Scott P. Smith | Local Author

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Scott P. Smith | Local Author

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This Weeks Featured Author – Scott P. Smith

 

In the spotlight this week is author of the series Zaniac Books and Fort Myers resident Scott P. Smith. As Scott grew up moving back and forth between Texas, Tennessee, and Ohio, he discovered one thing that always remained the same in every school he attended and town he lived, books!  His love for Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein, and Maurice Sendak helped him to develop a love for language and a really big imagination. Which he still carries with him today!

That’s what lead him to seek out similar books with which to stock his granddaughter’s bookshelves three years ago.  But after a trip to several major book retailers, he found himself frustrated. “I kept coming back to those classics I’d, and in some cases, my parents, had grown up on,” he told SWFL Online News.  Although the stories stood the test of time, he was concerned they wouldn’t hold the attention span of a 3-year-old being raised in a CGI world.  No books were bought that day.

Although Scott had written fiction, poetry and technical/business articles for years.  The thought of writing children’s stories had never crossed his mind.  Until a seemingly series of unfortunate events nearly lifted from the pages of a Lemony Snicket book transpired, but with very a happy ending.  Scott and his wife were living in Cape Coral at the time and had several months previously lost their beloved miniature golden retriever.  On March 2nd, coincidently Dr. Seuss Day, Scott was taking a walk in the neighborhood, the same route he usually walked the dog.  Looking down in a funk he noticed that the grass along the busy road was pretty heavily littered.  That’s when his imagination kicked in, and he began conceiving what would become the first four rhymes he would write in that day.

Scott thought that the zany characters and rhyming lyrics would make a nice poetry book with illustrations.  But when he read them to his wife Jennifer later that evening, she insisted they would be great picture books.  Combining that nostalgic love for the stories on which he grew up with the desire to share a love for learning which is so important for young people’s social and educational development, he created the bright, bold books of his signature series Zaniac Books.

His first book “Jack’s Backyard,” debuted in the Fall of 2016 and was an instant best seller for local publisher Happy Dolphin Press.  An imaginative story of a young boy in need of a fantastical story about how he spent his summer unfolds into an epic and educational tale intertwined with the proper names of groups of animals. A scurry of three-foot baseball playing squirrels, bloats of hippos bouncing off a copse of rubber trees, a tower of sparkly pink giraffes, and many more fun and zany groups of creatures for children (and adults) to learn about can be found here.  But, of course, always in the same fun and colorful way that his inner child loves, too!

He has continued his classic style of fun and educational rhyming readers with the delightfully spooky story of confidence and curiosity of Sarah Lee in “Who, Me?” in Fall 2017, and the amazingly Pixar-ish imagery in a book of sea creature facts, “Whale of a Tale,” in early 2018.  His next great adventure, book #4, “The Dragonaut” is scheduled for release this Fall.  Scott has completed twelve titles at this point, with Happy Dolphin Press planning to release at least 3 more in 2019.  Now the grandfather of two with another one on the way he intends to keep writing even more Zaniac Books for a long time to come.

Scott performs readings and appears at events in his Zaniac persona reminiscent of Mr. Cartoon in his colorful garb along with his wife, ‘Miss Rainbow.’  They are regulars at the Lakes Park Children’s Garden story time, the Shell Factory events, and even in the Leoma Lovegrove Gardens. You can find their events and the Zaniac Books near you on the website www.ZaniacBooks.com .

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