This Writer Wednesday, the spotlight shines on author Gracie Smith!
A magickal (with a K) woman and writer, Gracie is a storyteller through and through. While publishing her interview, I felt like I was reading a storybook, as she has shared several short anecdotes, allowing a glimpse at her path as both a writer and a witch.
Her book Etched in Stone is available now, with the series’ second installment poised for a Fall 2022 release.
A quick note:
During this interview, you might note that many of the questions include the word “we” as if “we” asked them. Well, we did. This detail is meant to include you, my dear reader, and I do hope you enjoy each interview published to this blog!
Additionally, please note that each interview answer is the author's own words and the interviews in The Intuitive Storyteller blog are intended for informational and educational purposes only.
My name is Gracie and I am an entrepreneur by trade. I keep myself busy by being a mom, partner, dog lover, writer, massage therapist, reflexologist, herbalist and energy consultant, among other things. I have an addiction to iced chocolate chai and chocolate chip cookies that my workouts do not cure and an insatiable love for stories. I aspire to write stories your soul will miss. I have been with my amazing partner for 12 years and look forward to many more years with our boys together.
"To be inspiring, you must first be inspired." - Morgan Freeman.
Every morning, I get up before the house and sit, drink my tea and write all the thoughts that come to mind. Sometimes, those thoughts are pure junk, but occasionally, I am gifted with the beginnings of a new story that needs to be told. I love to write all sorts of books, but the unexplained and paranormal romances are my current obsession. Real life is so full of ups and downs and crazy turns, that I often escape into a good story to unwind. I know that I love that feeling of falling in love and being a part of an adventure that ends in a happy ending. This is what I hope to give others through my writing.
About Etched in Stone
Anora has never fit in with her peers, but has been desperate to experience life as other people do. As an orphan with a secret, her guardian Kreo, master weaver of souls, hid them on an unlikely planet that kept curious eyes out. It wasn't until a military vessel of the CORE arrived that she would get her chance for adventure.
Warriam is a high-ranking soldier for the CORE, that landed on the planet Leda to teach a group of new recruits. The last thing he was looking for was love or someone to protect. It wasn't until he witnessed a group of men attacking a woman that Warriam came to her rescue and discovered Anora's and her secret, but loving her would put him in danger from Seethus, the tyrant terrorizing the universe.
To protect Warriam, Anora made the decision to hide her soul on Earth among humans until the threat of her secret is hidden once again. Against Kreo's advice, Warriam is determined to find Anora, even if he has to search every planet, in every dimension across time. She was the one thing he didn't know he needed and refused to give up. He vowed to find where she was Incarnated and get her back.
Etched in Stone is available now on Amazon.
And now, the interview:
Gracie, when did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I was in the second grade, so six-ish? My amazing teacher was teaching us to write through creating stories. There was a mom in the class that would make covers out of old wall paper samples and bind them for us. I got so hooked that I wrote seven stories that year. One was submitted to the PTA parent appreciation gathering and I got to read my story aloud for a group of parents that all laughed along with me. That feeling of making other people happy through my writing has never left.
Tell us about the person(s) or event(s) that inspired you to write your latest work.
Oddly enough, I got my palm read when I was 19 and some of the things she said, I was like, wow, that would make a really good story. I actually wrote this story eleven years ago, but I was too insecure to share my work with anyone and I put it in a closet for "safe keeping." The story kept gnawing at me, though. It would play out in my dreams, demanding to be finished. When the lockdowns happened, it seemed like a perfect time to update the story.
What is your favorite genre to write and why do these types of stories appeal to you?
Mostly because I'm a witch myself. There are days when reality is so intense and borderline depressing that I get overwhelmed and I need to escape into a place my soul remembers. A place where my magick thrives and amplifies through the human form.
Do you have a furry familiar? Tell us about them!
I do. I have five actually. I have two Dobermans, two Yorkies and a kitten. All my animals found me, but the one that is threading herself to my soul is Karma, my she-cat. Oddly enough, I am not a cat person, but I found her in the grocery store parking lot at four weeks old and she took to me well. She runs to me when I get home from work and watches me cook, but I have not introduced her into the magick studio yet; I think she would never leave, much like I don't like doing.
