Tag Archives: Kenyan Smith

Kenyan Smith

It’s been so long since I’ve done an interview, I almost feel like a newbie again! I have been so busy lately between a move, a new job, and a new release that I have had to learn to juggle a few more balls.

Today, after my hiatus from Ink Drop, I am happy to have Kenyan Smith with me. I interviewed Kenyan five years ago (You can check out that interview Here).

IDI – Welcome back, Kenyan. Those five years flew!

KS – Thank you for having me, again.

IDI – We all like to receive positive reviews. What is your reaction to a negative review? Be honest.


Kendra’s Diaries

KS – It’s like a punch in the gut. The first time I received a negative review I felt sick the entire day. But you learn you will get negative reviews everybody does. So you have to read/listen with an open mind.  You pick out what you can use to improve and shake off the rest. It’s not always easy but in order to move past negative reviews you must do it.

IDI – Think back to the first book you wrote and then the last book you wrote. In what ways have you grown?

KS – In 2011 when I wrote my first book, I was greener than grass in many ways. One of the most important ways was back then I was focused far too much on writing the book and not enough on what comes next.

Writing and marketing can’t be mutually exclusive. And marketing isn’t screaming “buy my book!” But it’s developing and nurturing relationships that can and should go beyond me as just a writer.

My writing is a reflection of who I am. But the key to attracting and maintaining my readers/fan base is to give them me. The biggest way I’ve grown has been to expand my capacity to give of myself.

IDI – What are you working on now? Can we get a peek, an excerpt maybe to tickle our taste buds?

KS – I’m currently working on my first non-fiction book tentatively titled Gurl Let Him Goooo! It’s nonfiction however it’s based on one of my real life relationships.

The book will discuss what happens when you fall in love, then realize the relationship is not good for you and the pain and process of letting go.

IDI – I’ve had one of them! (As I’m sure many of us have). The only difference for me was the pain came during. Letting go was the relief from it.

What works for you? Give us a rundown of your ‘writing process’ from beginning to finished product.

KS – It would look like this:

  1. Develop a concept for a book/What I want the book to say/do.
  2. Outline each chapter
  3. Write each chapter with paper and pen
  4. Type out each chapter
  5. Complete the manuscript
  6. Have it edited by professional editor
  7. Redo based on edits
  8. Final proof

IDI – What is the kindest comment/compliment you have ever received from a fan regarding your work?

KS – A young lady told me she felt like she was Kendra (the main character of my Young Adult Growing Pains Series). She felt as if she was reading about herself. She totally identified with her.

IDI – Favorite author, and why?-Sidney Sheldon.

KS – He was a master story teller.

IDI – What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about writing? How has this helped you as a writer?

KS – The most beneficial thing I can be for my readers is real. I believe I have something positive and valuable to offer the world and I want to share it.

It helped me as a writer because I’m not trying to be this writer or that writer; I’m being me. I have confidence in that.

IDI – How much time/effort do you give to social media as a means of self-promotion?

KS – I believe you are always self-promoting whether you mean to or not. So, I spend a lot of time on social media connecting and sharing about life in general.

IDI – Is there a particular area of your writing (getting ideas, revision, editing, et cetera) where you seem to struggle the most and how do you overcome it?

KS – I don’t like editing. For me it’s the most painful part of the writing process.

I try to take more care with the initial manuscript which can make editing a much less egregious process.

IDI – I’ve heard that more than a few times!

What’s the best advice ever given to you, and by whom?

KS – One of my closest friends told me when I was struggling with the fear of making a wrong decision, “What you think you are going to go through the rest of your life without making another mistake? You will make mistakes but you will do what you always do. You’ll learn and grow from them.”

It was one of the most freeing moments of my life. I’m free to move forward with what I know and can do at any given time. When I make mistakes I learn, grow, and move on.


New Beginnings

IDI – That’s sound advice.

Have you ever wanted to give up? What stopped you?

KS – Absolutely but not anymore. It’s easy to give up. It takes strength and courage to keep going no matter what. That’s who I am so that’s what I do.

