Fiction With a Mission: Author Jake Smith on Writing + Last Chance Giveaway

November 7, 2014


Hey, readers! Our Crazy4Fiction team is gearing up to present our upcoming Summer 2015 titles to our sales force this coming week. It’s a very busy, and exciting time. Head over to our Facebook page next week for the inside scoop on some great fiction and for other behind the scenes photos and goodies!

Today, we wanted to share a great article by debut novelist, Jake Smith featured on The National Writers Series . This website is a wonderful source of writing inspiration as you hear from your favorite authors on the power of storytelling.

NWS Author Next Door Spotlight: Jake Smith

Jake Smith – dog lover, editor, and a committed writer who never let a rejection letter get him down.

How did you become a writer?
I inherited it from my dad – he’s a well-known outdoor book and magazine author and editor. Mom and Dad nurtured our imaginations very early on; my sister explored her creativity with music, my brother with art, and I used words. And then I got my hands on, surprise, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. That cinched it: I wanted to write something like that.

A newspaper column in high school turned into magazine articles that turned into non-fiction books that turned into magazine editing. Through it all, that high school dream of writing fiction remained, that desire to make people feel the way I felt after watching a powerful movie or reading an especially thrilling book. So I plotted and outlined and wrote one book after another – a novel a year for six years straight, from a sweeping medieval war epic, that I still really love, to a young adult science fiction saga, that I also still really love. Apparently, I was the only one who loved them, as they all met with great big piles of “no” from the literary world – 118 for one book, in fact. Yes, I kept track.


While stewing over Rejection Number 118, I forced myself to step back from the action-y stuff and think of something different. That something different was an image of a young father standing alone in the middle of a Major League Baseball field – in uniform, under the lights, the crowd going nuts – wondering how in the world he got there.

At my college graduation 17 years ago, my dad gave me a beautiful fountain pen, saying, “From one writer to another.” I have to confess that I never really felt like I could call myself a writer until I sold a piece of fiction. I used that pen to sign the contract for Wish.

How do you write? What is your process?
The fountain pen my dad gave me plays a role. Before I start writing, I sort of just hold it, say a little prayer for an open mind and vivid imagination, and set it on my laptop. And I listen to a lot of movie soundtracks.

Who are your favorite authors?
I wish I could mention some obscure writer to send everyone scrambling to the bookstore, but I have to go with the aforementioned Tolkien, of course; and I love the Harry Potter series (I told you I was a nerd). The imagination in Rowling’s and Tolkien’s works is simply astounding. Actually, the world of Young Adult adventure literature right now is amazingly rich with fabulous authors and stories – which I’m absorbing through my three kids. Dan Walsh’s The Discovery (a novel within a novel) is a delight. And Traverse City’s Doug Stanton: his novel-esque treatment of non-fiction events, with so much painstaking research… wow.

Head over to The National Writers Series to read more and get to know Jake Smith!

Don’t forget to enter our October #shelfie giveaway. Ends 11/10.

October Shelfie

Be sure to stop by and say hi on Facebook next week as we share some exclusive Crazy4Fiction sneak peeks!

Have a wonderful weekend!