Jeri R. Smith is a paranormal author from Oklahoma. The first book of her series The Black Blood Legacies, Fate’s Crossing is available on Amazon. Apart from writing fiction, she is also a video game blogger at Nerdy News and Reviews. I had the opportunity to interview Mrs. Smith where we talked a little about her history, her gaming experience, and her writing. See below. Her answers are italicized.
Where do you call your hometown?
I am from a smallish community about an hour or so almost due east of Tulsa, OK. Technically, the name of the town is Pryor Creek, OK – named after the creek named after Nathaniel Pryor – however, the mail service accepts Pryor, OK. We have a population of between 9,500 – 10,000 people (depending on the particular round of the census).
How old were you when you began writing?
Oh, yeesh. I’ve been writing ever since I knew how to talk and learned how to physically write. I remember writing my first poem/set of lyrics with my mother after my brother died in 1992. So that would put me about 4 or 5 years old.
Are there any stories that you wrote when you were younger that you hold onto?
No fictional stories. However, when I was 13 years old I wrote a tribute article for the (recently as of that time) late Dale Earnhardt Sr. He was my father’s idol and a lot of people connected with Dale Sr. because of his background. Many people in my county connected with that because of the fact we have a similar economy to where Dale Sr. grew up etc. So I wrote an article paying tribute to him and it out –sold the competitor’s paper by about 500:300 on the racks. It was one of my greatest achievements. For a short time, I was a county celebrity. Hah.
Aside from writing, you also are heavy in the gaming community. What’re some of your favorite games?
Because of my parents, Nintendo will always hold a special place in my heart. I grew up with a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) controller in my hand from the time I was 4 years old. My first games were Super Mario Bros 3 and The Legend of Zelda: The Adventure of Link. So, the Super Mario Bros franchise and the Legend of Zelda franchise are my top go to game lines. But, I have added Final Fantasy to that list. Final Fantasy 7 is one of my favorites for its odd nature as compared to the rest of the FF universe.
Many movie adaptions of video games fall short. In your opinion, where does Hollywood go wrong in making game adaptions?
There are multiple reasons as to why the adaptations crash and burn. Some focus too much on special effects and not enough on writing. Some, while focusing on writing, deviate too far from the original material and wind up creating an alternate universe. Poetic licensing is going to happen but there is a thing called going too far away from the original material. For some, it boils down to bad acting or bad casting choices. It just depends on which adaptation we’re talking about. (Hint: a cult classic from the early 90s featuring a red and green plumbing brother duo kind of has all the above in terms of problems…)
Back to writing, when you write do prefer a quiet room or jamming it out to music? If so, what kind of music?
It depends on what I am writing. If it is a serious scene, then no music or if there is music, something kind of ballady in nature. If it is a fight scene, then I need something with a lot bass.
Are there any authors that stick out as an influence?
J.R.R Tolkien, for one. In “Return of the King,” he weaves five separate stories back into one seamlessly. I hope to one day be able to mimic that. While not actually literary in value, I also value the work of manga artist/creator Masashi Kishimoto. Kishimoto writes fabulous ‘underdog’ stories. “Dragon Ball” and “Naruto” are amazing in that regard. I hope to one day create an ‘underdog’ character that is just as well loved.
What’re some of your favorite books?
The Lord of The Rings, Harry Potter, Twilight (yes, for the fact she tried to do something different with old school myths and legends), The Giver, Ella Enchanted, The Shannara series, The Dragonlance books (Soulforge anyone? Time of the Twins, Test of the Twins?), The Blue Sword and many, many more
How would you describe your writing style?
I try not to be extremely complicated. I lose interest in extremely complicated and I know the average reader often does as well. I aim for ‘simple, easy to follow but still engaging’. I don’t always succeed with that but that is my goal.
Do you have a “writing spot?” A favorite room, coffee shop, or cafe that you go to write?
It’s wherever I am sitting at my Macbook with when the writing bug hits.
Tell us about Fate’s Crossing. It is book one in the Black Blood Legacies. What is it about?
The Black Blood Legacies is a three part series that follows Liana and Sean in a race against the rules, time and even fate itself. Fate’s Crossing is the first stage where Liana gets introduced to her family history, secret societies, a duty left to her by her past, and a star-crossed love in the form of her Guardian, Sean.
What is the basis for Liana, the main character?
Liana has been a character that has haunted my brain since I was 13. Literally. We started playing Ultima Online: Renaissance as a family and each created a character. I created Liana and named her. Ever since then, the character has been growing, changing and evolving. I think personality wise she is a conglomeration of the most important women that I have come across in my life (my grandmother, great aunt, mother, sister, and more).
Who can you picture playing her in a film adaption and who would direct it?
Honestly, I’ve not thought about any of this yet. I’m not sure I’ve come across anyone that screams ‘Liana’ when I look at her. When it comes to directors, I think Jerry Bruckheimer might be a good fit, honestly. Or maybe Catherine Hardwick, for the first part only.
Are the Black Blood Legacies destined for a trilogy or a continuing series?
At the moment, I plan to stop at book three. That is not saying that a companion book or series might not spring forth after the series comes to a close. Also, that is not ruling out if the writing bug hits with me inspiration to allow me to keep going with this phase of The Black Blood Legacies.
One last question, can you give us a glimpse into book 2?
Of Course! I won’t give away where this happens or how it happens but Roslyn, Liana’s ancestor, and Liana get to meet face to face.
“A female voice rang out in the dark. It was mellow, and one I had never heard before but yet somehow I knew it in my heart.
Oh don’t worry, sweetheart. You’ll see the boytoy again. Your work as the new Vessel of Order ain’t done yet. But we do need to have a little chat.
One being came to mind. The only being that could know what was going on.
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