Interview with Tina Smith

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Wolf Sirens is roughly set in the Bega Valley in country N.S.W Australia. I believe in writing, to a certain extent, what you know, so I used a lot of my experience growing up in a country town to create the mood and tone of the book.
I now live in Adelaide South Australia, maybe one day I will set a book there too.
When did you first start writing?
I was always a writer, though I didn't know it. I used writing about my feelings as a creative outlet. I kept diaries and I am a poem writer. I started out telling my brother and friends stories that I made up and then I progressed to re writing fairy tales. I have a flair for drama but I shied away from the spotlight and hated drama club. My whole family is very artistic but I never found a medium that I felt I had a true affinity with. Eventually I realised I wasn't like anybody else and I had been doing what I loved, I just hadn't realised it! I knew writing was hard work and that belief has been reinforced the more I write. With the advent and acceptance of indie publishing I have been able to write what I wanted to and get it out there. Its a good time to be a writer.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Its paranormal with some sense of suspense. I like that element of surprise and I like things to grow progress and blossom. My MC truly goes on a journey. I loved being able to develop her, from start to finish, into the huntress.
During the series she is shaped by her destiny but also by the things that happen to her and her friends. I used a lot of my own experience in love and growing up. A lot of readers have said they could relate to Lila even though she was a brat at times. Of all my characters she is the most like me, so it's nice to know she is loved even though she has her faults. Maybe there is hope for me yet!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I am creative by nature I love words and I am a story teller, I have a mean work ethic and I have a desire to tell my series my way. I wrote what I wanted to read. Its only after you finish a manuscript that you realise how impossible it is to get published. When I heard that other self published titles were getting on top sellers lists, I knew that I may have to take my manuscript and publish it myself.
Again it's a lot of hard work, the biggest hurdle has been figuring out how to self promote and advertise.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I adore my characters, the cast grows with every book and each character develops through out whether shaped by tragedy or heartbreak. I love exploring the lives of my characters in a paranormal world where the stakes are higher. Jealousy can get you killed and friends could be enemies.
What do your fans mean to you?
Readers that love my books are the best mood boosters. Every time I hear from a reader who loved my book or I get a good review it makes me so happy. It makes all the blood sweat and tears worth it when I have a positive review from someone who appreciated my work, but on the flip side you kinda love it because you hope more people will be encouraged to read your work. Without good reviews or just any reviews no one would know my work and that's the opposite of what you want as a writer. I need to establish a career and feedback is necessary to achieve that goal. My success depends on them!
What are you working on next?
I am furiously editing the fourth book in the Wolf Sirens series. It has a lot more action than the previous books but as is customary of my style everything is on a slow build. This next book is great because so many threads come together and just when you think nothing else can happen it does!
It is more similar to Night Fall which has been described as epic. I hope it is as well received. It's a wild ride.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My writing, my dog and my daughter. I love to achieve more each day and every week with my writing and with out the two of them it would be less satisfying. Let's just say they give my existence meaning and writing gives me a purpose.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I am never not writing or thinking about writing, however I work at a health store and see my mother at her business and make slump work glass art at the moment. I used to bead a lot. I am also a student, my life has been very busy of late.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I adore Colleen Hoover, I read Maybe Someday and was thrilled by the little surprises littered along the way. I aspire to be as popular as she is someday. I may even tackle some non paranormal stuff because of her inspiration. Maggie Stiefvaters Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy Shiver etc was a series I discovered and read when I had started Wolf Sirens and I felt I was heading in the right direction. Twilight was a huge inspiration too.
I also love Hunger Games, of course. Katniss and her bow are similar to Lila with her huntress mentality. I enjoyed Divergent too, for much the same reasons. Its good to see how other authors write similar characters.
What do you read for pleasure?
Young adult and New adult. Any hot indies that are emerging. I like to check out the competition. I appreciate a quick read more now than ever as writing takes up so much of my time. When I had time I used to read Anne Rice and contemporary romance. I also used to read anything that was turned into a movie, still do.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My Ipad. Love it.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Facebook, maybe. Goodreads and sourcing reviewers via blog tours and through contacting bloggers to review. I did some free day promotions to begin with, spent hours on end pushing it on every site I could find and twitter. I had heaps of downloads but not many reviews and of those one was a shocker, when people get things for free they can be harsh. The majority of reviews I receive are positive and I have to focus on those.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I was surprised to see that I had sold so many here. I like the coupon option and I use it when I do facebook giveaways. I like the layout too.
What is your writing process?
Its a tangled web of hard work, perseverance and inspiration -- layer upon layer. I push through a first draft and then edit for months adding and deleting and improving dialogue. I constantly write notes and watch out for things that will inspire me. Every book has a slightly different goal or theme, I try to pump as much of that passion and inspiration into it as I can whilst juggling life and advertising and promotion. I have critique partners that help a lot too. My editor always helps me smooth it out in the end stages. Often the last thing I do is complete the legend and the poetic beginning. Many read throughs and adjustments later I format. A lot of love goes in and many months work. Then the millions roll in... ;)
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Puss in boots was my favorite tale. He was cleaver and charismatic.
How do you approach cover design?
I source as many free images as I can. I would love to have a cover designer present me with artwork but at this stage I just have to use photo Gimp and a bit of luck. Though I was complimented on my last cover the most. It puts the pressure on to create another winner.
Describe your desk
Mess. Notes, papers, notebooks, bills, pens (in an owl cup) a cereal bowl, camera, phone more piles of notes. You get the picture.
Published 2014-04-23.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Wolf Sirens; Dawn in Shade
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 102,970. Language: British English. Published: October 28, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Lila must steel herself for the battle to save her friends. The days are grey in the camp, the army has come, but to what end? Mistrust exists and motives are questioned as the super wolves grow stronger. It is just the beginning of a brutal war between wolf kind and humans. Those left in the turbulence fight to survive in hand-to-hand combat. Tensions rise in an epic struggle for power.
Night Life: Paranormal Short Stories
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 89,620. Language: English. Published: September 19, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
Join the Night for Life....Charismatic Aliens, Mysterious Werewolves, Vengeful Vampires, Haunted Houses and Timeless Obsession... Ash, is starting her senior year in high school but she sees things that no one else does. Andi wants to finally belong, Collin has an unrequited crush on the most popular girl in school, Amber must vanquish a ghost and Molly is haunted by dreams of the past...
Lacing Shadows: Anthology
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 91,900. Language: English. Published: September 1, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Adult
Asia, a young college student, struggles between two seductive temptations. Farren is desperate to escape her heart-wrenching grief when she encounters vampires. Holly finds herself home alone on winter break when she rescues a handsome Fae. Lena has always been aware of a world beyond our own when she attempts to help a mysterious ghost. Ruby is entranced by a creature made of nightmares...
Wolf Sirens Dusk In Shade: The Wolves Rise at Sunset (Wolf Sirens #4)
Series: Wolf Sirens, Book 4. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 113,100. Language: English. Published: December 31, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
Dark clouds gather as the legend continues. In the town where secrets lie and natural justice rules, the sirens have fallen -- captured and defeated. In the grips of the largest full moon in centuries the stakes climb higher. Apollo unleashes a long awaited plan to defeat Artemis once and for all. Wolf venom spreads across the Valley like a virus.
Wolf Sirens Night Fall: What Rises Must Fall (Wolf Sirens #3)
Series: Wolf Sirens, Book 3. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 87,740. Language: English. Published: May 31, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
Uncover what happens after dark in Shade. The valley is covered by cloud as the Gods rage war. What lurks beneath the surface of the heartlands of myth and reality is a tale as insidious and devious as the wolves themselves. As dusk descends they haunt the forest. The hunter’s legacy must be fulfilled as what rises must fall and those that have fallen must find the strength to rise again.
Wolf Sirens Fever: Many are Born, Few are Reborn (Wolf Sirens #2)
Series: Wolf Sirens, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 85,170. Language: English. Published: October 24, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
A shadow has fallen over the heart lands of myth and reality. Breaking away from the call of destiny and fearing betrayal, Lila makes a desperate escape in search of her lost beloved. The intensity between two ancient enemies ignites. The history of the wolf pack is revealed as devotion and desire in the underworld reaches fever pitch. Only, what will Lila do with the truth when she finds it.
Wolf Sirens Forbidden: Discover the Legend (Wolf Sirens #1)
Series: Wolf Sirens, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 81,390. Language: English. Published: July 30, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Romance » Fantasy
Lila Crain moves to the foreboding town of Shade Reid has a wolfish grin and amber eyes that would make any girl blush and has his sights set on the new girl in school. Introduced to the clique, Lila finally feels like she belongs. But the situation threatens to turn sour when she unwittingly develops feelings for the leader’s off-limits boyfriend, Sky. Forever changing things for hunter & hunted