IDI – In your opinion, what are the biggest misconceptions new authors have about the publishing industry?

KS – The same two I had when I began.

1. If I write a great book interested readers will just somehow magically appear.

2. Social media followers automatically = paying customers. They can be but there is a process a bridge between the two and that’s developing and nurturing the relationships.

IDI – They are misconceptions many new authors have, among others.

You’ve said that editing is your least favorite aspect of the writing process, what is the hardest or most frustrating aspect of writing: ideas, getting started, writer’s block, re-writing?

KS – Fortunately I’ve never had a problem with coming up with ideas or have experienced writer’s block. The hardest thing for me is finding significant amounts of time to write. My blocks are finding blocks of time to steal away and release all the ideas and thoughts inside. When I can find the time everything just flows.

IDI – Why don’t you tell the readers a bit about your other profession.

KS – I’m also a life/relationship coach. I allowed a major wrong decision take too many years from me. I’m committed to helping people not to fear making decisions. But to have confidence in their decision making ability and to see each decision as a step forward on their path to their individual destiny.

I want to help each person I’m fortunate to come in contact with to Live Their Best Life Possible.

IDI – Fun question. Your last book is racing up the best seller list. You’ve been invited to a sit down with Oprah. Describe your reaction to the news and your preparation for the show.

KS – I scream for about an hour really I would. Oprah is my girl crush!!

Honestly, my prep wouldn’t be that much. Oprah can smell a line a mile away. I would mainly focus on staying calm and being myself. I believe that would ensure an awesome interview!

IDI – I don’t know of an author who hasn’t dreamed of sitting on Oprah’s couch at some point!

One last question, what is the single most important thing you share with others?

KS – Life is truly what you make it. We can’t sit idly by while life happens to us and then complain when we don’t get what we want.

We are the captain of our own ship. It’s up to each one of us to be accountable for our own lives, success and happiness.

IDI – Thank you so much for joining me again, Kenyan. You’re one busy lady and we wish you the very best with your current and future endeavors.

To learn more about Kenyan and her work, please visit her at the following links:


K.E. Garvey is the award-winning author of Lily White Lies, The Red Strokes, and her latest release, Cry Like A Girl.



Kenyan Smith

Welcome back! Thanks for joining me for another weekly interview. First, I would like to apologize to my guest this week and everyone who has been checking my blog looking for this post. Due to circumstances far beyond my control, I am about 7 hours late with this publication. Moving on…

… this week I welcome Kenyan Smith, author of the ‘Growing Pains’ series and owner of ‘Doin It Publishing’.

 IDI – Kenyan, I’ve heard argument for each side, but when writing, do you outline or sketch the entire book before you feel comfortable enough to begin your draft or do you prefer to fly by the seat of your pants?

KS – I construct my books scene by scene. I try to have each scene tie into the next. I outline my scenes. For example in ‘A New Beginning’, which I am currently working on, I have 10 scenes in my head that I have to sit down and write. There is no rhyme or reason as to how many scenes I outline in my head at a time. I just write them down as they come to me.

I handwrite the scene(s) on paper first. Then I type them on the computer (so that is really two re-writes in the beginning). Most times there are a couple of days or so in between me going from the paper and to computer. When I get to the computer it is a feeling that I cannot explain; something/someone takes over and more times than not, what I have on paper takes on a new life when I go to type the scene. When I am done with several scenes, I go back and decide where a chapter should begin and end.

I repeat the process until the story is complete. But, of course it is not really complete. I do this over and over and over again until the story is completely edited and ready to publish.

IDI – Did you have a Eureka moment or did you always know you were born to be a writer?

KS – I didn’t have one Eureka moment. I have always loved to write. In school, I always did well on my English papers and essay tests. I have always had ‘a way with words’.

The moment my dream of being published began was in 2007. After a lot of personal problems, I had the Eureka moment that life was too short and it was time to just Do It. So, I did.

IDI – Are your stories plot or character driven?

