Author interview with J.L. Smith
Reporting For Doodie is my first book and I am very excited about the reviews it’s been getting! I also do a lot of freelance writing for various business owners. I grew up in a very small town in Pennsylvania, but felt the fire inside and had to break loose! I left the small town at an early age and never looked back (except to visit my siblings). Now I live in paradise…Long Beach, CA…and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else! It has everything and I love it!
1. Tell us about your latest book.
My book is entitled “Reporting For Doodie: One Grandmother’s Story of Commitment, Frustration and Unwavering Love”.
What would you do if you were a (suddenly) single grandmother and both your daughter and son-in-law were deployed at the same time, leaving you as primary caregiver for your 2-year old grandson? You’d do exactly what I did…Report for Doodie!
So many events inspired this book…some happy, some frustrating, some sad…but all life-changing. My story starts with one incredibly funny incident that served as an epiphany to share my story. This was not the first time I was “Reporting for Doodie”, but it was the first time I was doing it all alone. Or so I thought…I discovered a secret vault filled with friends I never knew I had. Sadly, I also lost a few along the way.
I found myself in the midst of an unexpected divorce, facing the possible loss of my home and making a major career change, when someone, somewhere took a look at my proverbial “plate” and thought…”there’s a little corner of her plate that isn’t taken, she needs a toddler to care for…oh, and at the same time, let’s throw in a rarely-heard-of medical condition to make her life even more interesting”.
I hope readers enjoy my account of how this beautiful child saved me from myself and how I used ‘The Secret” to channel the inner strength my mother gave me…all compliments of the U.S. Military.
2. How did you get started as a writer?
My mother instilled the love of the written word in me, particularly through the words of Erma Bombeck; readers of my book have been comparing my style to hers…the ultimate compliment!!
So many events inspired this book…some happy, some frustrating, some sad…but all life-changing. My story starts with one incredibly funny incident that served as an epiphany to write the book I had always dreamed of.
3. What does a typical day look like for you?
Up early…write anything…go to my ‘day job”…back home to write some more!
4. Describe your desk/workspace.
Home office in one of my bedrooms. White board on the wall that lists all my projects and their deadlines. A “vision board” right in front of me with pictures (or other documents) depicting what I want…and will get…out of life!
5. Favorite books (especially for writers)
Again…anything and everything written by Erma Bombeck. Also enjoy the teachings of “The Secret”. Anything that entertains me or makes me think. That was the goal with my current book…making people laugh, cry and really think…and it’s been successful at doing that!
6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you
My book was inspired by an incident that happened with my grandson…he ran out the front door of my house – in front of all my neighbors – with my vibrator in his hand yelling: “Gramma…toy…BRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!
I got myself on the Oprah Winfrey Show with one well-crafted email. They contacted me by phone within 3 hours and days later I was in Chicago for the taping of a segment on inspirational self-reinvention stories.
I got my first tattoo at the age of 50. I was just separated from my husband, had reinvented myself – inside and out – and feeling fabulous at 50!! I was visiting my siblings in PA and decided to get a tattoo on the back of my neck. It means “life and birth” because I felt reborn. I also drug my 2 brothers and my sister (who is 65) along with me and made them get their first tattoos too…what a day!
7. Favorite quote
Now that’s a tough one…couldn’t name just one…but some of my favorites are scatters throughout my book.
8. Best and worst part of being a writer
Best part: being able to express yourself.
Worst part: there aren’t enough hours in the day to write everything I want to!
9. Advice for other writers
Follow your dream…don’t give up. Everyone has a story inside them…just let it out! When I got the first copy of my book – in draft form – I began shaking. I’ll never forget that feeling!
10. Tell us a story about your writing experience.
Again, I must revert to the vibrator story…it was included in Redbook Magazine recently in their embarrassing stories section. Can you imagine????
Also, when writing my book on my new laptop, I lost the entire book – twice – with no backup due to computer problems. I guess the third time really is the charm. I think it’s because as time elapsed while recreating it, the best ending came about with my son-in-law back from Iraq safely.
Where can people buy your book?