Connect
To Top

Meet Patricia Smith

Today we’d like to introduce you to Patricia Smith.

Patricia, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
A lot of people think my story begins when I started drinking and doing drugs but the truth is, it started when I was five and I looked in the mirror and hated my skin color. What did it mean to be a black woman? I didn’t know and I didn’t care. I was ugly as far as I was concerned. I wanted to look like my white friends. I loved my dad but I wanted a white family. I wanted to be rich. I wanted to surf, have blonde hair and blue eyes.

Those things weren’t going to happen and so I hurt myself. I cut, I starved myself and I attempted suicide. I mainly wanted attention but I also really did not want to be here. I hated myself and I didn’t have the “courage” to kill myself the “real” way.

Finally, I get introduced to drugs and alcohol (late bloomer over here) and they quite literally saved my life. When I was drinking, I didn’t care what color I was. I felt beautiful on cocaine. I finally felt free.  I wanted to be an author. I wrote books ever since I was a little girl and I tried to get published when I got older but got rejected over and over again. I loved writing so it wasn’t like I was going to stop. I wanted to be that drug-addicted writer.

My dream was going to come true. You know anything that lovely comes with a price. My lows were low but my highs were worth it. Until it wasn’t. Suddenly and I mean suddenly, out of nowhere, I realized drugs were all I cared about and I couldn’t stop even when I told myself I was going to and every bone in my body wanted to.

That was crazy to me. I was always a disciplined girl and I felt I always had control so when I wanted to stop hurting my family and I wanted to get my life back and I couldn’t. It was scary.

I was 25 years old and I was paralyzed to my bed. Some would call it immobilized depression, comatose state. I just know I wasn’t talking and I wasn’t moving and I had no thoughts. For two months. My 84-year-old dad took care of me- literally. He fed me. He changed my sheets. He stretched my legs. He carried me outside to get oxygen. I didn’t want to die at this point. I didn’t want to live either. I was hollow inside, just lying there. No future.No past. Forgot that I used to write until my hands hurt.

I forgot that I used to give my fears to my characters and writing made me the happiest girl in the world. I forgot I wanted to be an author. At that point, I did see my dad’s face. I did feel the nervous energy. I knew full body and sound how this was affecting him. I hated it, but I couldn’t move for the life of me. The depression was too powerful.

One day, I don’t know what you can call it- an epiphany, a sign, the universe- to me, it was a random day. I looked at my dad and said I want help. So long story short, I got help. I entered the world of recovery and never looked back.

I’m in therapy.

I’m sober 19 months.

I just quit smoking cigarette. It sucks.

I meditate.

I pray.

I mentor young woman.

I eat every day.

I serve tables.

I’m broke.

But I am so spiritually wealthy and I wouldn’t trade that for a paper check of a million dollars. I now know my purpose in life. I now know where true genuine happiness comes from. I like myself today. I am a healthy, proud to be black woman today. I am able to be of service to myself and others. I wasn’t able to do that before.

Of course, once I got myself together a little bit, I found my love for writing again. I looked over unfinished manuscripts written in a different mind influence and I decided to rewrite- completely sober.

When I was six months sober, I decided to take a leap of faith and take my manuscript to New York, to participate in the Writers Digest Annual Conference’s Pitch Slam.

I was insecure.

I was terrified.

I was way over my head.

I was not ready.

I did it anyway.

Now, I have a published book with Agora, a new imprint of Polis Books, that focuses on diverse authors talking about important issues.

My debut psychological thriller is called Remember and it is available at your nearest independent bookseller!

There was no hope for me bro!I talk to so many young girls and they want to give up. They can’t take the pain anymore. They want to die. My story doesn’t mean anything to them. Other stories didn’t mean anything to me back then. My depression, their depression are too strong. Our minds are so complex so add in mental illness – this goes beyond storytelling.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Absolutely not!

I’m going to quote One Tree Hill real quick, don’t judge me!

Lucas Scott said

“Sometimes pain becomes such a huge part of your life that you expect it to always be there. Because you can’t remember a time in your life when it wasn’t, but then one day you feel something else. something that feels wrong, only because it’s so unfamiliar. then in that moment, you realize you’re happy.”

I get that feeling all the time and that feeling is so strong sometimes. I purposely go back to old habits because it’s comfortable. I get scared of success. I feel like a fraud and to be quite honest, no matter how “recovered” I get,

I’m still that little girl that hates herself. She still lives inside of me and I have to take care of her. To be frank, I don’t always have the time for that. She’s a lot of work. I’m busy.

Plus, there’s temptation everywhere. I love my drama. I love my secrets. I love my chaos. I live in that. I love to party. I love to go out and dance. I’m 27 and single. I’m going out. My friends are drinking and I’m staying sober.

It could be hard but I wouldn’t be able to have this much fun if I was actually drinking with them.

As far as writing goes, I’m still super insecure. Don’t get me wrong. I’m super new and young in the publishing industry. I don’t have an agent so I’m kind of just winging it. It’s stressful.

But like, two years ago, I couldn’t leave my bed to go to the bathroom and here I am- struggling to get attention as a debut author. This is a quality problem. So it’s worth all of the unnecessary petty bullshit.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
My debut novel is called REMEMBER

It is a psychological thriller that follows the journey of Portia Willows, a young girl who struggles with a severe social anxiety disorder. She lost her mother and sister in a tragic car accident while she was a senior in high school. Five years later, she is getting interviewed about a horrific crime she does not remember. After the accident, Portia and her father live a toxic agoraphobic lifestyle where all they did was drink and smoke cigarettes to grieve their loss. That is until Ethan Torke moves in across the street. Ethan changes Portia’s perspective and life in ways she could have never imagined. Remember announces a brave new voice in psychological suspense.

Release Date- October 8th

Also, I host an open online community where people can ask me questions or submit blogs/posts- stigma-free, judgement free on

tell-patricia.tumblr.com

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
My purpose in life is to serve and to help others.

It’s been about me for a long time and now it’s all about what I can do for others.

For me, I always knew I could affect people with my words but could I?

Success for me is if I actually affect someone positively with my books. For example, if I get them to change their mind about suicide. That’s all the success I need.

However, do I have my crazy dreams? Of course!

I want to own a three-story bookstore but is also a five-star steak restaurant, gift shop, gallery, open space for AA meetings, a venue for pop-punk bands to play.

I have it all planned out. Looking for investors! Haha

Pricing:

  • $15.99

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Ryan O’Connor, Bukh Tawer, Aleisha Bennett

Suggest a story: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in