Tuesday, May 3, 2011

with Thomas Smith

Welcome to the Barn Door Book Loft, Thomas!
What started you on your writing journey?

I have wanted to be a writer since I was in the third grade. I think I was first hooked when Mrs. Cox (my third grade teacher) put my Christmas poem on the blackboard. In elementary school, that’s the equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize. And from that point on, I wrote everything from homemade comic books to really bad poetry.

What distracts you from writing the easiest?
I don’t get distracted easily once I get started. There are certain times, however, when I can’t write with music playing in the background. Most of the time I have jazz, western swing, or some really hot funk playing. But for something like this interview, I have to turn the music off until I’m finished. Otherwise I end up leaning back in my chair and singing along. I have no idea why.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
I read a lot. I love a good suspense novel or a non-gory horror novel. Dean Koontz and Charles L. Grant are my two favorites. I also read theology and am currently rereading David Pacini’s The Cunning of Modern Religious Thought,. I like Mike Dellosso’s work a lot. I am also rereading some things by H. G. wells, Edgar Allen Poe, Jack London (every writer should read London), and The Travis McGee novels by John D. MacDonald. I have the new Mark Twain biography set up on my Color Nook and am going to dive into that this weekend.

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote?
It would have to be Stacy Chalmers. She is 5 years old and the most together kid I’ve ever “met.” She took me down roads in the novel I would never have ventured down by myself. And the has a sense of innocence and humor that I think I’d like my daughter to have if I had one.

If you were a style of music, what style would you be?
Western Swing

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Just before my wife and I were married, she had a really great bridesmaids’ luncheon at a really nice restaurant. My mother was there, her mother was there, her best friends were there … and Slappy the Clown was there. Slappy was a surprise. Boy, was he ever.
I used to be a professional close-up magician (I’m still a member of the Fellowship of Christian Magicians) and a friend of mine was Slappy the Clown. So, as a favor to me (that and a crisp new $50 bill) Slappy went to the luncheon and made balloon animals, did some comedy magic, and all but signed my death warrant.
Fortunately my then wife-to-be had a sense of humor (and she also knew I ain’t right in the head).

Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
Going to the dentist. Eeewwwww!

What's your favorite meal with family and friends?
Dim Sum at a great authentic Chinese Dim Sum restaurant near our house. For those not so adventurous, I also like to have people over for my wife’s lasagna, fresh spinach salad, homemade yeast rolls, topped off with good coffee and a strawberry trifle.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
I don’t really think about it as I’m writing because the themes come from the story. Some come from the places I least expect. In Something Stirs, for example, God’s response to our brokenness came from a most unexpected place through an unexpected character. And another unexpected character made a heroic sacrifice that was also a part of his/her (uh-huh … thought you caught me there) ultimate healing. So, while I pretty much sit down each day and say, “God, this is for your glory,” the story seems to dictate the theme/themes as it progresses.

Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you.
“He must become greater; I must become less.” John 3:30
The late Jerry Clower and I became friends over a number of years, and just before he died, he sent me a book with that verse indicated just below his signature. As I have thought over the years about the example he set, and how that verse sums up the way I want to live my life, it is a constant reminder of the relationship I want to have with Christ.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
Something Stirs releases this spring (sometime before June 10th) and it is a haunted house book. No … really … it is. The tag line for the book is: Some houses are only haunted … this one is worse.
Something is trapped within the very wood and stone of the Chalmers’ new home, and it will do whatever it takes to make the transition into our world. Even if it costs them their sanity, their faith, and their lives. I can’t tell you much more than that other than to say the power of Christ is very evident throughout the book, and if you have a Raggedy Ann doll at home, keep an eye on it. That’s all I’m saying. Just keep an eye on it.

The book I am currently working on is titled, Stranger, and the idea for that one came from one of those interesting “What If?” questions that just popped into my head: What if you suddenly realized the man sitting next to you was Satan?

Thomas is giving away a copy of Something Stirs. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.


Charlotte Kay said...

This sounds like and intriguing read.
Thanks for the chance to win.

Charlotte Kay
charlovesmark at gmail dot com

karenk said...

thanks for the opportunity to read this novel :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

lgm52 said...

Interesting..would love to read this book.

Linda Kish said...

This sounds like an interesting story.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Amanda said...

I think this sounds super interesting! Thank you so much for the opportunity to win it :)

amanda38401 at gmail dot com

Meredith said...

Great interview.

meredithfl at gmail dot com

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