Writing short stories, even mini-fiction, can’t always be worked into a writing schedule; so for those authors who may not be able to let their characters play in the sand, I’ve invited them to a nighttime beach bonfire to have a drink, listen to the crashing waves, and answer a few questions of my own.
Can you tell us a little about yourself, something readers may not have heard before?
I’m a single mom to three crazy kids… 27, 25 and 20. The youngest is Autistic and the reason I do an Autism Awareness Auction every year.
Official Bio: A military brat born and raised at Ft. Benning Georgia; TM Smith is an avid reader, reviewer and writer. A Texas transplant, she now calls DFW her home. Most days she can be found curled up with a good book, or ticking away on her next novel.
Smith is a single mom of three disturbingly outspoken and decidedly different kids, one of which is Autistic. Besides her writing, she is passionate about Autism advocacy and LGBT rights. Because, seriously people, Love is Love!
Can you introduce us to the world(s) that you have created?
Survivor is the first book in a trilogy and it’s my first mystery and suspense storyline. The series is set in Texas, Dallas Ft. Worth, and tells the story of a close knit group of guys from Cops to Detectives to FBI Agents. I’ve always been a fan of murder mysteries and true crime stories, Criminal Minds was my favorite series for many years. It’s a story about survival, about love, family and friendships that are formed sometimes when least expected.
Will this be your first Coastal Magic or are you a veteran?
I attended as a reader last year, so this will be my first time as an Author.
What was it about Coastal Magic that drew you to it?
The convention is well oiled machine, and that’s exactly what an Author wants. The people that run it are friendly as are all the attendees and other Authors.
Why have you continued to return?
Lunch with an Author! I had a blast last year as a reader sitting with an Author I’ve read for years so I’m excited to be on the other side of that.
If you’ve been before, what is your favorite CMC memory? If you’ve never been, what are you looking forward to?
Yes actually. I have a gay erotica series under my belt and in that series, I created a character after meeting a bartender in NYC that was based of said mixer of drinks. The plan was to have him on a book cover, but it never came to fruition so I killed off the character.
Is there a character who stayed on the page longer than you thought they would?
Yes to this one too! In my Dystopian series there’s a character based on a good friend of mine that is a Gay Shaman Minister that was supposed to be a secondary character. As the story evolved, so did the character until he became the main focus of book two in that series.
Do you often take something you see during your daily life and twist it a little to make it work elsewhere?
All the time. I’ll hear a song and a chapter will start playing in my mind. I’ll see something on TV or in a movie and my brain starts twisting and turning those images to fit in one of my series. My personal favorite though is when someone makes a comment in passing or says something hysterical and my response is, “that’s going in a book!” and it does, has.
How do you take our world and build something fantastical from it? How do you turn our reality into fantasy?
Opposites, my dystopian series, is set somewhere around two hundred fifty years in the future where the basis of the series is exactly as the title says, opposite. It’s a world where being LGBT is the norm, being straight is the oddity. I created this series right around the time DOMA (defense of marriage act also known as the most fucking ridiculous thing our government has ever done act) and NOH8 were gaining national recognition. I thought to myself, what if the world were turned upside down, inside out? So I created this world where if you are a woman in love with a man, you are the anomaly, you are the outkast of society, you are an Opposite. I really let my imagination take over with this series, did a lot of research on highest points of elevation, different customs of people all over the world. It was very freeing to create something from nothing and not have to adhere to certain standards and expectations because I gave myself no boundaries.
Which do you find is more central in your writing: the characters or world creation? Both Why?
For me it’s a combination of the two. Whether or not you’re writing fantasy or contemporary, readers are only seeing the words you put on the page. You have to build your world with descriptives and vivid details so that the reader can see it in their minds eyes. It’s the same with characters. You have to introduce them, give them time to become friends, ensure that the reader becomes invested in the characters.
When you’re not writing, what are you reading?
I read any genre, when I have five minutes to read. I listen to more books than I can read and what draws me in is a story that intrigues me. The genre rarely matters, unless I’m in the mood for something specific.
What drew you to writing in the gay romance genre as opposed to other genres?
I stumbled across a series one day in Barnes and Noble, The Mortal Instruments. It was the first book/series I read that featured a prominent gay couple throughout the series. I was intrigued, so naturally I went and looked for more such books. I’m absolutely fascinated with the relationship between two, or three, men. There’s something savage and yet, beautiful about it. They can be fierce, demanding and rough while also being attentive, gentle and loving.
Long story short, I was hooked.
If you could be one urban fantasy creature/person/magical thing, what would you be and why?
Tinkerbell! I love that sparkly, cranky, flying bitch!!
Don’t miss your chance to meet over 50 fabulous urban fantasy, paranormal, and romance authors at Coastal Magic next February! This super casual book-lover weekend happens on Daytona Beach, and gives everyone the chance to hang out with fellow readers and amazing storytellers.
REGISTRATION is now open! If you haven’t been to Coastal Magic yet, you’re missing out on a lot of fun. Be sure to keep up with all things Coastal Magic, by following it via your own personal social media drug of choice: Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest | RSVP at the Facebook Event.