I have met so many wonderful friends through books. Some are fictional, and some are flesh and bone friends...but all have made a difference in my life in one way or another. We all impact each other's lives. Sometimes it is by something you say that makes me think, and other times it is by a gesture or kindness. And yet other times it may be something that dug deeper, hurt my feelings, or made me sad. Still you made a difference. Through this blog I would like to introduce you to some people who have blessed me with their writing...and I hope you will be blessed as well!

Coffee or Tea?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Meet Thomas Smith, the author of "Something Stirs"

I am so excited to introduce you to Thomas Smith, the author of "Something Stirs" for my very first interview! I asked him some off the wall questions because I didn't want to sound like every other interviewer...and what I received back was a glimpse into the heart of someone who was born to be a writer. It isn't a hobby or a new career change...it is something that has flowed through his veins since he was in the third grade. I have always believed that we know at a very young age what we are "called" to do...and Thomas Smith is a testiment to that calling. So please join me now as I introduce you to someone you will be hearing a lot more about...Mr. Thomas Smith!

(Q) When you were young, what was the profession you wanted to do when you grew up? Did you know you had a calling to write? (A) Actually, I have wanted to be a writer since I was in the third grade. And even when I was serving churches as the pastor, I was writing stories, plays, essays, and doing freelance projects. So I have always written on some level my entire adult life. And now I am blessed enough that it has become my full-time job.

(Q) Can you foresee a time when you wouldn’t want to write?

(A) No. There may come a time when I can’t, but I would still want to.

(Q) Do you have a favorite spot to go to for your inspiration?

(A) I don’t really have a favorite place to “get inspired.” A writer writes. Period. If you have a deadline you can’t afford to rely on inspiration. The love of writing is inspiration enough. Often people who want to have written (which is much different than writing itself) look for inspiration or an inspirational place. But a working writer or those who are doing all the right things to become a professional writer, write because they want to write. The place doesn’t really matter. Spoken like a true writer with ink flowing through your veins!

(Q) Have any of your characters been written based upon you?
(A)One that I know of, but I’m sure there have been at least a few more. But one I am certain of. Hmmm, can we guess which one?

(Q) Who would you say, besides Jesus, influenced you the most? (A) My parents and my wife. I have noticed you give your wife credit for being so important in your life, and I would like our readers to know Thomas said his lovely and talented wife is Melanie, and she is a big part of his writing!

(Q) What is your favorite scripture?
(A) John 3:30 (“He must become greater; I must become less.”) is a constant reminder of how I’d like my life to be. That is a strong challenge to live your life by.

(Q) If you could live at any time in the history of mankind, when would it be?
(A) I’m pretty content with this time. Spoken like a truly contented man!

Now for something more personal and fun....
(Q)What is your favorite color and why? What do you visualize when you think of that color?
(A) My favorite color is red. I have no idea why. I think it may be because the inside of a watermelon is red and that is my favorite melon/fruit/whatever it is. They also say red is the choice of powerful and influencial men...just a thought!

(Q) What are your favorite foods? (A)Homemade cornbread and field peas. I also love the Wonton Soup Deluxe at Wang’s Kitchen in Raleigh. It is a clear broth wanton soup with 5 different fresh vegetables, shrimp, chicken, and mushrooms added (OK, I know mushrooms are considered vegetables, but I really like mushrooms). It is the best soup I’ve ever had anywhere in the world.

(Q) Do you like to cook? What is your specialty?
(A) I do like to cook. I don’t really have a specialty, but I love to cook Chinese dishes. Especially dishes with a lot of different vegetables. I suppose as a guy I should love grilling and be bragging about my secret homemade rub and special sauce, but my bar-b-que sauce is pretty average.
That's very interesting, since you live in the South! I thought all Southern men were required to excell in BBQ!

(Q) Where would you vacation if you could go anywhere?
(A)I’d go back and take another ATV trip through the Puerto Rican rain forest, then come home and spend Christmas in Williamsburg, VA.
That sounds like a wonderful way to spend Christmas! I love the duel sides to it.

(Q) Lots of our readers have furry family members. Tell me about your favorite pet you have ever owned, or pets.
(A) My favorite pet is our dog Arde (pronounced Ar-Dee). She is 13 years old, has a sweet face, and she makes my wife happy. I’m not sure she’s not people in a dog suit (Arde, not my wife).
Is that like "Chef Boy Ar-Dee?" Yes, exactly! What kind of dog is she? Arde is a springer spaniel.

(Q) Can you share a favorite family recipe with our readers, and tell us a little something about it?
(A) I remember my mother and my grandmother taking old bread and making bread pudding. They often put raisins and nuts in it (especially around Christmas). My mother usually puts in some chocolate chips. Sometimes they’d make a lemon sauce or put a little vanilla ice cream on top. Bread pudding always makes me think of home.

Thomas Smith's Family Bread Pudding

2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 (1 pound) loaf sliced white bread (or whatever bread you have handy), toasted
12 eggs
3 tablespoons vanilla extract
5 cups half-and-half
3 cups sugar
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter each slice of bread on both sides. Tear buttered bread into little pieces, and put into a very large mixing bowl. Beat eggs with vanilla, and then pour over bread. Stir in half-and-half and sugar. Pour into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle the cinnamon and nutmeg over the top. Bake uncovered in the preheated oven for 55 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven, and cool. Serve hot or cold.

Thank you so much Thomas! Bread Pudding is one of my favorites, too. I had never tasted it before moving to the East Coast, and the little deli I worked at made it fresh every morning.No one told me how fattening it was, and I ate a ton of it before my boss suggested I slow down a little, lol! Now I save it for special occaisions.

I hope you have enjoyed meeting Thomas as much as I have, and be sure to read "Something Stirs" available at amazon.com today!

This just in from Thomas...

If this helps, the book is available everywhere but the best online places to order it are Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I've added the links here in case you want to use them. B&N has the best price. Better than Amazon.

B&N -

Amazon -


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