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Interview with Bruce Smith

How did you become a writer?

I’ve been a “writer” since eighth grade, when an encouraging English teacher saw promise in what I scribbled. As a career scientist, I found writing integral to communicating my work with my peers in the scientific literature. Early on, I wrote for popular magazines to inform the general public. Once I had the time, I began writing nonfiction books, using story-telling prose to translate the science of conservation for a broad readership. Most recently, I’ve turned my attention to writing fiction for young readers hoping to engage them in the natural world with stories of magical realism and fantasy. Legend Keepers: The Chosen One is my first middle-grade novel.

What inspires you to write?

The topics I write about (the practical and intrinsic values of wild places and wild things) and a desire to pass this inspiration along to others.

How do you develop your plot and characters?

For my first novel, I found story-boarding provided useful guideposts for the story’s narrative arc. Early on in the writing, I developed a character bible. This blueprint detailed each character’s personal traits and desires. I highly recommend writing one.

Tell me about your protagonist. What's your favorite trait and/or weakness?

Buddy is a mountain goat who’s orphaned on a cliff ledge when two days old. Against all odds, her tenacity to find her mom leads her to her mother’s band of goats at the top of the world. She’s driven to understand the reason she survived and soon learns of her weighty destiny that’s foretold in an ancient legend. Compelled by her indomitable spirit, she undertakes an epic journey to rescue her band of goats from unseen forces changing their world.

What are your current/future projects?

We writers are a generally optimistic lot. I’m working on a sequel to Legend Keepers.

Do you have a routine you follow when writing?

I try to work on some aspect of my writing each day. I write like a madman when inspiration strikes, and when it doesn’t, not so much.

What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you?

Through my website:

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