Joy V Smith Day 2

First why don't you tell us a little about yourself?
I've been writing stories since I was a kid; I continued through college--sometimes when I should have been studying--and I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.  My stories and articles have  been published in print and online magazines, in anthologies and audiobooks.  I live in central Florida with Blizzard the Snow Princess and Bryn the Flying Corgi.

Newest release?
My latest story, "Cold New Planet," is in the anthology, Science Fiction Consortium.  It also takes place on a frontier.

What can we expect from your stories, action, drama, romance,sex, blood and guts?

There could be action and mayhem, drama and death, a little sex and/or romance and possibly blood and guts now and then.

Do you have a favorite character in your stories? Who? and Why?

Bolt is one of my favorite characters in Detour Trail; he is mysterious at first, but he helps Lorrie now and then--as she passes through his territory.  I really like him, but I don't want to give away too much.

Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book:
Jake, also a favorite character, is a mule; the story also includes horses, dogs, and Gray Cloud, the wolf, and assorted humans who join her along the way--or try to ambush her.

Has there been any other authors who have inspired your work or helped you out with your stories?

I teethed on westerns by Zane Grey and Max Brand, and I love stories with feisty heroines, including science fiction books by Andre Norton and James H. Schmitz, among many others.

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

Reviews are always appreciated, and I'd love to hear what you particularly enjoyed about a story--or not.

Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?

Lots of good books are out there for readers. Check out the Liaden and Vorkosigan series by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller and Lois McMaster Bujold respectively, 'cause if you find a good series and author--and these are great--you have a lot of pleasure awaiting you.  
For writers, persevere.  When you finish a story--or even if you don't--put it aside to read later.  You'll probably discover typos and mistakes then.  Edit, edit, edit.  Those mispelled words and words used wrongly are distracting to a reader.  Look them up!

Do you have a favorite author? If yes, what draws you to that person’s work?

Terry Pratchett.  His books are mainly fantasy, but they're witty and intelligent. (There's a book of quotes from his books: The Wit and Wisdom of Discworld.)  He shows humans at their best and worst, and he turns fantasy cliches on their heads.

Can you remember one of the first things you wrote? What makes it memorable? 

Besides making me cringe?  Well, some of the first stories had to be discarded.  I mean--Yikes!  But some early stories are funny, such as The Princess Quest, which is tongue-in-cheek, and Too Tight (flash fiction making fun of people and aliens) and Carnies (genetic engineering).  OK, I'll go with Carnies 'cause playing with carnivorous plants was fun. 

Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your work?
I've read a lot and seen a lot of movies, and sometimes they make me want to change them or the circumstances.  (Think Tribbles, for instance...)  They're percolating in my mind... 

Do you have any other interesting hobbies, pets or stories you would like to share?

I love exploring houses, whether old and abandoned or being built.  I've had a few pets (Okaaay.  Lots and lots of cats and dogs, a rabbit, ....)

Favorite places to travel or visit?

England, New England, and the West.  I'd love to return to all of those places.

And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:

Detour Trail excerpt: 

She came out when she heard the sound of Jake’s hooves nearing the cabin and stopped at the door within reach of her favorite rifle; then she saw him coming down the path from the Summers.  She would have know him even without the gray wolf at his side.  He was pale and thinner than when she’d first seen him, but he walked easily.  She knew he’d had to hang on to the furniture when he first got up.  Star had told her.
He stopped at the bottom of the porch steps, but the wolf came on up.  “I’ve come to thank you.  They told me you saved my life.”
“You owe a lot to your wolf also,” she said.  “What’s his name?  I’ve often wondered.’
“Grey Cloud.”  He looked down at the wolf.  “Good Cloud,” he said softly.  “Good boy.”  He looked back at her, “and I’m Barrett Lee.”
“Lorena Emerson,” she said holding out her hand.  He came up the steps to take it.  They both knew each other’s names actually--but only second hand.  However, it was the polite thing to do and enabled them to start a conversation.  ...
Further into summer, Barrett’s leg was stronger, and he began running down the path and up again.  Exercising it, she realized.  He also seemed less content during his visits and looked up at the muntain now and then.  One day he asked, “Is there anything I can do for you?  I’m beholden to you; I can help with wood cutting.  I see you don’t have any wood yet for the coming winter.”
He looked at the cabin door, and she coaxed him in with an offer of cornbread.  He studied the fireplace.  “That uses a lot of wood.  You don’t have a woodstove, I see.”
“Nope.”  She didn’t tell him that she’d ordered one and it was its way.  She also didn’t tell him that she was going to pick it up soon.  He’d volunteer for that.  He could help her and get out of the cabins that were possibly begining to stifle him.  Brock had told her something about mountain men.  As a matter of fact, he’d mentioned it more often lately.
And that reminded her of a conversation a couple women had had in the general store a while back while she was there picking up more potatoes, salt, and some candy. “It’s not always easy getting a man to come up to scratch,” the older woman told the younger one.  “It’s a lot easier scaring them off by getting romantic and possessive.”  It sounded to Lorrie as if she spoke from personal experience.
Lorrie began her attack on the porch as they sat munching cornbread.  She touched his arm and batted her eyes.  “It’s so nice having a man around the cabin,” she said.  “You sure make a woman feel safe.”  She batted her eyes again and hoped she wouldn’t puke.  Or maybe he would.  “You should come down for breakfast some morning.  Real early.”  This time she didn’t bat her eyes.  She pressed his arm instead.
She wasn’t surprised when he slid away, stood up, and mumbled something about getting back to help Brock milk the horses or something.  Men, she thought, in relief and maybe a hint of regret.  She wasn’t surprised when Brock came down the next afternoon and told her that their visitor had gone.  Brock had taken him to town to buy a horse and was now on his way home.  “What did you say to him, girl?”  he demanded.
She shook her head and grinned.  “Men are so predictable,” was all she’d say.

You can find Detour Trail at the publisher:  http://www.melange-books.com/authors/joyvsmith/detourtrail.html
And Amazon:
Joy V. Smith
author of Strike ThreeDetour Trail, Cold New Planet,
Pretty Pink PlanetHot Yellow Planet,
Hidebound, Sugar Time, Crystal Quest,
and The Doorway and Other Stories

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