Wednesday, July 11, 2018

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.

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.”


“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.


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


Victoria Alexander said...

Really great post, thanks for sharing!

bobbi smith said...

Hi everybody!

Danielle merkle said...

Sounds like a good read.