The HerStories Project keeps expanding…. beyond what Stephanie and I can manage on our own! We reached out to get a little help.

???????????????????????????????We’re thrilled to announce that Allie Smith, freelance writer and contributor to Mothering Through the Darkness, has joined our team as Assistant Editor. She’ll be helping us out with the HerStories Voices column and with our blog tour and other promotional projects in anticipation of the book’s publication in November.

If you’re not familiar with Allie, she blogs at The LatchKey Mom. (Read more of her bio on the new HerStories Project Editors and Team page!)

Allie was also kind enough to answer a few questions.

Jessica: How did you hear about the HerStories Project?

Allie: The first blogger I became friends with was Nina Badzin. At the time I was writing book reviews for Chick Lit Central and trying to understand this thing called “Twitter.” The woman who runs the site suggested I check out Nina’s blog, because she had great tips for how to use Twitter. While there, I saw an essay about her “failed career as a novelist,” which I loved. I started following her and read everything she wrote. She had an essay about friendship breaks published at The HerStories Project. I love reading about female friendships and I became a fan of the site.

Jessica: What is your favorite type of writing — as a writer and as a reader?

Allie: My favorite type of writing is nonfiction story telling. I like to write about my family and particularly about our travel adventures (we take huge road trips every summer). I think that’s where my voice comes through the best. I prefer to write about happy things, although my more serious or sad pieces seem to be more popular.

As for reading, I’m all over the place. I love to read fiction with a happy ending. Not necessarily sappy happy endings, but I want to feel as though I’m leaving my new friends in a good place. I enjoy humorous pieces as well – fiction and nonfiction. Inspirational essays and memoirs – stories about people overcoming obstacles and living their lives the way they were meant to. I’m always reading whatever I can about slowing down the aging process and healthy living. Finally, I’m a shameless consumer of celebrity gossip – I visit and TMZ frequently!

Jessica: What are your goals for yourself as a writer?

Allie: Once upon a time, I wanted to be the new Nora Roberts, but I’ve let that one go. My dream is to have a road trip memoir published, and perhaps an autism memoir as well.

Jessica: Tell us a little about yourself (your family, your hobbies, background).

Allie: I’m a married mother of four (ages 8-14), living in the suburbs of Atlanta. I’m a former CPA, with a B.A. in Business Administration and a master’s degree in Accounting. It took me a couple of years to realize that the corporate world of accounting didn’t make me happy. As a stay-at-home mom, I joined a writing group and took a few classes and wrote secretly in my office for years. For our first big summer road trip, I started a blog so family and friends could follow us on our adventure – and I got the bug. I wrote book reviews for a couple of sites, before launching my own blog, The Latchkey Mom. In the last few years I’ve had my work published on a variety of websites and I write a travel column for a local magazine. I’m also very excited to have an essay featured in the HerStories Project’s upcoming anthology, Mothering Through the Darkness.

I love to read, so much so that I often annoy my family and friends with “book talk.” If I pass a stranger who is reading a book, I have to stop and ask what they’re reading. I cannot possibly pick a favorite book or author.

I love to travel, and often have as much fun planning a trip as taking it. The beach is my happy place and spending time with my family and friends will cure almost anything. I’m organizationally challenged, unless a spreadsheet is involved (old habits die hard). My favorite TV shows, past and present, are Mad Men, House of Cards, Friday Night Lights, The Good Wife, Friends, Sex in the City and Downton Abbey. I don’t do reality TV – except for Dancing with the Stars, which I watch with my daughter.

My vices include coffee with creamer that isn’t good for you, really good Chardonnay, and all forms and flavors of cheese. I’m eternally devoted to the New England Patriots and the Boston Red Sox and have held grudges against people who’ve attacked them – you’ve been warned. I also harbor a few inappropriate crushes on men I’ll never meet: Kyle Chandler, Jon Bon Jovi, Chris Pratt, and Kid Rock (although this one, I am working through).

Please join us in welcoming Allie to the HerStories Project!