Tuesday 1 April 2014


Title: Drive For Ed
Author: Eric R Smith

BLURB from Goodreads
For Ed Hatchel, the world of racing he knew and loved had been replaced by the below the speed limit commuting of a Driver’s Education car. A tragic past had put his life behind pit road wall. Teaching students the basics behind the wheel became a daily routine. The students in auto shop class can see the change in Mr. H. So does his wife Becky. Can racing continue past the damage? What will it take for this gentleman to start his engine again?


What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
My Name is Eric Smith.  I was born in Washington, North Carolina.  I now live in Sophia, North Carolina.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
My book is called Drive For Ed.  This novel is about a retired NASCAR crew member, overcoming a tragic past, with the help of his students who want to feel the thrill of racing.

Who is your publisher? or do you self-publish?
I self-published this novel.

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
This novel took me about two years.  I stared pretty strong, but I was going to school also at the time and my son plays a lot of sports.  Luckily I finished my Bachelor’s Degree and my first novel.

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I’m working on another novel in the same genre.  It will actually be a three part series.  I like to write about cars, and racing.  It is difficult to write about the excitement scene and heard at the race track.  I want to write about cars and racing in hopes of exciting a young male audience.  My son is excited to read this book and is halfway through now.

What genre would you place your books into?
I would say this book can be placed in a contemporary genre.  Also this novel could be placed in a coming of age genre.  The main character Ed Hatchel is struggling to overcome a tragedy that has turned his world upside down.  At the same time, one of his students, Jenny is dealing with coming into her own as an individual.

Who designed the Cover of your books?
I designed the cover for this book.  I wanted to blend the, ho-hum everyday routine of driver’s education with the excitement of racing.  I think the yellow caution and the checkered flag is a perfect blend.  Plus, the driver and passenger in the car symbolize the journey we all are taking, a journey that should not be taken alone.

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I saw a vanity license plate that said DRv-4-ED.  I thought; what if a driver’s education teacher was named Ed?  The rest just seemed to flow.

How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
The character names were sort of a merge from friends and family.  I would take a first name from one family member and merge it with the last name of a friend.  The area where I live has an incredible tie to grass roots racing.  No flashy sponsors or large money prizes, just people who love to race.  I wanted to pay homage to that so I used a lot of local references.

Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
I had this book planned out before I wrote the first word.  I could see the entire book laid out in my mind.  There were a couple of chapters that I went back and added, but for the most part it was planned first.

Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books?
I like to think that each reader can come away from reading this novel with their own lesson.  For me writing this the moral is that no matter how hard life may be, you can always see thru it with your friends and family.

Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
I think the feeling you get from sitting with a printed book, and feeling the pages between your fingers, and the smell as the pages fan in front of your nose can never be replaced.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Ideas become novels.  The transition can be challenging but never give up.  Writing is a great ingredient for life’s recipe.

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