This week Genuine Jenn is welcoming D.K. Smith to our Author Spotlight Saturday! We had the opportunity to review Mind Over Bullies this past summer and can't wait to read book 2!
Welcome D.K. Smith!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and why/what inspired you to write? When did you start writing?
For me, I began writing in high school but never felt like any of my ideas were worthy of pursuing. During my sophomore year my creative writing teacher told me that I had a knack for storytelling and my English teacher told me that I if I honed my skills I could possibly pursue a writing scholarship. But it wasn’t until my 30’s that I began to pursue publishing any of my works. I actually wrote a few short children’s books in an effort to create stories and characters for my expected niece. I wanted her to have a set of stories that were all her own. Funny thing is that while she hadn’t really taken a liking to them, my other nieces and nephews have (all ages 2-4) and the public has really taken a liking to them. In fact, the Sock n Boots stories have been downloaded thousands of times in over 10 different languages.
What was your inspiration for ‘Mind Over Bullies'?
I like to watch world events to get inspiration. So as I perused the internet one day, I saw the story of a young teen girl that jumped in front of a moving subway train to end her life. Later it was discovered that she was disheartened over constant bullying centered on rumors that were spread about her. The more I searched, the more I stumbled upon other disturbing stories like the first one. It was frightening to me that so many young people were either hurting themselves or other people in response to bullying. I wanted to create an entertaining way to promote two main ideas 1) there is life after bullying and 2) don’t fight the battle alone.
Plus, I am a complete superhero fan so I figured that it would be cool to make a group of heroes that tackled such a nasty issue but in a way that had an entertaining spin on it. My hope was to create moments that would resonate with bullying victims and possibly help bullies understand how serious their actions are as well.
Not to get too far off topic, I really think that the media’s coverage of the bullying epidemic is improperly targeted. I think more effort should be placed on promoting the idea that there is so much life to live after the school years are over. In the story Margo had something horrific happen to her that changed her life, and she attempted to take her own life. What readers get to see from Margo however, is the good that a person can accomplish after surviving a bullying incident. I just strongly feel that the message of surviving, conquering and thriving afterward should begin to take center stage in the media as it relates to the bullying issue. Can you imagine the effect that stories like that could have on young minds?
What three words would you use to best describe Mind Over Bullies?
Entertaining, suspenseful and engaging
Can you tell us if you’re working on anything else at the moment?
I am currently working on the sequel to mind over bullies. The MOB team face a test of their own, a new company come to Oak View and two new bullying victims surface. It has more of the twists and turns that reviewers enjoyed about part I and it promises to be just has intense.
I have also completed a sci-fi novel titled ‘Actuality.’ The premise is that science reasons that during REM sleep the mind disconnects from sensory input from the world around it. Professor Victor Melburn has worked for years to disprove that notion. His argument is that the mind of a sleeping person, and thus the person themselves, can connect to and even interact with the world around them… through memories. If the professor is correct and a sleeping person consciously interacts with the world around them, are they really asleep? If the connection and interaction is made through memories, would the person be interacting with the past or the present?
All of the professor’s theories are prematurely tested by the deep seated desires of one student researcher, Jacob Alson. With the opportunity to go back and meet the mother he never knew he violates every rule of the research project to seize the moment. The results far surpass all expectations… for better and for worse.
Then there is another children’s book from the Sock n Boots series about imagination and an espionage novel. So my plate is full.
What was your very first book that you wrote?
It was Sock n Boots – Share. You can find it on Amazon within the “Sock n Boots Adventures” storybook.
Other than your own, what are your favourite books?
You’re gonna laugh at this. I actually don’t do much reading. I am a huge fan of movies. I love stories but when I read my mind wanders, so I don’t do it. Outside of serious reading like the bible or some self-help books. Weird,,,I know.
When you are writing do you like to listen to music? What is on your playlist?
I am so focused when I write and I get so involved in the character’s world that I couldn’t listen to music and write at the same time though I am a huge fan of music.
I like Maroon 5 a lot, I like Tina Marie and lately I’ve been listening to Rick James, Sade, and a bunch of oldies. Music today has downgraded so much and to me that there isn’t much to zero in on. Nobody makes entire killer albums anymore so I watch MTV from time to time and the apple commercials and I always find new singles that way.I am pretty diverse in what I will listen to. If it grabs me then I will try to find out who sings it.
Who is your favorite character in your books?
Margo from Mind Over Bullies and I like the lead character from the espionage novel I mentioned. Margo is tough, resilient and over time she becomes humble. I like her wit.
I can’t say who the lead character in the espionage novel is yet, but he’s a guy, intelligent, well-traveled, and cultured with a vulnerability that makes him likeable.
Do you ever take characteristics or nuances from close friends or family when working on character development and if so has that friend or family member noticed and what was their response to it?
Honestly, I like to make my characters from scratch so to speak. I have a general idea of who they are and their personalities develop as the story does. It is an unconventional style of writing but it works for me and lets me feel free and a lot more creative.
Visit D.K. Smith on Amazon.
Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions here on Genuine Jenn for our readers.
~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. All opinions are honest and my own.*~