One of the benefits of membership in the Rave Reviews Book Club is the ability to host other authors. Today it’s my turn to bring you Marlena Smith, one of the hardest working members in the club. Please give her a warm welcome in the comments and with the sharing buttons.
Welcome to Day 1 of my RRBC “SPOTLIGHT” Author Blog Tour! I am so excited to have you join me! A huge THANKS to RRBC and to my awesome host!!
To kick this tour off, I thought some Q&A would be fun, your chance to get to know the author!
1. You have been writing for a long time now, since you were a child. What were some of your first story ideas?
Yes, my earliest memory of writing comes from 2nd grade. I wrote a story about my mother and received the honor of attending the Young Author’s Conference in my state. At 8 years old, it seemed like a big deal!
I still have all of the things I wrote as a child/teenager. One story was about princesses who had magical powers. Another was about a family on a ranch that go through some hardships. Looking back, the ideas were kind of all over the place!
2. What influenced you to take a career path in writing?
I’ve always enjoyed writing, putting my thoughts and ideas on paper. It has always been an escape for me, even to this day. I’ve tried other jobs, other ideas, but I’ve always came back to writing. It’s my home, where I belong. When you continuously come back to a certain thing, you realize maybe you should just stick to it.
3. What inspires your writing?
Nature, people I see or speak to, the world… Inspiration can be found in so many places if you simply open your eyes or your ears. Life, itself, can be inspiring.
I’ve also had a few ideas come from my dreams. It’s funny, I rarely remember my dreams. But when I do, it’s usually something to write about.
4. What part of writing do you find most exhilarating?
Putting the idea onto paper. You take a simple idea, and turn it into a book. You create a world, characters, meaning, drama, romance… all from an idea. That’s an amazing thing to me.
5. What part is most difficult?
Actually publishing it. Putting your book, your work in someone else’s hands. It’s in the public eye for all to see. Some will love it, others may hate it. It can be a scary thing. I think that’s why I’ve always procrastinated with my own writing. What if all that hard work that you put into your book isn’t received well? I suppose, though, that’s a risk we take in a lot of things. You just never know.
6. What is your process for creating characters?
For me, the story idea comes first. Then, I create the characters to make the story come alive.
When I do create my characters, I like to be thorough. Give them a personality and an appearance. From that, they develop throughout the story, almost on their own. I hear so many authors say that their characters often take over the story. This is so true. Sometimes, the story leads a completely different path than you planned… All because of the character.
7. What can we expect to find in your first book?
THE POWER OF LOVE is about a woman needing a fresh start. She has left the place she once called home, her husband, her family, and is now living in an abandoned apartment alone. She keeps to herself, never acknowledging anyone that crosses her path. That is, until she bumps into Lucas. Lucas forces her out of her shell. He has this way of waking Scarlet up, making her alive again. We see her grow and embrace the new path she is on. We also see her constantly battle with herself and her past. It’s a story of heartache and pain, but also of hope and love.
8. Will you give us an insight into your main character?
Scarlet is a strong woman that has been through a lot. Taking the first step of living on her own, helps her to find her independence again. She takes chances and goes against her fears. With Scarlet’s character, you see hope. Hope for a better tomorrow, hope that you can and will find your own path.
9. What do you hope readers experience from this debut book?
I simply want readers to enjoy the book. To take from it, what I put into it. I hope they laugh and cry, and feel the emotion as they walk Scarlet’s journey.
10. What part of the romance genre do you find most exciting?
I’m such a hopeless romantic! I’ve always believed in true love and love at first sight, and all of those other cliches. I like where the romance genre can take you. It can often open your eyes, give you hope, make you believe again.
I also like the never-knowing, the constant guessing game of wondering if love will win. Like I mentioned before, your character can truly take over your book and you may have no idea how it will end. The woman doesn’t always need a man to save the day. Sometimes, she saves herself.
11. What’s the best tool or resource you’ve found during your writing career?
Of course, I believe social media is a must. Twitter, Facebook, and all the other sites and apps can be great marketing tools. You also get to connect with readers and other authors. Networking at its finest!
I also am a strong believer in finding a group or organization of people that are on the same journey as you, people that you can relate to, people that can help you and inspire you. I found that with RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB – an organization that is all about supporting and promoting one another. This group has been the push I need to put my words out there. You don’t find support anywhere else like you do at RRBC.
12. Aside from writing, what are your passions in life? What can you be found doing when you’re not behind a pen or computer?
Writing and reading definitely take up a majority of my time, as does RRBC. Being the secretary for a book club can keep you busy, which I love. My other passion is cooking, specifically baking. This is another escape for me. I enjoy being in the kitchen, seeing what new recipe I can create.
I am also a horror-fanatic. I can watch scary movies all day, especially Indie ones. I’m actually fascinated by the paranormal world and enjoy doing my own research and “hunting.” There’s a lot of incredible places in my state, places I have yet to explore.
13. What can we expect next from you?
Aside from THE POWER OF LOVE being released in Spring 2017, I have a few other works-in-progress.
I’m hoping my YA Romance novel, A MOMENTARY GLANCE, will be released this year. Of course, it’s still in the first draft stage. This is a story idea I’ve had for a very long time and can’t wait to get finished. You can find some snippets and such about this one on my blog.
I also have a horror screenplay in the works. The outline is done and it’s played out in my head; I just need to get it all on paper.
Thanks for stopping by!! Hope you’ll join me and my hosts for the rest of the tour! 🙂
All she wanted was a fresh start.
Eight months ago, Scarlet made the choice to leave the prison she called home, and to escape the man that put her there. She had made a new home for herself in the small town of Belmont, Montana. The abandoned apartment was far from luxury, but she was better off, away from her past life.
She never expected to meet Lucas, the local hero and town’s only doctor. She didn’t expect to enjoy the small town life. She didn’t expect her past to catch up to her.
Will she risk it all? Risk revealing her secrets at a chance of love? Will she be forced back into the life she hated? Will she gain control of her own destiny?
Available Spring 2017!!
Author Marlena Smith is a true Southern Belle at heart. Her home has always been in Alabama and she couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. Growing up as a preacher’s daughter, faith and family played a large part in her life.
Her earliest memory of writing was that of 2nd grade when she was selected to attend the Young Author’s Conference in her home state. Little did she know then that her future was being mapped out.
Today, Marlena is an Author, Freelancer, Book Reviewer, Researcher and Secretary of Rave Reviews Book Club. She may wear many hats, but her passion remains with writing. That’s where her heart is and that’s where she feels she belongs. She has several works in progress, including an upcoming short romance, THE POWER OF LOVE, expected to be out in Spring 2017.
Until then, you can check out some of Marlena’s writing in the RAVE SOUP FOR THE WRITER’S SOUL ANTHOLOGY, available on Amazon.
Find Marlena online:
You can sample Marlena’s work in the anthology Rave Soup for the Writer’s Soul, available at this handy link.