The hardest thing about being an author, for me, is quieting my inner critic and building my confidence. It took years for me to release my first book. Meanly because it took me so long to actually finish it and then work up the confidence to release it to the world.
As authors, our books are like our children, we take pride in what we write and want our readers to love it just as much as we do. But we always have the inner critic in our ears that causes us to do rewrite after rewrite in search of perfection. I am absolutely guilty of that. I’ve made changes mid-way, from name change to the entire plot. But I’ve come to learn that the inner critic is my own insecurities and I’m slowly learning to let go and trust what I create.
Can you give us a short synopsis of your book?
“Secrets in the Wood: An Emilia Long Mystery” is the first in the series. In this book the reader will get to know Emilia, an investigative Reporter from New York, and follow her in her search for her birth mother. Her Journey begins when she read documents left for her by her adopted mother reveling that she was left abandoned at a Brooklyn hospital as an infant.
Her investigation takes her to a small town in North Carolina where she learns that her birth mother disappeared months before she was born. Emilia is unwavering in her search to find out what happened to her birth mother but she finds herself up against a town full of people who rather not dig up the past.
But a Emilia continues to investigate she learns that the townspeople is covering up something even more bloody and gruesome then her mother’s disappearance.
This book is filled with so many twist and turns that it will keep the readers on the edge of their seats.
I'm a librarian, so I'm always curious about libraries. Do you have a favorite library? If so, please tell us about it.
As an Attorney, I’ve lived in law libraries for the past few years. But when I was younger there was a county library right across the street from the local mall. It had a sitting area right by the window that was away from everyone and all the fiction novels surrounded it. I use to sit there and just read while my friends were across the street at the mall. It was my perfect hiding place.
How many hours per day do you spend writing?
Week days I can spend 4-5 hours a day. I’m a night writer and seem to get my best ideas at midnight. But on the weekends, I can sit at my laptop all day, just getting lost in my story.
Name your top five favorite books?
Besides my own books, my top five books are “Brothers and Sisters” by BeBe Moore Campbell, “The Joy Luck Club” by Amy Tan, “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, “I know Why the Cage Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou, and “There Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston.
What are you working on now?
Right now, I’m working on the second book in the series. But as I mention before, my inner critic has cause me to change the plot about five times. But I’m so excited about the cozy mystery genre that I have so many ideas floating around in my head. I think the next book in the series will be absolutely amazing.
Title: Secrets in the Woods: An Emilia Long Mystery
Author: J.E. Smythe
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Secrets in the Woods is a gripping tale about Emilia Long- an Investigative Reporter and her quest to find out the circumstances surrounding her mother’s death. Long’s quest begins after reading documents left for her by her adopted mother revealing that she was abandoned as an infant at a Brooklyn hospital. The revelation led Emilia on a suspenseful journey to find her birth mother.
But finding her is not so easy. Her investigations reveal that her birth mother disappeared months before her birth and that the disappearance was linked to a murder. With the key suspect in her mother’s disappearance locked away in jail on unrelated charges and the townspeople, including the Sheriff, unwilling to help her, Emilia finds herself at a dead end. In an unimaginable twist of fate, Emilia discovers more than she bargained for. Some Secrets are really better left untold.
In addition to her 9 to 5 attorney job, Smythe is also the co-founder of publishing company, Lady Esquire Group, LLC. The Attorney Author describes herself as a half analytic and half creative who was blessed to figure out how to join those halves together. Her other books include: Through Grandma’s Eyes, Zora’s First Day and a Few Good Friends. When asked about the motivation for writing her latest work, she explained: “I’m a lover of the Cozy Mystery genre but I found that there were not a lot of those books written by African American Authors with African American characters. I just wanted to put a whole new face on such a fun and exciting genre.”
Smythe’s adept writing style in Secrets in the Woods is enticing and captivates readers from the first page. The novel feature a cast of believable characters and numerous twists and turns that will have readers begging for more.
About the Author
J.E. Smythe is an award winning author born in Liberia, West Africa, and raised in Providence, Rhode Island, and Gaithersburg, Maryland. J.E. is also an attorney who attended Allen University and received her Law Degree from Massachusetts School of Law. While working as an attorney, J.E. just could not let her passion to write die. She decided to take her legal writing skills and write her debut fiction novel “A Few Good Friends.” J.E. currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina where she has Co-founded Lady Esquire Group, LLC management and publishing firm. She is a proud member of Zeta phi Beta Sorority, Inc.