Today we welcome Mary Nida Smith.
Book ‘Em: Tell us about you and your life outside of writing.
Mary Nida Smith: I enjoy my church and friends. Photography and art are my other passions.
Book ‘Em: Which books have you written?
Mary Nida Smith: I love non-fiction so I have written two military books: Submarine Stories of World War II and Heroes Beneath the Waves: Submarine Stories of the Twentieth Century.
Book ‘Em: What are they about and why did you choose to write them?
Mary Nida Smith: They are true stories the men experienced who served aboard submarines. They are stories I believed needed to be shared of my husband and others that I came to know, when he was active in the Submarine Veterans of World War II organization. Do your books have a message? Yes, they were written with preteens and family members in mind. I wanted them to know about the submarine service and what their love ones endured.
Book ‘Em: Do you have a work in progress?
Mary Nida Smith: I always have work in progress. Editing children’s books and poetry I have written over the years. Continuing to search for the right publisher take a lot of self-encouragement. If there is a call for fillers from magazines; I submit.
Book ‘Em: What was the most difficult section/piece you ever wrote?
Mary Nida Smith: One of my husband’s submarine war patrols. What made it difficult? They were on silent run when caught behind enemy lines and had to wait until morning to escape. The emotional anguish the crew suffered at that time.
Book ‘Em: What sort of research do you do for your work?
Mary Nida Smith: Oh, my, hours, plus sending out emails and calls for information and stories. It was very difficult being a women prying into a man’s world. I was informed many times; I should be taking care of my husband and not prying, where it shouldn’t be.
Book ‘Em: Which books and authors do you read for pleasure? Is there an author that inspires you?
Mary Nida Smith: I haven’t had time to read for pleasure. I hope in the future to have time to purchase some books I would love to read.
Book ‘Em: Was there a person who encouraged you to write?
Mary Nida Smith: My first and second grade teacher lit the fire in me.
Book ‘Em: What would you say are your strengths as an author?
Mary Nida Smith: Never give up, imagination, being stubborn and wanting to explore more of the world around me.
Book ‘Em: How often do you write, and do you write using a strict routine?
Mary Nida Smith: I write when I can. If I am working on a deadline, it is every day, for I am committed to finish ahead of time. I am always overjoyed when an editor says yes to my query; I never want to let them down.
Book ‘Em: Five years from now, where do you see yourself as a writer?
Mary Nida Smith: If I am blessed to be alive, I hope to have one or two children’s books and a poetry book published. I live one day at a time for God holds the plan for my future.
Book ‘Em: If you could offer one piece of advice to a novice writer, what would it be?
Mary Nida Smith: Write!
Book ‘Em: What would you consider the best compliment a reader could give your book?
Mary Nida Smith: They knew little or nothing about submarines, and what the crew went through, and how much they appreciated the book.
Book ‘Em: Provide an excerpt of your writing that you would like to share with our members.
Mary Nida Smith:
“One night after midnight, approximately ten days at sea, we made contact with a convoy of twelve ships. We tracked them for some time. At four in the morning we made radar approach, firing eight torpedos with six hits. We sank three enemy ships. At 0400, everything broke loose. The convoy escort picked us up on their sound gear and proceeded to release depth charges against us the entire day. The layers of cork that lined the inside to provide moister were popping and flying all over the place.”
Mary Nida Smith