My name is Josh Smith and I live in rural northeast Missouri with my wife and two children. I am an IT technician by day, and I serve on the worship team for my local church. I am also a middle school youth pastor. I’ve loved the idea of writing since the fifth grade. Speculative fiction gives me the ability to express my creativity and stretch a reader’s imagination. I am currently working on several writing projects. Among them is my first novel.
I was born in southern Wisconsin and more or less grew up in Kirksville, Missouri. I am the youngest in my family and was raised in a house with two older sisters, my Mom and two female cats. Needless to say, I grew up running away from tea parties, Barbie dolls and an overdose of girl cooties. I learned to find my escape in the fields of Hyrule, the sands of Dune and the varied planets of Star Wars. Video games, books and movies quickly became my oasis and I jumped head first into the Geek world.
I snuck away to a local comic shop and spent my quarters at a small arcade. Most summers were spent riding my bike to and from the library with a backpack full of books. I wrote my first fantasy story when I was eleven. I built my world with Lego sets around my bedroom and wrote about the characters that came to life within them. Crude as it was, it was the spark of a story.
Junior high and high school flew by. I read book series like the Wheel of Time and Redwall. I watched movies like Willow, Tron and Blade Runner and I found myself in a small circle of like-minded story-geeks. The story spark that had been ignited had become a roaring flame.
My sisters both graduated and left me to rule the house. But life took a turn for me my senior year of high school, when my Mom and I moved sixty miles away to be a part of a Faith-based recovery ministry in rural Missouri. My geek-circle fell apart after high school and my desire to write took a backseat to finding a career, making actual life choices and navigating a budget.
I attended a local bible college and began to work for a local telecommunications company. I dreamed of attending Film School and leaving the cornfields behind. I felt the need to use the story spark that was inside and it’s amazing how when you ask, that God will make His plans known. (SPOILER, it wasn’t Film School)
During my second year of Bible College, I began to notice a story spark in a place I’d never before thought to look. Six months later, with green apple sodas and a flower in hand, I asked the girl who made my heart skip to go for a walk. It didn’t take too long before I got down on one knee in the snow and asked her to marry me.
Two kids and countless IT support calls later, a writer friend of mine was hosting an event with an author named Ben Arment. Ben had written a book called Dream Year, and my amazing wife had worked it out so we could drive to the hip city of Omaha, Nebraska to meet and hear from this amazing guy. That event led us to attend a creative conference in Chicago later that year called Story, where after hearing from creative minds for three days, my brain literally exploded. Maybe not literally.
My story spark had never burned as brightly and more than ever before I had to write. I needed to write. It just so happened that around this same time a mentor of mine had begun a writer’s guild and my name was on the invite list. She introduced me to the world of there’s-a-million-places-to-submit-stories-to-so-pick-one-already and I stumbled into the Splickety Publications Group.
My first piece of flash fiction was published in the June 2015 issue of Splickety Prime and I submitted a story to each subsequent issue. I had planned on skipping out the whole “Love” magazine, but my wife challenged me, because I poke fun at her Hallmark movies. I ended up with stories in five issues of Splickety Magazine in 2015. One of which was a contest winner, chosen by an award winning author.
My story spark is burning bright and God is on the throne of my heart. I am a husband, a father, and I am a writer.
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