Featured Interview With Carol C Smith
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
Carol Christina Smith was born in Grass Valley, CA in 1948. This small historical gold mining town is located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Her maternal grandfather, Sylvester Nugent, worked in the Empire Mine in the early 1930’s and 40’s when gold was still busting. One of her fondest childhood memories was going with her maternal grandmother to drop her grandfather off at the mine during the wee hours of the morning. He would ride a cart into the mountain and disappear. Her grandmother would explain that he was far down under the earth digging for gold.
As a young girl, she romped through the woods with her two brothers. They enjoyed play on a fallen tree which they named the “monkey tree”. The woods created the setting for her children’s fiction “Tales of Wonder Woods”. A deep love and appreciation for the wonder and beauty of nature began to grow deep in her spirit.
At the age of ten, her father found employment in Rocklin, CA, a small town not far from California’s state capitol, Sacramento. With tears and a broken heart she left her childhood paradise and began a new life.
After graduation from high school, she attended a local community college for one year. The first month of college found her dancing in the arms of a young man, Ken Smith, who she married 10 months later. There were four children born in her marriage and later, eight grandchildren. Her marriage ended in divorce.
She loves travel and adventure. She has enjoyed a hike into the Grand Canyon camping at an Indian reservation. The hike up and out of the canyon was endured on a wild mustang trained by the Indians. In 1989 she ventured into a back packing trip in a dormant volcano “Haleakala”, “House of the Sun”. She enjoyed the 10,000 foot descent to the bottom only to come face-to-face with the tail-end of a hurricane. A few years back she enjoyed a camping trip into the wilds of Alaska, and a tour of Alberta Canada along the journey to Banf, Jasper, and the fascinating Waterton Lakes National Peace Park.
In 2005, her five-year old grandson Val, was in her care. He enjoyed listening to a story about an adventure in the woods with a talking tree and other fantasies. He was so enthralled with the story, he would add his own ideas.
In 2009, she began to write “Tales of Wonder Woods”. The book was completed in 2019. Now that she is retired, she is writing another children’s fiction based upon historical facts involving a family living during the Antellebum period and the Civil War.
I feel strongly that my book is good reading for kids in this particular era of time. So many families are separated, and this story offers hope. It is based on fact, Val’s mother and father were separated for a few years and then reunited.
This story wraps knowledge and education into the real world and the fantasy world. It teaches family values, friendship, knowledge, the value of education, and so much more.
Music was her first love. On a trip to San Francisco in Golden Gate Park, she enjoyed the opportunity to listen to an orchestra playing “Stars and Stripes Forever”. She asked her father, “what is that beautiful horn” playing that music. He answered, “it is a trumpet”. She replied with the promise, “someday I am going to play the trumpet”.
In Rocklin she joined the school band playing trumpet. Her love for piano developed while visiting her maternal grandparent’s home in Grass Valley. At the age of three she would sit on the bench of the Baldwin player piano and push the keys. She learned to play piano by practicing on an imaginary keyboard on the kitchen table. After the death of her maternal grandfather, the Baldwin player was gifted to her, and she began to play on a “real” piano.
Her life was filled with making friends with the “Rocklin kids”. Together, they romped the hillsides enjoying the natural beauty surrounding them.
In school she was an active cheerleader, Vice-President of Health, a choir member, active in Campfire Girls. In high school her interests wrapped around modern dance, choir, and aquatic arts.
Her love for style and design emerged into a fashion career at the age of 16. Her most aggressive hobby involved designing and sewing her own clothes. Proudly, she walked the halls of high school wearing beautiful outfits. Design and sewing continued through most of her adult life.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I began writing in 2009 although I had an interest in writing children's fiction for many years prior to that. I have read numerous books and my favorite is biographies and auto biographies of famous leaders.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I am very fond of the author who wrote "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen R. Covey. I love his quote "To Touch The Soul of A Human Being is to Walk On Holy Ground". It speaks to my innermost being.
My grandson inspired me to write "Tales of Wonder Woods". It began as a story I told to him at the age of five. He was so enthralled with the story, He would add his own ideas.
I was inspired to write "Magnolia Fury", a work-in-progress, because of a fascination with the Antebellum period and the fact that my Great-great-grandfather fought in the Civil War, Union Army. It was a great turning-point in American history. I love historical fiction.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
"Tales of Wonder Woods" is published. It is a heart-warming story about a young boy growing up without a father. Val and his cousins find a meaningful adventure in wonder woods where they cultivate a friendship with Spruce, a giant Spruce tree, and Big Chief Yellowbird, a native American Indian. Fantasy and realism intertwine in this adventure. The story is held together by the values of love, family, friendship, loyalty and heroism. Victories are won, grief and death are met with kindness and an interesting twist happens at the end of the story.