Interview with Crystal G. Smith

How long does it take for you to write a full length novel?
That really depends on the flow of the idea in my head. Sometimes it is easily done while others I put away for weeks at a time.
Do you have other books available?
Yes. I have several you can find on amazon.com.
When did you first start writing?
Actually, I remember growing up listening to my Mother tell me repeatedly that my Kindergarten teacher had told her one day I would be a writer. I didn't start writing until January 2012.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I was tired of being told to do this or do that. I don't want to be told to do anything. I only need to be asked.
What are your hopes and dreams?
To raise my beautiful children. To know that I did everything possible to mold them into the future adults that I hope they will become.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Escaping the real world. Sharing my stories. Knowing that maybe there is someone out there right now, reading and enjoying something that I wrote.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything. Without them, I would still continue to write, but I don't think I would publish.
Who are your favorite authors?
Okay, well that's hard to answer when there are so many that I have come to love over the years. I have recently found author Mia Darien, who also edits a lot of my work. Her stories are what has completely kept me going back to her, though. They way she writes is an amazing talent. She has this easy way of drawing in a reading and completely captivating them. I also absolutely love J.R. Ward and Kresley Cole. Their male characters are so...yummy, what's not to like.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
First and foremost, my family will always be my inspiration for anything that I do in life. I have two amazing and brilliantly smart children, boy and girl, (perfect for me) and a wonderful husband. I wouldn't be doing nearly the things that I love if it weren't for them. Secondly, my job. I continue to work full time in long term care. I love each and every single one of my resident's and I can't imagine not seeing them, or being part of their lives. I feel honored that they allow me to be there, hear their stories, hold their hand, wipe their tears, help take away their pains, fears, and worries. But most of all, I will forever have a family in them. They offer unconditional love and that is all they want in return and I am blessed and honored to be able to return that love. I wouldn't feel like me if they weren't in my life. They are truly my second family.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Well, I spend a lot of time at my day job, or more commonly known, my second family. If I am not there, you will find me hanging with my family. Life is too short to miss every single opportunity you have to spend with them and remind them how much I love them.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Usually, google. I have to be careful with using the phrase, "I googled it". I once used that line in a book and holy cow, needless to say, the outcome wasn't what I was expecting. When I find something that I don't understand I simply google it. I google everything. So, when I am ready for a new book, I google it.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, it was quite the story. When I was younger, I wanted to write children's novels and I had completely forgotten about that until my loving mother, who loves my stories however, would like to be able to use more of her imagination, her words, not mine, reminded me. It was about a turtle who was made fun of because his shell wasn't as perfect as the others. I was bullied a bit in school. I look back on it now and I wonder if they (bullies) knew they were doing it. Kids to terrible and hurtful things and at the time, I thought life was going to end. I was able to move through it. Writing that little story and drawing out pictures, although, never published, was all the therapy I really ever needed.
What is your writing process?
When an idea comes to mind, I write it down. The next step and developing the characters. What I want them to look like, what they do for a living, etc. Then I begin the story. I write down the beginning, middle and end. The next is building an outline, chapter by chapter. Then, it is so easy for me to start and finish.
How do you approach cover design?
At one time, I was purchasing them. I would look through this particular site until I found one that I just absolutely couldn't live without. Then, I decided that I wanted to learn how to do my own, and so that began. I use different images and have a blast turning them into something that I want. Its a lot of fun. Not nearly as much as writing the story, but definitely enjoyable.
What do you read for pleasure?
ROMANCE! Anything from paranormal, modern day, to erotica. It can be hallmark material or it can be unrated :). If the romance story is good, I'm all eyes.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle. I have so many books on my kindle. My friend brought hers to work one day and I started playing with it. Within minutes, I found that it was so simple to use that I just had to have one. I don't see myself getting anything else.
If you could turn your life back to any age you wanted and keep the knowledge you have now, how would that have impacted your life?
I would definitely go back. I would have most definitely furthered my education a lot further. I don't think a person can ever have enough. There are so many possibilities with learning new and exciting things that for me, it's an achievement. I wouldn't change the majority of events, but I think instead of wishing I was an author, I would have started my writing a lot sooner and published as well.
Out of all the books that you have written, what is your favorite thus far?
My Sister's Bucket List. That story literally had me crying so hard while I was writing it, that I would wake up in the morning and have to soak the bags away from under my eyes. The events in the story are so very real to me. For those that have never experienced cancer, it is hard to believe that one can appear to be on their death bed, and wake up a few hours after some pain free and uninterrupted sleep with more energy than you have, but believe me, it happens. I also finished that story the end of February 2014. March 6, 2014, my father in law was diagnosed with stage 4 small cell lung cancer. He went to heaven on April 18, 2014. If I hadn't finished it before his diagnosis, it would more than likely still be sitting on my desktop unfinished. Cancer is a very touchy subject for me. Everyday, either my blood family, or work family, I take care of someone with cancer. People don't really understand the impact that it has on the family involved until they have lived it. I am also a survivor myself. I often wonder why someone can be diagnosed and cured within a month, like me, and others fight a courageous battle to later go to heaven. This story is about a sister's bond that thankfully is known by many, and yet not nearly enough. The love one sister has for the other, and the sacrifice she makes, speaks volumes. This story is about a relationship that every person should be so lucky to experience. You watch one sister give her everything only to learn the other sister already has. It truly is quite beautiful and after it was over, I actually said to my sister, I can't believe I wrote that. I love that book. I have read it numerous times on my Kindle and sometimes, I forget that I wrote it. I get so wrapped up in the story that I just go fall into it. I warn anyone that begins to read it, tissues are a must.
