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Local author holds book signing at Barton

by Matthew Hutcheson | March 19, 2023 at 12:00 a.m.
Niki Benton Smith, a novelist and El Dorado native, spent several hours at Barton Library for a book signing on Saturday. (Matt Hutcheson/News-Times)

Local author Niki Benton Smith visited Barton Library in El Dorado on Saturday for a book signing event.

Smith, an El Dorado native and EHS graduate, has been writing for about a decade and has self published three books - "Nightingale," "The Last Dance," and "Secrets," all part of an overarching series.

"'Nightingale' had been rolling around in my mind for several years and I finally had the opportunity to sit down and put it to words," Smith said.

The series centers around a woman who, like Smith, is a nurse.

"The main character... has premonitions of murders and she starts having premonitions of a murder [in which] she is the intended victim. So, she starts trying to figure out who is trying to kill her before it happens," Smith said.

After finishing her first manuscript, Smith made efforts to find a publisher before eventually deciding to self-publish.

"I tried to get 'Nightingale' published traditionally for about three years... [Publishers] would ask for the printed off manuscript. The replies I was getting didn't make sense, some of the stuff they were saying, so I set it up so I could tell if they'd actually looked at it. And, I was getting it back exactly how I sent it, so I knew they weren't even looking at it," Smith said.

"I took a break for a little while because I kind of got my feelings hurt," she added, laughing.

Encouragement from her husband led Smith to self publishing on Amazon in 2017. "He said, 'everybody who has read it loves it,' so why not just publish it yourself?'"

Smith said readers of thrillers and mystery novels will find plenty to enjoy in her series.

"It's got just a touch of paranormal in it," she added.

Smith ended the "Nightingale" series with the most recent book, "Secrets," and is now working on something new.

"I'm working on another novel... The main character is again going to be a nurse and it's a mystery/thriller. She stumbles on, during work, a sex trafficking ring, and she and her fiance set out to see if they can stop it," Smith said.

She added that she is still working on the manuscript and does not have a tentative release date yet.

Smith's novels can be found in physical format and for Kindle on Amazon.

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