Interview with Smi Star

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I don't, I wish I did. I had a crazy imagination as a kid. I do recall a story I wrote in middle school about a girl who had amnesia. I have this fascination with giving my characters amnesia.
Describe your desk
It's a table. I have a tall beer mug with art paint brushes, a small cast iron cauldron hanging over cast iron logs, a clock surrounded by wolves, seashells in candle holders, dried roses petals in a jar, dried lilac branches in a jar, a bowl of polished stones, incense, my wand, a canvas with a partial panting, and a container with broken mirror pieces.
What is your writing process?
It'll start with a sentence or an image in my head. I think in images, so when I write, I have a movie playing in my mind or an image. I usually know the beginning and ending but the middle is where I struggle but I have had stories where it's the opposite. I know something in the middle but I've no clue how it has gotten there or where it's going to end.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
My favorite book as a child was The Velveteen Rabbit. I can't for the life of me remember why I loved it so much but I did. I still have my first copy and I used to make my mom read it to me over and over until I was able to read on my own.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My son is a huge influence on my life; which sounds like a generic, parent answer, but it's true. I was able to drag myself out of my depression and do something about my situation because I had him to focus on and care for. I also now have a romantic partner that makes me excited to start the day because I know I'll get to talk to him and see him. I inspire myself and I think that is something we forget. We forget to inspire ourselves, to give ourselves credit when it's due, and to be our own hero. And I'm rambling :-)
How do you discover the books you read?
I will type in simply a word if I'm online: "witch", "werewolf", "vampire", "magic", or "cats". If the cover art or title catches my eye (either online or in person) I'll read the description. Sometimes that's where the story is lost to me, the description can ruin the whole reason I was interested. I also like to flip to a random page and see if my attention can be grabbed; and I admit it I will read the last few lines to see if I like the ending. I tend to skip books with sad endings, especially when it comes to romance stories. I like reading happy endings.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I actually prefer paper to reading online. I have a heard time remember what I read when it comes to electronic devices. I use my phone mainly because I needed a new charger for my computer and had to live without it for several months.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1) The Silver Wolf by Alice Borchardt: I really like how the main character, Regeane, comes into her own despite everything happening to her. I do have some complaints here and there about what she does but I'm sure someone will say that about my characters. It was also my introduction to werewolf stories. It gives a very different twist on the subject and I enjoy reading things like that.
2) Macrieve by Kresley Cole. Again, another novel that puts a spin on the paranormal world. It has helped me while developing one of my works.
3) The Summoning, The Awakening, and The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong. I put these 3 together because they are her Darkest Powers Trilogy and I like parts from each book. Yes, it is teen fiction but I can't help myself. Sometimes really good stories don't require sex. I like her spin on the paranormal world also and this is where I started thinking about my own genetic experimentation story.
4) A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare. I know, it's technically a play BUT I'm still counting it. I love this story, the comedy is great and it's just beautiful writing. Truly a work of art.
5) Alpha and Omega series by Patricia Briggs. I like watching the relationship between Anna and Charles develop.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I have a son to chase around, a boyfriend to date, and an income to work for.
How do you approach cover design?
If it doesn't catch my eye, I know it won't draw actual readers in. I try to tell part of the story on the cover, I don't simply want the title of the book there.
What's with the name?
Junior year in high school, my friends and I were obsessed with nicknames. I don't know why we were nickname crazy but we came up with several for each other but Smi stuck for me. I added Star when I started posting my writings. No real reason other that is flows nicely.
Published 2014-05-17.
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