Author interview with Janet Lee Smith

I have been wanting to write books for over 10 years but always put it off. I wrote professionally for the first time in 2006 when I wrote a magazine article for a small local magazine in CT. That was the extent of my professional writing for years, even though writing was my passion. Well, at 51 I decided it’s time to stop putting it off and get it done!

I was born and raised in New Bedford, MA and although I’ve considered moving to different states over the years, I’ve always stayed in my hometown. I have been with my wife, Shanna, for 18 years, and we’ve been married for 11 years. Our little demon pup, Daime, and our bratty kitty, Princess Star, allow us to live with them. Of course they may change there minds on that at any time. Star is a little brat who constantly is on the desk while I try to work and she sleeps on the top of our portable closet until I get up in the morning. Hey, I said he’s a demon and she’s a brat!

I tend to do things later in life than others. For instance I went back to college when I was 38 years old and graduated with my BA in psychology when I was 42 years old. I’ve been working since then helping people in one way or another and currently doing so working from home. This allows me to read and write when I want.

Facebook: JanetLeeSmithAuthor
Twitter: @ smith_author
Goodreads: Janet Lee Smith
E-Mail: JanetLeeSmithAuthor at aol.com

  • Where are you from?
    New Bedford, MA. AKA The Whaling City
  • Why do you write? 
    Because my mind is full of characters that need to be written. Especially the characters from the “Friends For Life” series.
  • What do you write about? 
    Lesbian Romance & Paranormal
  • Do you have a specific writing style?
    Not really.
  • What are obstacles that come in the way of writing? 
    I think my biggest obstacle, especially the last year, has been me. I didn’t put enough time into my writing. There were a lot of “tomorrow” days.
  • How long have you been writing?
    Not long, only since 2018.
  •  When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?
    Almost 20 years ago. But I had no idea how to go about it, and I really didn’t try to find out. Then I started reading more than I ever did and I became an ARC reader for a couple of my favorite authors. One day I asked one of the PA’s what to do to start on Amazon with Kindle books. She told me the very basics on how to start (basically how to set up a KDP account) then I figured out the rest, including making covers, because I couldn’t afford to have anyone else do any of it.
  • What is your work schedule like when you are writing?
    It depends on my mood. There are times when I’ll be up every night, late into the night, writing. Even during the week when I have to get up for my day job. And on weekends I’ll write almost all day long. The weekend between Christmas and New Years I was up until 5:30 one morning and after 2:00 the next. But other times I’ll put in a couple of hours here and there. When I really let myself get into the worlds I create is when I find that I write for hours on end.
  • What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
    I’m not sure if it’s interesting, but all of my characters (including the paranormal ones) have parts of myself in them. It could be something really simple, like how I take my coffee (that’s just an example, I don’t think that one is in any of my books, yet). So, when a reader is reading my books, they’re actually reading a lot about me.
  • How long does it take to write a book? (if you’ve written one -published or non)
    It depends. For instance, the last one took over a year. Because I kept putting it off. Usually a couple of months.
  • Do you have suggestions on how to become a better writer?
    Write from your heart. Think about the world your creating in whatever book you’re working on often, even when not writing. Keep something near your bed in case you think of ideas at night. You may not remember them in the morning and you’ll kick yourself.
  • What challenges do you come across when writing/creating your story?
    Sometimes the ideas dry up or maybe it’s writers block. I don’t know which. But when that happens, I step back and give myself a break from writing.
  • What do you think makes a good story?
    Writing what you know or writing in a fantasy or paranormal genre because you can make it all up, because things like dragons, hunger games, werewolves, vampires, and mermaids don’t really exist, so you can make things up. 😊 Seriously though as someone who reads everything I can (my Goodreads challenge in 2019 was 250 books and I read 275) I’m not sure there is one specific thing that makes a good story because different readers like to read different types of books. What may make a good story for me, may not make a good story for someone else.
  • What does your family think of your writing? 
    My family loves it. My wife is very supportive. When I kept putting off the last book, she was there all the time to say “you need to write” and when I did start writing, really writing, she told me she was proud of me for it, There’s nothing like hearing “I’m proud of you” from your significant other.
  • Do you see writing as a career?
    Right now, no. Just because I have to make a lot more money from it to be a career. lol However, I would love for it to become a career at some point. I love my day job and honestly, am not sure I would ever quit. However, I do fantasy about being able to write all the time.
  • Do you have anything specific you’d like to tell the readers?
    Yes!! Two things. If you want to be a writer, just do it! And no matter what your dreams are, it’s never too late to make them come true. I started wanting to write a book almost 20 years ago. I finally did it when I was 51. It doesn’t matter if I ever become famous from it. What matters is I did it, and I’ve sold books and had people read my books on Kindle Unlimited.
  • When did you first consider yourself a writer?
    Some days I’m still not sure if I do consider myself a writer. lol That’s with 7 books out. I have to remind myself that creative fields don’t go by whether you’ve had a job in that field yet. For instance, there are many actors out there who have not had the good fortune of getting a gig yet. They will, but they haven’t yet. That doesn’t mean they’re not actors. I’ve published a few books, so I’m a writer, and I have to start giving myself at least that much credit. And even if I hadn’t published one book yet and was still working on my first one, I’d still be a writer.
Friends for Live Book 1
Friends for Live Book 2
Friends for Live Book 3

Friends for Live Book 4
Friend’s, Family, & Busy Lives! Friends for Live Book 5

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