L. J. Smith (author)

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Lisa Jane Smith
Born (1965-09-04) September 4, 1965 (age 50)
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Pen name L. J. Smith
Occupation Writer
Nationality American
Alma mater

University of California, Santa Barbara

University of San Francisco
Genre Young-adult, Horror, Science fiction, Fantasy, Romance
Notable works The Vampire Diaries
The Secret Circle
Night World

Lisa Jane Smith, known professionally as L. J. Smith, (born on September 4, 1965 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida) is an American author of young-adult literature.

Her books, which combine elements of the genres of supernatural, horror, science fiction/fantasy, and romance, are populated with apparently young human and supernatural characters locked in dark vs. light, and good vs. evil conflicts. A dark antagonist typically attempts to seduce a heroine into the darkness, and in some cases, is instead reborn into the light.[1][2]

Her books, particularly The Vampire Diaries and Night World, have been in the New York Times Bestselling and have been nominated for Favorite Book awards. The Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle have both been adapted into TV shows.

Early life and education[edit]

Smith is secretive about her age, but multiple sources list her birthdate as September 4, 1961[3][4] in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She was raised in Anaheim, California, where she attended Juliette Low Elementary School and Serrano Elementary, followed by Cerro Villa Junior High School and Villa Park High School.[5]

Before going to college, she moved to Goring-on-Thames, United Kingdom. She attended Mills College for one year, then the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she graduated with degrees in English and Physiological Psychology.[citation needed] At the University of San Francisco she obtained a Master's degree in Education both Regular and Special Education.[5]

Smith began her career as an elementary school teacher,[3][5] but left after 3 years to pursue writing.[6] She lives in Danville, California.[3]

The character Meredith, in The Vampire Diaries series, is inspired by her niece of the same name.[citation needed] She chose the setting of The Vampire Diaries in Virginia because she has family there and was inspired by the small towns and lifestyles.[7]


Smith has said that she realized she wanted to be a writer sometime between kindergarten and first grade, "when a teacher praised a horrible poem I'd written",[8] and she began writing in earnest in elementary school.[1]

Her first book, The Night of the Solstice, written during high school and college,[9] was published by MacMillan in 1987, followed by Heart of Valor in 1990. They sold poorly, as they were labeled for 9 to 11-year-olds and not for young adults, as Smith wanted.[5]

The Vampire Diaries series was commissioned by Elise Donner, editor of Alloy Entertainment in 1990: Smith immediately wrote the scene when Elena, Bonnie and Meredith are decorating the gym and the heroine meets Damon (scene later included in the first novel), while, as for the other characters, she adapted those of The Garden of Earthly Delights,[3] an adult book she was writing.[5]

Three trilogies followed: The Secret Circle (1992), The Forbidden Game (1994) and Dark Visions (1995). The first installment of Night World series was published in 1996, followed by eight more over the next two years.[10]

In 1998, Smith began a decade-long hiatus from writing, returning in 2008 with a new website and a series of new short stories. The Vampire Diaries series was reissued in 2007, followed by reprintings of The Secret Circle trilogy and Night World series in 2008–2009.[11] The Night of the Solstice and Heart of Valor were also reissued in 2008. Three new Vampire Diaries installments were published in 2009 and 2010.[12] The series was later adapted into a TV series (The Vampire Diaries) in 2009, as well as The Secret Circle, which became a TV series of the same name in 2011.[13]

The final volume of The Vampire Diaries written entirely by Smith (The Return: Midnight) was released in March 2011. Smith submitted a draft of the next installment (The Hunters: Phantom), but after a dispute regarding a pivotal plot twist, her involvement was terminated by the publisher and the episode was revised by a ghostwriter.[14][15] Subsequent Vampire Diaries installments have also been ghostwritten. She was also replaced on The Secret Circle series, by ghostwriter Aubrey Clark.[16][17][18]


Night World Series[edit]

  1. Secret Vampire (1996) ISBN 0-340-69994-9
  2. Daughters of Darkness (1996) ISBN 0-340-68982-X
  3. Spellbinder (1996) ISBN 978-0-671-55135-3 (called Enchantress in the UK and Australia versions)
  4. Dark Angel (1996) ISBN 0-671-55136-1
  5. The Chosen (1997) ISBN 0-340-69003-8
  6. Soulmate (1997) ISBN 0-340-69004-6
  7. Huntress (1997) ISBN 0-340-70953-7
  8. Black Dawn (1997) ISBN 0-340-70954-5
  9. Witchlight (1998) ISBN 0-340-70955-3
  10. Strange Fate (TBA)


Short Stories[edit]

Published on Lisa Jane Smith official website.

