Saturday, May 16, 2015

Author Interview with KP Smith

Today I'd like to welcome KP Smith to Yatopia for a chat about her Growing Pains series.

About KP Smith

I love to read and it was my love for reading that ignited my passion to write. I am currently penning the Growing Pains Series. The First Book Kendra’s Diaries is available for purchase. The Second Book New Beginnings will be available soon. The Third Book Decisions is currently being penned. When I am not reading and writing I have lots of other hobbies to occupy my time. I love Sports football, basketball, tennis, golf yeah basically all of them.

I’m also a big TV watcher (maybe too big? Nah no such thing). I love my soaps; soaper for life love my night time dramas. These are enjoyable and a perk also helps with my creative thinking/writing process. The only thing better than watching my favorite shows is watching it with millions of others via twitter!! I’m a major tweeter!

I also love a good movie. I am a Social Media junkie but it can’t replace some good old fashion talking…love good conversation.

I work in the insurance company by day. I have a wonderful family life including two wonderful sons.
I live in NOLA (New Orleans, Louisiana) home of Mardi Gras, Jazz, great food and Southern Hospitality. WHO DAT!!

1. Welcome KP Smith! We know you're an author? What else would you like to tell us about yourself?
I’m a mom and have two sons 15 and 13. I live with two teenagers so I’m never ever bored. By day I’m an insurance adjuster. I love to read, go to the movies and sports events. I’m also a big social media stan with my favorite medium being twitter.
I try and take life as it comes and enjoy each day as much as possible!
2. Growing up, what did you want to be?
I had absolutely no idea. I knew I didn’t like Science so being a doctor, nurse, and pharmacy was out. From there it was more of a process of elimination than an actual desire to be something honestly. I kind of stumbled upon the insurance industry. And 18 years later I’m still there.
3. How did The Growing Pains Series come about?
I said when I was growing up I wanted to write a book loosely based on my life. When I became an adult I wanted to give the youth the benefit of my experiences, challenges and triumphs. I’m confident as they join me in Kendra Foster’s journey it will help them navigate the often tricky waters of growing up.
4. What’s next for KP Smith?
I’m currently writing the third book in the series tentatively titled Decisions. My plan is to take Kendra through high school. I have no plans to go further. But as we all know you should never say never.
I’ve been thinking especially in the last month of delving into Adult Fiction and maybe non-fiction too. It’s exciting not to have everything planned out. Looking forward to seeing where this path takes me.
5. Give me three words your best friend would use to describe you?
Engaging, witty and intelligent.
6. Do you have to have a certain environment in which to write?
I don’t when I write the first draft of each chapter. I write each chapter on paper initially so I write everywhere. I write when I’m a passenger in a car, sitting on the sofa, waiting for an appointment. I keep pen and paper in my purse. When it’s time to type, I type on my laptop in my living room. Sometimes I have music on, sometimes the tv, and sometimes I type in quiet. It depends on my mood.
7. If you could move anywhere in the world where would it be?
Sydney, Australia
8. How do you find the time to balance your budding career as a writer with the rest of your life?
I told myself a few years ago as long as you live you have to work out. Things will happen where you might take a few days off maybe even a week off (hopefully not more than that) but understand you can’t stop no matter what don’t stop.
Recently I told myself the same thing about me writing/being an author. I’m going to do this for the rest of my life. Every day is different I might have 3 hours to invest the next day only 30 minutes. I’ll do what I can as I can but I will not stop.

About the Growing Pains series

Meet Kendra Foster. She’s right in the middle of the roller coaster ride of growing up. Her family seems to be in a permanent state of disarray. High school is right around the corner and there is only one school she wants to attend but it is going to take a miracle for her to go. She finally made the cheerleading team which is the best thing that has happened since forever. But much to her dismay this wreaks havoc in a completely unexpected way. Then she has one year left to capture Jamie’s attention yet she hasn’t been able to do that since fourth grade. And with the new girl everyone is going crazy over she doesn’t have much of a chance does she? Life is coming at her from all sides and she is determined to keep it all together. Kendra’s Diaries is the first installment in the Growing Pains series. During all the twists, turns, ups and downs Kendra will develop courage, faith and perseverance. She will learn no matter what happens in life always remain positive and never give up. Life has a way of working itself out.

