Sunday, October 25, 2015

Interview with Author John M W Smith

Hi, John,  first of all, tell us where you're from.

Hi Patricia, thank you for interviewing me. I’m from Oxford, in England.

Oh, what a great place to live. I'm originally from England, but have never been to Oxford.  Can you tell us something about yourself.

Firstly, John M W Smith is my real name. I stood first in my school in the GCSE ‘O’ level exams, and then went on to do a BA (Hons) degree in History. I worked in publishing for 10 years, rising from a humble rep to a position where, the only person earning more than I, was the managing director. But I grew disillusioned with the corporate world, too much pressure, too many lies and bad politics and not enough time to do what I really wanted to do, so I turned my back on it and started writing and doing any old job to keep the wolf from the door, and am still hoping to see my ship come home one day, bearing aloft my name in lights for all the world to see.

Wow, what an interesting career, John, though I can quite understand a writer getting frustrated when working in a corporate publishing world, yet having no time to write.

Yes, it was extremely frustrating.

Well, as you know, I’ve read and loved many of your books and plan to read every one of them, and I’m pretty sure your name will be in lights one day.

Thank you, Patricia, I’m thrilled that you liked my stories.

Ok, John, now tell us what makes you tick?

Well...I swallowed this little clock a few days ago, you see, and ever since then I’ve been, seriously, I’m only being flippant because I don’t know quite what to say in answer to this question, and I am determined not to avoid any of your questions. Why should I? I’ve got nothing to hide! I find the company of women more interesting than that of men, because women are more interesting and more articulate. This is why I like writing for them, as I have done in my Wacky Stories series of books of short stories. So it’s the company of women that makes me tick. Also very good writers.

Well maybe that’s why I love your stories so much. You seem to know what women like. So, John, tell us how long have you been writing?

I’ve forgotten. A few years, I guess....

And what inspired you to write?

I don’t think anything in particular inspired me to write apart from when I would read books and think to myself, “Well, I think I could do better than that....!” So that was my only direct inspiration. The other sort of inspiration comes from something deep inside, which one is born with, and which just has to find expression, and has got to be indulged, nurtured and developed as life without it would be unbearable.....the urge, the compulsion to write paints my entire existence in vivid technicolour. Without it my life would be in black and white. It really is that simple!

Oh, I completely understand what you’re saying, John, and I love the way you’ve explained it. I’ve always believed that authors will find a way to write and publish, no matter what the obstacle, even if it takes them years to do it. And you write in so many different genres, so tell readers what they are.

Well, as I said, I write Women’s Fiction (short stories). I also write YA/Teen series, fantasy, and also Adult Thrillers set in foreign lands under strange and unusual governments.

I’ve read your books in all those genres and they’re all fantastic, but which is your preferred genre to write?

I can honestly say that there is no one genre that I prefer above the others. It depends on what plot jumps up in my imagination, and then I decide which genre it would best fit into.

When you write, do you use a computer, a tablet, or handwriting?

I write everything in longhand on A4 ruled paper in a ring binder, in black ink. Then I transfer that first draft onto my computer and print it out, double-spaced. Then I edit it first with a red pen, then again with a green pen, then again with a purple pen, and finally with a blue pen. Each edit can involve sweeping changes, additions, deletions of entire pages and substitutions, and lots and lots of “polishing” as I want my prose to have rhythm, like a well written and catchy have an attractive cadence when it is read aloud, be easy to read, and have a hook thrown in as often as possible to keep the reader interested. I do not stop until I have achieved this to my satisfaction, and usually this editing process takes as long as it did to write the entire first draft, but I really enjoy it, it is truly a labour of love!

Do you know, John, you’re the first writer that has explained something I actually feel compelled to do when writing, and that is to add a beat to my sentences. They have to sing to the rhythm in my head or I get frustrated with them. I think that is one of the reasons I love your books so much, as well as the great plots and surprise endings of course, and I love the dark humour in your stories.

Thank you, Patricia, I'm pleased you get my humour.

I do and I love it, John, so tell us where you go to write, and to think up these wonderful plots?

At work. At home. On the pot. While I am watching TV or eating. In bed. Anywhere and everywhere. I carry a clipboard everywhere, as well as a ring binder with sheets of A4 paper. Sometimes I will pull over, stop my car and write a few sentences that have come to me while I was driving along.

On the pot? Too funny, John.

Well, time is precious and I don’t like wasting it.

I better not ask you if you were on the pot when you filled in my questionnaire then.

On the pot when I filled in your questionnaire? No, No! This is serious business! I was sitting at my desk with a large teddy bear keeping me company!

Really? A teddybear? Sure you were, John, now seriously, tell us what your first book was and what inspired you to write it?

