Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Lakeidra Smith is a young millennial author and cybersecurity consultant. Lakeidra’s work was first published at the age of 18 by the renowned publishing company W.W. Norton & Co. and the University of Alabama. She would then go on to publish her first full-length non-fiction book, Cyber Curiosity: A Beginner’s Guide to Cybersecurity – How to Protect Yourself in the Modern World at the age of 22 with the publisher New Degree Press.
On a mission to create a safer Internet, she is focused on improving society’s awareness about the definition of cybersecurity and creating a positive culture around personal cybersecurity.
She has contributed to a number of different industry nonprofit organizations, including STEAM Alabama Initiative, Cyberweek.org, and Women in Cybersecurity.
In her free time, you can find her baking a tasty treat or tackling a new DIY project.Lakeidra Smith studied management information systems and cyber criminology at the University of Alabama. She focuses on eliminating the barrier of technical lingo and concepts to make cybersecurity accessible to everyone. Her passion for technology drives her mission, which is to connect with her readers on a practical level, while allowing her personality and excitement to radiate! She believes in the power and value of technology, and her ultimate goal is to keep our society safe as we navigate cyberspace.
Lakeidra spent the last 4 years learning everything there is to know about the cybersecurity industry — from advanced cyber criminology theories to human behavioral cyber security. It is her mission to create awareness about the importance of personal cybersecurity and share her passion for the subject. To further this mission, she decided to compile her extensive knowledge on cybersecurity into a book for beginners and those wanting to learn how to protect themselves in the modern, hyperconnected world. Lakeidra Smith is setting a new standard for how to protect your digital assets, think about cybersecurity, and make STEM concepts more accessible to underserved populations.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The name of my latest book is Cyber Curiosity: A Beginner’s Guide to Cybersecurity – How to Protect Yourself in the Modern World. It was inspired by my mentor. The initial name of the book was The Privacy Paradox, however I shifted my focus from cyberprivacy to cybersecurity while I was writing. When we were discussing the direction of my book, he said that I was asking people to be more “cyber curious.” I agreed with him completely. My goal for the book is to open people’s eyes to the importance of cybersecurity. The name stuck from there.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I can only write when I feel inspired. Whether the inspiration is a blog post, a research article, or just waking up on the right side of the bed, I can’t write (well) if I’m uninspired. I also love listening to music while I write. It gives me a boost of energy, and I feel like I’m typing in the rhythm of the beats.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I would say that my two biggest influences in the cyber world are Bruce Schneider and Dr. Eric Cole. I really admire their work as cybersecurity professionals and writers. Outside of non-fiction, I love Stephen King. While writing Cyber Curiosity, I read On Writing and it served as a bit of inspiration to never stop writing.
What are you working on now?
Currently, I am taking a book writing hiatus. This summer I will be officially launching my own cybersecurity consulting firm, “The Cyber Consultant.” I’m very excited to get to help people who need it through the power of technology and cybersecurity. I am also writing a 10-part article series that is posted to my blog, lakeidrasmith.com, weekly.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
This is my first book launch, and I have been exploring different avenues. However, I always tell people to never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth. Once someone has read your book and thinks highly of it, you are likely to get referrals from them. I also find it helpful to use my social networks and organizations to spread awareness about my book.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Don’t give up. Don’t feel like you have to be perfect. Just be yourself and write the best first draft you can, it won’t be perfect but it will be finished. You can always go back and revise later.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Focus on progression not perfection.
What are you reading now?
Right now, I plan on finishing Data and Goliath by Bruce Schneider.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Right now, I am focusing on my blog and my business. In the next year or so, however, I do see myself writing another book. I’m not sure if it will be a continuation of Cyber Curiosity or a memoir.