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Legend Keepers author Bruce Smith Interview

How did you become a writer?

Writing was an integral part of my professional career. I’ve published dozens of both scientific and popular articles. It’s how we scientists document what we’ve learned and provide it to both professional and lay audiences where it can do good. To address larger topics, I began writing nonfiction books, translating science through storytelling for a general readership.

What inspires you to write?

I write because it’s my preferred way to communicate with others about topics important to me. A lifetime spent observing and working with wildlife in wild places provides me perspective on what about nature enriches people's lives. In short, I’m inspired by nature and a passion to preserve it.

In my latest metamorphosis as a writer, I’m crafting novels that entertain young readers while hopefully creating a sense of wonder and connection to the natural world. I’m inspired by and want to nourish kid’s ambitions and acitivism.

What are your current/future projects?

Legend Keepers: The Chosen One (August 2021) is my first middle-grade novel. It takes place high in the mountains of western North America and features Buddy, an orphaned mountain goat. Her search for her mom soon becomes a journey to fulfill a destiny to save a band of mountain goats from a great peril foretold in an ancient legend.

I’m writing the second book in the Legend Keepers series.

How do you develop your plot and character?

The idea and main character for Legend Keepers leapt from the pages of my nonfiction book about mountain goats, Life on the Rocks. I was dismayed that few children attended my book events. In an Aha! moment, I thought a MG novel about the lives of mountain goats, and other animals of the alpine zone that few people see or know about, would engage young readers.

Unlike my nonfiction books in which every chapter is fully outlined in advance, fiction writing requires a creativity in which my imagination, and the voices of my characters, shape the story’s arc directing it toward its ending.

Do you have a routine you follow when writing?

No routine, heaven forbid! I had enough regimentation during my professional science career. When at home, I do writing-related work every day, whether brainstorming, drafting, editing, doing research and interviews, promotion, or other communications. I do try to draft at least a page or two daily.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Such advice to others always sounds presumptuous, but here goes. Write because you enjoy telling a story or creating information for others. But remind yourself, always, that you have something worthwhile to say and there are readers waiting to read it.

Also, have more than one writing project going. If you feel you need a break from your YA novel, for example, make sure you have another project to occupy your attention. Otherwise, you may excuse yourself from writing for some time.

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

I can be contacted through my website:


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