Book Title: The Pumpkin Patch by Sandi Smith
Category: Adult Fiction, 316 pages
Publisher: Mindstir Media
Release date: November 5, 2017
Tour dates: June 25 to July 20, 2018
Content Rating: PG-13 + M
How can one small-minded, angry person destroy the lives of so many people in her path, connecting them all together in a game of destruction and heartbreak? It is possible, but what pushes a person to enjoy inflicting pain to such an extent, leaving a trail of hate, anger, and defeat behind her, which only seems to make her stronger and more satisfied. Ms. Terri Plotski, owner of the Authors’ Book Agency, is that person, who, unknowingly, with a single thread of hate, has connected the lives of a small group of people, bringing them together with one single common denominator. Anger. The anger from this small group of people is building, but it has nowhere to go, or does it? Ms. Terri Plotski, owner of Authors’ Book Agency, has gone missing.
Sandi Smith spent her time as a young girl combing the shelves of the public library. She has always enjoyed the magic that books have to offer and was inspired by her high school English teacher, Mr. Coolidge to embrace the arts. The author found her calling as a writer early one morning as her first story came to her in the form of a poem. Since then she has written more than 15 children’s books, with her most popular series about the adventures of an adorable spider in the A.R. Achnid series.
Sandi is happily married to her inspiration and husband of 40 years, John. She continues to write for her two precious grandchildren. When she’s not penning a new story, Sandi and John like to camp, kayak and to enjoy the simple life in their home in Pembroke, NH.
Name / Pen name & little about yourself:
My name is Sandi Smith I am a grandmother, and I am loving it. I try to see the grandchildren as often as I can. We sometimes take our granddaughter to her dance classes, and we go to watch our grandson’s games. Grandchildren are so much fun, and they are growing up too fast.
My husband and I like to kayak, and we have some beautiful bodies of water in New Hampshire. I like the quieter lakes, and we stay close to the edges. It is so peaceful and relaxing. We were out on the lake one day and it was a cloudy day with a very heavy mist. We were soaked by the time we left the water, but it was so much fun. I like it when the water is a little choppy, as I like going over the waves (not too big). With kayaking, you go at your own pace. We sometimes look for a nice quiet, shady cove, and we just sit there and bounce with any waves that come our way. Johnny usually does a little fishing. I will bring a book so I can relax and read.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
About ten years. At first, I was writing nonstop. The words were coming so fast, every day and night, and I did not get a lot of sleep. I always walked around with a pencil and paper, because sometimes I would be in a store shopping, and words would suddenly start to enter my mind. If you don’t write those words down when they come, you lose them. I had lost some really great lines in the beginning, so I learned to always carry paper and pencil with me.
What genre are your books? and what made you write in that genre?
I started writing just children’s stories. That is all that was coming to me for words. Then I wrote two novels. There is no specific genre for my books. Basically, whatever I get for words, I make a story out of those words.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
About 10 years ago
Where do you get your ideas for your books?
All of my writing began about ten years ago, when I had an encounter with a spider. After that, I started getting words constantly, but, aside from the spider, I have never had anything that inspired me to write my stories. Just words and words and words. Every single story that I wrote came to me while I was sleeping. Sometimes it would be a paragraph that I would build on. Sometimes it would be a title (the title for one of my novels sat in my computer for nine months before I got any words for that story). So, there was no real inspiration, just words that came unexpectedly.
How long does it typically take you to write a book?
It depends on if it’s a childrens book or a novel. Novels tend to take much longer.
How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?
I have written (and published) two novels and six children’s stories.
The Pumpkin Patch is special to me. I had gone through a tough time, and was having a difficult time dealing with the situation. One day, I started getting the words for this book. I really didn’t think too much of it at first, because I knew it certainly wasn’t a children’s story, and I didn’t believe I could ever write a novel, so I sort of just, without a lot of interest, started writing all of the words down. Initially, it started out as a love story. The main character, Mary Elizabeth, had lost her mother when she was very young, and it was supposed to be her journey (you know, the usual story…girl meets boy, gets married, and they lived happily forever), but it didn’t go in that direction.
It became a murder-mystery, of sorts. I just kept getting more and more words, which made more and more characters, and they all had a common connection. To me, it was amazing, so, fervently, I just kept writing and writing. When it was finished, I asked my sister, Jackie, to read the book for me. I had never, ever read a murder mystery, and I knew that was all she read. I really didn’t want to be an author of a murder, but when she read the book, she loved it. She said it was gripping, but not because of a murder, it was because of the characters that were involved. Aren’t sisters wonderful?
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? How do you overcome it?
I actually have had writer’s block for about one year now. The words are starting to make an appearance again, and I have two new children’s books that I am working on, and one novel. I’m very patient when I get a block. Worrying about it seems to make it worse for me, so I just move on with life. Some days it does pop up in the back of my mind, but I try to kick it out of there. I feel that if I am to write another book, the words will eventually come through.
Have you done any collaborations with other writers?
No, not yet however I’m always open to the idea
What do you think of reviews?
We know book reviews are important how do you feel when you receive book reviews – the good and the bad. I try to be intelligent, because I know that a bad review is a learning experience, and it should not be taken in a personal matter. But when you write a book, you become part of the book. You spend almost every waking hour on the story. It becomes personal, even though you know it shouldn’t be. I am not a person who handles criticism very well. I am way too sensitive as a person, and always want everyone to smile and have balloons flying around all day with rainbows in the sky, and apple pies falling down from the sky with vanilla ice cream on top. Unfortunately, life isn’t that way at all. I have my husband read all reviews first, and then I grab three cookies, cover up (head included) with a blanket, and have him read the reviews to me. I always know if there is a bad one because he starts out, “well, this one is alright”. So far, the reviews have been very positive, and people have written some beautiful statements. I am very grateful that they took the time to write a review on my book, and I realized how important it is for someone to do that. I have read the same author for probably 20 years, loved every single story that she wrote, but never wrote a review for her. It breaks my heart. I just never realized how much it would mean to her, and I wish I had taken the time. Her books made me smile. Took me on adventures I will never go on, and made me dread the ending of the book. I will have to toughen up a little bit, because, even though my heart pounds so loud every time there is a new review that I believe you could hear it on the moon, I feel it is very important, good or bad. If someone was considerate enough to write a review, I should be considerate and grateful enough to read it openly and courageously, and learn from what was written.