Dr. A.L. Smith read her first full-length novel (The Boxcar Children, by Gertrude Chandler Warner) in the third grade and it spawned her passion for reading. According to Dr. Smith, the hallmark of a great story is the resounding presence of a character that transcends the final pages of the book.
Dr. Smith is a native of Frierson, Louisiana. She attended Grambling State University on a basketball scholarship and later joined the school’s Army ROTC program. Upon graduation in 1996, she became the university’s first Army ROTC cadet to receive a commission in the Army Nurse Corps and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserves (2017). Dr. Smith is a practicing Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist with a Doctorate of Nurse Anesthesia Practice degree from Texas Wesleyan University. Her research study (“Evidence-Based Selection of Sedation Agents for Patients Undergoing Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography”) was selected for publication in the 2016 edition of the Journal of Gastroenterology Nursing issue 39 volume 2.
In 2010, she participated in humanitarian relief efforts during the devastating earthquake in Haiti and provided anesthesia services to a countless number of victims, many of whom were children. This experience would have a profound impact on her views concerning socioeconomic disparities here in the U.S. and countries abroad. Her second novel, Behind Closed Doors 2: Dana’s Story, was heavily influenced by her experience in Haiti. The critically acclaimed novel was the subject of the award winning short film adaptation Dana’s Story, which premiered on the campus of Grambling State University in November 2016.
In October 2020, Dr. Smith completed a tour of duty in the Middle East and was awarded the National Defense Service Medal with a Bronze Service Star and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal. Always inspired by her surroundings, Dr. Smith was also inspired during this journey. 421st MASH: Duty & Justice, a novel, is slated for completion next summer (2021). Dr. Smith is also the Director/Producer of the documentary film, He Never Came Home, which tells the story of Lemon Howard, a mentally disabled 16 year old from Frierson, Louisiana who spent forty-two years in a mental institution for convicted felons for a crime that he did not commit. Professor Angela Bell of Southern University Law Center is an expert panelist for this production, which is scheduled for completion in March 2021.
Dr. Smith is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and takes seriously the organization’s motto “Service to all Mankind”. Her personal motto is “In as much as you’ve done to the least of the…”