1. Your debut novel, Ghosts of Fire,
was self-published. Now you are with BET. How did this come about?
With hard work and persistence! I submitted With Every Breath to BET after meeting
and speaking with Chandra Taylor at Romance Slam Jam in 2003. About three months later, I received THE CALL from Linda Gill. Needless to say, I
2. How is being with a publishing house different (good or bad) from self-publishing?
Being with a traditional publishing house means greater distribution of my books. With Every
Breath is available in bookstores across the country, which makes it more accessible to readers. As a self-published author, it was difficult,
and sometimes impossible, to get bookstores to carry copies of Ghosts of Fire. I mostly had to
rely on people ordering the book online. Being with a publishing house, I also benefit from professional editorial input and guidance. On the other
hand, as a self-published author, I had more control over such things as my cover art than I do now.
3. Itís been two years since your debut novel. How have you changed as a writer?
Iíd like to think Iíve changed and learned a lot. I believe itís important for writers to constantly challenge themselves to grow and improve their
writing, no matter how many books theyíve sold or how many bestseller lists theyíve made. I can honestly tell you that I think
With Every Breath is better than
Ghosts of Fire, and I hope that my next book is even better than
With Every Breath, and so on. Writing is an ever-evolving process.
4. Tell us a little about With Every Breath.
When a serial killer kidnaps one of associate professor Imani Maxwellís students, she must work closely with FBI special agent Garrison Wade to solve
the mystery. The last thing Imani wants is to be attracted to the sexy, brooding agent. When she finds herself the target of the kidnapperís game of
cat and mouse, itís Garrison she turns to for help. Nothing can prepare them for the intense heat that ignites between them, and no one can stop a
deadly predator who wants Imani dead.
5. What inspires you to write romantic suspense thrillers?
I write what I love to read, and my favorite subgenre is romantic suspense. Thereís nothing like the dynamics between two people who find themselves
thrown together against a common enemy, especially when an attraction already exists between them. The danger they face heightens the tension between
them and adds dimension to the overall story. As a romantic suspense writer, I love it when readers tell me that my story had the perfect blend of
romance and mystery, and that they never guessed whom the villain was until the very end. Thatís what I always strive to give my readers: a
well-written story with riveting suspense and enduring romance.
6. Did you find any challenges with writing this book? If so, what were they?
I wouldnít say there were ďchallenges,Ē per se. This book required a great deal of research because I was writing about a kidnapping case, and I
wanted to be as thorough and accurate as possible in chronicling the way the case was investigated by the FBI and police. Doing the research was a lot
of hard work, but I enjoyed it because I love learning about new things I wouldnít normally encounter in my everyday life. And itís very rewarding
when readers, especially those in law enforcement, swear Iím a former FBI agent because Iíve done my research so well. LOL.
7. What would you say is the most difficult part of writing?
Not writing is the most difficult part for me. The demands of family and a full-time job make it difficult to write as often and for as long as Iíd
like. Once Iím alone and in front of that computer, I can pretty much overcome any other challenges I might encounter in my writing.
8. What do you do in your spare time?
I absolutely love to read, although as a rule I try not to read too many books when Iím working on a story. I also enjoy spending time with my husband
and our two young children.
10. Whatís next for Maureen Smith?
My next book, A HEARTBEAT AWAY, is a romantic suspense thriller about a DEA diversion investigator and FBI agent who investigate the mysterious
illnesses of several teenagers from prominent Washington, D.C. families. A HEARTBEAT AWAY will be released by BET Books in September 2005.
11. How can your fans communicate with you?
I love to hear from readers! You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and visit my Web site
ROMANCE IN COLOR wishes Ms. Smith continued