Tell us about your writing schedule and/or a ritual that is necessary for establishing and sustaining your writing mood and endurance.
I write in my magick studio. It is in the basement and the back room has no windows (no distractions), with hanging herbs. I have a little desk I sit at, so I can't clutter it with everything else I have to get done in real life. When I'm ready to write, I have to light a candle, keep lapis and green aventrine near me for the flow to start. If I have a harder time getting in the groove, I make some hot cocoa, cast a circle and say a writing flow spell, which works for me.
Why do you write? How does the act of storytelling affect you?
I write to soothe my soul. If I don't, I get very frustrated and eventually have that feeling of too much energy built up and anxiety kicks in, because I need to create.
Think about yourself back when you first started writing. If you could travel back in time, what would you say to that version of you (about the writing process, publishing, the world, etc.) that might help prepare them for today?
I was not that person that had parents lined up to read my work. They had busy lives and it was just something little Gracie did to entertain herself. When I got to high school, my father told me if I keep writing, I would never find the love that I wrote about. As a kid, I took it as I would never find love and [I] stopped all writing. In my head, love was more important than everything.
What are your recommendations for fueling your writing energy and promoting inspiration?
Be inspired first. Feel the spark of "I want to write about that," then allow yourself to remember or build that place, that story.
When we write things out of obligation, there is no feeling in it, no attachment to the characters, the story or narrative. When we write out of necessity to free our creativity or soul, we naturally give a piece of ourselves to share with others. At times this is terrifying, but that is what makes it so worth it.
How intuitive are you and does your intuition affect your writing?
I am very intuitive. I trust my senses, guides, vibes, whatever you want to call them. The story most definitely leads me. I can write out an outline and draw up a vision board of characters (which I do), but as the story goes on, the picture of the character may change depending on how the personality develops. Or the storyline may change, a character may be added or killed off. I've cried at some of these moments, for sure.
Tell us about your long-term writing and publishing goals.
I am currently an Indie Author, [sharing] my time with a day job, momming and college, but have goals to be an author full time. I would love for my stories to enter the movie realm or Netflix series realm, to get those who don't like to read hearing my story, but honestly, I'm happiest when I'm writing. I want to be able to put out at least two to three stories a year. I have many more series that are calling to me to be written.
For what or whom are you most grateful right now and why?
I am grateful for my partner. It has been a LONG three years, we've been tossed around, kicked about, shredded, stepped on and stripped of all illusions. In all the energy shifts, we have survived, maybe barely, but we did it. He has encouraged my writing, my schooling and helps so much with our boys.
Besides writing, what activities bring you joy?
Gardening, teaching and doing magick. I have always had a black thumb, but in the last two years, I have figured I can grow flowers and herbs!! I'm horrible with edible food still, but I have hope.
Which book are you reading right now?
Kym Grosso's Immortals of New Orleans (among LOTS of others)
What’s the best book you’ve read in the past year?
Island of Glass, by Nora Roberts
Fill in the blank: Magic is...
Magic is the balance of energy, heard by those who are willing to listen.
Stay connected with Gracie Smith! Here’s where you can find her:
On Monday, I will introduce you to Tarotcatures, the Courts as Characters. Stay tuned!
In her more than thirty years as a storyteller and visual designer, Amanda “Mandy” Hughes has written and designed over a dozen works of upmarket, literary, and women’s fiction under pen names A. Lee Hughes and Mandy Lee.
Mandy is the founder of Haint Blue Creative, a space for readers and storytellers to explore, learn, and create. Although she earned a Bachelor and Master of Science in Psychology, she has yet to figure out her family, much less herself.
When she’s not writing, Mandy loves going to the movies, theater, traveling, nature walks, birdwatching, margarita-making, and binge-watching The Office. She is a tarot enthusiast who uses the cards to promote wellness and enhance creativity. She lives in Georgia with her husband and four boys, two of whom are furrier than the others (but not by much). Visit her website at haintbluecreative.com and follow her on Instagram @haintbluecreative.