The Vampire Diaries Wiki
The Vampire Diaries Wiki

Lisa Jane Smith, known under the pen name L. J. Smith, (born September 4, 1965, although sources vary) is an American author currently living in California. Her books are young-adult literature and combine a myriad of genres including horror, science fiction, fantasy and romance. known professionally as L. J. Smith, 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 young and apparently young human and supernatural characters locked in dark vs. light, good vs. evil conflict. A dark antagonist typically attempts to seduce a heroine into the darkness, and in some cases, is instead reborn into the light.

Early Life and Education

Smith is secretive about her age, but multiple sources list her birthdate as September 4, 1958 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. 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. At the University of San Francisco she obtained a Masters Degree in Education and Regular and Special Education. Smith began her career as an elementary school teacher, but left after 3 years to pursue writing.[6] She lives in Danville, California. The character Meredith Sulez, of The Vampire Diaries series, is inspired by her niece of the same name. She chose the setting of The Vampire Diaries in Virginia because she has family that resides there and was inspired by the small towns and lifestyles.



L.J. Smith has written three trilogies, two series and two companion novels. Her books are characteristically populated with unusually beautiful people, human and supernatural; most of them young, or at least appear youthful. There is usually a dark/light, good/evil conflict, revolving around a central, ambiguous character who, while trying to seduce the heroine to the darkness, ends up being himself reborn into the light and thus becoming a hero. Sometimes this scenario is flipped, or otherwise, it is a variation upon the theme. In the Night World series, the dark/light conflict is institutionalized into a reality-altering conspiracy. The dark/light tension is further played out in romantic soulmate scenarios which drive forward the plot. Many of L.J.'s trilogies or series involve the soulmate principle, which is a 'silver cord' connection between two people indicating that the two are destined soulmates for eternity, normally between the hero and the heroine of the story. Some examples of the Soulmate Principle pairings are Elena/Stefan (Vampire Diaries), Cassie/Adam (Secret Circle) and all of the couples in the Night World series. Beginning in 1998, Ms. Smith went on a nearly 10-year hiatus from writing, returning in 2008 with a new website and a series of new short stories. The Vampire Diaries were reissued starting in 2007, and The Secret Circle trilogy and Night World series novels in 2008/2009. The Night of the Solstice and Heart of Valor were also reissued in 2008. The first installment of her new Vampire Diaries trilogy, entitled The Vampire Diaries: The Return: Nightfall, was published on February 10, 2009.


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", and she began writing in earnest in elementary school. Her first book, The Night of the Solstice, written during high school and college, 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. 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, an adult book she was writing. 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. 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. 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. 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 2010. 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 an unknown ghostwriter, whom L.J. has admitted is her most trusted editor. Subsequent Vampire Diaries installments have also been ghostwritten. She was also replaced on The Secret Circle series, by ghostwriter Aubrey Clark.


  • The Night of the Solstice
  • Heart of Valor

  • Night World
    • Secret Vampire
    • Daughters of Darkness
    • Spellbinder (called Enchantress in the UK and Australia versions)
    • Dark Angel
    • The Chosen
    • Soul Mate
    • Huntress
    • Black Dawn
    • Witch Light
    • Strange Fate (Release Date: TBA)
  • Eternity: A Vampire Love Story (Release Date: TBA)
  • The Last Lullaby (Release Date: TBA)

  • The Secret Circle
    • The Initiation
    • The Captive
    • The Power
    • The Divide (Written by Aubrey Clark)
    • The Hunt (Written by Aubrey Clark)
    • The Temptation (Written by Aubrey Clark)
    • The Forbidden Game
      • The Hunter
      • The Chase
      • The Kill
      • Rematch (Release Date: TBA)
    • Dark Visions
      • The Strange Power
      • The Possessed
      • The Passion
      • Blindsight (Release Date: TBA)
    • Wildworld Series
      • The Night of the Solstice
      • Heart of Valor
      • Mirrors of Heaven (Release Date: TBA)

  • Stories [2]
  • External links

    L.J. Smith's Official Website