Stephanie A Smith – Alachua County Writer

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Stephanie A Smith is an Alachua County Florida writer. She has a lot of experience teaching literature, writing and publishing books and even offers consultations for writers for editing, etc.

Brief Biography

After attending Haystack with Ursula K. Le Guin and Vonda N. McIntyre, Stephanie A. Smith took her PhD from UC Berkeley; she is currently a Professor at the University of Florida, published a variety of books and short stories in New Letters, Asimov’s and SF&F.; creative non-fiction and numerous scholarly essays in journals such as differences, American Literature, and Genre; her most recent SF novel, Asteroidea, will be published in the winter of 2020, by Adelaide Books.

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Books Published

Warpaint Trilogy
Warpaint – 2012
Baby Rocket – 2013
Content Burns – 2014

Young Adult Fantasy
Snow Eyes – 1988
The Boy Who Was Thrown Away – 1989

Adult Science Fiction
Other Nature – 1995

Literary Criticism
Conceived by Liberty: Maternal Figures and 19th Century American Literature (Reading Women Writing) – 1994
Household Words: Bloomers, Sucker, Bombshell, Scab, Nigger, Cyber – 2006

Author’s Questions

Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

My books can be read as stand-alone, but several of them are also intertwined. Other Nature, for example, is entirely a stand-alone novel; my two young adult fantasy novels Snow-Eyes and The Boy Who Was Thrown Away are a pair; my Warpaint Trilogy i.e. Warpaint, Baby Rocket, and Content Burns is an intertwined trilogy, but each novel can be read independently of the other. My up-coming novel Asteroidea is the first in a second intertwined trilogy, which continues on from the first trilogy, so the six books could be read as a series…or not. If I get the second and third book of this one published!

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

My first novel, Snow Eyes was a young adult fantasy novel and my editor for it was the well-known editor/author at Athenaeum, Jean Karl. I was 22 at the time and honestly, it didn’t change my process at all—it just made me more determined to make my life that of a writer.

What does literary success look like to you?

I’ve had to adjust my sense of literary success over time. I’ve been writing and publishing since I was in my twenties; but I have not had the kind of celebrity success people associate with being a novelist, in part because I have always been interested in the ‘literary,’ rather than in popularity. I write in popular genres, but I hope that my novels not only entertain but make people think, make people feel, ask questions. And there is always the element of luck. What I say now, in my 60s, is that I’ve had the luck to be able to write what I wanted when I wanted and how I wanted for my entire life. I’ve never been bored (except during faculty meetings!) or forced to do something I didn’t want to do, or to write something slick or fast, just to make money. Most people can’t say that about their lives. I have fulfilled my teenage dreams: I studied with my favorite living authors, who became my life-long friends; I’ve written and published what was closest and dearest to my heart and soul and at 61 I am seeing my seventh novel published. What does success look like? Doing what you love, for your entire life.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

How long always depends on the ambition of the book, but I will say when I was younger, the process took longer than it does now. When I was younger, from beginning to end it took something like three to four years. Now, because I’ve published nine books in total, it takes me less time, about a year or a year and a half (for a novel. For a book of criticism, much, much longer like 5-6 years). But that’s a guess because I’m usually working on two or three different books at once, something Edith Wharton used to do. Right now, I’m working with my editor to publish my next novel, Asteroidea; I’ve sent a completed novel Octopus Dreams to a novel contest; I’m drafting a novel tentatively titled Anatomica and doing some sketches for a novel that might be titled The Wolf, The Bear, and the Dragon, although I’m really not sure what this thing is, yet.

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I am a retired medical office worker who sold everything, bought an old RV and began traveling around the state of Florida with her mother and youngest daughter. My mother has since passed and I work on my books, blogs and websites in the rural quiet of Suwannee County Florida.

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