Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Interview & Contest: The Bullied Series by Christopher Smith

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Christopher Smith, the author of the best selling novel Fifth Avenue and now the Bullied series. It has been an honor getting to know him and being able to promote his book these past few weeks. Now on with the interview!

Will you start off by telling those not familiar with the books a little info on the series?  Absolutely.  The first book, "Bullied," is about the relentlessly bullied 18-year-old Seth Moore, who is gifted an amulet that ignites within him a wealth of supernatural powers.  If Seth uses the amulet properly, it will protect him from those determined to crush him. But after so many years of being beaten down and humiliated, the question is whether Seth can resist creating a firestorm of horror when the bullies around him create one fatal, awful act that begs for revenge.  Soon, all hell breaks loose. And when it does, a war builds against Seth as others vie to take control of the amulet and use its powers for themselves.
In the second book, "Revenge," Seth must face the ugly ramifications of what was set forth at the end of Book One. Furious by what eight students did to him and his family, Seth is determined to tap into the amulet and carve a path of revenge that will take each of those students down. Since death is too good for them, he finds other, more colorful ways to imprison them, either literally and figuratively.  Now, his connection to the amulet has grown so powerful, it has attracted the original owners, who want it back. And they will do anything to get it back. Unfortunately for Seth, a beautiful witch also craves the amulet, knowing that if she has it, her master will become invincible.  Twists are revealed as Seth's power grows, but is he powerful enough? A war is building that threatens his life, as well as the relationships Seth has built with his new friends, Alex and Jennifer.

The first book in this series is called 
Bullied and is from the point of view of high school student Seth Moore who has been bullied his entire school career. Does this come from past experience?  It does.  Every scene in the book in which Seth is bullied is fact, not fiction.  Each time you read a scene in which he's punched or spit on or bullied, you're reading what happened to me when I was his age and/or younger.  I was bullied for the better part of six years when I was in middle school and high school.  I look at this series as a way of turning that negative into a positive.  I want those young people who are being bullied now to know that it does get better, that they do have a voice and that there are ways to stop the bullying that has nothing to do with supernatural powers.

Seth is given a gift from his uncle that possesses incredible powers when worn. Are these the powers you grew up wanting to have?  When I was young, maybe 10, I used to have the Batman and Superman action figures that lots of kids had.  It was about that time that I started to be bullied, not just by one kid, but by dozens of them.  There was no way to keep them off me.  The teachers didn't help (in fact, I think teachers can be the worst bullies because they choose to look the other way when you need their help most).  So, yes, as silly as it sounds now, back then I wished I had something powerful, even super powers, to keep them off me. 
Since these are considered novellas because of the size, did you write a larger story and just break them up or have you written each one separately?  I've written each one separately.  Right now, I'm working on the last novella, "WITCH," which should be finished in a few weeks.  That will complete a series.  When it's finished, in all, it will be around 80,000 words long.

What are three things that you wanted to achieve in writing these books?  This is a great question.  I wanted to shed light on the subject of bullying.  I wanted to really get my hands dirty with the truth and tell every reader just how bad it can be.  No sugar coating.  Some will already know how bad it is to be bullied and I'm pulling for them.  There is a lot of shame that comes from being bullied.  It's not something you want to shout to the rafters--or share with your parents.  Who wants to be the child who's considered to be the school loser?  It's so difficult and confusing and awful to be that person.  But I'm shouting now, and I hope the lessons that come at the end of the book will help those who are being bullied now--and perhaps stop those who are actually doing the bullying.  I especially want those people to think about what they're doing.  Second, I wanted to create an entertaining book.  I know that sounds odd given the subject, but there is a lot of action in these novellas--and some humor--as Seth seeks his revenge.  Third, I wanted to write something that ends up being kind of a lesson of sorts.  With the amulets he receives, four in all, the power is intoxicating to Seth.  So intoxicating that he begins to become a bully himself.  Will he fully go there, or will he recognize what's happening to him and back off.  I still don't know the answer to that question because power, as many of us know, can be consuming.  I have faith in Seth, but he's had such a hard life, I'm not sure if he'll be able to use those amulets for good.  I hope so.  I'm nearing the end and it's looking questionable.

This isn't the first set of books that you have written. How do you juggle writing books with your everyday life?  Due to the success of these novellas and of my best-selling adult thriller, "Fifth Avenue," I was able to quit my job as a film critic, which I was for the past 15 years.  I just quit last week.  Now I only have my day job at a PR firm and can write at nights and on weekends.  I'm a very fast writer, so that's a good thing.

What was your favorite book growing up? The Great Gatsby.  Still is.

What is your favorite book or series now?  I love The Hunger Games!  And I really like John Sanford's "Prey" series.

If you could be any book character, who would you be and why?  That's a tough one because so many characters come to mind.  It would have to be someone fighting for something good, someone who would make a difference in the world.  It would have to be someone who stood up for others because that's important to me.  Somebody with compassion.  I think I'll choose Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird.

Do you like to travel? Where is your favorite place to go?  I love to travel and travel often.  My favorite place is Paris.  My agent in NYC, Matt Bialer, has my next thriller now.  It's a Wall Street thriller called "Running of the Bulls."  If he sells it for a nice sum, I'm so moving to Paris.  Get me to the City of Lights.

Christopher Smith is giving away TEN ebook copies of the first novella in the series: Bullied
**Contest ends June 4th 11:59pm**

Rules for contest:
1. One entry per person
2. You must be a follower
3. Comment on this blog
4. Opened internationally as long as you can receive an ereader copy.
5. Fill out the form

Thanks for entering and I hope you enjoy the series as much as I have!


  1. Sounds like a pertinent subject and an interesting series start. I'm also a new follower through book blogs.

  2. thanks for this great contest ^_^

  3. Thank you for the giveaway
    Nicole Carter

  4. Thanks for the great interview; I am not familiar with this author's work but he sounds like a creative, empathetic person, so I am interested in giving his books a read. Rae

  5. So glad I found your blog. I would love to read this. Thanks for the giveaway!

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

  6. I would love to read this book.