Why did you pursue writing?
I always enjoyed reading, from a young age. Also, like many writers, perhaps, I am idealistic, obsessive and compulsive. Concocting a fictional setting and manipulating characters within it to achieve a predetermined or evolved ending seemed to be a way to solve personal and social problems and/or ascertain answers to eternal questions — but that is probably an illusion.
What inspired your book?
I believe there are only three generic human story categories, considered in all their multifaceted dimensions. One is the “quest.” At the top of that list is the search for the secret to human immortality. Ponce de Leon thought the answer was in the water, but I believe it is in the genetic code. Hence, the main plot of Lightning’s Child: what would happen if someone discovered this genetic key? Would they share it with humanity, or keep it secret, as the ultimate power tool? Would it prove to be a great blessing, or eventually become a curse?
How long have you been publishing your work?
Since 1980, when Avon Books published my novel, Legacy of the Lake. That same year, I sold my novel Secrets to St. Martin’s Press. Thereafter, I sold a fictional trilogy (the Jeremiah trilogy) to Forge, an imprint of St. Martin’s. In recent years, I self-published a book of essays, Naked America, and my recent novel, Lightning’s Child. I’ve drafted at least a dozen other novels and screenplays that I may or may not revise and submit to the marketplace.
What’s your writing environment like?
Very quiet, located in a bedroom converted to an office suffused with music, mainly love songs and light classical.
What projects are you currently working on?
A suspenseful, urban crime thriller with romantic overtones and substantial social commentary. However, I plan to spend most of my time marketing Lightning’s Child, since that is the main challenge for all writers in a rapidly changing marketplace flooded with self-published books. If you can’t rise above the crowd and achieve substantial sales, it’s difficult both financially and emotionally to continue writing.
Michael A. Smith is the author of six published novels, all described on his Website, www.goodnovels.org. He began his career as a newspaper reporter, and was editor of the Golden, Colorado Daily Transcript. He also was Associate Director, Illinois Board of Higher Education, and Press Secretary, Congressman Richard Durbin. He is a member of the Authors Guild.
Lightning’s Child is available on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1FU3iXA