KS – Plot, plot, plot with strong characters. I have always been and still am a fan of the soap operas. I know the dawn of reality TV is changing the face of TV (nothing wrong with that – as long as the earth exists there will be change). But, I love the soaps because of the great ‘stories’, the turns, the twists and the plots.

When I write, I want to tell a great story with a great message.

IDI – What are you working on now? Can we get a peek?

KS – I am working on the sequel to ‘Growing Pains: Kendra’s Diaries. The second book in the series is tentatively titled ‘A New Beginning’.

I have my own publishing company, Doin It Publishing. I will be assisting new authors with their consulting and self-publishing needs. I want to help first time and seasoned authors realize their dream of being published. I am laying the foundation of the company and planning to take on clients by the beginning of 2012.

IDI – I enjoy hearing about some of the eccentricities often associated with writers. Do you have any (you’d like to share)?

KS – I have to be in the ‘mood’ to write. I often hear ‘write whether you feel like it or not’. For me, that is counter-productive because when the mood hits me, I can make up lost time. When I am in the mood, the words, thoughts, situations and scenes flow out of me like a stream of rushing water.

IDI – Everyone writer has their own dream. What’s yours?

KS – I would love to be rich, who wouldn’t, right? But I have no interest in being famous. I would want my life to stay the same just with a lot more money. I want to write at least one New York Times Best Seller. If I could help others do the same that would be the icing on the cake.

My dream board would also have Tyler Perry making a series out of the journey of Kendra Foster and her growing up adapted from the ‘Growing Pains’ series.

IDI – What was the best advice ever given to you, and by whom?

KS – The best advice came from one of my closest friends, Charisse Sanders. I was going back and forth with a major decision I had to make. I was telling her I was scared of making a mistake. She asked me a question that has totally changed the way I make decisions. She asked me, ” Kenyan, do you think  you will live the rest of your life and never make another mistake? Of course not, make the best decision  you have with the information you have. If it is the wrong decision, then correct if if you can when you can.”

Wow!! We all make mistakes, the wrong decisions but all we can do is what we think is best at the time. If we do that, then we have done all we can. Sometimes we become so immobilized with fear of making the wrong decision we never get around to DOING anything and that is the worst mistake of all.

IDI – In your opinion, what are the biggest misconceptions new authors have about the publishing industry?

KS – That writing the book is the most important part of the journey. I made this critical mistake myself. That is only the beginning. The marketing, the promotion, the follow-up and the branding, those are key. And as writers, that is sometimes not our strongest suit.

So, while we are typing the next bestseller, we have to keep in mind it only becomes one if people actually buy it!!

IDI – What do you do when you’re not writing?

KS – I have two sons which keep me busy with all of their extra curricular activities. So my weekends depend on what they have going on. I love sports. Football is my favorite so that will take up a lot of time between now and the Super Bowl. I also love to read, watch a good movie, dance and listen to music.

IDI – You have a 9 to 5 job. How do you manage work, family, social obligations and extra curricular activities and still find time to write?

KS – I work during the day. My evenings consist of making sure my sons are doing what they need to do in relation to homework and studying, making sure they aren’t surviving off of fast food (even though it can be tempting to save some time), working on my new book, promoting the one that is out now, watching some TV (I do have a few shows that I have to watch) and breathe. I am always waiting and praying for the time when I can work from home. So when I read this question, I am thinking oh no!!

I guess no matter what your situation, it comes down to determination, dedication and commitment to writing, or anything else for that matter. Since I have to be in the ‘mood’ to write I am known for using big purses because I carry around my pad all of the time. So, when it hits no matter what else I am doing, I just have to multi task. I have to strike when the iron is hot.

IDI – I would like to thank Kenyan for joining me today, and once again apologize for getting behind the 8-ball with the interview.

Join me next week for L. David Hesler!!

 Ink Drop Interviews are conducted weekly by Kathy Reinhart, author of ‘Missouri in a Suitcase’ and ‘Lily White Lies’ – both available in digital and paperback from your favorite online retailers.

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‘A friend worth knowing tolerates your flaws while a friend worth keep writes about them’ ~kathy reinhart

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