INDIE WEEK: Featuring S.E. SMITH

Hunters Claim by SE Smith

S.E. Smith is a New York Times, USA TODAY and award winning author. Susan enjoys sharing her amazing worlds filled with action, adventure, love, laughter and tears with her readers. Her stories focus on strong characters and the dynamics of their relationships as they deal with diverse situations. She is known for her world building that takes readers away. She is a true dreamer who believes in HEA.


S.E. Smith is a multi-award winning author of science fiction romance. She’s crafted dozens of books that resonate with readers, so much so she’s been a 2016 Library Journal Top 5 Book Pick recipient, a 2014/2015 RomCon Reader Crown Award Winner, and an Indie Reader Top 10 Author. Her books are consistent Amazon top sellers, and she’s a genuinely nice person to top that all off! Thanks so much for joining us, S.E., and we can’t wait to see what you’re up to.

Q & A

Please tell us a little bit about yourself. When did you know you wanted to write books? Was there a defining moment for you?  Thank you, Romance Junkies for inviting me today. When I think about who I am, I see an ordinary person; yet, I’ve had an extraordinary life so far. Like so many readers, I’m a mom, sister and wife, but most of all I’m me – something that has taken years to realize that it is okay to be.

In 2010, I was going through what I call my ‘Period of Rebellion against the World’. If you add a Pinky and the Brain evil laugh, you’ll get the feeling. I wanted to escape from the world and I did it through reading just about anything I could get my hands on. The economy had tanked, I was laid off after 14 years with the school board (then, rehired, but the damage to my self-esteem had been done), and was working longer and harder for less pay.

After about a year of this, my hubby finally suggested I get a hobby. His idea was for me to start exercising; mine was to write the kind of stories I wanted to read since it was getting harder and harder to find. Lily’s Cowboys drew in a breath of life and opened the floodgates. Before I knew it, I had four books written; Lily’s Cowboys, Abducting Abby, River’s Run, and Tink’s Neverland.

I continued to write the stories and my hubby continued to glance worriedly at me until the day I finally shared with my sister what I was doing. She read them and several days later came to tell me I had to publish my stories. I didn’t have a clue about publishing! I was working full-time at the school board, part time at the college, and wrote at night. It took until March 31, 2012 for me to finally realize I had a choice: I could let fear of failure and lack of confidence control me for the rest of my life – or I could control it. At a little after 9pm that night, I pressed the enter button, uploading the four books to Amazon and went to bed.

Three months later, I realized I needed to tell my hubby what I was doing (he thought I was just writing emails all this time! LOL). I continued to work two jobs, write, and be a mom to four kids and a grandmother. I made the USA TODAY Bestseller’s list with Hunter’s Claim: The Alliance Book 1 and went on to make the New York Times with Twin Dragons: Dragon Lords of Valdier. I’ve since made the NYT a couple more times and USA TODAY about another dozen times.

In July 2014, I became a full-time writer. I’ve done all of this as an Indie and am very proud of it. I’ve had a NY Agent ask me to sign on, but our visions were different – I write for myself, the stories I want with strong heroes and heroines who leave the readers feeling good and empowered after they finish my stories. You see, that night I pressed the enter button, I took control of my future. One promise I made to myself was I would only write as long as it was fun. If it wasn’t fun anymore, I would walk away with no regrets. For the first time, I’m looking after me first – I’m Susan, S.E. Smith. I’m a strong woman who loves to write stories that come alive, makes her own decisions, is a loving wife, a mom, a grandmother, and I’m proud of me.   

What’s your favorite type of hero and heroine to write? What qualities make them stand out to you?  They have to balance each other. When one is strong; the other lets them lead. No hero or heroine can be strong all the time. They have to be real, because to me they are. They can laugh at themselves, tease each other, get mad, fight hard, love hard, and are always loyal. They can be who they are without criticism or judgement. They can believe in themselves and when they don’t, the other one does it for them. That is who my heroes and heroines are and I love them for being true to their characters.

Why did you choose to go indie instead of a different publishing path?  At first, because I didn’t think my work was good enough. I take things personal and honestly knew I would be crushed by the rejection. This would take the joy out of it. Plus, I didn’t have a clue how to go about it. Instead of letting that detour me, I made my own rules, my own path, and followed my gut. I did have a wonderful Literary Agent contact me. It was a great honor, but I knew deep down that I beat to a different drum. I like to think outside of the box. It works for me.

How do you like interacting with readers best (i.e. live chats, Facebook, Twitter, reader events, etc.) ?  LOL. All of the above. I was in a classroom for many years and I enjoy the interaction with the readers. For me, they are friends I haven’t met yet. I honestly don’t get out that much here. When I am out, it is with my sister or hubby. I love going camping as many of my readers know and I share the amazing landscapes, wildlife, and astrophotography photos that my hubby and I take. I love meeting people and am thrilled and humbled when they reach out to me.

Who are some of your favorite authors to read? I mostly read trade journals, but I love Clive Cussler and Dean Koontz. In romance, I’ve read a lot, far too many to name. I can say that all of the authors you’ve had this week are on my iPad. LOL.

Please give us a brief glimpse of a typical writing day for you. Chaos describes it very well. I write any and everywhere, at all different times. I try to write a little every day. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. I am always working on something work/book related like this – it is 8:32 pm. I was answering readers at almost midnight the other night and back at it a little after 7 am. I’ve pulled all-nighters when a story had me in its grasp like Jaguin’s Love: Dragon Lords of Valdier Book 8 did. And have written Book 9 before Book 8! This past week, I got inspired to write a free read called The Great Easter Bunny Hunt: Dragonlings of Valdier (I have a number of free books for those who aren’t familiar with my writing style). I started on Thursday night and finished the last round of edits Saturday evening so I could have it for readers Sunday morning.

SE’s office

What are 4 fun facts you’d like readers to know about you?

  1. I’m a positive person.
  2. I didn’t learn to read until I was in the 6th grade.
  3. I have a horrible time with enunciating words and spelling them (thank you, Siri!)
  4. I love to share what I know and help others.

What advice would you give aspiring writers in today’s market? Listen to your characters, recognize/learn what your strengths and weaknesses are and build on it, make your stories interactive for the reader, listen to your gut, write something every day, and believe in yourself.

Tell us about your next upcoming release.  I’m fleshing out my Seven Kingdom stories (8 books total) to full length before writing The Dark Prince’s Prize: Curizan Warrior Book 2. Adalard has his hands full when he plays a game of poker with Samara’s brothers and wins her. What the brothers neglect to tell him is that Samara doesn’t answer to anyone – especially her crazy brothers.

And don’t miss the first of S.E.’s bestselling The Alliance series, HUNTER’S CLAIM.

Hunters Claim by SE Smith

Jesse Sampson and her two younger sisters have lived a hard life on the streets of Seattle, Washington for the past several years. Four years before the Earth received its first visitors from space causing mass fear. Alone in a world gone mad with just her sisters, Jesse has learned to use the darkness and the remains of the city to survive and keep what was left of her family alive. She has seen the savage side of human nature and finds they are not much different from the aliens who conquered the Earth.

The Trivators have taken control of the Earth to prevent the humans from destroying it in their fear. A world of warriors, they are sent out by the Alliance of Star Systems to seek out new worlds. Their mission is first contact. They are to establish communication with the leaders of the new worlds they find and bring them into the Alliance. Any resistance is to be quickly subdued to prevent unnecessary death of the inhabitants of the new worlds they find. Their payment comes from the success of their mission.

Hunter is what he is called. A hunter, one of the elite clans of the Trivators who seek out those who resist. His abilities to track, capture and eliminate those who try to harm any warrior is renowned. He finds the tables turned when he becomes the one captured by a group of ruthless humans.

Hunter is shocked when a strange human female risks her life to help him escape only to disappear into the ruins of the city. He now has a new mission, finding the female who saved his life. He is determined to find her before she is damaged by others of her kind.

What he finds is a reward beyond comprehension to a Trivator warrior, a family. Can he convince Jesse that he can give her and her younger sisters a better life on his world? Or will fear keep her from accepting what he has to offer?

Buy Links:

 Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Hunters-Claim-The-Alliance-Smith-ebook/dp/B00HS5DYDA/

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hunters-Claim-The-Alliance-Smith-ebook/dp/ B00HS5DYDA/

Amazon Australia: http://www.amazon.com.au/Hunters-Claim-The-Alliance-Smith-ebook/dp/B00HS5DYDA/

Amazon France: http://www.amazon.fr/Hunters-Claim-The-Alliance-Smith-ebook/dp/B00HS5DYDA/

Amazon Germany: http://www.amazon.de/Hunters-Claim-The-Alliance-Smith-ebook/dp/B00HS5DYDA/

Amazon Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Hunters-Claim-Alliance-Book-Volume/dp/1494931370/

iBooks: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/hunters-claim/id1002025560?mt=11

B&Nhttp://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hunters-claim-s-e-smith/1118032715

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/hunter-s-claim-the-alliance-book-1

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/S_E_Smith_Hunter_s_Claim_The_Alliance_Book_1?id=Z8Z3BQAAQBAJ

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/396265

Lulu: http://www.lulu.com/shop/s-e-smith/hunters-claim-the-alliance-book-1/ebook/product-21426358.html

Audible: http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Hunters-Claim-Audiobook/B00P2SKQOA/

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/audiobook/hunters-claim-alliance-book/id936933040

 

SE SmithS.E. Smith is a New York Times, USA TODAY and award winning author. Susan enjoys sharing her amazing worlds filled with action, adventure, love, laughter and tears with her readers. Her stories focus on strong characters and the dynamics of their relationships as they deal with diverse situations. She is known for her world building that takes readers away. She is a true dreamer who believes in HEA.

Readers can check out her website at http://sesmithfl.com and chat with her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/se.smith.5.

sesmithfl@gmail.com

http://sesmithfl.com

http://sesmithya.com

A list of SE Smith’s accolades:

  • New York Times Bestselling Author
  • USA TODAY Bestselling Author
  • RWA Honor Roll/PAN Member
  • International Bestselling Author
  • 2016 Library Journal Top 5 Book Pick recipient
  • 2014/2015 RomCon Reader Crown Award Winner
  • Indie Reader Top 10 Author
  • 2014 International TKH Science Fiction Writer of the Year Award Winner
  • 2014 SFR Galaxy Award Winner Best New SFR Series

 

10 Responses to INDIE WEEK: Featuring S.E. SMITH

  1. Victoria

    Love the interview & I think your work is fantastic. I have read over 40 of your books & you are one of my auto buy authors. I hope you never stop writing & continue to share your wonderful imagination for many, many years to come. ❤️

    • Susan aka S.E. Smith

      Thank you, Victoria! In this interview I thought it was important to share the fear and the joy I’ve found from being able to share my stories and the characters with others. Your comment is one of the reasons I know conquering my fear was the biggest change I could have made to my life. Thank you for sharing this with me. Hugs!

  2. Elisa

    I really enjoyed reading more about you and your characters. Currently I’ve read 38 of your books, most of them at least twice and some of them 6 or more times. When I was dealing with cancer the past couple years, your stories were a fabulous way to enter into another world.
    It is very apparent that your characters are alive for you. Most of them I wish I could meet. If you are going to quit when you aren’t having fun writing anymore , I wish you many years of fulfilling joy in your writing!

    • Susan aka S.E. Smith

      Thank you, Elisa. You comment is both inspiring and humbling at the same time. It is an honor to have been there beside you when you were going through such a difficult time, even if it was through my characters. Thank you so very much for sharing this with me. I hope to write for many, many more years. Big hugs!!

  3. Cheryl

    I love tour books and they have given me many hours of entertainment.. Many of them I have read more than once.. Very glad you dis this interview and I will continue to follow you on facebook..

    • Susan aka S.E. Smith

      Thank you, Cheryl! I think one of the best compliments an author can get is to know that their books are read over and over. Hopefully, you find something new when you do! LOL. I look forward to chatting with you. Xoxo

  4. Colleen Keehne

    You rock! I love your books and I always buy your books when they come!

  5. Pauline Baird Jones

    Great interview! And a wonderful and yes nice describes SE perfectly!

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