Brian J. Smith has been featured in numerous anthologies, e-zines, and magazines in both the mystery and horror genres. His books The Tuckers, and Three O’Clock are still available on Amazon for Kindle. He lives in southeastern Ohio with his dogs where eats more than enough spicy food that no human being should ever consume, already has too many books and buys more, and doesn’t drink enough coffee to suit his palate and cheers on The Ohio State Buckeyes.
His first book, Dark Avenues, is available on Amazon for both Kindle and paperback this December.
First Set (10 Questions) :
1.) When did you realize that you wanted to become an author?
When I wrote a short story about a boy who witnesses the murder of his best friend by a group of
bullies and evades them by killing them inside of his house.
2.) Where were you (either in life or a physical location) when you had the idea to write your first book?
I’ve always wanted to write a short story collection because I always enjoyed them as a kid. I couldn’t
count how many of them I read as a child. The first one I ever read was called “Stalkers” edited by
Martin H. Greenberg and Ed Gorman which featured the stories of Robert R. McCammon, F. Paul
Wilson, Max Allan Collins, Ed Gorman himself, Dean Koontz and Richard Laymon.
3.) Do you have any methods, techniques, or rituals that you do in the process of writing a book?
I write it out on wide ruled notebooks on a clipboard with a point-seven mechanical pencil. I fire up
my aromatherapy machine and take the smells of cinnamon and drink hot coffee and get busy. There
are times where I stop before five o’clock or start something and try to get done before five o’clock. I
also write every other weekend including Sundays.
4.) After finishing your book, do you go out and celebrate and if so, what do you do?
I drink a screwdriver and watch the original Night Of The Living Dead.
5.) What did you learn when writing your books?
Two things I learned writing books: One it takes patience and perseverance; one rejection should
never keep you from achieving greatness. Two, you’re not done unless you’re bleeding.
6.) What kind of technology do you prefer when writing your book?
7.) Were there any challenges and/or obstacles that you’ve encountered when you were writing your
Editing process. If I hadn’t spent five months editing it, then it would’ve been out much sooner.
8.) What characters and/or scenes in your book did you like or dislike and why?
9.) Are any authors or a person in general that may have impacted your life that you consider to be an
important aspect of your writing career? If so, who were they and why?
Ernest Hemingway, Mary SanGiovanni, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Brian Keene, Robert
McCammon, Robert Crais, Max Allan Collins, Jim Thompson, Bentley Little, Ross MacDonald and
The most influential would have to be Jack Ketchum. His novel Off Season was an eye opener for
me. It showed me that horror is not always relegated to just vampires, werewolves and zombies.
10.) Where do you get your ideas for your books characters? Are those characters based off of
people you know personally or may have met by chance or are they completely made up by your
My characters are based upon people I know or have seen in movies or read about in books. My
character Marilyn Graham from the title story “Dark Avenues” is based on an actual teenager who
was found dead by a fisherman. I’m not sure where and when it happened because it’d happened a
long time ago.
8.) What is the most difficult part of the writing process?
In my opinion, writing can do both. It can be both exciting because you’re creating this wholly
different world from the one you’re actually living in and enjoying how the book is unfolding but it’s the
editing process that can be exhausting.
7.) If you hadn’t become an author, what would’ve been your backup career and why?
10.) what period of your life did you start writing (child, teenager, adult) and knew that was your purpose
in life to be an author?
I was thirteen years old. The short story my sixth grade teacher asked for gave him a nightmare.
2.) If you were put in charge of creating a brand new global holiday, what would you name it and how
would it be celebrated?
I wouldn’t want to be in charge of creating a holiday but I’ve always been an advocate for trading
Valentine’s Day for second Halloween. Halloween is all year round as far as I’m concerned.
3.) If animals could talk, what species would be the rudest and most annoying?
Cats. I love all animals but it would have to be them.
5.) If out of the blue you were kidnapped by strangers, but for some reason they returned you within
minutes of kidnapping you and left a note pinned to your shirt. What would the note say for your return?
This guy can’t hold a tune to save his ass.
4.) If you were suddenly arrested for no reason, and your face splashed all over the news, what would
your family and friends assumed happened or that you’ve done?
Got drunk and ran across Ohio Stadium with my shirt off.
6.) A witch has cast a spell on you turning you into an inanimate non electric object for a year. To be
changed back into a human before the year is up, you need to to be able to get at least 100 people to touch you. What inanimate object would the witch turn you into?
9.) You’re now banned from the local library, what would be the reason for the ban?
For telling everyone the ending to all of the books they checked out three minutes after they
checked them out.