I want to give a warm welcome to Desiree Smith-Adams. Born in California, she was at an early age exposed to the beauty of story telling through movies. Her father held jobs at movie studios and was a manger at Blockbuster Video, so she and her family always got to watch the newest movies.
Her love of writing came in the third grade when for a school project she got some friends together to act out a book that she had read. The short play was well received by the class but she still almost failed the project due to lack of script. She had her entire cast memorize lines from her head. So she had to write the entire script and turn it in. She realized the importance of getting her words on paper and quickly developed a passion for writing.
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I had never seen that much blood in my life. It drenched his blue tarheels jacket turning it a deep crimson as it started to seep into the clean white snow. The smell was so thick that it made my stomach churn but I couldn’t help but be fascinated by it. It was like I couldn’t look away. I think it was just the shock of everything as my best friend lied there in my arms choking and gasping for air. My eyes were wide burning in the night air. It was like I had forgotten how to blink.
I closed my eyes for a moment trying to deny to myself that this large mangled bloody flesh was all that remained of my best friend in the entire world. When I opened them he was still there in my arms thick red syrup flooding out of his mouth
I could feel the blistering cold breeze against my skin, but I didn’t shiver it only maid my muscles more rigid.
I swallowed trying to get back into my right mind. I nodded trying to mask my emotions. “You’re going to be okay.” I chanted, more for my own assurance than his.
I noticed a small tear streaming down his face and I watched it mix with his blood. “You’re going to be okay.” My own eyelids were growing heavy I struggled to keep them open. “Help me, please!” I cried out looking around. We were in a thick wooded area at night. I couldn’t see the road and the only visible light was the smoldering Chevy Caprice in the distance. Once Darren’s pride and joy, now just a hunk of metal engulfed in a flames.
The flame grew hazy. All of the fine details started to fade from my vision. I tried to shake it off. I had to focus on Darren. I had to make sure Darren was going to be okay.
“Darren, wake up man.” I lightly smacked his bloody face.
His eyes slowly came open again. “Jess….” His voiced sounded restrained, but soft. A far cry from his normal deep resounding voice. This was barely above a whisper.
My heart raced. There was a ray of hope. “Stay with me, man.”
His voice was weak as he spoke, as he made a long list of request. I tried not to listen. I didn’t think that I would need to, because he had to survive.
There was thick metallic taste in my mouth. I collected a layer of spit in my mouth and spit a thick wad of blood into the snow beside me. It crossed my mind that I was bleeding internally. I should have been in more pain but I wasn’t. My entire body was over taken by a fuzzy numbness. I knew my body was slowly shutting down, for good. I didn’t care. My head felt lighter, my body, heavier. I fell backwards slowly losing grip on consciousness. I could die. I was ready, I surrendered to it, I had a request of my own. Let him live. Just let him live.
I felt a warm drop come from my eyes as I watched the stars fade from my vision. I was ready as my body went cold and I faded away. Just let him live.
I woke up with an incessant beeping. I felt like I was willing my arms and legs to move but they didn’t respond. That is when I notice the neck brace and the casts on my leg and my arms. Then I noticed the sterile medicated smells. I swallowed heavily. So many visions and questions came bombarded me at once almost as quickly as the pain flooded my limbs. There was only one question that screamed louder than any and I hoped someone would be in to answer it soon.
The door creaked open and there was the man I was looking for, but he had two other men with him. They reminded me of grim reapers there to escort me into an eternity of fiery torment. It was my punishment for living such a horrible life. They both wore dark blue cop uniforms, but with the doctor’s white coat he looked like an angel of mercy. His big light blue eyes studied me sympathetically through his thick brimmed glasses, but the others dark eyes were stern, as if already condemning me. I didn’t care though. I knew what I had done and was ready to accept whatever punishment. Even hell. I deserved it. I would even settle for jail.
The pulled his glasses away from his face and doctor studied me. “How are you feeling son?”
