet
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 18,360. Language: Australian English. Published: October 20, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy, Fiction » Fairy tales
(5.00 from 1 review)
Ashley is devastated when her widowed father returns from his business trip with a new wife and her two daughters in tow. Pushed to one side by the interlopers, can she make a new life for herself?
Melanie's Diary
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 18,400. Language: Australian English. Published: October 7, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Coming of age, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
Melanie's in trouble. Her toxic parents have forced her beloved grandmother into a nursing home to get her house, and she's being bullied at school. She dreams of running away, but won't leave her granny's old cat behind. Can she find a way forward?
Uncle Zan's Dog
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,740. Language: Australian English. Published: July 23, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general, Fiction » Inspirational
"It is not wise to discount the supernatural," says Fang, and proceeds to tell us why.
Operation Badger
Series: Operation Tomcat. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 30,860. Language: Australian English. Published: June 1, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
Detective Senior Constable Ben Jackson is handsome, kind, diligent, dedicated and a total mensch. He's also as thick as two planks. His girlfriend, Tammy, is clever as anything, but sillier than a wet hen. And then there is Tom. Tom is a cat. Follow this unlikely crime-busting trio as they bucket from one disaster to another.
The Real Winner
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 9,290. Language: Australian English. Published: August 25, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
(5.00 from 3 reviews)
Pete Baxter never wanted a dog, and he was not at all pleased when his wife brought home a puppy. A story of one man's love, and the lengths to which it took him.
Danse Macabre
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,290. Language: Australian English. Published: August 20, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
Terry Scunthorpe's dance studio isn't doing so well, and he needs to attract more students in a hurry. His unconventional solution doesn't turn out quite as he planned...
King's Ransom
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 92,450. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: September 1, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Medieval, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
(4.67 from 12 reviews)
What really went on back in 1193? Was Richard Lionheart really the hero we think? Was John really that bad? And who was Robin Hood, no really, who was he? Find out the answers to all these questions and more, in this hilariously funny counter-history.
Operation Camilla
Series: Operation Tomcat. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 28,150. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: June 13, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
(5.00 from 3 reviews)
A sleazy solicitor hacks into a dating website in order to boost his failing family law practice. But he doesn't count on Tom...
Operation Tomcat
Series: Operation Tomcat. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 18,220. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: March 6, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth
(5.00 from 3 reviews)
Left almost penniless after divorcing her cheating husband, Tammy moves to the country to reinvent her life. But life in a country town isn't as simple as it looks....
No Such Thing
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 19,440. Language: English. Published: March 6, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
Callie Jones and her dad are devastated when the bank threatens to foreclose on their home. But help comes from an unexpected quarter, and Callie learns that actions have consequences, and sometimes the price you pay can be too high....
Lifestyle Choice
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,450. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: March 5, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
We all make choices that govern the course of our lives. But sometimes, the choice may not turn out to be what we think it is....
Authorised Staff Only
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,750. Language: Australian English. Published: December 7, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
(5.00 from 1 review)
In a rigidly stratified, decadent society, one man makes the mistake of crossing the class line.
Restless Legs
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,180. Language: English. Published: August 4, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Occult, Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
(5.00 from 1 review)
Pat's parents didn't believe his symptoms were real. Big mistake....
Once Upon A Dragon
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 38,300. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: July 20, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
(5.00 from 6 reviews)
A non-themed, cross-genre collection of short fiction, including fantasy, science fiction and horror as well as general fiction.
The Dragon of Butter
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,520. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: June 8, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Historical, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
(5.00 from 3 reviews)
Being an Account of how Sir Leopold de Draco-Butyris was Elevated to the Rank of Baronet.
Nigel's Holiday
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,750. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: January 10, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
(4.50 from 2 reviews)
Bestselling romance writer Nigel Hawthorne, brought low by writer's block, seeks inspiration in a walking tour of Romania, and finds more than he bargained for.
Professor Tomlinson's Last Experiment
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,980. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: June 23, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Science fiction » General
(5.00 from 3 reviews)
Professor Tomlinson thought he had it made. His new invention was bound to win him international acclaim and a Nobel Prize. But there was one thing he failed to take into account....
Dance of Chaos
Series: Fiona MacDougall. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 70,240. Language: Australian English. Published: May 29, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Humor
(4.83 from 6 reviews)
Lazy, frivolous, conceited and totally self centred, Fiona MacDougall is not an asset to the workforce. When she applies for a transfer to the Infotech department of her company, she does so only in order to get an afternoon off work.
Sophie's Revenge
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,820. Language: Australian English. Published: May 14, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Urban, Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
(4.67 from 3 reviews)
Sophie was sweet and kind - until the day someone messed with her.
Excuse of the Day
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 1,670. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: March 14, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
(4.83 from 6 reviews)
In this hilarious short story, a young woman explains to her boss why she is very, very late for work. Winner of the Gearpress Short Fiction challenge.
User Pays
Price: Free! Words: 3,620. Language: English. Published: February 20, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Themes & motifs » Political, Fiction » Horror » General
(5.00 from 4 reviews)
What if we took our political leaders' rhetoric seriously? What if we implemented their dodgy policies in real life? In this chilling parable, the User Pays doctrine is examined as applied to a typical Australian family.
Grammar Without Tears
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,530. Language: English. Published: May 5, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Education and Study Guides » Literacy, Nonfiction » Entertainment » Humor and satire
(4.57 from 7 reviews)
Learn while you laugh, laugh while you learn, with this short guide to the most egregious errors commonly made in English.
The Last Dragon
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,730. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: March 8, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
An old king with three sons. A dragon menacing the farmlands. A noble quest. One son is strong, one clever and the other one is Lorn. Which will defeat the dragon and inherit his father's kingdom?
Perspectives on a Dragon
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,680. Language: English. Published: February 27, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
(4.33 from 3 reviews)
Perspectives: In this pair of short stories, the same event is narrated from two very different viewpoints. The Last Dragon: An old king with three sons. A dragon menacing the farmlands. A noble quest. One son is strong, one clever and the other one is Lorn. Which will defeat the dragon and inherit his father's kingdom?
Gift of Continence
Series: Fiona MacDougall. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 75,230. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: January 29, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit
(4.88 from 8 reviews)
With the perfect wedding dress, what can go wrong? A great deal, as Fiona McDougall rapidly discovers. From the wedding from hell onwards, Fiona successively discovers that her new husband is stingy, bad-tempered and an adulterer. WARNING: do not attempt to read this book while drinking hot liquids, as they may shoot out of your nose.