Tag Archives: One Brave Thing

A dream come true

I have always loved the library since I was a little girl. My dad would drive me every week and I would load up my arms with as many books as I could carry, and then stack them all around my bed when I got home, deciding which one to read first.

I was beyond excited last year when I was invited to give a reading at the Wells Public Library from my first novel, One Brave Thing, and when I saw it on the “New Fiction” shelf! I have stopped in to visit my first novel from time to time, but it’s always been checked out. Tonight it was there! I noticed it was little worse for wear. I decided to ask how many times it had been checked out. Twenty times over the past ten months! Plus two renewals! That’s twenty-two! YAY! I replaced it with a shiny new copy.

Also, I was going to donate a copy of my new book, What if Bebe Stays with Steven? I was thrilled when the librarian told me that they already have it! And even better, it was checked out!  I have been invited back to give a reading from this novel, scheduled for Tuesday evening, June 27th at 6pm. I am hoping that my new book will also be wearing out from being read so often and I will get to replace this one as well.

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Doing the thing

I have been working feverishly, madly, to design the cover of my new novel. My publication date is 3/21 (as in: 3-2-1 liftoff! 🙂 ) and I am determined to make it.
frontcoverbolder-2-7-17I originally planned to use my own photos for the cover, but then I started looking around on Canva, you know, just for fun, and one image caught my eye. What drew me about her is that she looks like she’s trying to go forward, but is letting herself be pulled back.
Like Bebe. In the new book, What if Bebe Stays with Steven?, Bebe is thinking, should I stay or should I go? I also like the little bit of backpack showing, since she is a student. This one image captured all that for me.

Here’s the most important part of this story. Right after I saved and downloaded the image, one of my favorite quotes by Eleanor Roosevelt popped up on the computer screen!

“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

I took this as a sign that this was exactly the right image for my cover. Of course, that was at midnight last week, and the next day, after I smacked my head into the corner of the huge mirror over my couch and hematoma’d my head, I started second-guessing it all.

 But I am going forward anyway. Like Nikki Groom said in her recent podcast (with Jodi Flynn on Women Taking the Lead), “Just start.”

The BRAVE Interview #7 February, 2017: Jennifer W. Smith

Here is this month’s BRAVE Interview with author, Jennifer W. Smith. ENJOY!

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Who is Jennifer W. Smith?

I put my family first, so I’d start with I’m a wife and mother.  My next top three answers: I’m a novelist, a world traveler, and a foodie. I live in a cozy New Hampshire town in a busy household including a blue-eyed kitty and a collie who looks just like Lassie. I’ve had other careers before I became a fulltime writer in 2015. I’ve used my experiences from when I was a flight attendant and interior designer to inspire my story ideas.

What is my One Brave Thing for 2016?

Well, if you asked me my brave thing for 2015, I’d have said publishing my first novel, Flying Backwards. In 2016 I published two books, The Rare Pearl and The Forsaken Pearl, but I’d say the One Brave Thing was pushing myself to maneuver—and conquer—the digital age to produce all aspects of publishing my latest books—mainly book cover design. The cover is critical. It’s the first thing a reader sees. If the cover isn’t appealing they won’t bother to flip it over and read the back. I worried that I’d be unsuccessful, but I was determined to give it my best effort. Let me state, my skills were basic at first. I’m happy to report that after all the puzzle solving I’m pleased with the final products.

Why did you do it?

So why make my own book covers if I could just pay someone? Well, I love design in general. As I mentioned I’m a former interior designer by trade. Also, I spent a decade taking photos and documenting my family’s life in scrapbooks. So a part of me thought it would be fun and creative. Besides, I found it difficult to explain what I wanted my cover to look like to someone who hadn’t read my story. I paid to have the cover done for my first novel Flying Backwards. I explained what I wanted, and I do love the cover, but it’s not perfect. For example, in that story the main character is an international flight attendant and the airplane on the cover is a domestic plane (it should have four engines instead of two). I know it’s a tiny detail. But the control is what I like—and it is kind of exciting and fun.

When and how did you do it?

I spend loads of time the whole year reading and watching YouTube tutorials about how to produce a successful book cover. Who knew fonts had so much impact! It took me a while as I tried different programs, but eventually I discovered which ones worked best for me. My fellow friends and authors recommend sites where I could purchase photos or fonts. I also stumble across Derek Murphy’s book cover design tutorials which helped me immensely. After vastly improving my MS Word skills, I managed to produce book covers for my Broken Water Series, which include The Rare Pearl and The Forsaken Pearl. I was able to manage 95% it, but I confess, my husband helped with the file conversions. I may have shed some tears of frustration throughout the learning curve, but it was worth it.

Where did you do it?

I learned, and continue to learn, right from the comfort of my home. After I got used to navigating the internet—I realized the world is at my fingertips. With dedication to succeed, I’m grateful to live and thrive in this modern age. This is a usable tool to become self-published. I hope I inspire other budding authors to give it a try.

I always love to hear from readers. Please check out my website at JenniferWSmith.com for book trailers, release updates, events, blogs, and more. Also, you can read the first chapter of The Rare Pearl, Book One in the Broken Water Series for FREE. You can find me on Twitter @authorjenwsmith and Facebook at AuthorJenniferWSmith.

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