Veteran journalist Dan Smith publishes his second novel, “NEWS!”

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) – Dan Smith has had a long and distinguished career as a journalist. And he draws on this experience in his second novel ‘NEWS!’.

With a group of friends and supporters lining up for his signature and a song that musician Sherry Payne wrote for the occasion, Smith celebrated the release at a launch party at Hollins University.

“This book wanted to be written,” Smith told WDBJ7 in an interview. “You’ve heard writers tell you they didn’t write the book. You know I didn’t write the book. I’ve experienced a lot of it, but I haven’t written it.

Smith has plenty of keyboarding experience, serving as a former editor of the Blue Ridge Business Journal, co-founder of Valley Business Front, and a member of the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame.

It is the early days of his journalism career in Asheville, North Carolina that inform the opening pages of his book.

‘NEW!’ begins after a plane crash.

“The protagonist is the guy I wanted to be, I would have loved to be that guy,” Smith said. “But a lot of the experience is things that I saw and participated in.”

The book is a page-turner. And Smith said he pays homage to old-school journalism.

“I hope people buy the book, read it, and understand that this is a noble craft,” Smith said. “He’s the one I’m damn proud of, always have been and will be when I die.”

‘NEW!’ is available now from Propertius Press, and Smith has a book signing Saturday morning at 11 a.m. at Book No Further in downtown Roanoke.

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Irene B. Bowles