Introduce yourself and profession to our readers: Hello everyone. My name is J.E. Smythe and I’m the author of four books; “A Few Good Friends,” Zora’s First Day,” Through Grandma’s Eyes,” and “Secrets in the Woods (An Emilia Long Mystery).” I’m also the co-founder of Lady Esquire Group, LLC which is a self-assisted publishing company. We also help authors, especially new authors, market and promote their book(s). In my spare time, I’m also an Attorney living and working in Charlotte, North Carolina.
What inspired you to pursue this area of interest? My inspiration comes from just wanting to live my best life and not wanting to place limitations on myself. It’s so easy to give up or get complacent, but when you know that there is something deep inside of you urging you to do more, to be more, then what choice do you have but to pursue everything that is within you. I wanted to be an Attorney so I studied hard, went to law school and became an Attorney. I was always writing a story in my head, so I got over my fear of being judged and wrote my stories on paper and shared them with the world. I tell people that half of me is analytical and the other half of me is creative. I’ve just been blessed to figure out that I can put those two halves together and make myself whole.
What advice would you share with those interested in a similar pursuit? My advice to anyone is to always follow your dreams and to do so without fear. Never listen to anyone who says it can’t be done or that it’s not for you. If you feel it in your heart, then go for it. For any woman out there who’s been thinking of becoming an Attorney, go for it. Is it difficult? Absolutely! Is it impossible? Absolutely not! There is such a need for more female Attorneys, especially African American female Attorneys. So, if you feel it in your heart that it’s what you want to do, then go for it.
For anyone who wants to write, go for it. We all have a story to tell and no one else can tell that story because no one else knows it but you. So tell your story. When it comes to writing my only pet peeve is not taking the time to learn your craft. to be a good writer you have to continuously write. It takes practice and you have to develop your own style, your own voice. It is so easy in the digital age to put something together quickly and upload it online and just like that you’re a publish author. But I’ve always been of the belief that you always want to give your best. At the end of the day, when you write, you have to decide whether you want just say you’re publish or if you want to build a career.
Discuss a professional challenge and how you overcame it: I think the biggest professional challenge that everyone faces at some point is self-doubt. There are so many negative people in the world and so many naysayers that it is often hard to believe in yourself. But you have to, I can remember being in law school and being so scared that I will fail. I didn’t have a blueprint for how to get through it so I didn’t know how or if I could get through it. All I had was the belief that I had worked just as hard as anyone else and I deserved to be there, I deserved to be an Attorney.
Someone once asked me why I was doing everything that I was doing. Who was I trying to prove myself to? I replied, myself. It should never be about anybody else, because it will never be enough. I lived parts of my life doubting that I will ever be able to do all that I wanted to do. Now I’m just enjoying the fact that I have proven myself wrong.
What is next for your brand/business in 2017? My new book, “Secrets in the Woods – An Emilia Long Mystery” is schedule to be release October 3, 2017. I am getting ready for a two-week blog tour and some other promotional events in support of the release. Also, my publishing company, Lady Esquire Group, LLC, is currently in talks with Barns & Noble and Books-A-Million to have our books placed on their shelves. While you can order our books through their websites, it means a lot for a reader to be able to walk right into a bookstore and pick up a copy of our books. Everything will be posted on social media or through our website as dates are locked in.
How can readers connect with you online and through social media? You can check out our website at www.writeleg.com. You can also connect with me on Facebook: facebook.com/jesmythe1, Twitter and Instagram: @jesmythe1 or @write_leg