Local Author Sandra Carrington-Smith Bewitches Raleigh With “The Book Of Obeah”
The Book of Obeah, a deftly woven novel by Raleigh’s Sandra Carrington-Smith brings intrigue, voodoo, New Orleans, swamps, predictions, and a series of even more captivating books to North Carolina and the world.
This book was published in 2010 and won the International Award in the category Multicultural Fiction. Also produced as an audio book, it features voice talents of David Fennoy, otherwise known as Lee Everette of “The Walking Dead.”
The story is about a strange, ancient book Melody Bennett finds at her aunt’s estate and the dangerous quest to unravel the tapestry of the book’s mystery.
The first two books of The Crossorads Series: The Book of Obeah and The Rosaires are currently available. The Key and Dream Gates are slated to be published within six months to a year. Each chapter of each book gives more clues (or mysteries) to the imminent danger for everyone–unless….
Sandra started “The Book of Obeah” as a short story, but chapter after chapter began to flow quickly into the book. She had no previous idea about the book’s storyline. The only seed for this book was the name Melody Bennett and the image of her walking into a New Orleans hotel. The rest of the book seemed to take on a life of its own as she wrote it.
So who is this local writer and what is her story?
Sandra Carrington-Smith was born in Pisa, Italy. Writing was one of her favorite hobbies as a child but she never dreamed of writing a book, let alone a series of them. Being raised by a mother who practiced voodoo, having a her grandmother, who was both a Strega (or Italian witch) and a Catholic, she forged her own faith to live by.
She fell in love with New Orleans after her visit there and has been back several times. All of these life experiences dovetailed into forming the characters, scenes and stories in The Crossroads Series.
Her religious beliefs include a passion for the sanctity of every living creature. This devotion is evident in the story she told of an invasion of ants in her dishwasher. She did not do what most would have done–start the dishwasher. Instead she scooped every ant out and placed them outdoors. Each life is important to her. She is not only a philanthropist but an advocate for homeless animals and has donated many proceeds from her four books to various charities.
One of the biggest frustrations in writing the books has been having to cut out large sections of some of the books due to limits set by the publishers.
She had to eliminate 45,000 words on one book and then “piece the story back together.” She described these “cuts” as though she was “cutting off a finger or a toe.”
Another frustration was the rejections of her books by several publishing companies. But from these rejections and the support and encouragement of many friends she gives three important pieces of advice.
- “Never give up!
- Never doubt your talent because of other people’s tastes!
- Don’t think that just because your work is rejected, that it is bad.”
But in spite of hours of writing, rejection frustration, and the expenditures of writing a book, there are rewards. “Touching people’s lives,” she cites as a major reward. One reader wrote to thank her for “helping them deal with a death.” Another wrote thanking her for “helping them find themselves.” Yet another reader appreciated being able to “look at life from a different perspective.”
In 2010 Sandra’s first published book was “Housekeeping for the Soul: A Practical Guide to Restoring Your Inner Sanctuary,” in which she used the analogy of cleaning your house from the basement to the attic, to ridding your life of those musty old emotions, memories, or dreams, and other things you outgrow. This book has been published in Portugese, and some of her other books have been translated in Russia and China. “Killer in Sight” followed in 2012. “Killer in Sight” is a story about a strange murder, which takes place here in Raleigh. It involves some paranormal events as well.
Sandra lives with her American husband, two sons (19 and 15 years old) and a nine year old daughter in north Raleigh. There is also an assortment of cats, and other creatures, who find their way to her house, not to mention at least one spirit. Believe me, she is just as fascinating as her books are.
You can find “The Book of Obeah” and all of Sandra’s works here.