Former Flagler College adjunct English professor, Laura Smith, will launch her debut novel, “Heart of Palm,” with a reading in the college’s Flagler Room at 6:30 p.m. on April 5 and all Historic City News readers are invited to attend.
Smith’s short fiction will be released on April 2, 2013. She told reporters that her book tour will continue through April. Although Smith has been published in The Florida Review, Natural Bridge, Bayou and other journals, this is her first novel to publish. It has already been selected for inclusion in “New Stories from the South 2010”.
“Launching this book at Flagler College is tremendously meaningful to me,” said Smith, who still does some freelance writing for the college. “I started thinking about this book in a classroom on the fourth floor of Kenan Hall in 2004 — and, now its here.”
The new book is being published by Grove Press and is a portrait of a small town undergoing rapid development, and one dysfunctional, unforgettable family choosing between a comfortable – if unfulfilling – status quo, and the upheaval that comes with the promise of the new.
The novel also features some familiar settings from St. Augustine, Smith told Historic City News.
“The college makes an appearance or two in the novel, as do several other St. Augustine landmarks,” Smith said. “I tried to capture that unique small-town spark we have here, the oddities and cultural tics we all love about this place. The college, to me, always seems to be standing sentry in this little city. In many ways, it’s been standing sentry for the book, too.”
Smith says that the faculty, administration, staff, and students at Flagler College have been the absolute bedrock of her creative efforts.
“Flagler College has supported me, my writing, and my family in more ways than I can count,” Smith told reporters. “I can never express how grateful I am to them for their support and their friendship.”
Photo credits: © 2013 Historic City News contributed photograph by Zach Thomas