Debbie Templeton and Linda Robertson with author Brad Smith
Local author Brad Smith was on hand at Cayuga’s Neat Little Bookshop, Saturday, to sign copies of his latest novel “The Return of Kid Cooper”. This is his eleventh published book.
The story begins in 1910 when Nate Cooper is released from a Montana prison after being confined 30 years for killing an Indian agent in self defence. The world outside has changed dramatically in that time. Horses are being replaced by motorcars, his girlfriend has married his best friend, his nemesis is running for Governor and the Blackfoot Indians are still being cheated out of their land.
While the country has changed Nate hasn’t, and he returns to his hometown stirring up trouble in an attempt to seek justice.
Leandra DeAngelis watches while Smith signs her copy of his book
Many local people dropped in to see Smith, who was born and bred just up the road in Canfield, to grab a signed copy of his new book. One elderly gentleman brought in several of his older novels to get them signed too. Between signings, the author entertained his audience with stories of his life, joking that his first career was as a juvenile delinquent. After school he worked an eclectic series of jobs in several areas across North America and South Africa, before settling to writing in his late twenties.
For those fans wondering if he knows the endings of his stories before he starts writing he says “yes pretty much but I don’t always know how I’m going to get there”.
He is disciplined in crafting them, writing for at least five hours a day during the week and one or two on the weekends. It keeps continuity at the front of his mind, he says. “It makes it easier to get going again on Monday morning.”
To assure authenticity in his novels, before Smith starts writing a book he usually goes out and visits the proposed location to get background information and ambience. He said he was driving around one town in the States when he passed a street called Potato Peeler Road. Curious, he asked around and found the name originated from the washboard state of the road. It was so rough if you travelled along it with potatoes in your wagon they would be pretty much be peeled when you got to your destination. So Brad incorporated the street name into his story.