Wednesday, March 10, 2021

An Interview with Ohio Author Dr. jw Smith


An Interview with Ohio Author Dr. jw Smith

After 30 years as a professor in the field of Communication Studies, Dr. jw Smith reminisces about some of his experiences and how his race and differently abled intersectionality have influenced documented encounters. As a black and totally blind individual, he muses about how this distinction has both colored and shed light on what might have been innocuous or unremarkable encounters otherwise.
I caught up with Dr. Smith to talk about his book, writing, and what he would like readers to take away from his memoir From the Back of the Bus to the Front of the Classroom: My Thirty-Year Journey as a Black and Blind Professor
Welcome, jw!

GM: Dr. Smith, it has been great working with you. Thank you for the opportunity. What is the premise for your book?
jw: The premise of my book is to try and tell a unique story informed by race and differently abled status. The fact that the focus is on the context of higher learning and how the intersectionality of race and differently ableness has influenced the life and career of a professor has the potential to be at least intriguing.
GM: When you began writing your memoir, how did you maintain thoughts and ideas? 
jw: The process began with formulating the concept of the book in my mind and picturing how I wanted each chapter to look and the topics I wanted covered in them. Then I took brief notes so that I could that would not forget what I wanted to accomplish while dictating the book to my typist.
GM: What advice do you have for novice writers looking to write their first book/memoir?
jw: If you have an idea, write it down before you forget. Put yourself in the audience you are trying to address and remember that you can’t tell the whole story in one book.
GM: What are you currently reading?
jw: My usual reading includes books from James Patterson, David Boldacci, and Karin Slaughter.
GM: What are you currently writing?
jw: I am currently working on telling the story of a newly blinded woman that used to be in addition to many things, an FBI agent, and a drug dealer.
GM: Who is your favorite author?
jw: David Boldacci. He is my favorite because of his writing style and his ability to provide more than enough twists and turn in his plots.
GM: What is the most important lesson you would like readers to embrace from your book?
jw: I wanted my audience to understand and believe that someone can have a productive life even with so called ‘physical limitations’ (ie: blindness). And that much of life is about our attitude and outlook.
GM: Your book is a thought-provoking, honest story of your journey. What are your plans for the future? 
jw: I really would like to write a suspense thriller based on a unique assassin additionally, I would like to now tell the stories of others.
GM: Describe a day in your life...
jw: I know how to both work hard and play hard. A working day might include teaching two or three classes, writing two or three pages, and attending one or two meetings. A play day might include drinking lots of good wine, listening to good music, and thinking about good looking women with long hair.

Dr. Smith's book is available in Paperback, Audiobook, Braille
More about Dr. Smith…

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