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Introducing Josh Smith

Editor’s Note: We’re pleased to add Josh R. Smith to our roster of Featured Authors. Those of you active in Realm Makers probably already know Josh, since he’s been an active participant for years. He’s also guest blogged for NAF. We’re excited to have him on the team. He’ll be blogging on Tuesdays starting January 9. What follows is our welcome-aboard interview.

Are you in a local writers group or ACFW chapter? How involved are you and what do you love about it?

I live in rural Northeast Missouri, which makes me about four hours from my closest ACFW chapter. I am a part of a local writer’s guild that is sponsored by a small community Bible college. The lady who leads our guild has published a few women’s fiction books with a small publisher, and was my high school English teacher. I get to bring the SpecFic to our group, which helps bring in a few young people.

What’s your book called, and what is it about?

I’m currently working on self-publishing a collection of short stories into a compilation book. I’m taking well known stories from the Bible and putting them in speculative worlds. Noah’s ark meets Mad Max. Jonah and the Black Hole. Mistress Jael: Vampire slayer. I’m at the point in my writing where everyone is asking “what have you written?” and I’d like to say “Why, this right here!” and hand them a copy of my book.

Do you have any publishing credits like short stories and whatnot (including nonfiction like articles in local publications)?

I have been published in Splickety Magazine eight times. One of those was also a contest winner. I will be the staff feature in the coming January issue of Havok. I wrote a nonfiction article about working with youth that was featured in a local newsletter.

How long have you been writing, and how long have you been doing it with a goal of publication? 

I wrote my first chapter story in fifth grade and continued writing short stories or pieces of a larger story until after high school. In 2014 I began to seriously write again, this time with a goal of publication.

What writing conferences have you attended, and what did you get out of them? 
In 2014 I attended a small one-night conference about pursuing your dreams. I ended up talking with the host of the conference after everything was over, and he told me that sometimes creatives need someone to believe in them, before they can believe in themselves. He bought tickets for my wife and I to later attend a creative conference in Chicago called Story. Seeing other people pursuing their passions helped kick start me into believing in the creativity inside me. The leader in my local writer’s group had heard about this guy who wrote something called Flash Fiction, and pointed me toward Ben Wolf and Splickety Magazine. I attended Realm Makers in 2015, 2016, and 2017. You’ll find me there on Day Zero at Realm Makers 2018.

What is up with all the guys whose names begin with J wearing Captain America T-shirts at Realm Makers?

As I was preparing for my first Realm Makers conference, I didn’t know a single person who was attending. I knew of the faculty, publishers, authors, and was freaking out about being in the same with most of them. On day one, my room mate Jason Joyner and I were both wearing Captain America T-shirts, and it quickly became a thing. During the conference a group of like-minded dads formed: Jason, Josh Hardt, JJ Johnson and Zac Totah (Zac’s not a dad, but he is recently engaged!). We put together a critique group on Facebook and have called each Cap’s Chaps ever since. It’s a relationship that I treasure.

Cap’s Chaps, 2017: Josh Hardt, Josh Smith, Jason Joyner, JJ Johnson, and Jim Rubart

What else do you want to tell our readers about yourself?

I am a father of three  (7, 4, and 7 months). I play bass guitar for my local church. I am IT professional by day. I love movies, books, and playing video games, even though I should be writing. The thing that I love most about being a writer is telling stories. I love alien worlds, far off places, shady characters, and crusading knights.

Josh R Smith lives in rural Northeast Missouri with his wife and two children. Josh wrote his first fantasy story in grade school, and has been creating speculative worlds ever since. Josh is currently exploring the world of publication and is working on his first full length novel. You can find more information on Josh and the stories he writes at ww.joshthewriter.com

About Kristen Stieffel

Kristen Stieffel is a writer and freelance editor specializing in speculative fiction. She's a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association, Christian Editor Connection, and American Christian Fiction Writers.

2 comments on “Introducing Josh Smith

  1. Well-done, Josh! Looking forward to reading more of your work.

  2. Welcome Josh. Excited to have you as part of the NAF team!

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