I was being serious! Anyway, I wrote a whole bunch of 'Twist in The Tale' short stories for the weekly, Women’s Weekly magazines in the UK, and when they were accepted by some of the most popular weeklies in the UK I was encouraged and started to write more. I ended up with six volumes of short stories which would appeal to everyone, not just women. I love writing twist in the tale stories, and all my short stories have twists in them.

I can vouch for that, John. I never guessed any of your endings.

Well, I'm pleased about that, Patricia, and I was thrilled when my twist in the tale stories were picked up by a Russian publisher and they are now all published in a number of volumes, translated into Russian with the English text included—they are used in Russia as English Language Teaching (ELT) aids for students, as well as being bought by the general public there on the strength of the stories alone. Here are the covers of a couple of these volumes:


Wow, John, that is fabulous, you must be very proud of that! 

Yes, I certainly was.

Do you have a favourite book that you wrote? If so, which one?

That is like saying which one of your children is your favourite child. I cannot say I have a favourite child, they are all equally precious to me, as I worked very hard bringing them up....sorry, developing them and working on them and putting my heart and soul into their mean into writing them well. So please don’t ask which child...sorry, which book is my favourite...or my other books would kill me!

Oh, that’s funny, John, and your books ‘killing you’ would make a great short story with a twisted ending. So where do you get the ideas for your characters?

My characters are amalgams of those characters I have found in the stories of other writers. They develop slowly, at a subconscious level, like good coffee slowly trickling through a percolator to produce a tasty and bracing hot drink. Also people I meet or strange people who act peculiarly and are written about in the Press.

Oh, heck, I better watch what I say, or I’ll end up in one of your future books as some strange character.

You'll never know.

Well, I might just add you as a character in one of my books then!

An action hero, I presume?

You'll just have to check my future books to find out, won't you, but seriously, what sort of stories do you like to read?

I will read anything. Even the directions off the back of a medicine bottle if I come across one. I can’t help it, I pick up anything that is in print, a sweet wrapper, a magazine, a book, an instruction manual, anything. With books, I prefer those which quickly draw me in with the first sentence and then the first page. If I read two pages and find my mind is wandering, then I give up on that book. A writer is asking a reader for one of their most precious possessions; their time. So a writer had better make sure s/he is giving value for money and time!

I agree with that, John, because most authors are even pickier about books because of time and wanting to just get on with their own writing. So, what is it that inspires your stories?

A desire to say something nobody has said quite in the way I would like to say it. In a way that I would like people to take note of, because I think they would be interested in what I have to say.  Well, basically, a desire to “wow!” people.

Well, you certainly do that with your writing, John. Now tell us, is there someone in your life that has supported your writing dreams?

Of course there is. But I’m not telling!

Okay, do you listen to music while you write?

No. Never. Must have complete silence. Birdsong, rainfall, distant rumbles of thunder are all acceptable, though.

Any authors that have inspired you?

James Hadley Chase. Ian Fleming. Stephen King. William Dalrymple. V S Naipaul. Kingsley Amis. Fay Weldon. Doris Lessing. Jeffrey Archer. O’Henry. H H ‘Saki’ Munro.  Frederick Forsythe. Richard Dawkins. Jim Corbett. Roald Dahl. Adam Mars-Jones, Ernest Hemingway. Edgar Allan Poe,  and many, many others.....

And who makes your Book Covers?

I do. With a little help from my friends......or one friend in particular, who is far more skilled in art and design than I am!

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Don’t give up your day job. Only write if you can’t help yourself from doing so. Don’t “try” to write. If you have to try then give up. It must come to you as naturally as breathing.

What is your work in progress?

A Murderous Act In Iraq (just finished the first draft)

Oooh, I’m looking forward to reading that as I really enjoyed your last book in that genre. Do you have any hobbies that you try to fit in when not writing?

Walking long distances. Reading, and more reading. Daydreaming.

Oh, another daydreamer. I love daydreaming and hate it when someone snaps me out of one when it’s giving me an idea for a plot. Have you travelled, John?

A lot! A heck of a lot. I speak three languages and can get by in a fourth.

Wow! That is amazing! You're multi talented. Now, are there any other authors you would like to meet if you had the chance?

No. When you meet authors in person they are usually uninteresting. They are not in writing mode. They only truly come alive when they are writing, otherwise they are retiring types who do not usually enjoy the company of their fellow man.

That maybe true, but not always. Though I agree that most authors tend to want to talk about their own books or writing, and I'm guilty of that sometimes. Well, it's been lovely interviewing you, John, and good luck with your new release, I look forward to reading it. Do you have a blog or website?

Thank you for inviting me, Patricia, it's been a pleasure. Here are my websites:

My Blog: Here!

My Website: Here!

Great, now tell the readers where they can buy your wonderful books?

Just click the yellow link below!

Amazon: Here!

