Sandi Smith spent her time as a young girl combing the shelves of the public library. She has always enjoyed the magic that books have to offer and was inspired by her high school English teacher, Mr. Coolidge to embrace the arts. The author found her calling as a writer early one morning as her first story came to her in the form of a poem. Since then she has written more than 15 children’s books, with her most popular series about the adventures of an adorable spider in the A.R. Achnid series. Sandi is happily married to her inspiration and husband of 40 years, John. She continues to write for her two precious grandchildren. When she’s not penning a new story, Sandi and John like to camp, kayak and to enjoy the simple life in their home in Pembroke, NH. To learn more about Sandi go to: http://www.authorsandismith.com
Where are you from? New Hampshire
Why do you write? I love words and books. I always have. When I was young, I spent a very good part of my time in the public library. About ten years ago, when I suddenly started getting words and sentences in my head, day after day, night after night, I actually thought that maybe I had better go visit a doctor. Once I put the words down on paper, though, I discovered that the words could be made into a story. My stories made my grandchildren laugh, and things took off from there. I write hoping that one of my stories can bring enjoyment to someone, or that maybe it can bring inspiration into someone’s life. I have read so many books that made me smile, and I am hoping I can do the same for someone else.
What do you write about? I never know what words are going to come to me. It can be about anything. I have written about a spider, a grasshopper, and a special magical bakery, but mostly, though, I like to write about people. Most of my children’s stories have been about different characters and what is happening in their lives, and how they handle certain situations. In my first novel, I wrote about the loss of a woman’s husband, and how she handled her anger and depression. In my second novel, I wrote about a group of different people, and how they became connected to each other.
Do you have a specific writing style? For my children’s books, I always write in poetry.
What are obstacles that come in the way of writing? Sometimes trying to connect the beginning of the story to the end of the story was a bit of an obstacle. It took a lot of hot tea and cookies to help clear my mind and figure everything out.
What is the most memorable thing asked/said by a reader about your work? I had one reader say that my novel, Sitting at the Kitchen Table with God, should be on the Best Sellers’ List. That was pretty awesome to hear.
How long have you been writing? It has been about ten years.
When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer? It was ten years ago. Actually, it was by accident. I am very much afraid of spiders, and one night a spider fell onto our dark rug and I couldn’t find him anywhere. I didn’t want to stay in the living room, not knowing where the spider was, so I went to bed, but once I fell asleep, words and sentences kept running through my mind. I got out of bed and wrote everything down. The next day, I put the words all together, and a story was born. I haven’t stopped writing since then.
What is your work schedule like when you are writing? In the beginning, I wrote most of my stories at night, because the words would come to me while I was sleeping. I would get up and write down all of the words. The next day, I would put the words together to make a story. I always had a pad of paper by my bed so I could write the words down when they came through my mind. I didn’t want to lose any new sentences or phrases. Eventually, the words slowed down at night, and I started getting more words during the day. When this all started, I was on my computer seven days a week. Some days I would write for a few hours during the day, and then sometimes I would write all day and into the night. Over the past ten years, you could usually find me in the computer room typing away.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? I love to write with loud music. It inspires me. I put music on, and before I know it, my fingers are flying.
How long does it take to write a book? (if you’ve written one -published or non) Because the words come to me sporadically, it is a little difficult to put a time frame on my books, but I would say that my children’s books took anywhere from three months to four months. My novels took anywhere from four months to a year.
Do you have suggestions on how to become a better writer? I am still so new to writing that I really do not have any suggestions for anyone, except to enjoy the ride. Sometimes when I was writing, and I would get stuck at a certain point, I would get so frustrated. I couldn’t move on with the story, and that could be terrifying. I would just sit and sit at the computer waiting for words to come to me. Then I changed my way of thinking. I learned from all of my writing, that the words would come through sooner or later, so I would just close the document and wait for the answer to hit me, and it always did. Sometimes it would take a day, and sometimes it would take three months, but I stopped getting anxious over the block. No longer was I getting frustrated. So, I would say relax if you feel you are not getting anywhere, because the words will come to you eventually.
What challenges do you come across when writing/creating your story? The biggest challenge I face with every story that I have ever written is that I am never happy with the book. I am always changing it around, adding new paragraphs, etc. I have my sisters read the story over and over again to make sure it all makes sense, and then I make changes and ask them to read the book again. When I am writing, I can be a bit of a challenge to my family.
What do you think makes a good story? I love a lot of different characters. They add color to the story, and make it so interesting.
What does your family think of your writing? My grandchildren love my stories, and my children are very proud. My daughter-in-law has been very helpful, also. She is a teacher, so she has been of great help with my children’s stories. My husband is my biggest fan, and is so supportive. I could not do it without his support.
Do you see writing as a career? I love writing. Right now, I am working on two new novels, but self-publishing can be very expensive, so I am not sure if I will be able to publish any future books.
Do you have anything specific you’d like to tell the readers? I am just very grateful for the opportunity to write my stories, and I hope that when someone reads one of my books, they will get lots of enjoyment from reading the story.
When did you first consider yourself a writer? It was when a small boy asked me to sign his book, and when I did, he told me he loved my story. I was hooked from that moment on. His face was so sweet and happy, and I was overwhelmed that something I wrote could make someone that happy.
Visit Sandy’s website and Amazon page to learn more about her or to purchase her books.