Douglas C. Smyth: Author


I’m half Venezuelan and a quarter Hawthorne–my grandmother was the granddaughter of Nathaniel Hawthorne, my mother was Venezuelan: a mixed heritage. My paternal grandfather was also a writer, novelist and founder of what became the New York Times Book Review.

I have written for magazines and free-lance assignments, from encyclopedias to radio programs. I have authored many unpublished novels and, so far, four (self) published novels, as well as assorted published short stories.

Before my Ph.D program (Political Science, Economics and Anthropology), I tried to write short stories while I was editor of a business magazine. In full-time academe at the University of Central Florida, I published almost the requisite number of academic articles (full of Political Science’s jargon, basically not worth reading), but I had no time for anything else. That’s why I quit full-time academe and taught for years in a college prison program. That’s when I turned to writing novels as well as freelance work. I wrote at least ten novels. Agents and/or publishers seriously considered several of them, and finally I self-published two of them as e-books on Smashwords: Body Destiny and From Renata With Love, the latter a prison novel.

Scrapping the formula: write what you know, I wrote two historical novels. They are: Attila as Told to His Scribes and I, Zerco. These I published on Kindle, after a British agent marketed both of them unsuccessfully for years; he finally retired.

So, I’ve self-published 4 novels, after despairing of the publishing race. All four novels are available (See My books available here) online.

I’ve since written another novel: My mother, Olga (1913-2014), was born on a Venezuelan island off its coast. She was named after a Russian princess on ship-board, an event that shaped the rest of her life. She was raised in Trinidad until age 11 or 13 (depending on her account, or the Ellis Island records), and then she, her brothers and her mother, fled Trinidad for New York–but her family denied they fled. My maternal grandfather later became the Governor of the Venezuelan state of Falcon. He and his many brothers were mostly high up on the security side of dictator Vicente Gomez’s long-lasting regime. There was a connection between his family’s career path and my grandmother’s and mother’s flight from nearby Trinidad to NY.

The story is told as a fictional memoir. Princess Olga and Her Venezuelan Connection , begins with the 97-year old Olga dreaming about her idyllic life in Trinidad, and what happened that forced her family to flee Trinidad for Harlem in 1926. According to her, she precipitated the flight, but not for the reason told within her family, a story which never made sense. She claimed credit for her family’s escape from a dangerous situation. And after all, she ended up where she wanted to be: in New York City.

I am now in negotiation with a publishing start-up, for publishing Princess Olga.

Concurrently, I am working on several other story projects. Stay tuned.


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