Smashwords: Here!

Here is a sample of some of John's great books:

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Angels & Demons Resurrection - Box Set

Angels and Demons Resurrection (Box Set)

Four Paranormal Stories
Four Authors

Fallen Angel - Patricia Puddle
The Angel She Loved - Irene Kueh
Seventh mark - W.J. May
Loving The Alien - Johnny Andrews

And all for $1.00

Places to Buy:
 Amazon: Here
Smashwords: Here
Barnes & Noble: Here
iTunes: Here
Kobo: Here

Friday, January 23, 2015

Excerpt from Nathaniel Teen Angel (Ominous Book 1) by Patricia Puddle on A Girl and Her eBooks. com

A Girl and Her eBooks: Nathaniel Teen Angel (Ominous Book 1) by Patricia ...: $0.99 Amazon Barnes & Noble iTunes After accidentally possessing a young man's body, Nathaniel finds himself in the ...

After accidentally possessing a young man's body, Nathaniel finds himself in the arms of the beautiful girl he's supposed to be guarding. Though he didn't intend to break God's rules, his wings are burnt off and he's dumped naked in the freezing ocean, and not just for kissing Eloise, but for wanting more. Cold, injured and bleeding, Nathaniel has only one thing on his mind as he drags himself out of the treacherous surf, and that's to see if Eloise feels the same way about him. As he runs naked along the shore to look for some clothes, he’s approached by Lucifer and offered a happy life with Eloise if he sells him his soul. When Nathaniel refuses, Lucifer threatens to give the deal to Devlin, Nathaniel's nemesis.


Nathaniel let out a long breath and headed to the bathroom. He was pleased she liked the flowers, but wished he could give her more. He was beginning to think he was totally gutless as a human. No courage at all. Eloise was so amazingly gorgeous and she’d obviously made it quite clear that she liked him, yet he couldn’t even summon the nerve to kiss her, let alone dance with her. As an angel, he’d fought and won many battles with demons over thousands of years. Heck, he’d even fought Lucifer. Shaking his head, he locked the bathroom door. That was it, no more wimping out. After cleaning himself up, he’d take her in his arms and do whatever came naturally. Jeez, he’d even dance with her if he could summon some mettle.

He dropped his jeans and kicked them off, then carefully maneuvered his sweater and tea-shirt over his head. The last thing he needed right now was weeping wounds, especially knowing Eloise fainted at the sight of blood. On his way to the shower, he glanced at his reflection in the mirror. Good heavens. The lesions were deep and purple. If Eloise spotted them, she’d insist he go to the hospital for sure. He had no intentions of that, how could he? He had no address, no ID, and no money. And there was no way he’d be able to explain the V-shaped injury running from his shoulders to his waist. Shaking his head, he stepped into the shower cubicle. After all the suffering he’d been through in the past few hours, he had no qualms about enduring more if it meant spending the night with Eloise.

After turning on the taps, he let the warm water run down his back. Though he flinched with pain, he continued to wash the rest of his body with soap. Being a mortal certainly felt different to being an angel.

After rinsing off, he stepped onto the fluffy blue bathmat and grabbed a towel. He had so much to look forward to in the next few hours and he intended making the most of every second. As he rubbed himself dry, he pictured himself kissing Eloise, then without warning, strange sensations he’d never known made his muscles tense and his eyes pop. As his heart thundered against his ribs, he froze. Terrified he’d die from a stroke before ever getting to hold Eloise as a man, he turned on the faucet and threw handfuls of cold water down his belly. Holy Heaven, could a man not even dry himself? Chuckling, he wrapped the towel around his waist. It seemed mortals had no control over their own bodies.

He wanted to be clean all over before kissing Eloise, so he brushed his teeth and gargled with a mouth wash, then he combed his hair and sprayed deodorant under his arms. Being an angel without all these extra things to do was easier, but the physical pleasures of being human certainly made it worthwhile. He was looking forward to tasting the pizza Eloise was cooking, but his stomach was flipping more at the thought of kissing her. He could hardly wait to slip his hands around her tiny waist and feel the curves of her shapely body next to his.

When he checked his face in the mirror, he was pleased he didn't need to shave again, but he wanted to smell nice. After rummaging through the cabinet, he grabbed a bottle of aftershave and sniffed it. The scent was pleasant and spicy, so he sprayed some on his cheeks and neck, but when it splashed over his shoulders and into his wounds, he couldn’t help but convulse. “Holy crap!” Squeezing his eyes shut, he doubled over in excruciating pain. It was even worse than before. Why on Earth was he turning into a klutz? Then just like his luck, Eloise picked that moment to tap on the door.

“Nathaniel, are you all right?”

Still shuddering, he gripped onto the sink to steady himself. “Yeah, babe, I’m good,” he lied.