  • Thicker Than Water – Featuring Keller, Rashel, Galen and Quinn
  • Ash and Mary-Lynnette: Those Who Favor Fire
  • Jez and Morgead's Night Out

The Vampire Diaries Universe[edit]

The Vampire Diaries Series[edit]

  1. The Awakening: Volume I (1991) ISBN 978-1-4449-0071-2
  2. The Struggle: Volume II (1991) ISBN 978-0-06-199076-2
  3. The Fury: Volume III (1991) ISBN 978-0-06-199077-9
  4. Dark Reunion: Volume IV (1992) ISBN 0-06-105992-7 (The Reunion in the UK and Australia version)

The Vampire Diaries: The Return Trilogy[edit]

  1. The Return: Nightfall (2009) ISBN 9780061720802
  2. The Return: Shadow Souls (2010) ISBN 978-0-06-172083-3
  3. The Return: Midnight (2011) ISBN 978-0-06-172085-7

The Vampire Diaries: The Hunters Trilogy[edit]

  1. The Hunters: Phantom (2011) (Written by a ghostwriter)
  2. The Hunters: Moonsong (2012) (Written by a ghostwriter)
  3. The Hunters: Destiny Rising (2012) (Written by a ghostwriter)

The Vampire Diaries: The Salvation Trilogy[edit]

  1. The Salvation: Unseen (2013) (Written by Aubrey Clark)
  2. The Salvation: Unspoken (2013) (Written by Aubrey Clark)
  3. The Salvation: Unmasked (2014) (Written by Aubrey Clark)


Short Stories[edit]

Published on Lisa Jane Smith's official website.

  • Matt and Elena – First Date (2010)
  • Matt and Elena – Tenth Date: On Wickery Pond (2010)
  • Bonnie and Damon: After Hours (2011)
  • An Untold Tale: Blood Will Tell (2010)
  • An Untold Tale: Elena's Christmas (2010)

Cuts from The Return: Shadow Souls[edit]

Published on Lisa Jane Smith's official website.

  • Damon and Elena: Tumbleweeds (2011)
  • Dinner Disaster (2010)

The Secret Circle Series[edit]

  1. The Initiation (1992) ISBN 978-0-06-106712-9
  2. The Captive (1992) ISBN 978-0-06-106715-0
  3. The Power (1992) ISBN 978-0-06-106719-8
  4. The Divide (2012) ISBN 978-0-06-213039-6 (Written by Aubrey Clark)
  5. The Hunt (2012) ISBN 978-0-06-213042-6 (Written by Aubrey Clark)
  6. The Temptation (2013) (Written by Aubrey Clark)


The Forbidden Game Series[edit]

  1. The Hunter (1994) ISBN 978-0-671-87451-3
  2. The Chase (1994) ISBN 978-0-671-87452-0
  3. The Kill (1994) ISBN 978-0-671-87453-7
  4. Rematch (TBA)


Dark Visions Series[edit]

  1. The Strange Power (1994) ISBN 978-0-671-87454-4
  2. The Possessed (1995) ISBN 978-0-671-87455-1
  3. The Passion (1995) ISBN 978-0-671-87456-8
  4. Blindsight (TBA)


Wildworld Series[edit]

  1. The Night of the Solstice (1987) ISBN 978-1-4169-9840-2
  2. Heart of Valor (1990) ISBN 978-1-4169-9841-9
  3. Mirrors of Heaven (TBA)


  • Eternity: A Vampire Love Story (TBA)
  • The Last Lullaby (TBA)


  1. ^ a b Interview with Novelist L.J. Smith: nightworld.net Retrieved 2010-12-23.
  2. ^ The L.J. Smith Cover Resource Book covers from around the world
  3. ^ a b c d Laura Pezzino (February 10, 2010). "Twilight? Non conosco (lit.: Twilight? Don't know)". Vanity Fair (in Italian). ... Smith, who is now (February 2010) 51, ... 
  4. ^ "L. J. Smith." Authors and Artists for Young Adults, Volume 53. Gale Group, 2003. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2009.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Over Two Dozen Things You Never Knew About Me, L. J. Smith" (PDF). 
  6. ^ "An Interview with novelist L.J. Smith". Retrieved May 15, 2009. 
  7. ^ "An interview with L. J. Smith". Bookalicious. March 15, 2009. 
  8. ^ L.J. Smith Biography: amazon.com Retrieved 2010-12-23.
  9. ^ "Booklist". 
  10. ^ L.J. Smith at the Internet Book List
  11. ^ The L.J. Smith Fanlisting
  12. ^ The Vampire Diaries Blowout: 3 Prequel Novels Coming, Ep. 18 Stills, Ep. 20 Preview
  13. ^ Josef Adalian (October 20, 2010). "Three Buffy/Angel Veterans Dream Up New Female Heroines for The CW". nymag.com. Retrieved May 18, 2011. 
  14. ^ Bookalicious (ed.). "Interview with L.J. Smith part deux". Retrieved November 30, 2011. 
  15. ^ "L.J. Smith, creator of The Vampire Diaries books, fired.". February 5, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Cover of The Divide". 
  17. ^ "The Secret Circle Sequel". October 3, 2011. 
  18. ^ Mark O. Estes (December 31, 2011). "The Secret Circle: New Novel Will NOT Be Written By L.J. Smith!". Retrieved January 12, 2012. 

External links[edit]