Charmaine Elisabeth Smith was born on March 17, 1968 in Toronto, Canada. Her mother was a French-Canadian, Morse-code radio operator in the Royal Canadian Navy, and her father was a German tool and die designer of British citizenship.
In 1971 Charmaine's mother re-married, this time to Black Hat Chef, Roger W. Jones. Together with his three children from a previous marriage, the new family moved to the United States where Chef Jones eventually became the Corporate Executive Food and Beverage Director for the Westgate Hotel, a five star hotel downtown San Diego, California.
Charmaine grew up in Tierrasanta, a suburb of San Diego. She attended grammar and middle school there, but moved to the East County during high school. A brief college education on a now-obsolete telephone technology followed.
A somewhat quirky resume of odd jobs held by Ms. Smith include chef at the Ram's Hill Country Club in Borrego Springs, Ca., waitress, glass-blower for neon lights, beverage cart girl on the golf course, and care-giving for the disabled or the elderly, specializing in Alzheimer's and dementia patients.
During a lazy Sunday afternoon nap, Charmaine suddenly bolted upright and told her flabbergasted husband the plot line for a children's story then promptly went back to sleep. When she woke up, she remembered the story and decided to write it.
The holiday just past had been saddened by the death of her mother-in-law, and money had been pretty tight for a few years; presents were few and far between for her nieces. Ms. Smith started writing her first novel, The Bookhouse, in March of 2006 as a Christmas present for her three nieces. Using her nieces' first names for characters made the gift that much more personal.
Never having written a long story before, Charmaine was amazed as she found herself eagerly waiting for her time off so she could scribble in her notebook and find out what her characters were going to do next.
Charmaine Smith currently resides in El Cajon, California with her husband Michael, their two dogs and two cats, all of whom contributed to the book. She works as a private duty care-giver for an elderly Native American. Ms. Smith is currently writing her second book in the Jesse Dee series, "Old Man Woods".
The Bookhouse has been wonderfully illustrated by Brenda Bowers. Charmaine first met Brenda in the 9th grade and they have remained the best of friends ever since.
And have you ever read an author's bio that did not mention their continuing sources of inspiration? I think not!
So to continue in a very long tradition of writers and authors from around the world since the beginning of time, here are 2 pictures of my pets.
An awareness and an appreciation of those around you is sometimes all one needs to find the love and inspiration to create and enjoy.