Zeedub Bezzies is an ongoing series where I showcase talented authors by goading them into random questioning. It’s good fun, a little weird, sometimes awkward, but always entertaining.

Brendan Smith is a writer, artist, and many other things that may or may not include fire and forges. He is working on a debut novel while churning out a steady stream of art commissions (check out a cool tutorial video of one of his projects). Brendan decided that yes, sacrificing his precious art time for Zeedub Bezzies is a capital idea.

What advice would you give new authors?

Never give up. What is the worst that can happen? You lost hours watching Netflix or playing a new video game? At least you can say you tried.

What you would tell other authors with more experience?

Buy my art … LOL. In all seriousness though, if you have a passion, go for it.

Do you think print or e-books are more important? And what do you think about indie publishing vs. traditional?

Print always feels more intimate. I am too busy to read these days, so I simply just listen to audio books. But there is nothing wrong about using Amazon. People fail to understand that you won’t get your physical copy in a book story. That requires money. Book stores work like big box stores. You are renting shelf space.

Do you prefer to listen to music when you write, or do you prefer silence?

I create with both. It is very dependent. I can often key out any audio. If it becomes a distraction, I simply turn it off.

Does it feel glamorous to be a published author?

My art work is a catharsis. I make money doing it as well. I am a ABANA certified blacksmith, a master carpenter, trade welder and have been adobe certified. But I love to collaborate. Unlike the scorpion and the frog, I don’t sting. Making money from what you enjoy is a good thing. It is not glamorous. Anyone with a fare degree of their native tongue can write a book. But obtaining a achieved reaction makes them pay you for more of such sensations. It is not glamorous. It is more so like having a small amount of control on the reader’s daily life.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

I would love to tell folks about my upcoming series with a co-author, but we are only 50% done. I can however show you some images that will intrigue you.

What was your favorite book as a child?

As a youth in the early 80’s, it would have been Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends. I hit 11 and read the Narnia books and started playing D&D. Then I read The Lord of the Rings and Dragon Riders of Krynn/Dragon Lance series. Once I hit 13, I started reading Stephen King and other fantastic horror.

Are your stories more mainstream or original?

There is no point in not offering up an original story. It would be something about one lone hair left in a broom that never seems to come out, and is found out to be from the head of a fantastic creature. It would be the story of a summer spent under the dock at some lake side retreat or just a hitchhiker that kills people until he meets his match. The more original the story, the more likely you are to build a fan base.

If you were an animal in a zoo, what would you be?

As William Blake once wrote … Tyger, Tyger burning bright. In the forest of the night. What immortal hand or eye could frame thy fearful symmetry?

What is your definition of literary success?

Success, in any field, is both a financial and personal reward. Gratification on being capable of making some money while also having the self satisfaction in a job well done.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Filler. Even when a person plans out a project, the grey areas are always the most daunting.

Have you ever written characters that were identical to friends or family? And if so, if they found out, what was their reaction?

I have friends who want to be characters in both literature and artwork. Per artwork, I have drawn many nude studies of the ladies I have dated. And I have taken photos of friends to incorporate into my art (no nudes). As per literature, I think we can find the best and worst in all of our family and friends. I don’t write characters so specific.

What is your advice to a budding author when writing a story?

World Build. Plan ahead. Make your characters realistic. Make your world realistic. The worst characters are Mary Sues/Marty Stus. Your character will have flaws. They won’t be perfect, and neither will your world.

What is the worst disaster you have been through?

I have been through a few tornadoes. They are nothing to dealing with a ex-wife or managing to get myself hooked up with a gold digger. LOL

How important is writing to you?

Writing allows any person to pass on ideas that far exceed the degradation or oral tradition. It keeps the information undamaged from any bias or cultural arguments which demand it does not fit the existing policies of a society. If literature offends you, then perhaps you need to be offended.

What is the craziest thing you have ever done?

Nope. Not gonna touch that one. I am mad as a hatter as is. I don’t need to let anyone else know.

Learn more about Brendan Smith at facebook.com/BrendanSmithArt.