Interview with R.E. Smart

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
For me, the greatest joy of writing is the ability or power to create fantastic worlds, wondrous adventures and intriguing characters by connecting a series of words together, and discovering how changing the order of words or the selection of words can create something entirely different and new.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Growing up my mother would always challenge my brothers and I to use our imaginations, to exercise our creativity. She started out reading and telling us stories, but as we grew up she would then ask us to tell her stories (one of which comes to mind is the three little horses). She would also tell us about how her mother (our grandmother) went out to the chicken coop one day to gather eggs and found my mother. She had been sent here after her home planet Zarr had been destroyed (at the time I didn't see the Superman similarities). My mother never provided a lot of information about Zarr, which left me to fill in the blanks with my imagination, culminating in the creation of this book.
What are you working on next?
I have a few ideas floating around in my head. I would eventually like to pursue them all, but I may start with a continuation of the Zarr story.
Who are your favorite authors?
Walter Farley, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Beverly Cleary, Shakespeare, Plato, and Homer among others.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
It seems like if I'm not physically writing a story that I am still developing plots, creating characters and exploring ideas mentally. I am a student of human nature. I watch. I observe. I think. In my 9-5 job I work with people who have a variety of problems and difficulties, trying to get them to 're-write' the stories of their lives so that they can have some degree of fulfillment and happiness.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
In Elementary School I wrote a story about Atnas Sualc, Santa's evil twin brother, who lived in the South Pole, wore a blue suit and would fly around in a sled led by penguins stealing the presents Santa left for boys and girls on Christmas Eve.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I have always had books in my life, for as long as I can remember. Trying to remember the first story is like trying to remember the first word I ever spoke. There were many different stories that enthralled me when I was younger, that fanned the flame of my curiosity. Henry Huggins and The Black Stallion were some of the ones I can remember devouring as a child--my family would be watching TV and the minute a commercial came on I would grab a book to read.
How do you approach cover design?
Simple is best. I want I book cover that draws attention, that makes someone curious about the book, yet doesn't provide an image that might influence a reader's imagination. If you see a book cover with a red-haired lady on it, then reading that book you tend to picture that red-haired lady instead of letting your imagination create that character.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I can't choose just five! There are so many good stories out there, so many wonderful crafted tales. The top of the list would be The Bible, the Illiad, the Odyssey, the Republic, Beowulf, the Once and Future King, anything by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Describe your desk
My desk sits by a window, so that I can look up and behold the world around me no matter what I'm doing. Above my desk is a Northern Sky and Constellation Map, so that I can be inspired to think about the possibilities that exist in our marvelous universe.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the country with only 2 neighbors on our road, neither of which had children around my age. That meant that my sole playmates up until starting school were my brothers. There was a woods across the road from our house, and we would often wonder what we might find there--a knight on a horse? A cottage with 7 little men? A tall tower? There was also a gravel pit with a pond nearby, which would spark our imaginations in other ways. Growing up in that environment fostered our creativity in countless ways. It also helped me to think about how to translate the fantasy worlds that existed in my mind into a form that others could enjoy and be entertained by.
Published 2015-10-15.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

ZARR the Legacy of the Vorx
You set the price! Words: 144,160. Language: English. Published: October 13, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Science fiction » Military
Zarr is the story of one man trying to find his place and purpose in the Universe. Kidnapped as a child, raised by the man who murdered his parents and destroyed his world, the truth is kept from him until a chance encounter with a stranger that sets him on a path of discovery and adventure. He struggles with the evils he has done as he strives to be the man others expect him to be...