In 1997, Annette was working as a home health nurse. She traveled the back roads from house to house, caring for ill and injured, homebound people. Because of her unique position in the lives of relative strangers, she often found herself bearing solitary witness to intimate behind-the-scenes situations full of grace and meaning. The desire to honor both a particular patient and a poignant scene involving the woman and her husband prompted Annette to write a fictionalized story, The Anniversary.
That first story appeared as a column in the Houston Chronicle newspaper and as an essay in Today’s Christian Woman magazine. Later it became a chapter in Annette’s first and best-selling book, The Whispers of Angels.
Since then, Annette has penned four more books of stories, two volumes on parenting, the Coming Home to Ruby Prairie trilogy, and two critically acclaimed contemporary novels, A Bigger Life and A Crooked Path.
Annette and her husband Randy, a High School teacher and coach, make their home on a wooded lot in a small East Texas town. They are the parents of two young adult children, Russell and Rachel, both out on their own. Wally, a grateful, rescued mutt provides warmth and entertainment and keeps the Smith’s empty nest from feeling too lonely.
In addition to writing, Annette serves as a hospice nurse. She finds the people she works with and the patients she cares for provide great inspiration for her fiction.