I nodded as best I could through the neck brace. “Fine.” I was trying to speak up but only a whisper came out. My eyes went to each of the police officers and then back to the doctor. He was a short pale man with white hair. “Where’s Darren?” I came out and asked.
“Which one of you was driving?” The officer came out and said as if he already knew the answer.
The doctor looked up at the officer and his lips narrowed. “Do you think now is the time for that? He just woke up.”
I took a breath. “Me.”I lied. “I was behind the wheel. I caused the accident. Now where is Darren?” I just wanted them to tell me he was okay. It wouldn’t be the first time I had taken the rap for him. He could just go back to school. Darren was a fast healer, he would be back running touch down passes in no time. He could do something with his life. He had talked about the military, even the NFL. The sky was the limit for him. Darren could do anything he wanted. I was the dip shit. I was the one that deserved to rot in jail.
The doctor lowered his eyes. I shook my head sadly my heart dropped into my stomach. “No!” I grit my teeth a tear escaped my eye before I could stop it. “He’s going to be okay though.” I nodded.
The doctor just looked at me and then back down at the ground.
I couldn’t accept it. “No! He’s okay! Darren is going to be okay!” The voice almost came out of nowhere scratchy but loud.
“Calm down! Mr. Harrison.” Said the Doctor. “We did everything we could.” He shook his head. “ He lost a lot of blood. It’s not your fault son.”
“No!” I yelled again, this time loud enough to reverberate off of the corners of the room. I struggled to move my arms in the cast. I jerked out my I.V. and the next then I was being ambushed by the police officers and male nurses. I was kicking my free leg and screaming calling out my friend’s name. Telling them that my friend wasn’t dead and cursing them for lying to me. This was my purgatory it had to be and Darren was the one that lived, because Darren didn’t deserve to die. I did.
I felt a brief prick in my side and the room started to fade again. I hoped the next time I woke up, it was in hell because that was where I belonged, but truth be told I did wake up in hell, everyday forward was my own personal hell, my punishment for killing my best friend.
She told me she is working on a few projects presently. She said, “I usually try not to force myself to write something if I’m not feeling it. I try to be actively working on 3, have 3 ‘in que’ which means they are in prewriting, and three in editing. I have my own little ‘novel factory’. The most recent one that went into editing was one close to my heart because it deals with bullying teen suicide, and other things I related to in my teen/pre-teen years. It is called ‘A Girl Without Secrets’ It is a contemporary romance.”
She said that as for the genre, in general she is really into romance, “I have always been. I love the idea that love can change anything. I think the greatest superpower a person can have is love. That’s what romance is, LOVE.”
Desiree said that she gets from start to finish with her work in the follow manner: “I am ALWAYS working on a novel. It’s bad when you see old friends and they don’t know what to ask you about so they immediately go to ‘How’s that novel coming’ I may go into a whole spiel they are only acting like they are interested in, but it’s a conversation starter.
Every novel is a different experience some I just will start writing scenes that jump out at me and I will put them together like puzzle piece or add scenes to collect the dots. There are also time when inspiration will strike me and I will write a story from start to finish. That happens a lot when I am working with suspense. I get so engrossed in my story I myself can’t do anything else until I figure out what happens next.
There are also those times something will happen in my normal life or I’ll see something or meet someone and it will help me set up a later scene or cause me to go back and add it to a scene I have already written. Every story is a new adventure for me.”
In regards to research, this is what she had to say: “I still am old fashioned I try to write more about what I know, but I do research. Gotta love Google.
I think my most recent serious research I have done is, am prewriting a detective story about a detective going into the BDSM world and of course I sent out an email to the owner of a sight I found in my search and she is such a sweet person. I expected her to just say, ‘screw you’ or ‘Not another story mocking the lifestyle’ but she is awesome. I learned a lot of great information to put in that story.”
