Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Novel Lady Interviews Author S.E. Smith

Janna and I are so excited to be here with Author S.E. Smith!  I may have to restrain Janna from going all fan-girl here. She is such a huge fan of this author! (But then again, so am I!)  S.E. Smith is a New York Times, USA TODAY, International and Award-winning Bestselling author of Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Western Time Travel, and Paranormal Romance. Her addictive story lines bring action, adventure, and suspense-filled tales mixed with humor and romance to readers around the world. She has also written emotionally charged, action-packed stories for Young Adults and children that will take them on a journey they will never forget. 

Scherry:  Welcome Susan! Thanks for joining us here at The Novel Lady.  Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
S.E. Smith:  I love meeting up with you and Janna, Scherry. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your super busy schedule! A brief history of me... LOL. Okay, let’s see if I can do a sixty-second overview. I was born in the wilds of Montana—or at least in a place known as the Home of the Adventurous. I have degrees in Electronics (the geek in me), Elementary Education, and a Master’s in Integrating Technology in the Curriculum. Steve and I have been married almost 33 years and have four wonderful children, three grandchildren, and an assortment of furry-grandkids. I published my first four books in 2012 and now have over 70 books in a wide range of genres that feed my soul. Whew! 

Scherry:  Wow! That's a lot of books! What do you do when you’re not writing? Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures? 
S.E. Smith:  My hubby is always on me about finding balance and I’m working on that. I love to play Solitaire and watching CGIMeetup on Youtube, but my guilty pleasure is going to the movies and camping. I love movies that take me away, usually fantasy, scifi, animations, etc. They all have to have an HEA. 

Scherry:  Where do you do most of your writing?  Sitting on the couch with your feet propped up?  Steadfast at a writing desk?  Lounging on the beach with a recording device in your hand?
S.E. Smith:  I write just about any and everywhere. Sitting in a chair in front of the windows when I’m in North Carolina, or at my desk or on the couch in Florida most of the time, but honestly, I write everywhere.

Scherry:  When and why did you begin writing?
S.E. Smith:  I began writing around 2010 after the big economy crash in 2008. I was going through a period I like to call ‘My Rebellion’. I had been let go and rehired by the School Board I was working for, but the knowledge that someone/company could have so much control over my life hit me hard. I’d always given extra and worked as hard as I could and yet it was as if none of that mattered. I understand I was taking things personal when it wasn’t, but it was an eye-opener to the power other people/things had over my life. I escaped into the world of books, but over time I became frustrated trying to find the kind of books I wanted to read, with characters that I could relate to—strong women who were not perfect but still feminine; strong men who weren’t afraid to grow and appreciate that to be a couple, it meant balance. No one can be strong all the time and we all have our strengths. My hubby and I are two halves that make a whole. When Steve suggested I get a hobby, I thought, okay—and began writing. That was the beginning of where I am now and I continue to move forward.

Janna:  I’m a HUGE fan! I’ve read your Dragon Lords of Valdier series and the Sarafin Warriors series. I LOVE Cara from Capturing Cara. She’s such a kickass, feisty heroine – and omg, I want to be friends with her. Most authors have a special place in their heart for a few particular characters or books. Which of your books or characters is your favorite and why?
S.E. Smith:  LOL. Thank you. Cara is dear to my heart. I think if I were to pick three characters it would be Gracie (Gracie’s Touch: Zion Warriors Book 1), Hannah (Hannah’s Warrior: Cosmos’ Gateway Book 2), and Trisha (Tracking Trisha: Dragon Lords of Valdier Book 3). Each character has a quiet determination not to give up. They keep fighting for what they believe in, but you can feel their struggle. Gracie’s enduring hope and humor, Hannah’s quiet reflection and compassion, and Trisha’s need for solitude and her search for peace mixed with grit all deeply resonate with me. 

