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).
I published a nonfiction book in 2002 on the topic of Christian apologetics, and another local publication in 2007 regarding inspirational biographies about students and staff in the East Liverpool City School District. I wrote Song of the Tree Frogs around 2010, and after leaving it on a shelf in my office for several years, I decided to resurrect it. During editing of this novel, I wrote two others, which I will edit in the coming months. I’ve also written stage and screenplays, and I am currently working with Menning Photographic Films on several movie projects. I am co-producing a documentary titled Gateway to Hope: Overcoming Heroin, which is scheduled for release in the fall of 2017.
Working with Morgan James, based in New York and other cities around the world, has given me a greater perspective on the innovations of creating a novel in today’s ever changing landscape of writing and publishing. Lara Helmling, my 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, and selecting Song of the Tree Frogs from thousands of annual submissions to their company. They are all consummate professionals.
I married my beautiful wife, Connie, in 1998, and we have a charming 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 as well, especially Carrie Brookhart, and my local editor, Mrs. Brooke Harman.
If you have a dream, I strongly encourage you to pursue it. 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 the world!