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Renowned author makes a pitstop at local library

NORTH CREEK - As part of her nationwide tour to promote her third book The King's Grace, historical fiction author Anne Easter Smith made a stop at the Johnsburg Library April 22.

Smith - a former journalist at the Press Republican - has become world-renowned for her depiction of 15th century aristocratic life, with each book building off the previous one.

"When I was a little girl I always dreamed of castles and kings," Smith said. "My first book (A Rose for the Crown) came about when I learned Richard III had gotten a bad rap by some Tudor propagandists - including Shakespeare I might add."

Smith was born and raised in the U.K., where the remnants of a time gone by are an ever-present feature on the landscape.

Her husband Scott was born and raised in Johnsburg.

"A fascination with the medieval lifestyle seeps into you there," she said. "You are surrounded by it."

Smith said that she began her first book as a personal project.

"I was writing it for me," she said. "I just happened to meet an agent at a part who loved it - next thing I know Simon and Schuster wanted to give me a book deal."

Her books focus on the War of the Roses between the Yorks and the Lancaster as both factions sought control of Britain.

Ripe with intrigue, deceit and counter-intelligence her work humanizes characters who are often portrayed as nearly mythical figures.

"I am very meticulous about my historical facts," Smith said. "I travel to each place I am writing about and meet with scholars to make sure everything is correct."

Grace uses the illegitimate daughter of King Edward as a protagonist. Through her, she delves into the mystery of Perkin Warbeck - a former commoner who claimed to be the lost son of Richard III and rightful heir to the throne of England.

"I usually write through a woman's eyes," she said. "It's better to write what I know."

Smith has done book-signings in New York and Seattle during her current promotional tour.

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