Interview with novelist Bobbie Smith

Novelist Bobbi Smith joins me today to chat about
her new historical romance, Forbidden
Fires.
During her
virtual book tour, Bobbi will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble
(winner’s choice) gift card. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your
chances of winning, feel free to visit
her other tour stops
and enter there, too.
Bio:
After working
as a department manager for Famous-Barr, and briefly as a clerk at a bookstore,
Bobbi Smith gave up on career security and began writing. She sold her first
book to Zebra in 1982.
Since then,
Bobbi has written over 40 books and 6 novellas. To date, there are more than
five million of her novels in print. She has been awarded the prestigious
Romantic Times Storyteller of the Year Award and two Career Achievement Awards.
Her books have appeared on numerous bestseller lists.
When she’s not
working on her novels, she is frequently a guest speaker for writer’s groups.
Bobbi is mother of two sons and resides in St. Charles, Missouri with her
husband and three dogs.
You
can follow Bobbi on Facebook in the group Bobbi Smith
Books
.
Bobbi has been
awarded the prestigious “Storyteller of the Year” Award from Romantic Times
Magazine (New York) and has attained positions on the New York Times Best
Seller List, the USA Today Best Seller List, the Walden’s Best Seller List, B.
Dalton’s List, and the Wal-Mart and K-Mart Best Seller Lists.
The foreign
rights to Ms. Smith’s books have been sold to China, France, Germany, India,
Israel, Italy, Russia and Sweden. Smith’s current publisher is Amazon. Bobbi
has written two faith-based contemporary novels – Haven and Miracles – using
the pseudonym of Julie Marshall.
Welcome, Bobbi. Please tell us about
your current release.

When Ellen
Douglass saves the Union officer from the cold river, she doesn’t think this
one action will so alter her future. But as Price holds her is his arms, they
try to forget that they fight on opposing sides and will be kept forever apart.

What inspired you to write
this book?
When I was
young, my parents took me to a river museum where I learned about the steamboat
Sultana. It was a steamer carrying Union Soldiers home at the end of the Civil
War. The soldiers had just been released from Southern prison camps and were
marched to Vicksburg, Mississippi where they were loaded onto the Sultana. The
Sultana was only supposed to carry 400 passengers and crew. When it left
Vicksburg, it had more than 2,000 people onboard. It only made it to West Memphis,
Arkansas before the boilers exploded. I believe it was the greatest maritime
disaster of all time, and the memory of it stayed with me all those years and
inspired Forbidden Fires, my second book.
Excerpt from Forbidden Fires:
On the Mississippi near Memphis
The sound of the Sultana’s explosion brought Ellyn Douglass
upright in bed. She ran from her room to find her grandfather already in the
hall.
“What was that, Grampa?”
“It may have been a steamer . . .”
They rushed out onto the observation area to see the sky
glowing a fiery red in the river’s direction.
“I’ve got to get to town,” he told
her.
“I’ll come with you,” Ellyn offered.
“No. Stay here. If I need you, I’ll
send word.” He hurried inside to get ready to leave.
Ellyn looked out toward the Mississippi. The steamer was
farther south, drifting with the current. She decided at first light she would
go down to the river.
At dawn, Ellyn hurried up to the observation area and
searched the river for some sign of last night’s disaster. It was then she
noticed something caught in a tree. Rushing from the house, she sought out
Franklin.
“We have to get on the river right
away.”
“Why?”
“Did you hear the explosion last night? I was checking this
morning and I think there’s someone trapped in a tree.”
They hurried down to the river dock where the skiff was tied
up. They pushed off and headed toward the flooded grove of trees.
“It’s a man!” Ellyn was shocked by the sight of the lone
figure stranded motionless in the treetop.
Franklin maneuvered them in close and awkwardly managed to
get the unconscious man into the boat.
“Is he alive?” Ellyn asked as she
knelt next to him.
“Seems to be, but he’s cut up pretty
bad.”
Ellyn tore off a strip of her petticoat and started to
bandage the man’s bloody head wound. Much of his clothing had been ripped away
from the force of the blast and he had been burned in several places.
The man groaned softly, and she
reached out to soothe his brow.
“Hang on, mister. . . . Just hang
on. . . .”
When did you first consider yourself a
writer?
I knew when I
was in 5th grade that I wanted to write. In fact, we had to write an
autobiography that year, and the last question the teacher wanted answered was
– What do you want to be when you grow up? I wrote, ‘I want to be an author and
I want to be a teacher.’

Do you write full-time? If so, what’s
your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find
time to write?

I wrote
full-time for almost thirty years. It’s been a great career. Back in the 80s, I
was blessed to be able to stay home and work while my kids were young. My most
creative times are early morning and evening, so I was at the computer no later
than 8 a.m. every day and usually there until 11 at night.
Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?
I fell in love
with women’s history during the course of my career. There were so many
adventurous women out there we never learned about in history class, so I
started my ‘Women Ahead of Their Times’ series. My books with ‘Lady’ in the
title feature a heroine who isn’t afraid to take on a challenge – and a
fantastic hero! In Lady Deception, our heroine is a female bounty hunter who is
a master of disguise. In Weston’s Lady, the heroine is in a Wild West Show. The
heroine in Outlaw’s Lady is a judge,
and in Half-Breed’s Lady our heroine
is an artist.
Links:

Thank you for joining me today, Bobbi. 
Thank you so
much for having me on your blog site! I hope everyone enjoys my stories!

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