Introduction of Tania Louise Smith – Author

I am Tania Louise Smith, author of Not Too Far From My Back Door. I live in Perth Western Australia and live with my husband Mat and three gorgeous children, Jai, Whitney and Jett. I previously worked as a social worker primarily in the child protection field but now am a homeschooling mum and author/writer..

1) What is the hardest part about being an Author?

Self promotion definitely. Putting yourself out there as a new author is a scary phenomenon. I am not good at tooting my own horn that’s for sure. I am not a massive fan of public speaking either so self promoting myself publicly is a challenge and not comfortable for me. These are new skills for me to both acquire and build up.

2) How do you test out your stories? Or who do you test them on?

For this book in particular, my 8 year old daughter Whitney definitely helped me out tremendously. In the story at the very beginning the main character has some pretty intense feelings that they have built up and needed to release. I definitely tested out different words and phrases with her, some were too confronting or sounded a little tense so she was so helpful in trying to help me find the balance between conveying the feelings of sorrow and despair without being too confrontational in my language. Whitney also helped me choose which of the final artwork made it into the book. She helped me decide which art pieces fit with the message those pages were aiming to portray and which appealed to her the most in its colours and depiction. It was very interesting and thought provoking to see her perspective and I definitely listened and ultimately based my decisions with her input.

3) What is your favourite way/time to read?

Unquestionably by the pool on holidays with my family. There is nothing better than feeling ultimately relaxed (and pampered) and enjoying a book without the stress of thinking what I should or could be doing as a busy Mum. Being in relaxation mode, I find it much easier to dive into the characters and their stories without the nagging feelings of pending housework, chores etc.

4) What book are you reading right now?

‘Conversations with Friends’ by Sally Roony. I was a massive fan of her series that was made from her book ‘Normal People’. This character driven story profoundly affected and engaged me, and had to find out more about her works and understood that Normal People has a huge fan following. I was compelled to experience more of her work, as I was utterly devastated when I came to the end of Normal People as it is not often that I get truly entrenched in non fiction stories as I normally am very keen on true stories, crimes and documentary-based books.

5) What experience did you draw upon when writing this book?

I definitely drew upon my previous experience in child protection and mental health as a social worker. But I also drew upon the experience of myself as a highly sensitive child. I wanted to reach those children with big feelings and emotions, who sometimes have no idea what to do with them and often live in a world that doesn’t understand them. For them to see their strengths within them and around them. I have always been a keen writer of poetry ever since I was a child too so the somewhat poetic tone and structure of my book is heavily influenced by my writing loves.