Friday, May 28, 2010

FAN-tastic Friday: Tiana Smith

GL: Hello, I’m Gina Leigh Maxwell and you’re listening to Passions on Paper on WPOP, the blogosphere’s hit station for paranormal romance and beyond.

The theme of today’s show is FAN-tastic Friday and we have a very special guest in the studio with us. She’s the first girl from Montana who’s managed to steer clear of ever getting on horseback, she loves the outdoors, hates bugs and knows how to build a mean fire (probably in hopes of repelling the bugs!). It’s aspiring author and renowned blogger, Tiana Smith! Welcome to the show, Tiana, it’s so great to have you with us.

TS: Thank you Gina. I’m so excited to be here today. I even wore my sparkly shirt. What? You can’t see it? Well, I’ll look fabulous anyway.

GL: Like most of us, you’re an aspiring author. When did you decide to write with intention of publication?

TS: After I graduated from college, I figured I should probably do something with my life. I’ve always wanted to write (well, not always, but since second grade), but it wasn’t until graduating that I thought I might have a chance at publication. After all, I had read a lot of … less than worthy … stuff from my peers, and I just needed the kick in the pants.

GL: I know you originally started out writing in the YA genre, but recently changed to writing Children’s Books. What prompted the switch?

TS: I really love children’s books and even read them for fun on my own time. No, I don’t have any kids, and yes, I know that’s a little weird. I promise I’m not a crazy person. I started out with YA because I wanted to fit in with all the cool kids, but had to be true to myself. Hey, that sounds like it would be a great theme for a book… ;)

GL: Ooh, can I be one of the cool kids in the book? I’ve always wanted to be one of those. Do you ever think you’ll go back to your YA book?

TS: Maybe I’ll name one of the dragons in my book after you. They’re pretty cool, I must say. Eventually I might go back to writing YA, but it would take a very large candy bar to entice me.

GL: Note to self: Stock up on king-size candy bars for bribing purposes with Tiana. Okay, so what fabulous book are you currently working on?

TS: I’m writing a chapter book called “Dragon Secrets”. I would tell you what it’s about, but then it wouldn’t be a secret anymore. ;)

GL: Well, I can certainly resp –

TS: Ok, ok, since you are SO PERSISTANT, I guess I can spill a few details. It’s a children’s book about a land of animals that all get along, except for the dragons of course. One very naïve horse vows to figure out what secret they are hiding, but she may have to give up more than she bargained for, like her frequent bathing schedule. Oh, and she ends up with a buzz cut in the end.

GL: Boy, if I had a dollar for every time a night on the town ended up like that… *ahem* I mean, that sounds like an awesome story. I have an 8 year old son who LOVES reading about dragons. Throw in a horse with a buzz cut and he’d be hooked for sure!

Alright, let’s have some fun. Give us three fun Tiana facts that we don’t already know.

TS: 1. I’m probably the least athletic person you’ve ever “met.” I was playing racquetball with my husband, and I swear I almost hit myself with the racket. It was like something straight out of Twilight.

2. When I take those “what political party are you?” tests, for some reason they keep telling me I’m tied between the green party and a communist. I’ll let you interpret that how you will.

3. I’m a geek. I mean, I like playing around with HTML in my free time and I work for (search engine optimization, that’s what gets your site to rank high in Google.) So, I’m constantly on a computer, and as a result, my skin is very pasty. I should probably get out more often.

GL: Wow…*laughs nervously*…an awkward computer geek of the communist party – your husband’s a lucky guy. Aaaaaand moving right along…

You recently decided to cut back on a lot of your social media outlets due to the major Time-Suck we all know them to be. What made you decide to keep your blog and what do you love most about blogging?

TS: I like my blog because it is my own little space. I can control it. (I may or may not be somewhat of a control freak. I’m just sayin’). With my blog, if I don’t want to post something, then I don’t have to. I don’t feel the kind of pressure that I do with Twitter or Facebook. Another reason why I kept my blog is because I feel like I can create genuine connections with awesome people (you are of course, on the awesome people list).

GL: Aww. Thank goodness no one can see me blushing. Crap, I just said that out loud. I completely agree with you. The connections I’ve made through blogging are amazing. And you’re at the top of my awesome list, too!

Alright, we’re just about out of time, but I really want to ask you: What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever heard or read?

TS: “The way you write a novel is one word at a time.” I have no idea who said it, so, yeah … :)

GL: Well, at least the phrase stuck with you! And I really like that. Sometimes we can feel really overwhelmed when we look at the project as a whole, so it’s great advice. I don’t mean to put you on the spot, but of all the blog interviews you’ve participated in, which would you say was your favorite?

TS: Yours of course! (Would it burst your bubble if I told you that I’ve never done a blog interview before this? Nah, best not mention that…)

GL: (I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that last part.) Oh, I’m so glad! And I can safely say you are definitely in the TOP *looks back to see how many FAN-tastic Fridays this makes* FOUR guests I’ve ever interviewed!

Well, folks, I’m getting the “wrap it up” signal from my (pretend) producer. But before we head out of here I want to remind you to head on over to Tiana’s blog at www dot Tiana Smith dot com. As she mentioned before, she’s an HTML geek and it shows in her blog. She has a beautiful site and posts really great topics, so make sure you click on her “Follow” button!

Thank you so much, Tiana, for joining us here at Passions on Paper. It was a lot of fun getting to know you better.

TS: Thanks Gina, it was a pleasure.

GL: Don’t forget to tune in next week when I welcome published author and all-around Superwoman, Elana Johnson! This is Gina Leigh Maxwell saying, “May all your passions be paranormal ones."

Good night, everyone.


  1. Excellent interview ladies! You definitely added some sparkle to this Friday morning.

    Tiana, I can't wait for when your dragon book comes out. Good luck to you! It was fun learning more about you.

    Have a great weekend, ladies!

  2. Four for Four! Your batting a 1000 with these interviews and I'm loving it. It was great getting to know Tiana a little more, mixed in with your awesome interview skills (or is the term snark?).

    I'm already looking forward to next week! :)

  3. Another great interview! Thanks Tiana and Gina. =)

  4. Wahoo! Thanks everybody :) And Gina, I must say that YOU ROCK!

  5. Great interview! Are you sure you want to be a writer? And I love that quote from Tiana -- one word at a time! That's all it takes.

  6. Oh Gina -- you have such a way with putting expressions and humor on page, I loooove it!

    Great interview and I'm so glad I got to meet Tiana today -- I love horses, so I'll definitely be interested in the protagonist of her new novel!

  7. Wonderful interview! And Tiana's a dragon fan too! The new book sounds great!

    There's nothing wrong with being a green communist. The last time I took one of those political party tests I ended up so far left they told me I only had Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama for company. LOL

  8. Mary Anne - See, I told you I was writing about friendly dragons also :)And I'm glad those tests aren't entirely accurate.

  9. Fun interview - you did a great job. Tiana is my crit partner but she hasn't shared any of her children's story with us yet. She's an awesome crit partner and I'm glad to get to know her better.

  10. Gina, thanks for posting the interview with the Fabulous Tiana. She's a writer to watch!

    Good luck with your own writing/ :)

  11. These interviews are so interesting and fun to read! Love it!

  12. Gina - I was just over at DL Hammond's blog and checking out the comments from his "Blogging Buddies Around the Globe" post and noticed that you're a transplanted Wisconsinite... Me, too! I was born in Milwaukee and lived in southeastern WI until going off to college. Now I'm living in Michigan and annoying/confusing people by referring to soda (instead of "pop") and bubblers.

    Anyhow, just wanted to say "hi" to a fellow Cheesehead! :)


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