Michelle Smith has always had a fascination with intrigue and suspense. But it was her love of science and a desire to assist people in need that led to her career choice of medicine. Four years after obtaining a B.A. in chemistry at Mills College in Oakland, California, Smith earned her medical degree from the University of Southern California before returning to Oakland to complete an internship and residency in Internal Medicine.
While practicing medicine, Dr. Smith, a board-certified Internist, regularly encountered the darker side of human behavior in patients plagued with addiction and/or psychopathology. Despite the demands of a full-time medical practice, a desire to write prose more compelling than entries in a medical chart surfaced. Coupled with her childhood exposure to mental illness, Smith's unique clinical experiences planted the seeds for enigmatic characters and riveting story lines, motivating her to enroll in novel mechanics courses. After several years of practicing medicine, she reduced her work schedule and pursued the craft of writing with the same intensity used in preparing for her medical boards.
“I wanted to develop my writing skills and was committed to doing my best," Smith says of her first novel, Hide and Seek.
A compelling mixture of suspense, mystery, drama, and magical realism, Hide and Seek is a dark coming-of-age tale about a young girl troubled by her role in the death of her younger brother and her unearthly journey to find love and redemption.
Smith says, “People ask if Hide and Seek is a medical thriller. I tell them it contains medical scenes, but I characterize my story as a dark family drama infused with mysticism, and it still raises the hair on my skin to read certain sections."
While Smith devotes the bulk of her writing time to novel revision and enjoys studying the writing styles of other authors to congeal much of what she has learned about novel craft, she also sees writing as a venue in which to promote health maintenance and disease prevention to a wider audience. In 2001, the physician-author founded The Ebony Quill, LLC through which she has written several health-related articles tailored for consumer magazines. She's also written on topics ranging from community profiles to golf.
A member of The Authors Guild, San Diego Writers Ink, The National League of American Pen Women, Inc., and the Central Coast Writers (CCW) Branch of the California Writers Club (www.centralcoastwriters.org), Smith has contributed articles to The Monterey County Herald's magazine publications and writes a monthly column for CCW's newsletter, Scribbles. As a staff writer and avid golfer, she has also contributed advice columns to gottagogolfmag.com.