I am happy to welcome Toni Smalley to the Book Country Member Spotlight! ~NG
Toni Smalley spent her childhood summers on her great-grandparents’ farm where she bailed hay, sang B-I-N-G-O, and ran around the meadows like a mischievous pixie. On the farm, her imagination grew like the apples in her grandparents’ orchard, and her athleticism sprung out of the peach basket her great-grandpa tacked up on a tree.
Toni holds degrees in Communications and Forensic Accounting. She also played Division I basketball at Niagara University.
After developing a career-ending knee condition, she turned to writing for comfort. Over the past few years, she has been honing the craft, constructing the universes of her stories, and is now getting closer to unleashing them into the world.
NG: How did you become a writer?
TS: I remember my first story. I was nine years old, sitting on a boulder with the sun burning my skin as I listened to backhoes rumbling in the fields. I grew bored watching my father dig up dirt, and my thoughts drifted to Africa. Why Africa? Maybe the desert-like conditions, I’m not entirely sure. I found a legal pad in my dad’s truck and began to transcribe the life of an Egyptologist who unearths a human statue that awakens at night to kill people. Oddly, my third-grade teacher praised the murderous African statue, and that’s when I knew writing was important to me.