Tag: strong women

My Interview with the Incomparable Laney Smith!

My Interview with the Incomparable Laney Smith!


Most of us know Laney Smith as the warm and personable Blog Talk Radio Host. Please meet Laney Smith, the talented multi-genre author who is never afraid to tackle any subject and through her passion for words makes that subject her own.

Welcome, Laney, and thank you for accepting my request to interview you. I’m so glad you could join us!

Laney – Thank you for having me, Ingrid. 

Laney Smith, Author

Laney, I just finished What He’s Done? and was truly amazed by your character Michael “Sully” Sullivan. From start to finish he truly was the perfect angelic killing machine. One never knew what he was going to do next.

One of your reviewers called the story, a creative nonfiction. That made me wonder if the story was based on a true story. Was there a real-life Sully or did you create him based on another serial killer?

Laney – “Creative non-fiction” is the perfect way to describe this work. Sadly, this story and this character are loosely based on truth. Obviously, names have to be changed when you’re writing something “based on a true story” unless you are writing a non-fiction, factual story where you have evidence and consent from every party involved.

That would be impossible, in this case. Also, with a situation such as this, a fair amount of the details available to you are hearsay. While some of those details can be proven, some are impossible to prove. So, I took a story and I created this work based on that story. I had to bridge gaps in some of the details and timelines.

Sully is a disturbing character to have in your head. He’s got an ego and he wants the story out there. He wants the world to see how “smart” he is. He loves to talk about “What He’s Done.”

This book was written, edited, and published in three months. That is how aggressive this character is. There were a number of times that I had to get away from my computer and out of my house, just to get him out of my head. He’s the most intense character I’ve ever met. I’m not sure I could be a true-crime, non-fiction author. I love to read those books, but I can’t imagine sharing my head with someone like Sully on a regular basis.

As a fan of suspense novels, especially yours, I’m hoping you’ve written other novels in this genre. If so, please tell us about them and if not, please tell me you’re planning to write more in the future. Your book really did captivate me.

Laney – Thank you, Ingrid! That really means a lot. You’ve actually just made my day. I love playing in the realm of suspense and mystery. I have several suspense, thriller type stories that are in the works.

I have Threshold which is a horror/suspense tale. At the time, my son was thirteen and he couldn’t find a book that creeped him out like some of his favorite movies. So, he asked me if I would write a book for him. So, I did.

That one was a struggle because as a mother, knowing my thirteen-year old son was going to read it, I had to dial myself back in a lot of ways. However, when it was all said and done, he loved it and thought it was just the kind of creepy he was looking for. Others have told me it freaked them out.

Then, there’s Ripples, which was written to turn the reader against themselves and everything they believe in. That one has brought a lot of unexpected reactions.

It is cool when people tell you they can relate to your character. It’s heartbreaking to find out how many people can relate to Rachel, however. The moral dilemma in Ripples was written to pit the reader against themselves. It was nervy and it worked, for the most part. There were a couple of issues. But, I’d do it all, again.

Wow, Laney, looking at your website and reading your answers here, it occurs to me that when it comes to writing, you’re up for any topic! So with that in mind, I want to know some history…some history about Laney Smith:

Laney, when, where and why did start writing?

I wrote a poem for a contest when I was nineteen years old. My poem was accepted and published in an anthology.

At the time, I had no idea what that meant. I didn’t even keep up with the title of the anthology or the letter that came saying my submission had won a place in the book. So, technically, I was published, for the first time, when I was nineteen. I have no idea which book that poem is in. I only remember something about a strawberry.

Anyway, I wrote articles for one of the local newspapers, here in Southern California. The editor for the paper, like many of the other people in my life, suggested I should write a book. I wish I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard that. I always laughed it off, but for some reason, when the editor told me that, it kind of snapped and something just clicked. So, I started writing Lock Creek.

What was your favorite story as a child? And what story scared you, but you had to read it anyway?

