Ronald L. Smith is a former advertising writer and the author of Hoodoo, a southern gothic fantasy novel for young readers. He is the recipient of the 2016 Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award.
The book was acquired by Clarion, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in a publishing auction, and was chosen as a Junior Library Guild Selection. The Cooperative Children’s Book Center named it to their Annual Best of the Year List. It received the 2016 ILA award for Intermediate Fiction from The International Literacy Association.
Hoodoo has been described as Stephen King meets Zora Neale Hurston, and has received critical praise from Kirkus, Booklist, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, The Horn Book and more.
His second book, The Mesmerist, a supernatural Victorian fantasy, was released in February, 2017. A middle-grade take on the Marvel superhero "Black Panther" is coming January of 2018 from Marvel Books/Disney Hyperion.
Spiritualism—communicating with the dead—is all the rage in England, and thirteen-year-old Jessamine Grace and her mother make a living bringing messages from beyond to their wealthy clients. It’s all a sham, of course, until the day Jess discovers that she really does have otherworldly powers.
Soon, she is plunged into the dark world of London’s supernatural underbelly. The city is under attack by ghouls and monsters, and Jess is invited to join a secret society of kids with talents like her own. Together, they must conquer a powerful malevolent force that lurks much closer to home than she ever imagined.
She’ll just have to transform from the well-mannered middle class girl she’s always been into a brave fighter first.
Tinged with faerie magic and set amid the bustle and grime of Victorian London, this chilling tale from the award-winning author of Hoodoo will enthrall fans of middle grade horror and supernatural fiction.