In late November 2022, Christopher D. Smith published his first novel, Bonvida’s Awakening, a fantasy novel about humble farmhand Atticus who learns he alone can save the kingdom of Bonvida from a despotic conqueror. Atticus and his companions must defeat the minions of the conqueror, Luvanasis, as they fight to restore the legendary Sword of Bonvida, the birthright conveyed to Atticus by his ancient bloodline.
Smith said he started writing in second grade for a school assignment, which sparked his love of writing and led to him creating the fantasy world of Bonvida. It was the setting for many of his early stories, and now he’s published a novel set there too.
“The thing that kickstarted and inspired me to write the book is my deceased grandmother, to whom my book is dedicated,” Smith said. “She saw my love of writing and would tell everyone that I would be an author one day.”
Although Bonvida has existed for many years in Smith’s stories, it wasn’t a simple task to flesh out the world. Smith mapped out an entire series before he started writing, and he also did research into medieval history and the fantasy genre.
“Travel experiences and scenery helped build the land and scenery in the story,” he said. “Bonvida has evolved so much since my first draft. I took out characters and plotlines, changed the names of some characters and locations, and rearranged storylines.”
Smith has a specific process for writing where he’ll write the first and last few chapters, and then go back and fill in the middle. This way, he said, the story flow is already decided.
“When I originally planned and wrote the story and series, I wanted it to be one giant book split into five parts,” he said. “But someone said it would be better to divide it into separate books. I am finishing up the second book and will be working with an editor in about a month. This means there will be no breaks for this author for a few years. Until then, I want to focus on Bonvida and brainstorm ideas for future projects.”
Smith said that Chapters stores on Innes Road and Earl Grey Drive in Ottawa are in the process of onboarding the book, but it takes a while in their systems. It’s also available from the Barnes and Noble website. In the meantime, he’s been visiting flea markets in the area and is planning to visit the Russell flea market in February.
“Bonvida’s Awakening is perfect for fantasy lovers and those who want to escape on a page-turning adventure,” he said.
The second book is currently with Smith’s editor, and he’s planning on a summer or fall launch.