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Deborah Smith Ford is an actress in film and television, a celebrity impersonator recognized as the Trinity look from the MATRIX films, creates online articles and is an author of a series of children's books under the title of Allie's Adventures Around the World. As a media or writer guest Ford attends sci-fi and lookalike conventions, schools and other events speaking on acting and writing.

Interview with Deborah Smith Ford

What were some of your favorite books when you were a kid?

I cannot remember the titles, but due to my uncle being an officer for the Methodist Publishing Company I understand I had quite a selection. The books I had the most interest in were on adventure, animals, families, and as I got older I enjoyed a good mystery!

Do you have a favorite quote or passage from The Little Apple that you'd like to share with us?

We live in the country. I go to school in town. The school bus picks me up in front of my house. I like going to school, but most of all I like coming back home to The Little Apple.

Some writers claim not to be influenced by the needs of the marketplace, while others seem obsessed by it. Does the marketplace affect your writing in any way?

I like to think that I affect IT! No, really, the marketplace is a reality, but I cannot let it affect my actual writing. I do believe, however, in promoting my books. Promotion is the other half of anything you want to get out there and noticed, but I try and let the majority of the PR work be handled by those who do that professionally – the publisher, the agent, the manager... I do the writing!

After reading The Little Apple, what do you want people to take away with them?

I want children, and adults alike, to come away (over and over again) with the idea that not all farms have livestock and especially the idea of how wonderful it is to feel the warmth of being a part of something, something bigger than even planet Earth – a farm and a family – especially a family.

Name a book that you'd be embarrassed to be seen reading.

Ha ha, now that you ask that, I begin to blush already. I remember as a teen reading MAD Magazine and some comic books. I was embarrassed then to be reading them, although I understand comic books are a huge phenomena now-a-days. I guess I should have held on to them!

When you were little, did you want to be a writer when you grew up?

I do not remember thinking I would make a living at it, but I remember liking to write. I kept a journal all the time. Funny though, the moment I began writing professionally I stopped writing in the journals! I do still have some that I started for my daughters – I would write about them for them. Now my husband writes in journals. I also studied to be a teacher (B.S. degree in elementary education), and teaching others to read and write was a wonderful experience. That might be why I now visit schools speaking on writing (and on acting). So the answer is “Yes, eventually.”

If you had a book club, what would it be reading and why?

What other kind is there? Ha ha actually I do not spend my time sitting long enough to read much, although I should not be saying that. I am big on listening to audio books once in a while, and that is one reason why I am making sure that my own books have a matching audio CD, with music too. The Little Apple’s CD was released this year (2012). It is co-written by myself and by Jimmie Cantrell. He is the musician/singer, and his wife, Cyndi, narrates the story.

What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your writing career?

I hate to say, but with my writing, including the creating of articles, it is the support from others. Like my acting, people, up until recently, did not seem to take me seriously. When I worked equally hard at other “jobs” no one ever asked things like “So, are you still doing that?” “How much money do you make at writing or acting?” “I guess you are having fun doing that, [must be nice].”

One has to establish one’s self in the industry before one is taken seriously. Well, that is what I have discovered for myself that is. I never felt that way when I was a mother, secretary, teacher, dental assistant, vet tech, etc. – they were jobs, and no one questioned me doing them.

This writing, to me, is more than a job, it is a career. Along the way, especially lately, it has become an enriching experience, one that I do not want to stop anytime soon.

What is the best writing advice you've ever been given?

Keep doing it (writing).

If you could be any character in fiction, who would you be?

In the sci-fi world, that’s easy, and I kind of already am her – a character called Trinity from the MATRIX films. She wears a tight shiny black vinyl outfit with matching boots and a big coat that waves in the breeze as she runs and kicks “fanny” with her equally wonderful good guy team members after the bad guys. Their goal - saving the world!

In the real world, I would like to be Allie. She is the main character in my series of books who is kind of patterned after me. Allie’s travels have just begun in these books, and I like to think that every child would like to experience similar adventures.

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