Welcome to SMF BeachBunny! A love of cooking is what got a lot of us started too so you're in good company. A smoker is basically a smoky oven, and lets face it, you've probably cooked some wonderful briskets in the oven and there was no smoke anywhere near the meat.
There is no "right" way to Q except what you love to taste. Experiment with woods and meats to see what you like best. Consider the wood like a seasoning. It is surprising how your tastes can change and adapt with experience. When I first started smoking I really could only taste the difference between strong woods (hickory and mesquite) and mild woods (apple and cherry). With experience though, as you train your tastebuds, you start to notice subtle differences. That's when you start mixing woods to get different flavors and colors. Even though apple is a relatively mild wood it still creates a nice smoke flavor. It can taste different on beef than on chicken or pork.
Enjoy your new toy, have fun, and don't forget to take some pictures!