Title: For by Grace
Author Name: Adrian J. Smith
Publication Date & Length: June 1, 2014 – 256 pgs
Being a Sheriff’s Deputy is not all about saving lives and arresting criminals, and each day Grace wonders if she’ll make it home.
While kids at the schools Deputy Grace Halling visits see her as the knight in blue-cotton armor, people involved in the cases she is dispatched to have a different opinion. She has every confidence in her ability to do her job and arrest criminals. She easily takes down a knife-wielding woman and a drunken combatant teenager without hesitation. Everyone—victim, suspect, or witness—has a story to tell or to lie about, and Grace is never perturbed by their tales.
That all changes when she looks down the barrel of a gun. She loses confidence in her ability as a deputy, she loses trust in herself and fellow officers, and she struggles to stay afloat as shift after shift passes. Grace cannot find her rhythm of being a deputy again. And when the Police Chaplain unexpectedly barges into her life, her personal and professional lives are flipped upside down. Grace struggles to find even ground, worrying that the next time she stares a murderer in the face will be the last.
Adrian J. Smith, or “AJ” as she is often called, is a part-time writer with an epic imagination, sharp wit, and kind heart that gets her into a bit of trouble when it comes to taking in all the neighborhood stray cats. Being obsessed with science fiction, Smith often goes off on tangents about the space-time continuum. She is also a part-time lunatic with a secretive past. It’s been rumored that she was once a spy for the government, but anyone who has gotten close enough to know the truth has never lived to tell the tale. When traveling around the world on various classified tasks, Smith requires the following be provided: buffalo jerky, mimosas, and eighty-six pennies. This is all we know about the reclusive woman.
- Can you describe in detail what your writing environment is like?
I can. My writing environment, however, changes depending on my mood. I never really always write in one place. I have an office (finally!) and in it I have a card table that serves as my desk. There’s a light, sticky notes, stapler, etc on it. I have a printer to my left and a small shelf to my right. In front of me, I have a cork board. On the wall to my left is a white erase board. I also have a keyboard (electric piano) with sheet music, the rocking chair my husband was rocked in, a few cat trees and a ton of yarn for crocheting. It’s my all around office. =P
- When I’m writing, the door is usually shut and I have one or two animals with me. There’s music playing from my computer, typically Christian radio, and I tend to have a drink with me. Depending on how late in the evening or early in the morning depends on the drink, but either hot tea or beer.
- Is there one of your characters that you relate to (from any of your works)? Why?
I relate to all the main characters. If you’re asking which I relate to the most, that’s more difficult as I relate to them differently. Addy, in the James Matthews Series, made a big impact with me, and I really struggled with what I did with her character because I didn’t like it. I didn’t like to see her in that much pain, and I didn’t like knowing what happened.
I don’t know why her except that maybe she’s closest to someone I would know in real life. I didn’t base her off anyone, but personality wise and what she does, I would probably end up knowing and being friends with someone like her.
- If you couldn’t be an author, what would you do instead?
I’d do what I do for a living! I’m an ordained minister, and I love that job to death. I wouldn’t trade it in for anything, and I plan on continuing in ministry until I absolutely must retire.
- Is there anything that you learned during the writing process that you wish you had known before hand?
Go into marketing with a plan! I still haven’t quite figured this one out, but I’m at least expanding my horizons on what marketing is out there and how I can utilize it. But marketing isn’t something just to do on the side, it’s something that I need to think about and plan ahead of time. It’s a long learning process for me since I still do a lot of it on the side. I should get better at that. =P
- Is there anything that you wish you could change about your book now that it is out?
No, honestly. I don’t think there’s anything I would chance (except minor errors I will always and forever find and feel the urge to fix). I like the story. It accomplished exactly what I wanted it to accomplish. I didn’t want a stand police procedural with detectives. Their job is rather boring most of the time as they sit in an office. I wanted a book that would show case patrol officers and what they do, and the things they face on a regular basis. I also wanted a novel that didn’t focus on the romance. That’s been done before, and I’ll admit it, I’m not the number one romantic out there!
- How do you come up with new ideas for your story?
Part of it was from my experience working alongside law enforcement as an outside agent, and part was research. Part is just listening and reading stories that happened to cops and perhaps expanding on them a little. Police officers have the best stories some times.
- What’s next for you as a writer?
I have a new series I’m working on that’s urban fantasy, and finishing up the Spirit of Grace series. I have one more book to write about Grace, and then it’s on to newer things.
- Where do you live? Do you think this influences how or what you write?
I’ve lived all around the country, so I’m not sure about this one. I just moved a few months ago, so I doubt this new place has any influences on me yet.
- What is your favorite genre outside of the one you write in? Why?
Outside of what I write? Yeeesh. I really enjoy reading Native American stories. I plan to write one, but I haven’t yet, so this still counts as an answer! I loved reading Scott O’Dell books growing up, and I certainly still love them.
- Do you have any vices? Shoes, coffee, shopping…etc?
Chocolate. Rice. Typewriters.
Author’s Website: http://adrianjsmith.wordpress.com/
Author’s GoodRead Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6914728.Adrian_J_Smith