Characters, Plots, and Environment
When I decided to write my first novel two years, I originally thought that I would try historical fiction, my favorite type of book to read; but I changed my writing focus to contemporary fiction instead. It was the right call, particularly from the perspective of my personal, non-literary life.
When I am in writing mode, I am totally engrossed in my work. I divide my literary world into three parts: characters, plot and environment. I find that I do my best thinking when working out, either inside on a fitness machine or outside on my bike, so I always keep my phone handy to capture my ideas before I can forget them. The characters in my novel, although totally fictitious, are really alive to me. I often find myself thinking how my heroine, Kris Storm, would react to a situation. What would she say? Where would she go? What would she wear? How would Jim Bright, Kris’ investigative partner, and romantic suitor, try to woo her? I find myself thinking about plot twists in the middle of dinner, and then waking up late at night to change them.
With my brain swirling with fictitious characters and plots, the environment of my story is my only bridge to the real world. Because my novel is in a contemporary setting, I listen to my wife and two college age kids more closely, read the newspaper much more avidly, pay attention to popular music and download the latest apps. I am constantly looking for story lines and themes in my daily life. I think that I am a more attentive parent and husband, as well as a more interesting conversationalist at dinner with friends. In hindsight, if I had set my novel in Elizabethan England, I might be totally divorced from twenty-first century America by now. That is too high a price to pay - at least for me.
SM Smith has longed to write fiction since high school, but needed to "detour" through a career in the investment world first. As one of the first Wall Street analysts to specialize in the information industry, and then as the co-founder (along with his wife) of a successful hedge fund, Smith has researched and invested in the technology sector for the past thirty years. The Fourth Amendment is Smith's debut.