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#LocalAuthor: J. Luke Smith


Honoring His Heritage

At only seventeen, Beth Haven Christian School student Luke Smith is already a published author! For him, it all started at the 2016 Cedar Coal Fair, where the idea for his first book, A Miner's Hat Has a Story To Tell, came to be. “I wrote the book as a tribute to my coal mining heritage,” He says. “My papaw was an amazing coal miner, and he was a huge influence on my life. I wanted to write the book to honor him.” The idea grew with the story he was working on for the Coal Fair, until suddenly, he had a book on his hands!


He was approached by Pat Sazy and Michael Collins, and they wanted to get the book published, and from there, he published his first book. “It gave me so much confidence,” He says. Since then, he’s also written a second book, A Miner’s Bucket Has A Story To Tell.


Connecting to Others

Luke has hopes to keep writing, and believes that this is the way for him to tell the kind of stories he wants to see. “One of my favorite quotes is from Beverly Cleary: ‘If you don’t see the book you want on the shelf, write it!’” He also hopes to see more people from the area telling our stories, and he enjoys the response he’s gotten from folks who connect to the stories he’s telling. “My favorite thing about all of this is seeing the people who grew up with families in the coal mines, or adults that experienced these things, read the book and start to get emotional. It brings me a sense of pride and fulfillment when I see it happen.”



When he’s not writing, Luke is keeping up with his homework while also attending classes at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, as he hopes to become a math teacher. “It’s hard, but it will help me in the future,” He says. He also enjoys being involved in his church, and being a part of his school’s archery team.


If you would like to keep up with Luke’s career and learn about local signings, check out his Facebook page!


Photos from J. Luke Smith, Author Facebook page

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