Cynthia Mazzaferro interviews John Smith about his new book: Song of the Tree Frogs
I’ve been writing for many years; however, after some staunch support and encouragement from a close friend (Dottie), I decided to seriously pursue my goal of becoming a professionally published fiction author. It has been, however, one of the most challenging tasks I’ve ever engaged in during my life (and I’m saying that as a father of a teenage daughter, and as a teacher with nearly thirty years of experience in a classroom).
Song of the Tree Frogs was written around 2010, but a few years ago I became serious about having it represented by a professional agency. It eventually received the recognition I’d been seeking. Out of nearly 6,000 annual submissions sent to my publisher from around the world, my novel was selected as one of twelve fiction books for publication. It has a five star rating on Amazon, as well as several other retailers.
During the editing of my novel, I also worked on two others stories. My latest novel, People FROM the Lake, is now complete, and I’m still working on Our Father’s Tears, which I expect to have finished by the end of summer. I’ve also written stage and screenplays, and I am currently working with Menning Photographic Films on several movie projects. I’m an award-winning producer for the film Unwavering (available through Amazon Prime and other outlets), and we recently released our documentary, Gateway to Hope: Overcoming Heroin, which is being shown in various states this summer.
Working with Morgan James Publishing, based in New York (with offices in two other continents), has given me a greater perspective regarding the innovations of creating a novel in today’s ever-changing landscape of writing and publishing. Lara Helmling, my professional editor, has been such a blessing to work with throughout this process. Her encouragement has been immeasurable. I also want to thank Megan Malone, Sal Leitch, and Angie Kiesling for their expertise. As for David Hancock (Founder), and Jim Howard (Publisher), I must thank them for believing in my work. They are all consummate professionals. My amazing colleague, and “local” editor, Brooke Harman, has been an ardent supporter of this entire project, and I can’t thank her enough for her professional guidance.
I married my beautiful wife, Connie, in 1998, and we have a wonderful daughter, Madison, who keeps us quite busy. Through them, I’ve learned that writing is impossible unless you have a caring family, and this includes my church family as well. Writers are notorious for pestering close friends and family when it comes to feedback; however, sometimes it pays off, and I could never thank them enough for their support. This certainly includes several colleagues of mine in the East Liverpool City School District.
If you have a dream, I strongly encourage you to pursue it with all your efforts. Failure is always a part of the experience, but I have learned that any kind of work worth doing often involves inspiration, dedication, ambition, innovation, and of course, a whole lot of perspiration. Always remember that inside each of us, there is a universe of stories, talents, ambitions, experiences, and dreams worth sharing with others! After all, it is others who inspire me the most, especially when they share their amazing lives with me.
Please contact me at email@example.com to book an event, speak at a conference, or if you simply want me to share what it is like to go through the writing and publishing process. Speaking with students is one of my favorites, and classroom sets are available. Sharing with others how “love endures all things” is such a blessing to me. Hopefully I can meet you in person some day at one of my book signing events.