Today I’m interviewing our local gal, Cindy Smith.
Not sure how to introduce her because she does everything!
She is an author, a singer, a song writer, an artist and much, much, more!
Welcome Cindy, tell us a about your books, The Time in Contention Trilogy:
I was fascinated with Contention City from the first time I heard it mentioned in (the original) "3:10 to Yuma" movie back in the 1960's. I knew then that one day I would write a book about Contention. I began writing a few years back and sent what I had to my gun coach, T. B. Burton. He read it, answered me back that I had told the story one sided. And since he was a man, he wrote what a man would have seen and felt standing on the sidewalk (from the first chapter) in the book. I immediately thought, this is what I want! A book telling both sides of the story from the prospective of a (fictional) man and woman. Overall, I did about 2 years of research on the history and T.B. and I filled it in with fictional characters to tell the events leading up to the gunfight at the OK Coral. We wanted to give life to Doc Holiday, Wyatt Earp and the women you rarely hear about. The Earp wives and Big Nose Kate have an important role in TIME IN CONTENTION. It's written with the backdrop of a romance novel (for all the female readers!) but with all the action and gunfighting drama of a western (for all the males!). The books are available on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com, both as paperbacks and e-books. They can also be purchased locally or via our websites.
Now tell us about your music, what inspired you to start singing?
I started singing late in life! I saw someone playing a mandolin in church a few years ago and said to myself.... I want one! I found a great music teacher, Gerry Hall. I would not be singing today if it was not for him. He literally 'made me sing' while I learned to play guitar and mandolin. From then on, he encouraged me. Once I started singing.... I never looked back!
Congratulations on winning the GCGMA 2011 Songwriter of the year award. What is your favorite song you have written?
Thank you! It's hard for me to choose my favorite song that I've written. I'd probably say that my favorite was the one I had just finished most recently. It's the one you're excited about writing music for, arranging where all the instruments will go, or going into the studio to record it. I just finished a western song called "The Bar Maid and the Dealer". So, right now, it's probably my favorite song. But this will change as soon as I write something else!
What do you like doing the best?
Writing in general. Whether it be books, stories, lyrics or music. I remember back in grade school and high school, my favorite subject was literature. I worked for a Houston, Texas area newspaper for 2 years and wrote a quarter page column every week. I met entertainers, politicians, local celebrities, sports heros and loved talking and writing about them all. But of course, there are times when you would ask me this same questions and I may answer I like doing "art" best. I love oil painting and drawing charcoal portraits. I am very honored to have had two pieces of my artwork displayed (for special events) in the Booth Western Art Museum! I have a theory, if you love to write, you probably love art as well.
What or who inspires you?
Many of the songs I have written were inspired by "Time In Contention". I grew up listening to all kinds of music from Dean Martin to Ernest Tubb, from Burt Bacharach to The Louvin Brothers. But I loved Marty Robbins! There was just something about him dressed in his black cowboy clothes playing that western music that never left me. I think most of my songs sound like a female version of Marty Robbins songs. I am inspired by everyday occurrences, something I might hear my friends or family say, or something I see on a billboard sign. Inspiration can come from anywhere! And one song, Lynn, was inspired by your novel, "RUN INTO THE WIND". I was honored that you asked me to write a song (by the same title). After reading the book, I wrote what I thought your character, Sabrina, would say if she wrote the song herself. I have received many compliments on the song, with some saying it is their favorite!
I always have a song in the back of my mind! I will soon be recording "The Bar Maid and the Dealer" and "Bring Back Hopalong". "Bring Back Hopalong" is a song I wrote to sing at the Hopalong Cassidy festival in May this year. I have always been a fan of western stars, such as Roy Rogers, Dale Evans and Hopalong Cassidy. TV heros that taught values and morals to kids have long passed away, but fans continue to attend festivals each year in their honor. I am privileged to attend a few of these festivals each year and sing about their heros. I also have a children's book I want to write. It will be about my grandson, Gabe and his ghost friend Herman and their adventures in the haunted club house. I will do all the artwork of Herman and Gabe dressed as cowboys and pirates and anything else his imagination will come up with!
Any upcoming Events you would like to share with us?
Yes. March 10th, I will be at the Bartow County Library doing a book event. I will be at the World Congress Center (in Atlanta) on March 17th and 18th during the Atlanta Auto Show. There is Wild West section and I will be singing and doing a book signing as well. You will also meet my good friend "Fuzzy Q. Jones", side kick to western heros. Robert Brooks portrays "Fuzzy" and he's always a "hoot' to be around! T.B. Burton will be there, besides being my co-writer for "Time In Contention" he is also the 2005 World Champion Fast Draw. Then the following weekend, March 24, I will be at the Jim R Miller Park (Cobb) Fairgrounds in Marietta for the 2nd Annual Wild West Festival. This promises to be a wagon load of family fun with shoot-outs, cowboy music, kids coral, roping demonstrations and so much more! All my cowboy and cowgirl friends will be there with something special to offer in entertainment.
How can we contact you?
You can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also visit my websites for more information and listen to my music.