Mary Smathers, author of ‘Fertile Soil: Stories of the California Dream”

Saturday 13 May 2017, 2pm: Old Capitol Books is excited to have writer and photographer Mary Smathers come to the store to talk about her new book Fertile Soil: Stories of the California Dream.

ABOUT FERTILE SOILcover-nook.jpg

Fertile Soil is an engaging, thought-provoking collection which brings often forgotten heroes to life. Everyday Californians struggle to pay the bills, to deal with tough family situations, to persevere despite adversity. The book covers contemporary themes but concludes with five stories loosely connected from the Gold Rush era to today.


Mary Smathers

After a full career in education and business, Mary Smathers shifted her focus to creativity, particularly writing and photography. In her new vocation, Mary reports for La Voz de Guanacaste, a bilingual, regional Costa Rican newspaper, and produces travel blogs and personalized cookbooks filled with her commentary and photographs. Fertile Soil: Stories of the California Dream is her first work of fiction.

Smathers’s interest in both the resilience of working people tackling adversity, and the historic roots and wide-reaching consequences of Silicon Valley’s innovative spirit, spring directly from living and working in California her entire life. She grew up in Silicon Valley during its infancy, before it received that ubiquitous moniker. Throughout her career she served as a high school teacher, administrator and educational entrepreneur, helping to found three education companies and a public charter school. She was repeatedly inspired by the complexity, diversity and endless work ethic of Californians as she crossed the state, working with tens of thousands of students and families throughout the East Bay and Central Coast to Central Valley towns, from inner city Los Angeles, Oakland and Sacramento to the Imperial Valley border region. Smathers is now based in Costa Rica where she lives with her husband and two big dogs. She is at work on a novel and more stories.

Learn more about her here:

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