Laney – As a child, I loved Where the Red Fern Grows and Old Yeller. Those books make me cry, still. I love stories that can reach in and become a piece of you. For me, those two stories definitely did that. I will never forget them. They will always be favorites.

As far as stories that scared me, The Amityville Horror scared me half-bald. I was OK with everything, until it got to the part with the pigs with glowing red eyes, looking in the windows. That bugged me and I refused to preceded light, anytime I went into a room for a long time, after that. It freaked me out!

I read the Amityville Horror as well. I was in my teens and babysitting my niece. I couldn’t put it down, read the whole thing…talk about scary!  As for the Lutz family, I couldn’t believe they stayed in that house for a month. I wouldn’t have lasted a week.

Next question, you have two brothers and two sons and a daughter. Were you a tomboy?

Laney – I actually only have two boys. My brother has two little girls and I see them quite a bit. So, I can see how that confusion could happen. But, I just have two sons – which, to answer your question – do keep my inner tomboy from childhood alive and awake.

Both of them are all boy and they’re teens, now. So, if I want to hang with them, I’m fishing or watching them race RC cars. We go shooting – target practice. Camping is a fun time.

The funny thing is I’m really into watching various sports – baseball, football, hockey. Neither of them have any interest in sports. They’d rather be out doing something than sitting and watching anything. So, yes! We have a worm farm because they need bait. Being a sister to two brothers or a mother of boys is not a dainty job. I love it, though!

I can imagine. I got to be my daughter’s Girl Scout Leader for three years. I loved the camping and being in nature.

* * *

I read on your website that you have imperfections, scars, we all do. I got my first scar when my cousin ran over me with his bicycle when I was four. How did you get your first scar?

Laney – When I was three-years old, I was bitten by a German Shepherd. Apparently, he chewed up my face.  I was too young to remember anything about that experience. I just see the result from it on a daily basis. For some reason, the dog saw me as a threat, in some way, to the little kids he belonged to and he was protecting them.

Unfortunately, it was severe enough that the dog had to be eliminated and I hate that. I love dogs! I’m not particularly fond of German Shepherds to this day, even though I don’t recall the incident. It must be a sleeping memory. I just know the older I get, the deeper the scars seem to be and the more apparent they become.

My gosh, Laney, I am so sorry! What a traumatic experience! I’m also glad you lived to tell about it. This reminds me of one of my favorite pics, “Don’t be afraid to show your scars. It only proves you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you.” And, you, my dear, even at three, are very strong! 

Okay, switching gears a little….

Laney, who was your childhood hero?

My dad was and still is my hero. He was a firefighter and I believed he could do anything. I remember sitting at the fire station with him when we would take dinner to him. The alarm would go off, every time, without fail, as soon as he sat down to eat. I’d get so mad at people. For the life of me, I couldn’t understand why they couldn’t wait until my dad got to eat his dinner to have a fire. I was young and I didn’t understand.

But, I remember the truck tearing off, lights and sirens wailing, waving at him and feeling so proud of that guy. It broke my heart when he was too busy to wave back at me. He was the coolest guy in the whole world, as far as I was concerned.

He still is! I still call him to solve every little problem I have. Now, instead of telling me what to do, he says, “Google it! Look on You Tube and find you a video.” Yep! At seventy-years old, my dad is more technologically astute than I am.

I wish we lived closer. He’s a pretty incredible man. He means so much to me and I get teary, thinking about how beautiful my life has been because of him. I want my boys to have more of his influence in their lives.

Such a beautiful story and tribute to your father! I hope he reads this interview.

* * *

Where was your least favorite place to live and why? Or, if you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

Laney – My least favorite place to live was Lamar, Colorado. We lived there for a brief time after we moved to Colorado to be closer to my dad’s family. That was hell! Actually, it was worse! It was the waiting room for hell where you just festered in the anticipation of hell. I hated living there.

