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From Music To Literature, A Road Less Traveled For This Author

A Houston author who went to high school in San Antonio returns to the Alamo City for a bookstore visit.

“I am Walker Smith; I write historical novels.”

Smith has a fascinating backstory.

“My mother was a sort of beatnik type — a very literary beatnik type, [who] listened to classical and jazz. My father was a jazz musician. He was a drummer.”

They didn’t have money, but they used their library card a lot. And she could tell she had a literary bent of mind.

“It was either going to be music or it was going to be literature, so it ended up being both.”

She put out three solo albums back in the 80s, as Bobbi Walker. It didn't satisfy her.

“And I walked away from that, went back to writing.”

She moved from New York to Los Angeles to New Orleans.

“And I wrote my head off when was in New York!”

She witnessed the California Northridge Quake, the 9/11 tragedy in New York, and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

“Everywhere I went, there was just disaster.”

But now she’s published several historical novels, the most recent —‘Bluestone Rondo,’ a story of two African-American brothers that begins in the Jim Crow South, in the late 1920s.

“So I made one dark and one light enough to pass for white. The whole story is sort of a … I’m railing against divisions of all kinds. It’s racial, it’s religious. All these divisions that we create for ourselves to divide from each other.”  

And you’re visiting San Antonio?

“Yes, I’m coming to the Twig Book Shop. I’m very happy to be coming out there.”

We’ve more on Walker Smith’s Saturday visit here.

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii