The written word was always part of the plan for Steven Smith. But his career has taken him in a new direction recently.

The written word was always part of the plan for Steven Smith. But his career has taken him in a new direction recently.

Last year, Smith, 51, retired from teaching English, English literature and composition at Manchester High School. Today, he’s taking on new challenges as a published author.

In October, Smith began work on his first full-length novel “King of Methamphetamine Valley,” which is loosely based on an investigation he conducted as a ATF agent in California in 1990.

“I had to fictionalize the case to make the story, which was interesting and dangerous in its own rights, marketable,” Smith said in a written release. “The central narrative is really a love story, even though it's surrounded by the horrors of methamphetamine and the bikers who were cooking it in the high desert canyons back then.”

The novel is set in Bakersfield which was a hub for the illegal drug trade in 1990.

“It was a time and place when motorcycle gangs controlled methamphetamine production in the San Joaquin Valley.  The novel's about an outlaw biker president being hounded by a rookie ATF agent on his trail,” Smith writes, “and a woman the young agent meets at a local diner.”

The story takes an unexpected twist when the agent falls for the girlfriend of the man he’s investigating.

Smith finished his first novel in January and started immediately on a second, this one a romantic comedy titled “The Accidental Girlfriend.” In it, the story of true love and love triangles unfolds amid familiar scenes in the Canton, Cleveland and Pittsburgh areas.

Both of Smith’s novels are available on Amazon under the author’s full name – Steven Richard Smith. It can be accessed by visiting http://tinyurl.com/kmu5u6h.

The books are available in paperback form and on the Kindle platform.