There was nothing to do and it was miles from anything that mattered. It was dead and flat. It was hot and smelly in the summer. The whole town is surrounded by feedlots and it didn’t matter which way the breeze came from, it was horrid. There was nothing to do.

At school, they had never seen anything like me. Here I was, this little southern belle, complete with a southern accent. The teachers would make me stand in front of the class and talk so they could all laugh at how I said things. At the time, I couldn’t possibly know how that would help me in the future, but it did. So, I guess I walked away with some good out of that experience. I’m not at all bothered about standing in front of crowds and speaking. That’s my comfort zone. They helped me a lot! Special thanks to those Lamartians!

 As far as where I would like to live, quite honestly, I really want to live on Decker Estates, from Lock Creek. A private eight-hundred-acre lake? I’d love that! I’ve lived on a lake before and it was the most serene place I’ve ever lived. So, maybe I wouldn’t need a full eight-hundred-acres to call my own. But, I’d live just about anywhere with a lake. I do like being able to go to the ocean and stand on the beach and listen to the Earth breathe, too. So, maybe a lake. Maybe on the ocean.

Regarding your experiences at Lamar, what an awful thing for a teacher to do to a child! I applaud your resilience in taking a negative life experience and changing it into a good thing. You certainly are a great role model for the rest of us!

Okay, we’re starting to run out of time, but there’s so much more I want to ask you.

Laney Smith’s New Release

Laney, you have a book coming out this month. Do you want to tell us about it?

This book has been in the works for two or three years, now. You will understand, Ingrid. You have those works that you tinker with and they end up slithering off into some forgotten abyss. Then, you have other stories you tinker with that just aren’t through with you, yet. This was one of those:

 We have an MVP pro-baseball player, Ryan Priest, who has gotten himself in a little trouble, gambling on games. Then, he went out and played to “help” the wager go in his favor. It was dirty and he knows it. He got caught and he paid the consequences.

Then, a couple years later, his team makes it to the World Series. He misses a catch that cost his team the win. There isn’t anyone in baseball who believes he doesn’t have money riding on that game. He suffers an injury, after the fact and the organization uses that as an excuse to force him into early retirement. He had a jet-set life and it all just falls out from under him.

So, a couple years down the road, he returns to his hometown where there is a mischievous, seven-year-old baseball aficionado, Nathan Brock. The two end up crossing paths and a friendship builds. The boy is an only child to a single mother who works crazy hours to support her son, which leaves the boy home alone, quite a bit.

Ryan is adrift in his life, seeing as how baseball was his end all-be all. Now, here’s this kid with a knack for getting himself into trouble. Ryan ends up developing a soft spot for the kid and before you know it, through a series of comical events, he’s Nathan’s babysitter. You have a single mom and this guy who has lost all direction in life and a mischievous little boy who just might have a way to help Ryan find a new direction, while helping his mother find a way to realize her dreams.

 The story is titled, His Best Yet, and it’s a fun story!

Nathan is one of the most lovable kids, ever! I don’t want to ruin anything, but he insists his mother’s favorite food is “radishes.” He’s close! Only not at all!

I’ll let people read it to solve that little riddle. It’s a fun, light-hearted, comedic romance. There’s a little heat in some of it, so I’ve written two versions. Both will be out on June 26, 2018. The “Uncensored” version is for those who like the heat. The other version is for those who can do without it. It’s the same story, either way.

So, after almost three years, it’s finally happening and I know it’s time because I’ve tried for years to get a cover for this one and it’s just never happened. I connected with Jo-Anna Walker at Just Write Creations and she’s nailed it! So, I’m super excited!

This one has been a long time coming and I think everyone is going to love little Nathan and all of his little antics. I think they’re going to enjoy watching Ryan grow up, in terms of maturity. I also think they will be happy to see how it all plays out for these three characters.

The editor said there needs to be a sequel, so that will be in the works, as well. However, for now, this one is going to be a homerun! I just know it!

That does sound like a fun read! His Best Yet, available on Amazon tomorrow, June 26th in both the censored and uncensored versions.

