Interview with Halliday Smith

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, which is on the Eastern Seaboard as we call it here.
When did you first start writing?
From memory I first started writing while in primary school and recall handwriting a story about a girl who had lost both parents and went to live in the bush! My teacher contacted my parents to see if everything was allright at home!
What's the story behind your latest book?
It's fulfillment story, actually. And explores the vexed question of creativity for women, be it having a child or following a career or creative endeavour.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Getting published by the traditional route is becoming increasingly difficult, especially for older writers who can't rely on a high profile to increase their book sales. Having invested the considerable amount of time that it takes to write a book and put it through its paces re assessment, rewriting and so on, why not try self publishing!
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I can't call myself a success as I haven't even scored a book review! Thus said, Smashwords has given me a platform to put my writing out there and provides heaps of support, be it by FAQs or responses to emails.

Mark's List has been very useful, too!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My greatest joy would be writing for the pure sake of it, letting the words come out without thinking about my output. I guess I'd call it downloading the depths of my imagination and having no idea what I'm about to type.
Who are your favorite authors?
That's a hard question as there are so many to choose from.

My favourite Australian woman writer would be Gillian Mears (Foal's Bread, The Mint Lawn, The Grass Sisters, etc) and love Miles Franklin (My Brilliant Career, etc). At the international level, Donna Tart comes to mind of late, as does Lionel Shriver.

Greatly admire Australian writer Helen Garner (Monkey Grip, The First Stone), Richard Flanagan (The Narrow Road to the Deep North, The Sound of One Hand Clapping, etc), crime writer Peter Temple (eg The Truth and Broken Shore), Patrick White (Voss, Chariots in the Fire, etc) and Randolph Stow. Also love most things written by Ian Rankin.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I love working, being able to connect with the world online via Twitter and blogging, uncovering untold stories about Australian figures of history and creating artworks that reflect the great Australian 'outback'..
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I enjoy working in the field of internal communications and natural and cultural heritage interpretation. I make time for exercise (intense bouts of cycling, and getting off the train two stops before my home station and walking the rest of the way home. Love driving around and through Australia, photographing non-stop on a 1/4000 shutter speed. As a lifelong artist, I take every opportunity to work on digital graphics, water colours and acrylic paintings.
What is your writing process?
Sometimes I work on a plot line, writing up ideas on cards and shuffling them around till I think I have an OK sequence of the action. At other times I get an idea in my head and draft chapters without really thinking what I'm doing. That's the fun part. After that it's the long long slog of trying to beat the story into shape and submitting it to a manuscript assessor.
How do you approach cover design?
With the cover of a book a key influence in book sales, I reflect back on covers that worked for me re making an impulse buy. I also make a point of checking out the latest book covers online, including award winning designs, and determine what features work best for me.

I supply the book designer with a detailed brief and include examples of covers that appeal to me and were instrumental in making me buy book in the first place.
Published 2017-02-03.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Colour in Winter - No Time to be Lost
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 142,450. Language: British English. Published: February 14, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General
A woman’s heartfelt decision to downsize her lifestyle to pursue a childhood dream is unexpectedly hijacked by a late in life pregnancy. Torn between her needs and those of the unborn child, her response to her predicament not only threatens to tear apart her family but catapults her into a road journey through the centre of Australia with the last man on earth she would have chosen to accompany.