Welcome #RRBC #RWISA Member, Marlena Smith!
In her own words…
How long have you been writing?
Since a very young age, 2nd grade being my earliest memory. Writing has always been a big part of my life, a favorite past-time.
How many books have you authored?
I have three short stories/poems in RAVE SOUP FOR THE WRITER’S SOUL Anthology. My debut novel, THE POWER OF LOVE, will be released May 1st.
Do you have a writing schedule?
Not really. I write when time allows, when I feel inspired. I try to write some each day, but that doesn’t always happen. My days tend to get hectic, but I try to make up for missed time on my less-busy days.
You’re a member of RAVE WRITERS – INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF AUTHORS (RWISA). Why do you think you were accepted into this exclusive group?
RWISA brings the good writers into light, so I hope that’s where I fall… a good writer. Although I only have a few short writings in the Anthology, I’ve spent a great deal of time on my blog. A lot of my writing can be found there, and I like to believe that’s helped bring me to where I am.
Modesty aside, what separates your writing from the millions of other writers in the world?
Well, no one has ever told the story from my view, only I can do that. I like to think my story ideas are unique, the characters are relatable and that the writing is as close to perfect as it can get. (Thanks to editors, of course!) It’s important to bring the story to life, to put the reader there, and I hope I do just that.
If you could spend a day picking the brain of one author, who would that be? Why?
If I could choose anyone, whether alive today or not, I would choose Jane Austen. I fell in love with her stories at a young age and still reflect back to them. Even today, people are using her story ideas in movies, in other books, in plays. She’s timeless. So are her ideas.
Are you a die-hard INDIE writer who loves having complete control of your work, or, if you were offered a publishing contract today, would you sign on the dotted line?
That’s a hard question. I feel like once you are an Indie writer and you have lived that life and survived that struggle, that it will always be a part of who you are. I’ll be honest, I would love for my book to be “big,” maybe even on the big screen. More and more, we are seeing Indies being recognized, and it doesn’t take a big publishing house to make that happen.
As an author, where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I hope by then that I will have several books out, double-digits!! I also hope I have made a name for myself, that people are excited to see my next book release. Fame, fortune… that’s not me. I want to be known for my words, known for my ideas. That’s the only fortune I need.
What is the ONE tool that has been the most beneficial tool in the marketing of your books?
Social Media. Apps, internet, access to worldwide knowledge… it all has come a long way. Using social media to network can really be rewarding. Now, when I say social media, it’s a very generalized term. It includes Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and even blogs and sites. Social Media, especially Twitter, has helped me grow into a better writer. It has brought me amazing friendships and even brought be to RRBC. That alone is a huge thing.
Name one writer that you know of, member or non-member of RRBC, who you feel should be added to the RWISA Roster of elite members? Why?
I haven’t read as many RRBC books as I would like, although there are LOTS on my TBR list! The books I have read, those authors already belong to RWISA. I don’t feel it fair to recommend someone without reading their book first, but I’ll keep my eyes open.
What is the one piece of advice that you could share that would be most valuable for those aspiring to not only be writers, but those aspiring to be great writers?
Never give up. If you have a story in that mind of yours, write it. You’re the only one that can tell it how you would tell it. Keep writing, keep chasing that dream. Never stop.
Do you believe that writers who churn out several books a year are really putting out quality work?
It really depends on the writer, on their time, on their priorities, on their skills. I’ve seen it both ways. A lot of published books does not mean the writing is good, just like few published books doesn’t mean the writing is bad. Too many factors.
If you had promised your fans a book by a certain date only to find that your book wasn’t the best it could be, would you go ahead and publish your book just to meet that self-imposed deadline and deliver as promised, or, would you disappoint your fans and shelve the book until it was absolutely ready? No matter your reason, please explain why?
I would work extra hard to get as close to that deadline as possible. I don’t like breaking promises. That’s not the kind of person I am. But, I also only want to put out my best work. I would definitely reach out to my readers and let them know what’s going on. I think it’s important to be open. But priorities would definitely change. My focus would be solely on that book, so that I could get close to fulfilling that promise.
In your opinion, what makes a book “a great book?”
The story has to be a good one, an intriguing one. The writing has to be as close to perfect as the writer could get. (Mistakes happen, we all know that!) The characters need to be realistic, even if from a futuristic or fantasy concept. There needs to be drama, a climax, a turning point. It can’t be boring, has to keep you turning the next page.
If you received a review of your book which stated that there were editing & proofing “issues,” what’s the first thing you would do? And the second?
I would check for those issues, definitely. Regardless of whether or not I agreed, I would thank the person for their honesty.
*RAVE SOUP FOR THE WRITER’S SOUL Anthology –
*THE POWER OF LOVE, Release Date of 05.01.17
Thanks for dropping by to visit with Marlena today! Please do drop by 4WillsPub to visit the other amazing authors who are on tour today, as well as the authors who you didn’t get to visit with earlier in the tour! Marlena loves to chat, so do engage her below!