Interview with Irene P. Smith

What motivated you to become an indie author?
I love the concept of DIY. I get a lot of pleasure out of creating things "from scratch" and computers and I have always gotten along, so it just seemed right that when I had close to 50 short stories, the next step would be to publish them myself. I only regret that I put it off so long.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
That's a tough question. I love telling stories. I love when my characters take on a life of their own. But I think the best part of writing, the most joyful, is when someone has read one of my stories and then describes it to me with the same enthusiasm that would usually be reserved for describing a best friend. I feel the same way about Oz and Middle Earth, and it's exactly why I began to write in the first place.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Finally an easy question! I get out of bed every day because of my husband, my son, my step-children and grandchildren. I consider myself fortunate to be part of such a large and loving extended family that includes Aunts and Uncles, cousins and friends. Although I sometimes find it difficult to drag myself out of my work, these people get me out of bed and at the keyboard.
What is your writing process?
I suppose I have a process but it's all over the map. When I'm working on a novel, I plan it out as thoroughly as possible. I write character sketches, make outlines, and keep a bible with descriptions of people, places, and things. When I write short stories, I just sit down and start typing. Short stories usually begin with a character, situation, or even just a first line.

I get most of my writing done early in the morning. I get up at 5:00 AM Monday through Friday. If I'm taking a train, I write from six to eight and if I'm staying home, I write from five to nine when I have to connect to work. Not only am I more productive early in the morning, I'm far less likely to be interrupted because my husband and son are both night owls.
Describe your desk
I have a computer desk with a keyboard drawer and keyboard shelf. Right now, the desk has two computers and three monitors on it. My main working computer is attached to two monitors so I can have a document opened on one while related documents or web pages are opened on the other. The second computer is mostly for programming and web design. It's where I try things out before publishing to the web. The best thing about my home office though is the fact that the walls next to my desk have been painted with chalkboard paint so I can make notes, or sketch out screen designs while I'm working.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I still have a day job. Sometimes I'm a Technical Writer, writing specifications and users' guides, and at others I'm a programmer, writing software. When I'm not working, I love to spend time with my family, take photographs of places and people. I love to read and watch movies, and I love to play RPGs on console and PC.
Who are your favorite authors?
I'm thinking that the list is probably too long to give you here in an interview. I love Stephen King. I've read most of his work and I love the way he gets inside the minds of his characters. I also love reading books by Michael Crichton. The Andromeda Strain was the first "grown up" book that I ever read and it's still one of my favorites. I also love Twain, Dickens, and Tolkien. Then there's P.L. Travers, Hugh Lofting, and Lewis Carroll. Science Fiction? Asimov, Bova, and Varley. As you can see, the list could go on forever. But I'll stop here... for now.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I read early. I remember reading stories from a big, fat book of bedtime stories but how much impact does anything have on a three-year old? The first story I remember that had an impact on me was Alice in Wonderland. I was about six or seven, and I identified with Alice. I wanted to go to Wonderland and explore. I read the book so many times that I memorized most of it. It helped, of course, that I had the book on record (yeah, vinyl!) and played it over and over again.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I wrote was a bad mix of Oz, Wonderland, and probably every other story I ever read up to that time. I distinctly remember one of the features of the story being slippers carved out of diamond, emerald, and ruby. I'm sure that reading it would be an uncomfortable experience but it does show the kind of adventure that I love best.
Why did you call your short story collection Dreams in Transit?
I wrote a lot of the stories in my collection during my daily commute. Two-plus hours twice a day is a lot of writing time. Of course, there are some days when I'm too tired to write. I read or watch movies, but sometimes I just lean back, close my eyes and daydream. Sometimes daydreams become real dreams, but either way, some of my best stories have come from those times when I just let my mind wander. The title just works.
Published 2016-07-25.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Dreams in Transit
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 46,070. Language: English. Published: September 2, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Dreams in Transit (Smashwords Edition) is an eclectic collection of very short stories. You will find Fantasy, Science Fiction, and even a ghost story or two. For example, you will find a story about hoarders in deep space, the magic of Christmas snow, and romance at the school play. None of the stories are over 2,000 words, the perfect length for reading when you have a few minutes to spare.