Interview with Ronelle Smith

by Ronelle Smith
Ronelle Smith Testimonial
Ronelle Smith

Ronelle Smith is author of ENCOUNTER, the first book in a series of five about 13-year-old Jonathon Newman-Smith, who is gifted with unusual talents.

After reading the book, and being totally enthralled by the adventure, I decided to find out more as to what initiated the story.

I will let her tell you, in her own words, why and how she came to write this excellent story. It is aimed at young adults, teenagers who may be able to connect with her words and see themselves in Jonathon, although it is compelling reading for any age group and she hopes many people will benefit from the positive messages contained throughout the book.

What drove you to write “Encounter”?

In today’s changing world, society is not as it used to be when family units were strong and family values were held dear. Because of this, many of our youth are floundering in a society of double standards, where two-parent role models are almost a thing of the past and future stability in the home is not guaranteed. The consequent lack of security takes its toll on their self-confidence and often their innate gifts and talents fall victim and fail to develop. In some cases this can lead to a deep sense of loss and even depression. The emerging young adult may feel lonely and isolated with no true understanding of their place in the world or their purpose in life.

From my 40 years of teaching high school students I have come to recognize the causes of self-destructive behaviour as expressed by individual teenagers. In some instances unsettled home situations  frequently trigger anti-social activities and resentment for any form of authority. With an unwillingness to comply with rules and regulations and general lack of cooperation the teenagers find themselves in greater difficulty with an accompanying defeatist attitude. From my interviews with these specific young people I have learnt two things of paramount importance. Firstly, they feel desperately lonely and yearn for support of some kind, and secondly they hunger for help to achieve their goals. Yes! THEY DO HAVE GOALS. In spite of what the media would have us believe about our wayward teens. They have dreams of achievement, some so secret, they have difficulty expressing them to a listening adult.

“Encounter” is written to gently encourage young people to believe in themselves and reach for their goals no matter what their circumstances. Life presents lessons from which we are to learn and grow. How much we learn or, for that matter, completely ignore, is entirely up to the individual choices made along the way.

We are all capable of far more than we ever realise!

How long did it take you to write the book and was much research involved?

Encounter took me about six months to write, with research starting well before I took pen to paper, so to speak. Because of certain aspects of the book, I had to ensure my facts were correct, so many hours were spent on research. Believe it or not, one of the villains in the work is an incredibly small, but potentially dangerous plant. I had to check my facts very carefully regarding this tiny algae. Local geography also had to be well researched as some of the action occurs in our ruggedly beautiful Snowy Mountains. An understanding of the topography of Turkey was also necessary as several characters fulfill their mission in that country.

What is “Encounter” about?

The book reveals the amazing story of 13 year-old Jonathan Newman-Smith, a lonely boy who has spent most of his life in boarding school due to his father’s numerous absences overseas. On his 13th birthday, Jonathon, a typical ‘Tall Poppy’ who is bullied at school, has a paranormal experience which changes his life. He discovers he has been ‘gifted’ with several amazing abilities. His encounter with a collective of spiritual beings known as TRYSTARON leaves him with a choice of pursuing his destiny of becoming a world peace-maker or continuing his life as normal. Choosing the former, he battles to understand this phenomenon and come to terms with his new abilities, sometimes resulting in a humorous scenario. While this is happening, his father and stepmother, both secret service agents from a select division of ASIO, become involved in a terrorist plot that could have a devastating effect on a major Australian city. Jonathon is kidnapped by the perpetrators and threatened with death. He manages to escape and the adventure draws him more deeply into his parents’ world of espionage.

As a world traveller, I chose the settings carefully. For intrigue and suspense, Istanbul in Turkey was perfect with its colourful society and romantic history. This charismatic city adds vigour to the story, while to give “Encounter” the Australian flavour, I chose a small town on the South Coast of New South Wales for Jonathon’s home, with Canberra, the nation’s capital, and Kosciusko National Park for home-grown action.

Encounter creates an atmosphere of possibilities. Incredible scenarios become absolutely believable as the story evolves. It is a fast-paced, exciting novel that will appeal not just to young adults, but also a much wider readership.

What benefit can the reader expect out of the book?

There are several messages hidden within the chapters of the book for those who are ready to discover them. It can help those who need extra support to build, or re-build their confidence. It can develop awareness that ‘Life’ is the teacher presenting challenging lessons from which we gain knowledge, learn and mature. No one escapes these lessons as difficult as they may be. In due course we realize we are never alone and can call for assistance from our spiritual guides whenever we need it.

This book is written with ‘tomorrow’s’ generation in mind, showing clearly that life is an adventure and it can, with a little help, be bountiful, beautiful and full of promise. “Encounter” is a melting pot of action adventure, intrigue, love and mystery. The reader can expect all of this, and more.

Are you planning more books?

Yes. Encounter is the first book in a series of five. Book two is written and ready to be published, which will be happening very soon. Each book is a stage in Jonathon’s life as he grows, matures, and explores his gifts and abilities and learns how best to use them.

Where will you go from here?

At the moment, I am still working on the series but I intend for the books to reach all levels of readership, in schools, bookstores and libraries. In this way, it will help the future generation to know they are not alone, encourage them to become the best they can be and realise that it’s up to each and every one of us to do our part to create a peaceful world.


We will be hearing more from Ronelle as her books find their way to the people who desire to read them. Encounter is available in printed form and will soon be available as an eBook, extending the range of reach and readership.

Read the first chapter of Ronelle’s book on Aurora House website.  Be curious!