Catherine: Thank you for agreeing to be featured here today as the Author Spotlight guest.
I recently finished the first book in your Bound series and immediately picked up your second. It was a great YA read that kept me up to the early morning hours.
Could you offer a bit about the Bound series?
Stormy: The Bound series is my baby. Bound by Duty is the first book I ever wrote and I’ve been absolutely astonished at the response I’ve received to the series. I write clean, coming of age stories and with Bound, my focus was really on telling a layered, complex story through the eyes of those directly affected. I used multiple POVs as the series progressed to show you the other side of things and wanted to hone in on what it takes as an 18-year-old (with or without powers) to determine the person you want to be and what you’re willing to do to become that person.
Catherine: Do you have a favorite character in the series?
Stormy: Bethany is probably my favorite. She is truly a hybrid of my best friends throughout my lifetime and she’s the exact grounding that Amelia needed throughout the story.
Catherine: What would that character’s (or the main character if no favorite) favorite ice cream be?
Stormy: Bethany – likely twist. She wants the best of both worlds.
Catherine: Tell us a little bit about your journey as an author.
Stormy: This was a journey I never expected to be on. I never wanted to be an author but one day the story appeared and I couldn’t not write it. Or the next one. Or the next three. I quit my dream job to make time in my life for writing and marketing my books and I hope to one day be full time. My first series is self-published and my next stand alone book is currently being queried to agents so I can make the jump to hybrid publishing.
Catherine: What is one lesson you’ve learned as a self-published independent author?
Stormy: Being an author isn’t about writing books, it’s about being an entrepreneur. It’s about investing time, money, sanity, tears and sleep for something you believe in more than anyone else can fathom. If all you want to do is write the books, don’t expect success because it’s impossible. It sounds harsh, but it really is true. Between my day job and writing/marketing, I’ve put in 80+ hour weeks for more than three years.
Catherine: Is there something about the industry – a piece of advice or an idealized image – that you’ve learned to be completely true or untrue?
Stormy: No one cares as much about your books as you. No one will work as hard (i.e. a vendor, publicist, etc.), no one will have your expectations and no one will want to put in the hours. This isn’t a one man show, you need other people, but you have to give them a break when it comes to your expectations because they simply cannot be as passionate about your work as you are.
Catherine: Is there something you would like readers to know, or would like to know from your readers?
Stormy: I would love to tell readers that my joy comes from connecting with you. I try to develop layered characters who have gone through their own personal traumas (we all have!) but don’t let those traumas define them. I want to show you that growing up is hard but doable and that it’s so much easier when you surround yourself with the right people. I hope you see that mistakes will happen but the real truth is what you do once you’ve acknowledged the mistake. My books are about helping you live your best life, so I hope you find someone to connect to in the story that touches you.
Catherine: What is one thing that always brings a smile to your face?
Stormy: Getting messages from readers! Nothing makes my day more than a tweet, review or Facebook post from someone who has read my books.
Catherine: What keeps you grounded/sane during the intensive creative and business moments of being a self-published author?
Stormy: My husband. He reminds me that in order to write about life, I have to live it. He gets me out of my cave and he always makes me laugh.
Catherine: What is your favorite place?
Stormy: Anywhere I can put my feet in an ocean (and preferably have someone bring me a glass of wine).
Catherine: What is one thing you couldn’t live without?
Stormy: My laptop. I can hand write, but there’s something about the connection to the keys that I need.
Catherine: What is your favorite TV show?
Stormy: NCIS, but that’s now debatable with Michael Weatherly (aka Tony DiNozzo) gone.
Catherine: How can readers get their hands on the Bound books?
Stormy: You will find them on every e-book retailer, with the first book (Bound by Duty) always FREE! And the paperbacks are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble (online or requested at your local store) and Book Depository.
Catherine: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Stormy: I write because books were the place I escaped to growing up. They were my sanity and my closest friends. I can only aspire to write a book that touches someone like books have touched me. I do hope you stick around to see where I go from here. J
Catherine: Thank you Stormy. Interested in reaching out to Stormy or following her? Check out her website http://www.stormysmith.com/