A former senator in the Georgia State Senate representing the 52nd district, Preston Smith served four consecutive terms from 2003-11 as the youngest senator in the state and was named to the 40 Under 40 list by Georgia Trend magazine and later to its list of ‘100 Most Influential Leaders.’ An avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction, Preston Smith counts Nelson DeMille as his favorite author.
Born in New York in 1943, DeMille is a world-renowned mystery writer who has completed 19 novels, six of which reached number one on the New York Times best sellers list. Named after Lord Nelson, an English naval commander who led Britain to victory in the Battle of Trafalgar, DeMille joined the United States Army after spending three years at Hofstra University. He served as a lieutenant and infantry platoon leader in the Vietnam War and earned the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. He completed his degree in political science at Hofstra upon finishing his service in the Army and published his first novel, By the Rivers of Babylon, in 1978.
DeMille’s other published novels include Cathedral, The Charm School, and Plum Island. He has recently contributed recipes to publications such as The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook and The Artists’ and Writers’ Cookbook: A Collection of Stories with Recipes. The recipient of the ThrillerMaster of the Year award in 2015, DeMille actively supports dozens of nonprofit organizations, including the Boys & Girls Club of Oyster Bay-East Norwich, Salvation Army, and American Heart Association.