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     The sounds of birds chirping caused me to leave my last moments of sleep and forced my mind into consciousness. I closed my eyes and laid on the bed. This was my favorite part of the day. Those first few precious moments when my mind was blank: no problems, no worries, just moments of peace. I needed to lie there. I needed to mentally prepare for the day—it was an important one. The peace and quiet continued for a little while longer, but just when I thought maybe I had gotten lucky—maybe the impossible had happened—I heard them. Ring, ring, sound the bell, Take a ring side seat, the morning fight is on.
It started low at first, but that wouldn’t last. The voices got louder and louder. I couldn’t make out what they were saying, but I knew the script by heart. I had seen this film far too many times.
“It’s the middle of another month and we haven’t paid the bills,” my mom said.
“Valerie, there you go again, always about money. Is that all you think about?” my daddy shot back.
“No, Robert, all I think about is how we never have enough money.”
“And I’m sure it’s my fault. It is always my fault.”
“Well, who is the one who can’t keep a job? I have been working at the same job for the past five years. What is the longest time you’ve ever stayed at a job?”
“There you go, always putting me down. Talking about what I don’t do.”
“‘Cause you don’t do nothing.
“Nothing! Huh? What about the fact that every dime I make goes into this house.”
My mom laughed as if mocking my daddy. “Won’t you stop bringing me dimes and bring some dollars? Then you might be doing something.”
“How much I make is not the problem. You don’t know how to manage the money. That’s the problem!”
My mom laughed again. “Manage? There is not enough money to ‘mismanage.’ These kids have to go to school, they have to eat, they need clothes, a home, transportation, they need activities, they need—”
“You know what I need? I need some peace and quiet. I don’t need to be nagged all the time. All I get is your whining and complaining and asking for more, more, more, more. I am so sick and tired of all of this. Not happy? Then I’ll leave. Then we can all be happy. I am sure your parents would love that.”
“Leave my parents out of this. They have nothing to do with this.”
“There you go, sticking up for them.”
The next thing I knew, someone, it had to have been my daddy, pounded his fist on the wall. In the quiet of the morning, the sound was so forceful that it felt like the whole house shook.
I laid and waited for the knock I knew was coming. After a few seconds, there it was, a knock on the door. “Come in,” I responded.
My only sibling, my younger sister, Patrice, peeked through the crack she made when she opened the door and asked, “Can I lie with you?”
I moved over to make room for her on the bed. She hopped onto the bed and laid next to me. I took one of my pillows and gave it to her. In unison, and showing our years of practice, we put the pillows over our heads and tried to drown out the screaming voices. They were so loud that I could no longer hear the birds chirping right outside my window.
Then, I heard my sister, speaking to me through the pillow. I lifted it to hear what she was saying.
“Why do Mommy and Daddy fight so much?” she asked, for what seemed like the millionth time.
I didn’t have a clue, myself. But, since I was the big sister, I guessed it was my job to come up with something. “Adults have a lot of things to deal with, and they don’t always agree on things, so, sometimes they argue. It’s no big deal,” I said, trying to sound mature and confident, trying to reassure her.
“Do you think Mommy and Daddy love each other?”
That was a new question, and it kinda took me off guard. I hesitated for a second and gave the only response I could think of, “Of course.”
That seemed to satisfy her. She put the pillow back over her head. Patrice had been subjected to the fights between my parents for most of her life. Things weren’t always that way, though. There were better times—times without all this fussing and fighting—but those times seemed far, far away.
After a while, my sister’s breathing became softer and softer, letting me know she had fallen asleep. I lifted the pillow off of her head and looked around my room, since there was nothing much else to do while waiting for the argument to stop.
I had a full-size bed with a matching chest of drawers set. When I looked down at my sister, asleep on the full bed, I thought, Thank God I was finally able to get out of the twin bed I’d had since I got out of my baby bed. My bedroom set was a hand-me-down from one of my mother’s friends, whose daughter left for college this past summer. But since I was 13 and still in a twin, I was grateful for anything.
My bed was not decked out with a comforter set, the kind with all the fancy trimmings—no decorative pillows, no bed skirt. Instead, it was modestly covered with a spread. At least it’s my favorite color, dark green,I thought. And my curtains are a nice, lighter shade of green, close to the color of green grapes. They match my bedspread nicely.
My room was not horrible, but it was far from the beautiful rooms I had seen in magazines with the sparkling Princess bedroom furniture and everything decorated in pink. The highlight of my room, by far, was my brand new television—which I got for my birthday. My grandparents bought it for me. The downside was that my sister didn’t have her own TV, so she often watched mine with me. At least she knows the rules. She can watch television with me, but we only watch what I want to watch. A girl has to have something of her own, right?
I stopped surveying my room, sat up, and listened to my sister’s breathing. She was okay. She felt safe. Then I wondered, who is supposed to make me feel safe?

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