Sunday, April 15, 2012

Author Spotlight: Jeanette Williams-Smith

From Christina:

Today, "Time for Love" would like to welcome one of my "best buddies" from the Internet Writing Workshop, Jeanette Williams-Smith. She's given me a lot of inspiration and encouragement, as well as a lot of helpful marketing advice.

From Jeanette:

I started writing when I was seven years old. I would take the blank pages out of phone books and encyclopedias, and then come up with something new. I knew I was a pretty weird kid when I would walk by myself from school and "act” out the action while actually speaking my characters' dialogue. People gave me plenty of strange looks. But, then again, I was a pretty strange kid and always got those.

Action and adventure soon took a backseat to—wait for it—love. *Sigh* Not just any love, but I mean heart-stopping, bosom-holding, fairy tales-and-magic romance. *Sigh.* I turned twelve, and all the world was kisses and butterflies. Remember I’m a 90's baby. The best animated movies, like “Beauty and the Beast” and “Anastasia”, involved girls and guys falling in love. Granted these people weren’t real, yet the emotions were real to me. (And my ever-changing hormones and confusion as a teenager further solidified such dreamy states of being).

Then, my late grandmother got a box of Harlequin romance novels in the mail by accident and I discovered romance anew. Romance tangled with bad boys, girls with heaving bosoms and a whole lot of steamy scenes I don't think I was quite ready for at such a young age. (Again, as a child of the 90's, I did see and hear a lot of things I’m not sure I was ready for, like graphic action movies and much bad language.)

I soon became hooked on Harlequin and decided to write a novel of my own. Colors -- which now serves as the inspiration for one of my current projects (Salt in My Coffee) -- had a bad boy hero and the 1860's as a backdrop. I was on my way as a romance writer.

Writing truly took root inside of me in high school. High school was a lonely place for an awkward girl. Especially one with a crush/obsession on a bad boy. Writing filled a hole that (outside of God, God came later) nothing seemed to satisfy. Writing was the BFF: I could talk to it and it could talk back.

When I got to college to study biology (I was in love with germs too), I took writing classes in an attempt to double minor in something that could have easily been my major. But, back then I recognized one challenge of being a writer—starving artists starve. Scientists eat regular meals. So I became a scientist (currently employed as a medical technologist at a local hospital back home) who is a writer part-time, sending emails to myself of scenes and ideas I’d like to write.

Of course, writing takes up full-time thoughts along with being a wife and a Christian.

I’ve been truly blessed to get a few of my hardest, yet most rewarding lessons from critique groups. It was weird finding people who liked spending more time penning down thoughts than doing stuff. And it was normal to talk to yourself. In college, my critique group straightened me out about my poetry then my internet writing group straightened me out about my prose.

I wrote another project, “Snap Shot,” over a two-year period. Jeromy (the hubby) actually read it. Now, this is a man who detests reading as a pleasurable activity. And that gave me confidence that people could find enjoyment in those little voices that crowd my thoughts at my workstation.

More from Christina:

Jeanette's writing is filled with complex characters and conflict-laden situations. She has a gift for getting "deep-down" into her characters' feelings and exposing their vulnerabilities. She shares her talents with the IWW "Lovestory" critique group and can also be found on the web at her "Miss J is Jeanette" blog.


  1. Love the antics of the child writer, born to believe in love unfolding on the pages, then on to writing those scenes as an adult.And writing them well!

  2. Lovely post, Jeanette. I saw myself in some of the scenarios you described, except that I never was a weird kid, because I kept my mouth shut while playing out scenes in my head. :-)

  3. Thanks to Christina and this blog for allowing me to share my heart as a writer. I thank God I was able to do so. Now all those people in my head need to get me published.

  4. Great story, so different from my own beginnings as a novel writer. Where I stumbled from one thing to another, you were BORN to write.