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Q&A with Brian W. Smith

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Meet Brian W. Smith, Author of the explosive, debut novel "The S.W.A.P. Game"
 
 
 
S.W.A.P. Game
 
Malik and Sheila Batiste have been married for 13 years. They have it all; good jobs, a beautiful home, and a handsome son, but they do have one major problem-their sex life is terrible. In an effort to spice up their sex life, the couple gives in to curiosity and decides to "swing" with their neighbors, Darnell and Stacy Muldrue. Their decision to play the S.W.A.P. (Sex With Another Partner) Game leads to marital problems and more drama than the couple ever bargained for.

Q&A with Brian W. Smith

Author of the debut novel

"The S.W.A.P. Game"

 

Q:  When did you decide you wanted to write?  

 

A:  Actually, I never thought about writing until the beginning of 2005. I was really going through some things emotionally and felt helpless. I started venting on paper and before you know it – I started writing fiction.

 

Q:  How many novels in all have you written? 

 

A:  I’ve completed two novels (actually The S.W.A.P. Game was the second novel I wrote).  The first novel I wrote – which will be released this December is called, Mama’s Lie – Daddy’s Pain.

 

Q:  How long did it take you to write your first novel?

 

A:  It took 4 months to write The S.W.A.P. Game.

 

Q:  Tell us about your debut novel, "The S.W.A.P. Game", what made you want to explore that particular topic?

 

A:  This is gonna sound crazy, but I was watching a show on HBO about “swinging” and wondered how many of those couples broke up after the show. Men have very fragile egos; therefore, I know that some of those couples had problems after “swinging.” That’s how I got the idea for The S.W.A.P. Game.

 

 

Q:  Where do you get your inspiration for your stories? Are the characters based on real people?

 

A:  My next book (Mama's Lie-Daddy's Pain) is loosely based on my life.  It's a book about a man who takes tremendous pride in raising his daughter for 18 years, and then finds out he's not the biological father.  It was this incident that caused the pain which led to my writing career. 

 

 

 

Q:  After writing your first novel, did you self-publish?? If so, how was that experience?

 

A: I own the publishing company (Hollygrove Publishing, Inc.). My background is business (I have an MBA) so I was destined for self-publishing. It’s very challenging and expensive, but anything in life worth having is going to be a challenge. Still, nothing compares to the gratification that comes with having the final say on every part of your book (i.e., cover design, release date, etc.).

 

Q:  What feedback have you received from fans?

 

A:  The feedback has been great! People really like the book. My book signings (especially the ones hosted by book clubs) are “off the chain.”

 

Q:  What authors do you admire? Did one of them inspire you?

 

A: I really don’t read much fiction. However, the two books that really moved me were – Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison and Native Son, by Richard Wright. I like Nathan McCall’s book, Makes Me Wanna Holla.

 

Q:  Is writing your only passion? 

 

A:  Writing and reading - it may sound corny to some people, but I can go into a bookstore with a cup of coffee and sit for hours. It’s the most peace I get all day.

 

Q:  Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

 

A:  After my fourth book I intend to step back and focus on simply being a publisher. I anticipate reaching that point by the year 2010.

 

Q:  What advice would you give aspiring authors? 

 

A: I could give the traditional “don’t give up” speech but I won’t. I will say this - the book business is just like the music business – 10% show and 90% business. It is not for the faint of heart. If you think you’re going to write a book today and see it in every bookstore tomorrow you’re sadly mistaken. That may work for established “best selling” authors, but that’s not the case for the other 90% of authors out here. You must be ready to “grind” because no one is going to look out for you better than you.

 

Q:  What would you like readers to learn from your stories?

 

A:  I do not write about topics that are simple – that’s boring. I like to write about the type of stuff that divides the room. The S.W.A.P. Game did that – half the people that read it dissed the idea of “swinging”, the other half were open to exploring the topic. The more divisive the better – it takes debate to facilitate change.

 

Q:  Are you working on another novel? If so, What is it about?

 

A:  My next book, Mama’s Lie –Daddy’s Pain, is really going to spark some debate. Most people have heard at least one story about a woman who lied about the identity of her child’s father. The great thing about this book is that it’s written in the first person – for every character. So there is no “bashing” one person –the reader will at least get to see the thought process behind every character’s decision (even if you don’t agree with them). I’m very proud of this book. It was extremely therapeutic for me.

 

Q:  Where can people purchase your books? Do you have a website?

 

A: All of my books can be purchased at my company’s website (www.hollygrovepublishing.com). Also, the book can be purchased at most African-American bookstores, Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and Borders.com (some of the bigger stores have it in stock – if they don’t, they can order it).

 

One of my favorite sites for info on Black Authors
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