About S. M. Schmitz:
S. M. Schmitz has an M.A. in modern European history and enjoys teaching world history as well as writing. An avid reader, she delves into a variety of genres such as paranormal, urban fantasy, science fiction, dystopian, and young adult. Her novels are infused with the same humorous sarcasm that she employs frequently in the classroom. As a native of Louisiana, she sets many of her scenes here, and like Dietrich in Resurrected, she is also convinced Louisiana has been cursed with mosquitoes much like Biblical Egypt with its locusts.
What inspires you to write?
My inspiration for writing is my love for storytelling, as well as my love for putting words together in a way that creates something new and, hopefully, meaningful and beautiful. Or, sometimes, thought-provoking, as is the case with my Resurrected series. All art allows us to experiment with the human experience, and for me, I use writing to express that.
Tell us about your writing process.
I don’t outline. I’ve really never been much of an outliner in any capacity – either as a student, teacher or writer. It works wonderfully for some, but it’s not something I’ve found to be beneficial for me personally. When I write, I jot down notes for things I don’t want to forget, which are sometimes so scattered I have to go back and draw lines to connect ideas, but the story unfolds as I’m writing. I have an idea that gets the story started and I go from there.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
No, although I often wish some of them were real. 🙂
What advice would you give other writers?
This is actually a difficult question to answer, as so much of what I would advise would depend on where that person is in the writing process. Have they ever written a book before? Are they years into this business (in which case, I have no business dispensing advice!)?
For those aspiring to write, I’d say, sit down and do it. I think it’s a safe bet that the vast majority of successful authors did not publish the first novel they ever wrote. The first novel I wrote is somewhere in my attic, as I wrote it in the eighth grade in a notebook! Just keep writing, keep practicing, and take every opportunity to learn how to write well.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I opted for self-publication on a whim, honestly. I started reading about the traditional publishing business and the self-publishing business, and didn’t see any downside to trying self-publication. Plus, Amazon really has the market – especially the ebook market – firmly in their control, and they offer generous terms to self-publishers, so it seemed like an avenue worth exploring.
New authors: look at the market and determine what genre your book falls into and how marketable it is. Bottom line with traditional publishing is that beautifully written manuscripts can and often do get rejected because they aren’t marketable. About ten years ago, I queried agents with a manuscript (another one that has been shelved!), and was told the writing itself had significant merit, but the book wouldn’t be marketable. If self-publishing had been as easy and accessible then as it is today, I may have opted to self-publish that title. Today, I look at that manuscript and think I can do better, so it stays on the shelf. 🙂
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think more and more titles will be self-published, and we’ll probably see fewer print books. At some point, though, I expect Amazon and other sites that allow independent publishing with no quality control to enact some sort of standard because the amount of books out there will get overwhelming. I hope not, because I don’t want to see another situation where there are a lot of remarkably talented writers getting overlooked and ignored by traditional publishing houses.
What do you use?: Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Urban fantasy, paranormal, science-fiction, dystopian
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.