Inspiration to write a book can come from anywhere, be it a personal experience, a dream, a tiny observation, or just a hobby that you love. Author Paul Smyth also took inspiration from his passion for aviation and his life events and turned them into an action-packed thriller titled ‘Deliveries’.
We had a chance to have a very open and interesting conversation with author Paul Smyth about his debut book ‘Deliveries’, his writing journey, his personal life, and more. But, before we get to his answers, let us know a little more about the author.
About the Author: Paul Smyth
Paul Smyth is a Canadian author, an experienced news videographer, and a passionate airplane enthusiast from Ontario, Canada. Taking his love for aviation to the next level, he wrote his debut book titled ‘Deliveries’ which is a fast-paced action thriller story that takes place in just 24 hours.
Born in the early 60s, in the city of Peterborough, in the province of Ontario, Canada. He grew up in southern Ontario and resided there until he turned 22 when he moved west to the province of Alberta to begin his first full-time job in television broadcasting.
Paul Smyth grew up in a family of 5. He has an older brother and sister, so he always had siblings around to keep tabs on their little brother as he grew up.
He was blessed with great parents. Paul’s mother taught school for years, while his dad worked in a major department store for much of his life as a merchandising manager. Paul’s father was also licensed as a private pilot, so his pre-dispositioned love of aviation was nurtured even more as they flew together on a great many occasions.
Further, author Paul Smyth shared more about his childhood, his writing journey, inspirations, and more interesting things about himself. Let’s get straight to his interesting answers.
What were you like at school? Any childhood memory you would like to share.
Throughout my school life, right from kindergarten to post-secondary, I gravitated more towards the arts than math and science, etc. I excelled in music, art, and drama and had to work very hard at keeping acceptable grades in all other subjects, which, incidentally, I passionately disliked.
What are your educational and professional qualifications?
Following high school, I attended a post-secondary institution and graduated with a specialized diploma in Film and Video Production. I spent 35 years as a news and commercial videographer in television broadcasting. I’ve met and worked with heads of state, celebrities, musicians, and so many other amazing human beings.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
My biggest and best life achievement is being a husband, father, and grandpa to my treasured family. In regards to my first ever novel, ‘Deliveries’ — I always dreamed of writing a book and was able to achieve that goal following a 7-year journey of writing and word crafting that culminated in a bone-jarring thriller!
Which writers inspire you?
One of my favorite authors is Dale Brown, a master storyteller and bestselling author of dozens of flying-related, military-style adventures! Dale’s stories have definitely inspired and influenced my writing.
His action sequences got into my head early on and bled from my pores when crafting my own narrative. I believe that much can be gleaned from other writers if you just take the time to observe the details in their writing as you adapt your own unique writing style.
Writing is stressful at times. How do you relax your mind?
Stepping away from the computer for a period of time is the best way to alleviate stress when trying to write. Walking, spending time outside, or simply grabbing a coffee with my dear wife and going for a drive in the country work to relax my mind and reset my thoughts. Visiting with family whenever possible is the best mental break possible!
What is your favourite motivational phrase?
When life becomes hectic and it becomes a challenge to move beyond any stressful situation, I often recite four simple words that my dad loved to say.
“This too shall pass.”
Simple words, but often very true. Whatever I am going through, it shall eventually pass.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
If I possessed a time machine and could go back into the past and chat with my younger self, my advice would be simply this: “Kid, relish every second of your life. Live in the moment and love your family and friends with conviction. Before you know it, you’re on the other end of life, and you’ll wonder where the years went.”
What books do you like to read personally? What are you reading currently?
I enjoy aviation-related fiction and military-type stories that keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. I just started a new book from an author I’ve recently connected with. His name is Jake Slater, and his first thriller novel is called Dark State.
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
That’s a thought-provoking question. I would have to say Flight of the Old Dog, by Dale Brown. As mentioned previously, he is a master of military aviation-related fiction.
His first novel hooked me right away many years ago, and I’ve read every other book he has written and will read every other book he still has to write. This book became a best-seller. Not a bad way to begin your writing career! Yes, I am jealous!
What made you decide to sit down and actually start writing?
“Deliveries” began when a good friend challenged me several years ago to write us both into a flying adventure. Not having previously written anything longer than a one-page devotional, I sat down and hammered out my first chapter.
When I nervously asked my wife to read it, she eagerly responded, “Where’s the next one?” Encouraged, I typed out another few chapters, and with even greater urgency, she gently and humorously ordered me to, ‘‘Hurry up and keep writing!’’ Encouraged by her enthusiasm and clearly progressing in the right direction, I wrote whenever and wherever I could.
Do you have a special time to write, or how is your day structured?
I currently work full-time outside of the television industry, so my writing time is limited. I typically try to sit down at the computer when I have free time in the evenings or on weekends.
I enjoy rising early, making a coffee, and then allowing my fingers to type out all the words in my head. My creative side seems most active first thing in the morning.
What is the reason you write for? Is it for the readers, or your own self or some other thing?
At this stage of my life, I have discovered a genuine love of writing. It has become an enjoyable hobby that began for me at age 52. Hearing such positive feedback from readers of ‘Deliveries’, I am definitely writing for them as well as myself!
