BRIAN W. SMITH: I am originally from New Orleans, La. I own Hollygrove Publishing, and I have a
side deal with Strebor/Simon and Schuster. I'm also an Adjunct Professor of Creative Writing.
S.O.L: What inspired you to write your first book?
SMITH: I released my first novel in 2006, Mamas Lies - Daddy's Pain. The book is "loosely" based on my life. It's about a young man who raises his daughter for 17 years and then learns shortly before her 18th birthday (via DNA test) that he isn't the biological father. Lets just say...the book was cathartic.
S.O.L: You have been in the literary game since 2006 with Mama's Lies- Daddy's Pain,
how do you stay motivated?
SMITH: Although I've never been diagnosed, I believe that I have some form of Adult A.D.D. I'm the king of multi-tasking. I write multiple books at a time. I'm always traveling doing book signings and meeting with book clubs. I teach Creative Writing to college students. I run my publishing house. Up until August of this year I co-hosted an internet radio show with best selling author, Trice Hickman. The show was called, "On the Air with Trice and Brian". I have to be into a lot of things to stay motivated. If I was only writing books, I'd probably be bored out of mind, and would have stopped writing a long time ago.
S.O.L: What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in
bringing your first book to life?
SMITH: There were no "material" challenges writing, Mama's Lies - Daddy's Pain, because between my memory and a "Baby Mama Drama" journal I'd kept for more than a decade - I had all the material I needed. My biggest challenge was learning how to write novels. I've never been formally trained. Other than a few college papers I had to write, I was never into writing. And prior to writing my first
novel, I could count on one hand the number of Fiction books I'd ever read. When I decided I wanted to tell "my" story, I had to give myself a crash course in Fiction writing. I used to go to the book store and library, and study how various authors wrote their novels; not necessarily their styles, but mainly the basic writing principles. I've always been a fast learner so it didn't take long for me to get the hang of it.
S.O.L.: What genre do you consider your books? Do you think you would ever venture
outside of that genre?
SMITH: My books are classified as Mainstream Fiction, but in 2013, I will also start writing in the Mystery genre. My signature character will be a detective named "Sleepy Carter". I'm looking forward to this new literary journey.
S.O.L: If you could turn any of your books into a movie, which book would it be and why? What actors or actresses would you want to play the characters?
SMITH: I believe all my books would be good movies, but if I had to choose one to convert to a movie I'd choose, "If These Trees Could Talk". I believe it's the most powerful book I've ever written. It's about two little boys (one white the other black). They are being sexually molested by their mother's boyfriends. One day they decide that they've had enough and devise a plan to kill their
molesters in the trees behind their houses.
S.O.L: Your latest book, Nina's Got a Secret was just released on Amazon on September 18th and it already has 60 reviews, what would you say to someone who is still on the fence about purchasing this book?
SMITH: To those people who are on the fence about reading "Nina's Got A Secret", I would say give it a try. Its one of the most unique story lines to hit the AA literary scene in years. Just think about this question: If you only had seconds to decide which child to save, your biological child or your disabled/handicap stepchild, which child would you save? This book will take you on an emotional
S.O.L: I love all of your book covers. Who designs them?
SMITH: I've used three different graphic designers over the years, but these are the
two Ive used the most:
- Keith Marion (Marion Designs); (Mama's Lies - Daddy's Pain, Donna's Dilemma, and Nina's Got A Secret)
- Vonda Howard (Cupcake Creative Designs); (Deadbeat, AMNESIA, Beater, If These Trees Could Talk, Larry's Got A Secret Too, and DIFFERENCES)
S.O.L.: Do you think with Kindle and Nook now on the scene that hard covers and
paperback books would slowly become a thing of the past?
SMITH: I don't think hardcover and paperback books will ever go away, but I do see a shift taking place in the industry. Publishers (small and large) are reducing the size of print runs and promoting ebooks and audio books more because those forms are cheaper to produce. I view ebook readers as a gift and a curse. They are great for readers because they are more convenient and books are cheaper. They are also great for authors and Independent Publishers like myself because they eliminate a lot of the expenses (printing, warehousing, etc.). BUT, Ebook readers are one of the main reasons small black owned book stores are going out of business...and that's a bad thing.
S.O.L: Alot of authors are putting out 5-6 short stories at one time rather than writing a 200-300 page novel, what are your thoughts on this?
SMITH: There is benefit in putting out novellas in between major releases. I've done it before (Close To Home). But, I do believe that in order for an author to build a literary "brand", he/she needs to crank out novels.
S.O.L: How may your readers contact you on social media?
SMITH: I'm easy to find on social media: