The RV Book Fair – Author Gary Smith
I was born in Hayward, California; after high school, I joined the Naval Air Reserve and entered the electrical construction trade. I started my own electrical construction company in 1978. This became a large company doing large industrial jobs throughout the United States until my retirement in 2011, when I began writing.
I am the author of the Warren Steelgrave series of five five-star novels and a book of short stories. I am working on the sixth in the series. In addition, I am an award-winning professional photographer who works in private and public collections and holds three patients.
Hello author Gary, welcome to the RV Book Fair! What’s the last book you read?
The last book I read was The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler for the five-time. After that, I started a new book and always read a Raymond Chandler book before starting a new book. The way he breathes life into characters gets me ready to write.
What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
I love the solitude and submerging myself into the story I’m writing.
What makes you laugh the most?
I laugh the most when spending time with a friend with great wit and a sense of humor.
How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?
On average, it takes about eleven months to write a book.
What inspired you to start writing?
I was asked to participate in writing a new textbook and to submit an article. After the book was published, a gentleman approached me and thanked me for what I had written. He said it changed his life. That inspired me to write.
How do you come up with the title of your books?
While writing the book, a line from a character ends up being a title.
What does literary success mean for you?
Literary success for me is when I hear from a reader that something I have written has moved them emotionally.
What do you think makes a good story?
It takes great dialog and believable characters to make a good story.
Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?
To be a great author, you must read a lot to find your voice. If you enjoy reading nonfiction history, don’t think you will write a great mystery novel. Know why you write and stay focused on that. You cannot please everyone. Staying focused on why you write helps with the criticism, and it will come and makes the praise that much sweeter and will come also. Do not think too far ahead in a story you are writing. Instead, focus on the scene and the characters. If the characters are real and have a personality, they will come to life, take over, and direct the story.
Most importantly, have the discipline to write every day. I can always throw it away but write something. It can be gobbledygook but write.
What was your hardest scene to write?
In my book A collection of Short Stories and Poems, the scene where I sit holding my infant son as he dies. That was the most challenging scene I have ever written.