She told me about one character: Kenyon Phallan. She said, “Kenyon is my version of Jacob. His story started on fanfiction.net. I love going into his world because he is a collection of people and character I respect and love. (My husband-during his teen years, Michael Jackson-He’s soft spoken and has the voice of an angel, and Wolfee from the 10th Kingdom-His puppy-like adorable nature when he is around the woman he loves).
Kenyon is about 16/17 throughout his series he is struggling because his mother disappears one day and his father goes crazy and actually tries to kill him, so he has his scars. He is the little brother of Randy Phallan. Randy is also his alpha, because he is a wolf shifter.
I love their relationship. It so like brothers they tease, make fun of, and give each other a hard time but at the end of the day. It’s all brotherly love.
There is a line that Randy says after the rest of his pack attacks Kenyon because Randy has accidentally betrayed his brother and Kenyon gets angry and attacks Randy and the other pack members have to protect their alpha and the biggest guy knocks Kenyon to the ground. When it’s all over Randy goes to the guy and says. “I don’t care, alpha or not pack or not, you touch my brother again you’re mine.”
And yeah, I’m going into another character, but that’s what I like about their brotherly bond. They aren’t just a pack, they are family.
Kenyon has his shining moments too. Just being a good beta and having his brother’s back no matter what.
Can’t wait to introduce the world to the Phallan brothers. They are true southern gentleman and I love them like sons. (Is that weird? LOL!)”
Desiree shared that she uses a “to do” list to balance er time. She said, “Writing is my recess time. I love to write. I would do that anyway. When I can multitask I do. I have written chapters on my phone in the line at the DMV before. I can’t help it.”
As for authors who inspire her she said, “The first writer that introduced me to the romance genre was Jill Jones. I will never forget being like 14/15 and I sent her an email and I told her how much I loved her books and asked her her advice to a young aspiring writer and I’m sure she was used to that, but she gave me to words that changed my life “just write”and I’ve been doing that for a long time.”
I asked her what her perception of being published is. She said, “I’m old fashioned so when someone can hold a paperback version of my book that is what I consider ‘published’. I can see Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Smashwords…I want that but I think the moment I am going to say ‘I’m published’ is when I have at least the copy I can hold in my hands.”
She said she has been interested in writing since the third grade. Her one wish? “If one person can come up to me and say ‘you changed my life for the better’ I think, I’ll be happy. I had a rough time when I was a teenager. I was even suicidal at one point because of bullying. I write for the people that have ever felt like I felt. That is my true inspiration. I think that is my obsession with awkward and outcast characters.”
I am always so curious as to how writers find their ideas. Desiree said that she finds her ideas for her work “all over the place usually where I least expect it. Sometimes I will write something because I can’t find anything I want to read. I’ll just write the book I want to read. There was even a time I wrote a story because I couldn’t afford a book I wanted.”
Her vision? “If I can pull at one person out of a depression, show that one person how special they are and that life is worth living, if I can show that one person that they are not alone. I just want to inspire people.
I think people can be their biggest bullies. My biggest victory as of now was to be able to list my flaws and everything I didn’t like about myself, even the things I had been struggling to change but was having a hard time with. I just decided this is me….and I’m okay with that. I never give up trying to be a better person, but not to gain my own approval, or anyone elses.
It is my vision for my readers and those lives I can touch to learn to be that success, that rockstar, that goddess in their own eyes instead of feeling like the world needs to validate them. Everyone is flawed, but we all are amazing and have the potential to do great things.”
Finally, the mos important thing she wants people to know about her and her work… “I try to write for myself, and aspire to one day be able to relate to others through my writings. I don’t write for fame or to become published. I write because it is embedded in the fabric of who I am. I can’t stop if I wanted do. (Tried once, it was the most the most excruciating hour of my life. I still weep for all those WIPs that got thrown in the garbage back before I had my computer.)”
I want to thank Desiree for joining the first annual Autumn Blog Tour!