L. J. (Lisa Jane) Smith is the New York Times #1 Bestselling author of The Vampire Diaries, The Secret Circle, The Forbidden Game, Dark Visions, and the Wildworld and Night World series.
I was born in Florida, but my father, who had been a football star at Clemson University, decided to go into business with a partner that required him to move several times and I ended up in southern California when I was a toddler, and I lived there until I moved to the Bay Area of northern California.
I think the truth is that always knew that I would be a writer. That is, I was making up stories and writing "poetry" (very bad) all the time in my head ever since I can remember. I would tell poems to my mother before I learned how to read (I didn't learn until I was in kinergarten) and sometimes she would write them down. That's how I know about them. I was always making up stories and then acting them out with the kids on the block. With my girlfriends I played "princesses" and with my boy friends I played (no, not "doctor") but "space explorer." I was young just around the time of the first manned landing on the moon and "space explorer" was very exciting.
I grew up and although I continued to read children's books, I began to read adult books by the time I was eight or so. But I always believed in one thing, that I was going to find MAGIC. Real, true, flying carpet type magic. My favorite books were the ones about magic. I was sure that I would find it by the time I was nine, because nine was three times three, a very magical number. And when I lived through being nine and didn't find it I was sure that by the time I was twelve (three times three plus three) I would surely find it.
But, sadly, I didn't find it by the time I turned twelve. And then I realized that if I wasn't going to just find magic, I would have to make it for myself. And so I started writing short stories, poetry, everything you can name, all about fantasy and magic and science fiction. I began my first book in high school and I finished it in college. I called The Night of the Solstice and I found an agent in a friend of the woman who typed up my manuscript. This agent only sold books as a sort of hobby, and was not very knowledgeable about contracts, but she sent my book to MacMillan Publishers Ltd., where it was (after a rewrite) taken on and published. It got stellar reviews but due to a hideous cover and being mis-categorized as a middle-grade book rather than YA, it didn’t sell well until after The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening came out. Then it became a bestseller, much to my surprise.
I live in the Bay Area of California, with a backyard that is full of flowers, which I adore, especially with many different shades of roses.
I love to visit my friend Toni's little cabin in the Point Reyes National Seashore area, which has lots of trees, lots of animals, lots of beaches to walk on, and lots of places to hike. Once, while hiking, I saw a snow-white buck which allowed me to follow it nearly half a mile.
A militant optimist, I’m also part of the Velociraptor Sisterhood (a fancy way of saying that I like to read, write and discuss books with strong female characters). I have traveled extensively in Europe and the Far East. The two countries I love to visit most are Great Britain, with its historic monuments and amazing country landscapes, and Japan, with its bustling urban life and exquisite mountain scenery.