* * *

Laney Smith, Blog Talk Radio Host

Okay, now for the second part of this interview. I first became familiar with you through your Blog Talk Radio show. I applauded your ability to make your guests feel at ease, something I am quite sure came from years of experience. So, please tell me, Laney, how you got into doing the shows and where your ability to be so down-to-earth and welcoming came from. It truly is a rare talent.

You know, I miss doing that show. Laney’s World for Writing Under the Influence was such a fun experience for me. I would love to have a regular show like that, again. I can’t tell you how many friendships I made and how many authors and books I discovered. I’m thankful to you for your kind words, because I had never done anything like that before in my life. Emmanuel Neal (Fre Thought) interviewed me for his show and after that interview, he asked if I would be interested in hosting a show. I thought he was joking, so I laughed. He wasn’t joking.

So, I’m forever indebted to him for affording me that opportunity. Before every show, I talked to the person I was interviewing to get a sense of how they felt, going into the interview. If they told me they were nervous or afraid, I knew I had to quiet that fear or they wouldn’t be able to share everything they wanted to get out. Then, the whole point of the show would be lost.

I think that time – talking to them just before the show started – gave them a chance to unwind a little and to stutter and stammer and confess that they were scared to death before they went out across the Blog Talk Radio waves. They were able to deal with the initial onset of nerves that always fades after a few minutes. So, by the time the show started, they had already gotten that part out of the way. Those minutes before also gave me an opportunity to joke with them – because that’s my answer for everything. Jokes!

There were a lot of special moments that happened in that time prior to the start of the show. I got to ask them what they wanted people to know so if they forgot to mention it, I could bring it up. I was able to ask them if there was anything in particular they wanted to discuss or that I needed to avoid discussing. I wanted their show to be what they wanted it to be.

I really do miss doing that show. I have all the links up on my webpage, to this day. I’ll probably never take them down. Maybe someday, I’ll have more links to post there. You could be my first guest, Ingrid.

 Thank you, Laney, I’d really like that!

Laney, you have such a big heart and are so eager to help worthy causes, I applaud you for that! I also hope that you get your radio show back on the air so you can continue helping others.

Thank you for that! That means a lot. And, thank you for having me. I really enjoyed this. I hope we do meet up in person. I think that would be a blast. I’m looking forward to that.

For more information about Laney Smith, please check out her links –

www.authorlaneysmith.com

www.facebook.com/ONEYEARSTIME
Twitter: @OYTLaneySmith
Amazon: www.amazon.com/e/B00LOZDHLO
Instagram: author.laney.smith

 

Review: LULLABY of the DEAD

Review: LULLABY of the DEAD

LULLABY of the DEAD by Author Lynn Lamb –

I finished Lynn Lamb’s LULLABY of the DEAD and am reminiscent of my first Stephen King book, DUMA KEY, and my first Dean Koontz book, WATCHERS. With both of these books, I felt like I just returned home from the most extraordinary adventure. And upon doing so, my bags packed with a fresh set of clothes, I was ready to go again. This is how I feel after reading LULLABY of the DEAD. I want more!

If a bibliophile like me is lucky, they stumble upon an author who captivates them in such a way that each story transports them into another place, mesmerizing them until they lose all track of time and everything else seems commonplace. This is how I feel. My mind still consumed with Ms. Lamb’s main character, Landry, her nemesis, Ashton, and the cast of strange and ghostly characters that Landry eventually comes to know…for good or bad.

What I found the most remarkable is that even in Ms. Lamb’s life-after-death universe, there is still potential for change in all it’s forms… And as much as I hated the evil that lurked within LULLABY’s pages, I kept wanting to go back. I had a vested interest in Landry and her friends, their health, their safety and their future. Like all good books, LULLABY is a world unto itself.

Now, book one of the series is over and I must await book two… BUT, the good news is that Lynn Lamb has written other books!

Next stop, MECHANICLISM… See you soon!