Hoodoo Author - Ronald Smith

Photo Credit: Erik Kvalsvik

I grew up on Air Force Bases and have lived in Japan, Maine, Alabama, Michigan, Washington, DC, South Carolina, Delaware and a bunch of other places I don’t remember.

I read a lot of books as a kid, especially fantasy and science fiction, and this inspired my lifelong love of the fantastical.

I always knew I would be some sort of writer, and as an adult, found myself drawn to the world of advertising. It was nice to make a living as a real writer, working on big-budget TV commercials and traveling all over the world. I did it for many years, selling everything from cheeseburgers to cars to airlines. During this Mad Men-esque era, I didn’t work on my fiction at all, and focused solely on my career.

I was an Ad Bro.

I pretty much figured I would never write a novel, but my imagination was reignited by the multitude of books for young readers that came out during this time: A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix, and many others from authors such as Holly Black, Neil Gaiman and Suzanne Collins. Here were the types of books I loved as a kid: books that sparked the imagination and introduced readers to different worlds.

So with this renewed interest in writing I joined The Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, found a critique group, went to several conferences, and, most importantly, immersed myself in the world of children’s literature.

Several years later I had two finished novels—neither of which were very good—but it was an important chapter in my writing journey. My third novel, Hoodoo, was requested by an agent and was sold a short time later  in a publishing auction to Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

I now write fiction full-time, but I do miss the fancy hotels and restaurants from my advertising days.


I was interviewed on Maryland Morning, a local NPR show. It was fun.  Listen.

Literary Rambles. A Road to Publication Story. Go.

Middle Grade Minded, a great blog that is all middle grade all the time.
Check it out here.

Baltimore County Public Library’s Between the Covers series.
Read it here.

Book Club for Kids Podcast: Listen here.

TeachingBooks.net Meet the Author: Listen here.

The Washington Post. Read here:

The Baltimore Sun. Read here:

Kirkus: Read here:

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