SIX MINUTES WITH D.K. SMITH:
Taking the microphone on LitPick’s Six Minutes with an Author is D.K. Smith! Smith, a 38-year-old native of Los Angeles, California, has written the fun Sock n Boots picture books and the first book of the new Mind Over Bullies series for teens. He decided to tackle the tough subject of bullying after reading a news story about ‘bullycide’ and thinking about how that would affect his four nieces and three nephews.
How did you get started writing?
It was funny. My oldest brother was going to have his first child, which would be the first grandchild in our family. I wanted my new niece or nephew to have a set of stories and characters that were unique to them.
That led to the birth of the Sock n Boots series, where a three-year-old sock and a five-year-old boot earn the title of ‘most lovable footwear around.’ Without an agent, I did an independent release of the stories on iTunes. Eventually, the Sock n Boots app (three stories) was downloaded several thousand times in nine or ten different countries and seven or eight different languages.
Who influenced you?
Well, that’s a multi-faceted answer. My junior high creative writing teacher, Ms. Grant, and my ninth grade English teacher, Mr. Schulman, encouraged me to write. They both motivated me to refine what they saw as creative ability.
My older brother was always interested in cinematography, so I got some of the urge to tell stories from him. But mostly I was influenced by the reactions of people after watching a good movie — the type of movie where you feel like you know the characters and whose story is interesting and full of mystery and action.
Seeing people rave about a well-developed movie left me with a desire to tell stories that would take readers on exciting mental journeys. I knew I would never have a career in film, so writing was the next best thing for me.
Do you have a favorite subject or setting?
I love James Bond and the Mission Impossible movies. I am a huge fan of mystery and espionage. My favorite thing is to see a character in an impossible situation get out of it at the last second. Scenes when the odds are against the main character and he or she turns the tables are amazing, too. I LOVE that!
What advice do you have for someone who wants to be an author?
I would say, just start writing. If you have a story in your head, tell it. I am a fan of details when telling a story, so be detail oriented. But that’s my style of storytelling, so I guess my last bit of advice would be: develop your own style of storytelling and make it live.
Where is your favorite place to write?
I’m old-fashioned; I need to sit a desk with no sounds and no one bothering me. When I write, I see the scenes playing out in my head like a movie, and nobody likes to be distracted during a good movie.
What else would you like to tell us?
MOB II is already in the works, there’s a new Sock n Boots story to look out for, and I am acting on my love of espionage and mystery with a new novel centering on my own James Bond-type character. Life is busy. If all goes well with the Mind Over Bullies project, then you should be hearing a lot more from me in the coming years.
Thanks for joining us, Smith! We sure are hoping to hear more from you! It’s wonderful that you took up the task of writing an action-packed adventure about a serious topic. Mind Over Bullies: A MOB Forms hits stores August 31, 2015 in paperback and digital formats.