Today I am interviewing Tommy B. Smith, author of the new suspense and coming-of-age novel, Anybody Want to Play WAR?.
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DJ: Hi Tommy! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Tommy B. Smith: I’m the author of a few books, primarily horror and dark fiction, and numerous short stories over the years. I’ve done some editorial work along the way. My novel of 2018, The Mourner’s Cradle, won the Imadjinn Award for Best Horror Novel. The documentary Road Between Worlds: A Horror Author’s Chronicle made its debut recently, a feature which followed my book tour of 2018 and the intersecting journeys of a myriad of authors, artists, and creative institutions. My latest book is Anybody Want to Play WAR?
DJ: What is Anybody Want to Play WAR about?
Tommy: It’s the story of a teenage boy scarred by a savage dog’s attack. His efforts to come to terms with this place him at severe odds with his family, and he flees his home to the streets of St. Charles. Here he meets the world outside the relative safety of his home and school, and will discover it is much larger than he might have expected.
DJ: What were some of your influences for Anybody Want to Play WAR?
Tommy: From many years ago I remember children on the playgrounds building forts and throwing rocks at each other in some semblance of war games. This served as a seed for the story’s inception and title.
The book drew much of its influence from our world and the many kinds of people who struggle to coexist in it, including juvenile delinquents.
DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers will sympathize with them?
Tommy: Most of us have been unjustly attacked, whether by physical or verbal means, and have experienced adolescence. Here and there, some of us know what it is to be an outsider as well. In these aspects, some might relate to the character of Bryce, though his method of confronting his issues may be another story. A number of other characters also enter this story, including Wheels, a maintenance worker for a series of apartment buildings, and Paloma, once known as Lady Luck. Both have their own stories to tell.
DJ: Aside from the main characters in the story, who is a favorite side character or a character with a smaller role in the story? Why?
Tommy: With a story like this, it can be complicated to differentiate main characters from secondary characters. Multiple characters figure prominently into the story, but Paloma was an interesting character to address and likely my favorite to emerge. There is much to explore with her.
DJ: What is the world and setting of Anybody Want to Play WAR like?
Tommy: The story is set in St. Charles in the early 1980s. St. Charles is a city wracked by natural disaster, and its residents have struggled to recover for the past year. There is a darkness in the heart of this city, that much is clear, though we catch only glimpses of it in this particular story. Bryce’s tale begins in suburbia and escalates toward the damaged urban husk of eastern downtown St. Charles.
DJ: What was your favorite part about writing Anybody Want to Play WAR?
Tommy: I appreciated the freedom of telling a story, and exploring its world and characters, without the restrictions of a specific genre label, at least for most of it. I will always appreciate horror, but this book proved to be an organic writing experience, if that makes sense, like no other I’ve written as yet.
DJ: What do you think readers will be talking about most once they finish it?
Tommy: I don’t have specific expectations of what readers will make of it, but I am curious, especially of where the book will stand with readers familiar with past works.
DJ: Did you have a particular goal when you began writing Anybody Want to Play WAR? Was there a particular message or meaning you are hoping to get across when readers finish it? Or is there perhaps a certain theme to the story?
Tommy: The road to who we are was paved with the fragments of who we were.
DJ: When I read, I love to collect quotes – whether it be because they’re funny, foodie, or have a personal meaning to me. Do you have any favorite quotes from Anybody Want to Play WAR that you can share with us?
Tommy: There are a few. This one stands well enough on its own:
“If you live life long enough, you’re bound to pick up a scar or two along the way. Some of them are harder to hide than others.” –Tabby Reinhart
DJ: Now that Anybody Want to Play WAR is released, what is next for you?
Tommy: To finish the current work-in-progress. I’ve already written another horror novel since, but the newest project is more of a dark thriller, set across the American Southwest.
DJ: Where can readers find out more about you?
DJ: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer my questions!
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***Anybody Want to Play WAR is available TODAY!!!***
Buy the Book:
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About the Book:
Brutal injuries can leave scars.
As the teenaged survivor of a savage dog’s rampage, it’s a lesson Bryce Gallo will never forget.
Struggling to cope with his damaged appearance, along with a newfound fear of dogs and mounting anxieties at home and school, he flees his suburban home into the moonlit streets of St. Charles.
Along the roads of suburbia and through the shadowed heart of the city, he encounters Wheels, a maintenance worker for a series of apartment buildings; Paloma, known to some by the moniker of Lady Luck; and a woman in a dark house who is, as far as Bryce can fathom, like no one else he has met before.
His new life is not without obstacles or enemies, he learns. The future is a battlefield. Fire and smoke loom on the horizon, and his dangerous course may see the lives of his family and friends forever changed.
About the Author:
Tommy B. Smith is a writer of dark fiction, author of The Mourner’s Cradle,
Poisonous, and the short story collection Pieces of Chaos, as well as works appearing in
numerous magazines and anthologies throughout the years. His presence currently infests Fort
Smith, Arkansas, where he resides with his wife and cats. More information can be found on his
website at http://www.tommybsmith.com.
Tour Schedule and Activities
1/6 MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape https://mylifemybooksmyescape.wordpress.com Author Interview
1/7 The Seventh Star Blog http://www.theseventhstarblog.com Guest Post
1/8 Jazzy Book Reviews https://bookreviewsbyjasmine.blogspot.com/ Author Interview
1/9 The Literary Underworld http://www.literaryunderworld.com Guest Post
1/10 Carol Preflatish, Mystery Author http://carolpre.blogspot.com Guest Post
1/11 Armed With a Book http://www.armedwithabook.com Guest Post
1/12 Sheila’s Guests and Reviews http://www.sheiladeeth.blogspot.com Guest Post
1/13 Willow’s Thoughts and Book Obsessions http://wssthoughtsandbookobsessions.blogspot.com/ Review
1/13 Meghan’s House of Books https://mhyden.blog/ Review and Interview