Today I’m happy to introduce Joy Smith author of Green Fire. I’ve had the pleasure of reading this wonderful novel and highly recommend it to you.
How did you get started writing?
I’d have to say my writing is a product of the empty nest syndrome. Hey, I even wrote a book about it. The kids were finishing college and getting ready to go out into the world and move into their own places. Despite working full time, I found many empty hours. Engaged Daughter #1 asked for my recipes, which got me going writing them down as I cooked–then adding in family stories. This became my first book—a 250 page spiral bound number run off on a copy machine with copies given to every relative who attended her wedding.
What genres do you write in and why?
Non-fiction to fiction. Despite urgings of writer friends back when, I’ve always fought off writing fiction. I couldn’t picture putting made-up words and thoughts in other people’s mouths and making up plots, when so much truth surrounded us. So I wrote what I knew. We owned a boat, so I wrote articles and books on boating, then books about my empty nest and our “wedding years.” One day I read an article in the newspaper that sent me flying to the computer and pounding out a scene for a potential novel. Finally, I understood. Instead of massaging truth to be enjoyable reading, I was creating! The switch in genres has been difficult for me, like learning to write all over again. But the thrill crafting stories is like no other.
What inspired your latest book?
I put research I had done about crime in Colombia, South America together with a half-assed start to a novel about a gigolo and created GREEN FIRE. Said gigolo tries to worm his way into the business end of emeralds for their worth and finds himself tangled in a web of crime and deceit. In defense of Colombia, their government is working with the United States Coast Guard to squash drug trafficking, which has always been rampant in the waterway between that country and East Coast U.S. However, there is only so much they can do. As in the U.S., the underworld never seems to go away.
How likely are people you meet to end up in your book?
Crap, I would never put anyone I know in a book, especially portrayed in a negative way. It’s not worth the repercussions.
Tell us about your hero?
I loved writing Victor and seeing the world through his eyes. When the story opens, he is a pompous, up-scale slime who hob nobs with the wealthy under the guise of being a “lady’s companion.” It isn’t until he finds family and love that he begins to care about others beside himself—and faces the ugly reality that he had been nothing more than a male whore.
Describe your heroine?
Marisol is the exact opposite of Victor. She is as pure and clean as he is “dirty.” She values honesty because she has lived with deceit as the daughter of a cartel boss. Her years before Victor arrives at her family’s plantation have been spent atoning for a single indiscretion that shamed her family and brought her a son.
What is your view from your writing space?
Awk. All I see right this minute is a computer screen and, beside it, a mess of papers. I do have a room in my home I’ve taken over as my office. Yes, it has windows and door and if I take the time to look, I can see part of my front yard. But, it’s bad feng shui to create looking into open space, because—I have been told—your ideas “go out the window.” And I certainly wouldn’t want that!
What genres are you drawn to as a reader?
I find reading a mix of fiction genres keeps my reading fresh- paranormal, thrillers, romance. When I read, I want to be entertained, so I avoid books that are sure to leave me crying or afraid to shut off the light and go to sleep.
Do you have any words of inspiration?
Yes. Believe in what you write and never give up on your dream. That said, take criticism of your work seriously. It’s hard to be objective about your own work.
Do you have any rejection stories to share?
Oh God, yes. I could paper my walls with rejection letters. The quirkiest was from an agent who emailed me that she loved GREEN FIRE , then ended up rejecting it because she didn’t think the setting (Bogata, Colombia, SA) would sell. She recommended that in the future I should set my books in the U.S., Scotland, or England. Has anyone else had that problem?