Janna:  I have to admit that I read your Dragon Lords of Valdier series twice because I was fascinated with how they shared the same timeline. You’re one of the first authors I’ve read in this genre who did this (and did it well). Did you have a hard time keeping everything straight? How did you keep it organized?
S.E. Smith:  I’m a pantser, so everything is written without me knowing what is going to happen. My stories run like real life movies in my head, so I simply pause them and when I go back to them, they start up where I left off. Sometimes I’ll write something and not understand until four or five books later. I loved writing the same scenes from different points of view as we all bring something different to the events that happen to us. Our past experiences play a huge part in how we each handle some situations. For me, my stories are like real life—not everything happens in series; it often happens in parallel where our path crosses before we part again and go about our day. If you think about your life, you’ll see what I mean. We’ve each been going about our day, with things happening, then our lives cross and we interact together, until we part and continue. My worlds do this, making them emulate what is happening in a real world thus making them appear realistic. 

Scherry:  You have so many books out! Really, really great books!  Seems like there is something for everyone! I absolutely loved ‘Indiana Wild’. Great western romance with a twist… Time Travel! Your writing talent encompasses so many different genres!  When writing, do you have a preference?  
S.E. Smith:  I love writing a wide variety genres. In a traditionally published world, this would have been impossible to do because they want to box you into one genre. I know it can be frustrating to readers, which I hope they will understand. I decided early on to brand me as a writer, not my writing based on a specific genre. I promised myself that I would only do this as long as it was fun. When it wasn’t fun any longer, I would walk away with no regrets. In order to do that, I need to feed my soul. I always think what if I never wrote the story that a character is begging me to write? What if it is lost in a void, alone in the dark space, floating unloved, untold and that is the one story that makes the difference to one other person besides myself? How can you tell it that it isn’t important when it may be the most important one of all? I see a young story, sitting in an empty void of black space, her head bowed as she has her legs drawn up to her chest, huddled and softly crying at being forgotten. 

Scherry:  Can you tell us a bit about your most recent release?

S.E. Smith:  My newest releases are Core’s Attack: Cosmos’ Gateway Book 6 and a free Dragonlings’ story called Jabir’s Very Special Christmas Gift: A Dragonlings of Valdier short. Core’s Attack is part of my original series starting with Tink’s Neverland. I knew when I wrote Avery’s character that I needed to write her story. I love that she is strong, yet so vulnerable. I also love that Core never tries to change who she is, but accept her. That is the biggest thing in my stories—love is not about changing a person, but accepting who they are—strengths, weaknesses, faults, and finding that those are what makes you fall in love with them. They both understand and appreciate who they are inside and accept that.

Jabir’s Very Special Christmas Gift came as a surprise write. These are often my favorite as they always touch my heart. Jabir is the smallest of the original dragonlings. He also has a HUGE heart. This heartwarming tale follows Jabir as he desperately tries to give the misfit animals that live on his mountain a special Christmas and the love he finds when his friends and family come together to help him. P.S.—You’ll need a box of tissue when you read this, but I guarantee the story will leave you with a smile.

Janna:  How much research did you do for your latest novel?
S.E. Smith:  I actually do a lot of research for my stories. From the types of weapons they use, to the places the characters go. I love Google Earth and Streetview as I can walk the streets of just about any place in the world. 

Janna:  What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever researched for one of your books?
S.E. Smith:  LOL. I’m waiting for Homeland Security to come knocking at my door. I think the interior of the Pentagon for Command Decision: Project Gliese Book 1 is one of my most challenging. I talked to people who had been inside the building, looked at diagrams, etc. so that I could get a realistic feel for the story. I also spent a lot of time talking to individuals who had been in the military to get the dialogue right.

Scherry:  How long does it normally take you to write a book?
S.E. Smith:  My writing fluctuates, but typically 45 days to write a full novel (anywhere from 62K-94K). You have to remember that I have four kids, a husband, grandchildren, and as a business owner a lot of other responsibilities than just writing. This is one reason why I write anywhere and everywhere. 

Scherry:  What is next for you?  Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress?
S.E. Smith:  I am currently finishing Saving Runt: Cosmos’ Gateway Book 7 and then finishing Ruth and the King of the Giants and The Magic Shell which are part of my Seven Kingdoms (Contemporary Fantasy series). All three are already in progress. 

