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Andrew J. Smith

Andrew J. Smith

Highest Rated: 90% Walking Out (2017)

Lowest Rated: 67% Winter in the Blood (2013)

Birthday: Nov 22, 1967

Birthplace: Amersham, England, UK

Author Andrew Smith was inspired to become a writer from as young of an age as 14, when he announced to his family what he wanted to do when he grew up. By Smith's own account, his parents were less than supportive, but even the challenges of a difficult home life could not ultimately stop this prolific novelist from making a major impact on the world of young adult fiction. He would go on to attend California State University, where he earned a degree in political science before heading out into the world for a string of various jobs. Those jobs ranged from working as a security guard to being a longshoreman, from chemical mills to liquor stores. Additionally, Smith tried his hand at writing, but not fiction. He worked for a number of news outlets focusing his talents on journalism. Though he would later note that he found it somewhat comforting to write material to which he had no personal connection, being a journalist ultimately proved no better of a fit for him than any of the other occupations he'd held. Finally, Smith settled on becoming a teacher. He took a job teaching government, history, and English as a second language at Canyon High School in Santa Clarita, California in the early '90s. Smith and his wife Jocelyn would settle into a home in nearby Elizabeth Lake. Smith loved teaching and adored his students. He also became a dedicated father to his two children, as well as a part time rugby coach. What he also became, however, was a fiction writer. Smith settled into a routine of rising at 3 a.m. each morning to write in the solitude of his home office before setting out for a run, then proceeding on to work for the day. He produced massive amounts of compelling fiction with this regimented program. The only catch was that he didn't let anyone else read any of his work. Writing was a personal activity that Smith did for himself. He didn't even consider submitting any of his work for publication until 2008, when he finally made the leap and got himself an agent. Soon, his first novel, Ghost Medicine, found a publisher. Part Western, part ghost story, the young adult novel was a great success, and Smith had no problem following it up with another book, The Path of Falling Objects, the next year. Before long, Smith was publishing a book a year, all while maintaining his position as a teacher. He would reveal in interviews that his interactions with his students gave him tremendous inspiration for his characters and their complex inner worlds. Though commentators would occasionally criticize Smith's works for containing too much violence or dystopian content, the vast majority of readers and educators praised his books for their depth, intelligence, and ability to engage young readers. Smith himself maintained that though he did not write his books specifically for young readers, only about characters who are young, that he related his task as a writer of books read by teens to his responsibilities as a father. Several institutions have honored Smith's novels. The Marbury Lens was named Publisher's Weekly's Best Children's Book of the Year in 2010, while Grasshopper Jungle would win the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award in 2014.

Filmography

Movies

Credit
90% 56% Walking Out Director,
Screenwriter
$101.9K 2017
67% 74% Winter in the Blood Director,
Screenwriter,
Producer
- 2013
No Score Yet No Score Yet Fire Season Executive Producer - 2013
74% 43% The Slaughter Rule Director,
Screenwriter
$13.1K 2002