Please welcome, James Smith, the co-creator of The Short Story Group.Hi James and welcome to Karen’s Different Corners. Tell us how you got involved with the short story group?
I was there at the start. I had read Vanessa Westers book and had sent her one of my short stories to look at, the idea for the short story group appeared from through the magic of twitter messages.
How many of the short story books do you have a story in and which ones?
I have written a story for the first three seasonal short story collections – Out of Darkness, A Festive Feast and Love is in the Air
Can you give us one sentence describing each story, (If you have more than one) so we know a little bit about them? (Your stories)
This is going to be difficult as I don’t want to give too much away.
Guardian Angel (Out of Darkness) – A young boys fears may be about to become real.
After the Party (A Festive Feast) – What really happened after the office Christmas party?
Relationship Building (Love is in the Air) – Is a lads weekend away the perfect way to save your marriage?
If the short story group puts out another collection, will you submit a story again?
I love working on/with the short story group. I normally get involved in the editing as well as the writing, which I have to say has been a very educational experience. I didn’t contribute to the last collection as I was working on other things, but I know that the short story seasonal collections have allowed me to meet some great writers and (disclaimer alert) – providing the time is available – I will happily continue to contribute to the collections.
Okay, now for the hard part.
Tell us about your writing habits. Do you write every day?
I try and work on something writing related everyday of the week (he lies). Lets be honest, it can be difficult to find the time, with the ‘real’ job, kids, training for stupidly long runs. I have promised myself that I will be more professional with my ‘writing’ – naturally this will involve blogging (http://jamessm1th.wordpress.com/) and editing, as well as actually putting words onto paper.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing seriously for about 18 months, before that I randomly started projects before leaving them.
How many books do you have out?
I currently don’t have any books of my own out there. But some are coming – honest.
Do you have a favorite one that you have written? Why?
I can’t pick a favourite, everything I have submitted for publication is special in its own way. Either the first story real people have paid real money to read (Guardian Angel) or one that was read out on local radio (Relationship Building) – each has their own special place and unique story of its own to tell.
What’s next for you? Are you working on another book? Tell us a little about it.
I am currently working on short stories to add to my own collection of stories I will be publishing at some point (I find it difficult to judge when I’ve put enough stories in!) and I am also editing/second drafting of a novella which – bring me full circle almost – is a rewrite/joint project with Vanessa Wester. I’m hoping to have that out in the New Year. Other projects are being jotted down in my notebook, but they’ll have to wait.
What do you do to relax when you aren’t writing?
I have a fairly busy life, so writing is one of my relaxation methods. I love spending time with my kids and my friends (usually over a beer!) I also go to the gym and enjoy gardening.
Any other creative pastimes? Crafts, gardening, art, etc.?
I am becoming more green fingered, it isn’t that creative at the moment as I am just delighted that something grows! But the fruit and veg tastes delicious. I also enjoy baking bread – just bread, don’t go near cakes or anything like that.
So you have been enjoying the fruits of your labor?
Currently sick of courgettes, runner beans and salad leaves. Waiting for sweet corn and loving the tomatoes.
I have to admit, I hadn’t a clue as to what courgettes were until I looked them up. In the US we call it squash. 🙂
What kinds of breads do you make?
Any sort of bread really, just trying to perfect the white loaf. Kids love it when I make pizza bases.
Homemade bread for pizza crust is the best!
Thank you James. I had a great time interviewing you!