Do you read all of your reviews or just the five star reviews?
I read all of them. In the beginning, some of them were quite hurtful. People can be rather harsh when they are giving their opinion. But then one day it hit me, I have read some books that I didn't like. I didn't leave hateful reviews, but life's lesson is that you can't please everyone. I take in to consideration any advice they offer, even if done so in a hurtful manner. I believe that if the reader takes the time to leave the review, the writer, should take the time to read it. So, no matter what, I will always read them.
If you could turn your life into a movie, what movie would it be, why, and who would you want to play you?
Superman! I would of course need to be Lois. I have every single superman ever and still to this day, watch them. From Christopher Reeves to Tom Welling in Smallville, I have a thing for superman. Or in this case, Supermen. What woman can honestly say that she would love a man that could sweep her off her feet, take her to Paris without experiencing customs, or worrying about making it there alive? I really don't know who I would want to play me. I mean, every actress who has portrayed Lois has been beautiful. I think as long as the actress wasn't dingy, was smart, and helpful to those in need, I would be good with just about anyone.
What advice would you offer to writers who wish to publish their work?
Okay, there is a method to this madness, but trust me, it pays off. Step 1, write your story. Step 2-5, read your story and correct everything from spelling to grammar you can find. Step 6-10, let beta readers truly read your story and don't rush them. Take into consideration and truly listen to their feedback. Step 11, hire an editor. But before doing so, make sure you check out their references. I have learned that just because they have awesome reviews on their page, it doesn't necessarily mean that they are as honest as they should have been. Instead of just going by that, ask to email some of their customers, or ask if you can send them the first chapter of your story and have them edit that. If you like what they send back to you, then you are good to go, if not, find someone else. Ask other writers who they use. Then, when you have found your editor and they have completed your book, read through it again, not once, but twice. Then you are ready to publish and have fun doing it. That is the most important thing. It's not about the money or fame for me, it's about the enjoyment I have doing it.
What was the best advice you were ever given about writing?
Write like no one else is ever going to read it. Write the story that you like, not the one that you think other's might like. It's your story, each and every page and you can make it be whatever you want it to be. Those are the best stories.
If you won the publishing lottery, what would you do?
Wow! I seriously doubt that would ever happen, but I have always said if I were to win the Lottery, I would help my family first and then others. I don't want to donate to organizations where I can't see the difference being made. I want to change the lives of those around me. Each of us know people that could use help. I would seriously start there. Build them a house, or buy one, a good, dependable vehicle and then a family trip to like six flags or something like that. Just drive down the street and pull up to random houses and offer to change their lives. That would be awesome and so...well, perfect.
Published 2015-01-09.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

My Sister's Bucket List
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 59,780. Language: American English. Published: January 9, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Romance, Fiction » Erotica » General
What would you do if you found your sister's bucket list? With a very deep breath, Selena did the only thing she could. Turning to Hunter, her ex, and strong dominant, she played the one card on the table that she knew would win, her submission. Then, Selena finds out this is not an ordinary bucket list, but something she wasn't expecting. Warning, Tissue needed.
Love Swept: The First Bloodline Book 2
Series: The First Bloodline. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 76,950. Language: American English. Published: January 9, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » BDSM, Fiction » Erotica » Paranormal
Taylor has now entered the mysterious door and into a world that Damien lives in, one she never would have dreamed existed. In this new world comes further trials and tribulations that she can't believe she is facing again. To love and lose not once, but twice is just cruel by fates hands. As the anger sets in, Taylor learns that everyone has rage just waiting inside of them to break free.
Swept Away: The First Bloodline Book 1
Series: The First Bloodline. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 75,550. Language: American English. Published: January 9, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Paranormal, Fiction » Erotica » Romance
There is an old saying that Taylor never believed, when one door closes, another door opens. For her, she never imagined finding that door after her husband unexpectedly dies after a short battle with cancer. Six years later and a set of twins: one boy, one girl, door opens and in walks Damien. Sexy man and full blooded vampire with a taste for love that excites her inner self into living.
Seducing Peaches
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 63,970. Language: American English. Published: August 18, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Erotic, Fiction » Romance » Adult
Lois is a small town girl that isn't looking for any type of relationship. She has struggled throughout her life with that of the male sex. With good reason. Is Tom the man that can change her ways? Or will she change his? Hot, steamy, full of intense moments.