Scherry:  How can fans contact you/learn more about you?
SES Events (Meets & Greet): 
Blog RSS Feed:  
Facebook Readers Group by SES:
Facebook Readers Group by Nikki Mann:
Facebook Messenger Bot: 

Scherry:  Susan, thank you so much for joining us here at The Novel Lady!
I’m looking forward to seeing you at Coastal Magic next month!

Readers, if you would like to meet S.E. Smith in person, stop by the Coastal Magic Convention in Daytona Beach in February 2019. Susan is one of our favorite Featured Authors. 

For more information about #CM2019, check out the web page at

If you haven’t experienced the writing of Author S.E. Smith yet, check out the books listed below!

Abducting Abby: Dragon Lords of Valdier Book 1 (free read)

Abby Tanner’s peaceful existence is shattered when she finds an alien spaceship on her mountain. Zoran Reykill’s desperate escape from his captors sends him to an unknown world. He discovers what his dragon and symbiot already recognized—his true mate—a rare and precious gift. Zoran will do anything to protect Abby—even if it means abducting her.

The beginning of an epic saga! Discover new worlds, clashes of cultures, schemes of power, revenge, rescues, and above all, hope….

Abby Tanner was content to live on her mountain creating works of art and enjoying the peace and quiet until a golden space ship crash lands with the King of the Valdier inside, desperately hurt. 

Zoran Reykill knew he had to find a safe place to heal after he escapes from a Curizan military post. When his symbiosis Mothership takes him to an unknown planet he finds more than he expects – he finds his true mate. The only problems are Abby doesn’t understand a thing he says and the local sheriff wants her, too. 

Hunter’s Claim: The Alliance Book 1

Hunter is an elite Trivator warrior sent to seek out new worlds. Shocked when a strange human female risks her life for him, Hunter finds in her a reward beyond comprehension to a Trivator warrior, a family. Can he convince Jesse he can give her and her younger sisters a better life on his world?

The Trivators came to bring Earth into the Alliance of Star Systems, but now they have to take control of Earth to prevent the humans from destroying it in the panicked chaos. The Trivators aren’t prepared for how humans will affect their own lives, though, starting with a family of three sisters….

Alone in a world gone mad with just her younger sisters, Jesse Sampson has learned to use the darkness and the remains of Seattle to keep what is left of her family alive. She has seen the savage side of human nature and found they are not much different from the aliens who conquered the Earth.

Hunter belongs to a unit of Trivators who specialize in quelling violent uprisings. His ability to track and capture is renowned, but he finds the tables turned when he is the one captured by a group of ruthless humans. 

Hunter is shocked when a strange human female risks her life to help him escape, only to disappear into the ruins of the city. He now has a new mission: finding the female who saved his life. 

Tink’s Neverland: Cosmos’ Gateway Book 1

When a friend’s experiment creates a portal to another world, Tink finds herself swept into a faraway galaxy she thought only existed in the movies.

She touched his hand, and everything changed....

Jasmine “Tinker” Bell has always had a love for life, looking forward to any new adventure that happens to come along, but when a friend’s experiment creates a portal to another world, she finds herself immersed in far more adventure than she ever dreamed.

J’kar ’Tag Krell Manok had given up hope of ever finding his bond mate. Then a pint-size female unlike anything he has ever seen suddenly appears on his spaceship to save the life of his brother, and disappears just as suddenly. He will do anything, follow her anywhere, to get her back - and he just might be able to do that, because she left a very important piece of technology behind...

Discover new worlds, new species, and the hilarity that can ensue when Tink, an eternally optimistic, quirky, small town mechanic meets J’kar, a serious Prime warrior from a far-off galaxy who is used to being in control!

Internationally acclaimed S.E. Smith presents a new action-packed story full of adventure and romance. Brimming with her signature humor, vivid scenes, and beloved characters, this book is sure to be another fan favorite!


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