Today I welcome Ian D. Smith to the blog to answer a few questions for Interview³.
Ian D. Smith Author Interview³
1) Tell us 3 little-known facts about you
- I first thought about writing my own story while reading some “chick lit”, and wishing it wasn’t quite so tame and twee.
- The book which really made me decide what I wanted to seriously work on for my first stories was Molly Harper’s How To Flirt With A Naked Werewolf, which has werewolves in modern-day Alaska. Given that the UK is way more crowded and doesn’t have the same sort of wilderness, I thought these minor challenges could give me a different twist
- My first published novella, in a planned series of five 30-35k stories, was developed from an idea I first explored as a 200-word piece of flash fiction
2) Describe your writing style in 3 words
Contemporary, economical, articulate.
3) Name 3 of your literary influences
Glen Cook, for his Garrett PI fantasy stories
Len Deighton, for his wonderfully economic way with words
E L James, for really opening up a genre, and (sadly) proving that books don’t have to be well-written or well-edited to sell in truckloads
4) Share your 3 favourite books
Dracula, by Bram Stoker. I think it’s a wonderful and interesting example of storytelling, and at times hilariously dated.
How To Flirt With A Naked Werewolf, by Molly Harper. I still find this to be an entertaining story, ticking the boxes for a modern-day romance, and weaving the fantastic (werewolves) into contemporary life.
The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov. I read this years ago, and found it to be an entertaining story, the first to encourage me to think more broadly about characters and how to weave fantasy into a “real life” story. It also reminds me of happy times shared with the young woman who introduced me to the book.
5) What are your 3 essential writing tools?
Peace and quiet
6) Where are your 3 favourite places to write?
I tend to write at the dining table.
I might get around to sorting out the spare room and treating myself to a desk there.
My day dream is a “home office” structure in the garden!
7) Name 3 items on your writing wish list
I’ve got ideas for writing stories in two genres I’ve not dabbled in so far - a cosy romance and a crime thriller. Those are objectives for later this year.
I was delighted that Fireborn Publishing accepted my three novellas to date, and they’ll get first sight of the other two stories I want to write in that series. I’m not sure all my other ideas would be stories they want, so I’ll submit those to some other publishers, but I don’t have any specific ones in mind at the moment.
One thing I would love to own is something like a tablet with a screen I could see in bright sunlight, a decent battery life, and connected to a real keyboard. Maybe one day, if more readers find my work!
8) What are your top 3 tips for aspiring writers?
Don’t just aspire, sit down and WRITE.
Find a source of objective and constructive feedback on your work, and listen to and think about the comments you get.
When you’re reading a published story you’re enjoying, “drop out” of it now and again, and look at how it’s formatted, how dialogue is included, the balance of narrative to dialogue and inner dialogue, what works for you, and what doesn’t. You’ve not only got a story you enjoyed, but an example of how to write. You can learn from everything you read.
9) Tell us 3 of your writing plans for the year ahead
Finish, revise and submit the fourth novella in my series.
Revise my two draft novels and submit them to publishers for consideration.
Try my hand at a short story in at least one other genre, and if I think this results in a decent effort, look for anthology calls to offer it to.
10) Tell us about your latest release
My most recent novella, From The Top, is the third in my Merely Players series. These follow the development of an unusual three-way “menage” romance between Paul, a jousting performer recruited to work as the heroic character in some TV shows, and best friends, Becky and Hayley, the writer and leading lady respectively in the same shows. These are all very “adult” stories, but the steamy scenes are part of a wider story and involve characters in a romantic relationship.
In this novella, they’re all working together on a family-audience show based loosely on She and The Mummy, in which explorers find an ancient Egyptian tomb and temple complex. But this is Paul’s first experience of a studio production, and a very fast-paced one too. The three of them are keen to keep their unorthodox relationship a secret from their gossipy colleagues, and Paul finds it challenging working with professional actors. Aside from the egos, personality clashes, and unwanted attention, Paul is drawn to the oddly-realistic mummy prop on set, and very disturbed by frequent vivid dreams about being in painful accidents. Accidents he seems to be able to avoid, thanks to the dreams...
Merely Players #3
Ian D. Smith
13 April 2017
185 pages as a Kindle eBook.
Age range – minimum 18
Heat – 4 out of 5 (steamy scenes in context of a relationship, no kink)
Paul, working with his lovers Becky and Hayley, feels deep-ended. He's acting in his first studio production--a slightly mad family-friendly TV show where amateur Egyptologists find a hidden tomb and temple, with a very realistic mummy on set.
They want to keep their developing three-way relationship private, while surrounded by people who love to gossip and just might let things slip to the media. Time is tight, working with a professional stunt team and egotistical actors is stressful, and Paul and Becky get some unwanted attention.
Adding to his anxiety is the important question of where their relationship can go.
Then there are his terrifying, painfully realistic, and very life-like dreams about nasty accidents. On TV, he can have another take. Real life only gives him one go. But it's almost as if he's getting a chance to change how things work out.
About the Author
Ian is a professional scientist by day, and an eager writer in his spare time. He lives in the south-west corner of England, with his wife, two dogs, four guinea pigs and two horses.
He has had both erotic and mainstream short stories published in several anthologies, as well as the first three novellas in his “Merely Players” FFM menage adult romance series. The first draft of the fourth is nearing completion. Then he’ll revise the two draft novels he’s written, and get on with some of the other ideas rattling around his head. Examples of these include a cosy romance, a crime thriller, and a not-quite time travel novel.
He’s also an active participant in the Erotica Readers and Writers Association, acting as one of their website gallery editors. This group has a private constructive critiquing workshop, and isn’t exclusively for saucy stories and poetry.