Author writes novel after relationship loss

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The Guttenberg Public Library will hold a book signing event on Dec. 3 from 3-5 p.m. for Charlotte Smith's new novel "The Angel." From left are Dorothy Ehlts-Wille and her daughter, Charlotte Smith.(Photo submitted)

By Caroline Rosacker

Charlotte Smith of Cedar Rapids has been authoring books since she was a teenager. She is connected locally as the daughter of Dorothy Ehlts-Wille of Guttenberg. The Guttenberg Public Library will host a book signing event for Smith showcasing her newest publication The Angel on Friday Dec. 3, from 3-5 p.m.

"I wrote over 12 books, when I was a teenager, and was told by a few people I had talent," commented Smith. "I never actually persued a writing project, it just happened naturally."

A 23-year marriage ended Smith's writing  pursuit. "I threw it all away when I got married, but picked it up again after my divorce," she explained. "A woman who was one of my high school tutors, and had a big influence on my life as a teenager by encouraging me to stay in school, inspired me to begin writing again." 

A supportive atmosphere is a must for the budding author. "I need quiet in order to write, and pursue a writing project when I am feeling the vibe," said Smith. "When I was a teenager I would write with the radio on. Not any more!"  

An unfortunate car accident resulting in multiple broken bones 29 years ago left Smith disabled. It also took her away from her career as a licensed optometrist assistant. "I earned my degree from North Iowa Area Community College, but soon after was not able to continue working in that field," she shared. "I am still able to work and currently have two part-time jobs. One is affiliated with Unity Point in Cedar Rapids in the mental health field, and I also do some cleaning in the apartment building where I live. My hours are limited though because of my disability status." 

Smith's fictional work The Angel was written following a difficult break up. Her creative skills weave a tale about an abusive husband, a battered wife and an angel that communicates with the abuser. The following is a short excerpt. After a particularly bad day at work, Jeff returns home later than usual to find his dinner, prepared by his loving wife, Jane, has gone cold. That’s when he loses his temper, in a blind rage, Jeff pushes Jane, and she hits her head on the way down. What has he done? With Jane in the hospital and the police’s scrutiny, now it’s a waiting game to see when Jane wakes up… if Jane wakes up.

Smith has also written a mystery about four Catholic women that she hopes to submit to an agent. Although she has no plans for a sequel to The Angel, she is working on other books that have more involved story lines.

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