MEET THE AUTHOR
In my second year of high school we were
assigned to read Great Tales of Action and
Adventure. As the title said, these were
stories about people confronting a world
that was far from the safe environment of
school, home, and neighborhood. It was a
look at what adult life could be. The tales
presented the concept of struggle as a part
of life. From this wonderful book we progressed to others by Conrad, Hemingway,
Faulkner, Twain. We all still lived at home with our parents, but some
of us, having gotten a glimpse of a world we hadn’t imagined, decided
that getting an education and a comfy job would not be enough. We
wanted to explore those places we read about. We wanted to get our
fingers scraped, our eyes opened in remote, inhospitable places. For me,
that meant becoming a civil engineer. Engineers traveled all over the
place, didn’t they? So I helped build highways, a dam, a port, a railyard,
an underwater pipeline, an airport. I wanted to follow in the footsteps
of B. Traven, Gabriel García Márquez, Jack London, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Writing should first entertain. After that, it should incite and
inspire. At its best, it should lead you somewhere you hadn’t planned on.
Paul Smith is a civil engineer who has worked in the construction racket
for many years. He has traveled all over the place and met lots of people.
Some enriched his life. Others made him wish he or they were dead.
His poetry and fiction have been published in Convergence, Homestead
Review, Literary Orphans, and other litmags.