I love interviewing debut authors! It’s is so much fun to share in the excitement of their first book hitting the shelves.
Please welcome debut author Sommer Smith!
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INTERVIEW WITH SOMMER SMITH
How does it feel to be a debut author? It’s awesome! I’ve wanted to be a writer for a very long time, and seeing your name in print on the cover of your first book is kind of surreal.
What did you do when you got “the call”? It was a moment I will never forget. I was teaching but we were in an assembly, so I was able to go into the gym lobby and take the call. It was all I could do to quietly tell my coworkers instead of grabbing the mic and announcing it to the whole school!
Where did you get your idea for your book? I follow a lot of agents and editors on Twitter and one of the Love Inspired editors Tweeted about a fascinating story she had read about Navy dolphins and mentioned it would be a great book idea. I looked up the article and decided she was right. I love dolphins and after reading about their heroic exploits I couldn’t wait to write about them.
How long does it take you to write a Love Inspired Suspense novel? The actual writing part itself only takes me around three months or so, but sometimes the research and editing can drag it out for much longer. It depends on how well I manage my time and how much time I have to work on it between my teaching job and attending the various activities my children have going on.
Tell us a bit about Under Suspicion? Dr. Keilani Lucas comes to the naval base to help with their dolphin training program but stumbles onto an underwater drug smuggling ring on her first day. Lt. Micah Kent is thrown into the role of protector as well as co-worker. The smugglers are desperate to silence Keilani and it will take teamwork to put a stop to their efforts. But things get even more complicated when they discover the threat is on the inside.
What is your typical day like? I teach high school from 8-4, so my writing time is usually concentrated in the evening hours and weekends. The afternoons are a good time to write since my son is usually at practice for football or baseball. I go to the gym and come home to write. I break to make dinner and take care of some household duties and then get back to writing until bedtime.
When did you start writing? I decided to write my first novel when I was in 7th grade. I read often and one day decided I wanted to write a book of my own. It was a hilarious premise about a female pirate and I had no idea what I was doing, but I just sat down with a notebook and pen and started writing a story. I never finished it, but I also never lost the desire to write a novel. It wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I actually finished one.
What is the hardest part about being an author? The hardest part for me is being disciplined. It’s very difficult to stick with self-imposed deadlines and consistently work toward my goals when there is no one else to answer to about my progress. I always feel like I could accomplish more if I had more discipline.
Who is your favorite author? I honestly have a lot of favorites, depending on the type of novel. I love Susan May Warren’s books. She is an extremely talented author with very real characters. I also really love Laura Frantz, Sarah Ladd, and Julie Klassen. Their attention to historical detail is amazing and their stories really draw you in and take you to another time and place.
Now for the important questions:
Pepsi or Coke? Coke, definitely!
Candy, cookies, or cake? All three! I love sweets and could never choose. Bring on the pie and cheesecake also!
Coffee or Tea? Again, I love both. I drink black coffee in the mornings and sweet tea and iced coffee in the afternoons. Sometimes I like hot tea when it’s cold out.
Favorite vacation? Something tropical. I love warm sunny beaches. I have been on two Caribbean cruises and loved every minute of it. I really want to go to Hawaii someday. But I do have to say I have been on some snowy Colorado vacations that I really loved as well.
Favorite TV show? I love Castle. Murder, mystery, and bad jokes are a great combination. I have yet to find a new show I like as much.
Favorite Movie? Probably Pride and Prejudice or Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. I know the two are very different, other than Keira Knightly in the starring role. I love the historical worlds created in the films and the action, adventure, and romance you can get lost in.
Any hobbies? Pets? Activities? I have two dogs who run the house. One is a husky and one is a smaller mixed breed. I also have a horse. I love riding and I used to do a little barrel racing. Now, most of my exercise comes from my time at the gym. I love lifting weights and hate doing cardio, but my daughters love to run and they try to keep me balanced. I also love watching my son play sports – football in the fall and baseball in the spring.