Inspiration may come at any moment every day in someone’s life, but sometimes that inspiration takes time to transform into more than just a good idea.
In the case of Lindsay resident J. Curtis Smith, becoming a celebrated author took around a couple of decades to make happen. However, for many who have known him, it is a talent that was only a matter of time before it took off.
“These stories have been popping out of my head and I let them go. I figured I ought to put some of them down,” said Smith, who was born in Pauls Valley in 1962 before moving to and growing up in Lindsay.
“I thought I would try my hand at stories and they’re doing pretty good.”
Until a couple of years ago Smith had always been glad to give away written down short stories as gifts to friends or family and has been surprised to not only find he has a following here in Garvin County, but in other countries.
Before 2011 when Smith’s first book, “A Collection of Short Stories” came out, the seeds of what would later provide fruit from this passion actually developed several years ago from a former employee of his company, Streamline Oil & Gas.
She convinced him to take a writer’s aptitude test. Flattered by the results, Smith’s submission of “Monster Pig” not only helped change the format of the test that had actually only asked him to write a couple of sentences describing a cloud, it also came with an offer to go to a college in New York and later was one of the stories in that first book.
What allowed him to finally get a start was when things settled down enough at work through people helping him run the company.
“The questions were too generic for my weird mind,” said Smith, adding that the same college later even asked to use his short story as an example in one of their classes.
“That’s probably when I knew there was something to my writing.”
Smith eventually turned down the collegiate offer, but it was one of the many things that gave him confidence and has been followed by more and more people who like his unique style of storytelling.
A style that breaks traditional barriers by mixing quirky fiction like a girl who travels back in time in a coming of age story called “The Radio” with real historical ties, Smith likes to tell stories from the perspective of the lead character in each one.
This past year his second book, “A Gilded Christmas” was released and features the narrative of an elderly woman’s most cherished holiday memory back in the 1880s and like the first book has not taken long to attract fans.
“The longer I’m out there, the more people who are starting to recognize me,” said Smith noting how most of his ideas spring out of everyday ordinary observations.
“I wouldn’t think anybody would read them, but they are… It’s kind of neat when you see a collection of stories by J. Curtis Smith.”
Currently, Smith has even more projects planned from several short stories in progress to a novel and even the start of work on a museum/antique store in Lindsay based around a classic poem known as “The Night Before Christmas.”
However, his own children Austin and Allison also are determined to include tales he told them when they were growing up called the Adventures of Virgil & Kirby in the immediate future.
“They keep reminding me,” said Smith. “In my work there’s no cuss words in them, they’re good clean stories.”
Both of Smith’s books are available through online retailers like Amazon.com and have been published by WestBow Press.
He also can be found on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/jcurtis.smith.5) and Twitter.