Writing has become my therapy, as important to me as air and water. Since the release of ‘Deliveries’, I have written a wild-ride sequel, which I am currently editing. I write for readers and for myself. It’s a win-win.
About your Book: Deliveries
Paul Smyth’s debut book ‘Deliveries’ is an action-packed story of two friends, Paul and Dave, who run an air charter company having just one aircraft. Upon an urgent request, they take a flight that turns into an aerial pandemonium in no time.
The story is fast-paced and so thrilling that compels you to read the whole 588 pages in one go. Paul has creatively blended his own life events and even characters into the plot of the book which makes it even more interesting to read.
What genre is your book? What draws you to this genre?
‘Deliveries’ falls into the Action/Adventure/Thriller genre, all rolled into one roller-coaster ride! The characters are very complex, and everything that ties them together is woven into a tightly woven rope that culminates in a tangled web of action as the book draws to a close.
As a writer and reader, this genre engages me, and I love it when a book keeps me turning pages long after I should be turning off the light and going to sleep.
What makes ‘Deliveries’ stand out in this genre?
The overall plot in Deliveries is fictional, but many of the events inside the book are bred from snippets of my life, including family and friends who have played key roles throughout my time on this earth.
Deliveries occur within 24 hours, so that means a book lover experiences a fast-paced, nerve-rattling, stomach-churning read! I’ve crafted 43 chapters and 588 pages of edge-of-your-seat, aerial pandemonium. This book reads like an engrossing movie where the action does not stop and rapidly changes from scene to scene.
What/Who was the inspiration behind the characters of Paul and Dave?
In a nutshell, Paul Jackson is me. Dave McMurray is a dear friend and pilot who suggested years ago that I write a novel and place us both in the story as the two main characters. So that is exactly what I did! I fly with Dave as often as I can, so our real-life aerial adventures in the cockpit partly transfer into ‘Deliveries’!
What should a reader expect from ‘Deliveries’?
To answer this, I’d like to quote a book review that tells a potential reader what to expect from ‘Deliveries’.
“Paul Smyth takes the reader on a ride they won’t forget as we explore the wonders and dangers of bush flying. Expertly taking us through the character’s experiences and motivations, the story covers only 24 hours or so, but is jam-packed with nail-biting tension and character development. There’s a pilot saying that says a pilot starts with two buckets: one full of luck, and one empty for experience. The trick is to fill the latter before the former gets empty. As we follow Paul and Dave and their loved ones on a weekend fraught with the unexpected, we wonder at every turn what bucket will decide their fate.”
Raphael Relat, Author
The story pulls the reader right into the cockpit of Paul’s small airplane, and eventually his life too. What was the hardest and the easiest thing while writing this book?
With no previous experience as a writer, the greatest obstacle I encountered while writing my novel was believing that I could actually do it and wondering if anyone would genuinely want to read it.
It was the constant affirmations from family and friends that told me I was on the right track and that I needed to keep going. Those positive vibes got me through to where I could finally write those two coveted words that mean so much to an author, The End!
The easiest thing about writing ‘Deliveries’ was drawing upon life experience and being able to create a story that oozes with snippets of truth mixed together with fiction. This is what makes ‘Deliveries’ so special to me.
Every word has meaning, and readers are able to relate in so many ways as the events of this book correlate to their own lives in one way or another.
Any special experience about ‘Deliveries’ that you would like to share?
For me, writing Deliveries was similar to watching a movie for the first time and having no idea how it would end! This book began one chapter at a time, and I allowed the characters to drive the narrative and craft the story in the way they wanted it to go. This resulted in my being completely engaged as a writer, and that is what made the book so fun to write.
What are your ambitions for your writing career? Are you working on your new project? What will your next book be about?
At the request of my readers, I have written a sequel to ‘Deliveries’. I am currently editing while allowing a few select people to read the new manuscript as beta-readers. I have no plans yet to publish, but my hope is to do so in the not-so-distant future!
I also write devotionals. Writing is more of an enjoyable hobby for me than a career. Although, at 62, a solid retirement career as an author would be pretty amazing!
What does success mean to you as an author?
For me, there is no greater success as a new author than when someone reads your book and tells you that they could not put it down. That alone keeps an author smiling for months on end!
What are your views on self-publishing and traditional publishing?
I chose self-publishing over traditional publishing because everything inside the cover of ‘Deliveries’ is special to me and has meaning. The characters are all loosely based on people I know and love. And because I did not want my manuscript shortened or chopped up, I chose to self-publish as a way of maintaining the full integrity of the story without restrictions or omissions.
What is one piece of advice that you’d like to pass on to young debut authors?
From a novice’s perspective, the biggest piece of advice I can give to anyone aspiring to become an author is this: NEVER GIVE UP and WRITE TO PLEASE YOURSELF! If your writing makes you smile at the end of each day, then, in my opinion, that is truly all that matters.
Your opinion about Vowelor.
I only recently stumbled upon the Vowelor website while searching for ways to promote ‘Deliveries’. I scrolled through the pages and was immediately intrigued by their book promotional strategy. It all made sense to me, and so I decided to climb aboard! I look forward to future collaborations with Vowelor with the hope of reaching more readers who love edge-of-their-seat reading!