Monday, March 26, 2012

Cege Smith - Edge of Shadows

We are pleased to have Cege Smith with us today to share about herself and her book Edge of Shadows.
Where do you currently live?
A suburb of Minneapolis, MN.

Tell us a little bit about your life.
I have a full-time job (in sales) in addition to my writing. I've been married for almost 5 years to a man who is completely supportive of me in all I do, which I appreciate more than I could ever express to him. I have two very grown-up stepsons who are 9 and 10, and we also have the pleasure of living with an adorable miniature long-haired dachshund named Juliet.

When did you first start writing?
I vividly remember starting to write my first novel when I was twelve. I was an avid reader before that and one day decided to give writing a whirl.

What was your very first story about?
It was about two sisters trapped inside a haunted house that was shifting through time.

Have you written anything that you were too afraid to let anyone read?
Aside from my daily journal, any first draft I've ever written.

Did you experience anything you’ve written yourself?
I think if I looked closely, I would find semblances of many different life experiences I've had. I think that comes from that writing advice of "write what you know". I do incorporate a lot of myself in my stories.

Who are several of your greatest literary inspirations?
My admiration for Stephen King goes back as long as I can remember. I think he is a fantastic storyteller and I take anything he says about the mastering the craft to heart. Edgar Allan Poe also had an early influence on me. His characters and settings were (and still are) haunting.

What kind of education have you received, and how has that affected your writing?
I have a Bachelor's in Speech Communication and a Master's in Ethics in Leadership. If anything, I would say that my education ensured that I understood the proper mechanics of writing.

How much research time customarily goes into your projects?
It depends entirely on the topic of my project. For a standard length article, if interviews are included, then probably 2-3 hours. For my novels, I usually spend time researching the settings so that they can be as accurate as possible for my readers. Depending on the depth, that could be hours or days of research.

Who is your favorite literary character?
Scarlett O'Hara. She was strong but yet vulnerable, and she didn't depend on anyone to get what she wanted. I think it's because of her that I gravitate toward writing strong female protagonists.

Who is your favorite character of your own creation?
I had a fabulous time writing Angeline in my most recent novel, Heiress of Lies. Watching her grow and evolve through the book was amazing and I can't wait to see where she is going to go next. But I am currently writing the sequel to Edge of Shadows, and the main character, Ellie, has changed a lot since the first book. She is surprising me and as such is giving Angeline a run for her money.

If you were ever to write an autobiography, what would its title be?
Probably something like Lessons Learned. I feel like I am constantly learning new things and that natural curiousity helps make my life more vibrant and keeps me present in it.

Tell us about your featured book.
Edge of Shadows is the first novel I published. I feel like I came full circle with it because the story is set against the backdrop of a haunted house. My heroine, Ellie, is coming out a rather tramatic divorce. She's been a loner since her parents died when she was young, and trust isn't something that easily comes to her, so she seals herself off from almost everyone around her.

But through a series of events over a short period of time, Ellie is thrust into a situation where she's found a new love interest, and one of her friends puts her in charge of taking care of her house while she's away. Ellie gets caught up in the mysterious past of the house, and finds out that maybe some things in her life weren't as coincidental as they seemed.

Why did you write that?
As with all of my books, I wrote it because I had an image in my mind that wouldn't go away and characters that whisper to me until I wrote their story.

Is there anything special you would like your potential readers to know?
That things are just starting to heat up. What I know about the next chapters of those stories is very exciting.

What activity or hobby, besides writing, do you find most enjoyable?
Reading is favorite way to pass the time and I also enjoy travel when finances afford it. That's one of the reasons I enjoy watching the Travel Channel- I get to visit places all over the world from the comfort of my couch.

What was your favorite childhood toy?
A Whoopsie Doll- you would squeeze the doll's stomach and her pigtails would go up and she would scream out "whoopsie!". For a young girl, that doll gave me hours of endless entertainment.

What do you see as your greatest achievement?
I earned both of my degrees as a working adult. Finding the balance between keeping up at the day job and still managing to maintain good grades was one of the biggest personal challenges I've faced. Being successful in doing that was my greatest achievement, at least, until I published my first novel.

What, to you, is absolutely wrong?
People who hurt other people intentionally and enjoy it.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
That you can never go wrong by being kind to others, and always be true to yourself.

If you had to explain the concept of “love” to someone who’s never heard of it before, how would you?
The willingness to give everything you have, and do whatever it takes to make someone else happy. And in the ideal situation, the person you love will do the same for you in return.

What about “hate?”
Hate is when you would rather be anywhere else than in the company of the person or people you are in because your skin crawls and you feel alternately sick and angry all at the same time.

You’ve decided to buy an exotic pet, what do you go for?
Definitely a monkey. My kids would have a ball training it to do do all sorts of tricks, and I think it could also help with housework.

What do you classify as an “Adventure?”
Any story that involves some kind of quest to solve a problem or satisfy a need.

Our thanks to Cege for being with us. Give her work a look by clicking on the book cover below.

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