Happy Friday everyone! I hope you all have wonderful plans for the weekend! I know my family is always busy during the weekends, but we always have a good time together. After all, togetherness is what it's all about, right?
Well, here's a good way to start your weekend off right. Another author interview is LIVE! I gotta say, I really enjoyed the responses that my next interview-ee gave me to my questions. According to his website, Lewis Smith loves the craft of writing and describes it as his mission “...to create fun stories that express a more accurate view of the origins of Christianity than do many popular works of fiction.” Read the interview below to find out more about Lewis and his works.
AJ: Lewis, thank you for participating in this interview! Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background that led you to become a writer?
LS: I'm 54 years old; I have a Master's Degree in history and have been in education for 25 years. I have also served as a pastor for most of that time; I am fascinated with the early Roman Empire, the origins of the Christian faith, and the science of archeology. I always thought about writing; I started two novels in my youth and abandoned them both (deservedly so, they were pretty awful). But after seeing the caliber of some of the works that were not only published but actually quite successful despite their historical inaccuracies and poor quality, I decided to give writing another go and published my first novel, The Testimonium, at age 50. I have completed and published four more since then.
AJ: How many books have you written and in what genre would you classify your works?
LS: I have five books completed and in print. Three of them are Biblical archeology thrillers featuring a recurring cast of characters, a group of archeologists nicknamed "the Capri Team." The other two are historical fiction set in the First Century Roman Empire.
AJ: Can you tell us about any of your current projects?
LS: I have two projects currently underway; one is another historical novel, the conclusion of my "Rome" trilogy. The other is a HAMILTON-style musical about the life of Theodore Roosevelt, the most kick*** President in American history.
AJ: Do you see writing as a career? Or, is this just a hobby?
LS: At the moment, it is a hobby that I am hoping to turn into a career. You can help that by buying my books!
AJ: What’s your favorite book by your favorite author? And, why?
LS: Among fiction works, it's hard to beat THE LORD OF THE RINGS by Tolkien. The man was an amazing storyteller who created entire worlds and languages inside his head! For non-fiction - well, I read a lot of biographies, but Doris Kearnes Goodwin's TEAM OF RIVALS: THE POLITICAL GENIUS OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN is one that I have read multiple times. A great book about a great man!
AJ: Who, or what, inspires your writing?
LS: My love of history and my belief that the Gospels really did accurately record the words and deeds of Jesus are the fuel that drives my writing.
My wife, Patty, has supported me ever since I started writing in 2012. And I have a wonderful friend and beta reader named Ellie who has given me some remarkable critique and encouragement along the way.
AJ: What social media outlets have you used to reach your readers? And, which ones have you found to be the most successful?
LS: I pretty much live on Facebook and also use Twitter. I tried LinkedIn, with less success. But FB is a great tool to reach the broadest possible audience.
AJ: What is the most challenging thing you’ve found in being a writer? Where is your favorite place to write?
LS: One of the most discouraging things is when you pour your heart and soul into a book, then release it and it just sits out there on Amazon, sales rank steadily sinking. It might be the most amazing story in the world, but with 100,000 new titles releasing every month, it is VERY hard to rise above the clutter.
As far as the writing process itself, simply carving out time to write among all the other commitments I have in my life.
I have a big desk set up in our dining room where I do most of my writing; it's a pretty good place most of the time. I store all my work on the Cloud, so I can also sneak in some writing at work during my conference periods when I just can't force myself to grade another sophomore essay.
AJ: How can readers discover more about you?
LS: My new website, just launched, can be found here. I can also be found on Facebook , Twitter, and Amazon.
Also, if you live around the Greenville, Texas area, you can meet him! Click here to find out where he'll be and when!