The Great Big Beautiful Podcast, Episode 215: Ronald L. Smith
This week, things are gettin’ creepy as we talk to author Ronald L. Smith. Smith has a knack for imbuing his middle grade fiction with a little bit of that “X-Files vibe.” And that dark, mysterious sensibility is certainly on display in his newest book, The Owls Have Come to Take Us Away, which is about a young kid who’s convinced he’s been abducted by aliens.
But all of his books have a certain twinge of magic. Of the unknown. His books are perfect for young readers interested in exploring the world of horror or the paranormal – but within relatively “safe” parameters.
Smith burst onto the scene with his debut novel Hoodoo, which won the 2016 Coretta Scott King New Author Award. In the years since, he’s put out The Mesmerist and Black Panther: The Young Prince. (Check out my review of the latter book here.)
On this episode, we talk about growing up as a military brat, why bullying recurs as a theme throughout his books, the role of adults in kids’ stories, playing in the Marvel sandbox, and Baltimore.