Antiquitas Lost

About the Author: Robert Louis Smith

Antiquitas Lost is the creation of cardiologist Robert Louis Smith. Smith began writing the novel in 2003 while studying at Tulane University in New Orleans—the city where the novel's hero, Elliott, comes to discover his magical connection to another world.

Writing at night, after putting his children to bed, Smith worked to create a fantasy novel where the creatures and setting were unprecedented. He imagined a pre-industrial, medieval society with beautiful artistic accomplishments set in a savage and magical natural environment—"the Renaissance meets the Pleistocene, with magical beings and crypto-zoological creatures," he says.

To create something different, he found inspiration in the creatures that intrigued him as a boy—gargoyles, Bigfoot creatures, Neanderthal types, Atlanteans and dinosaurs. Moreover, he developed monsters from his own fantastic imagination, such as the book's terrifying race of Salax—more fitting in Guillermo Del Toro's film Pan's Labyrinth than in any of J.R.R. Tolkien's books.

Smith found his literary inspiration in places ranging from the highly popular Harry Potter books and classics like Tolkien's and C.S. Lewis's to the Star Wars films and thrillers penned by Stephen King—his favorite author. He also gave exceptional attention to every detail. For example, to achieve accurate scenes with horses, he studied Lonesome Dove and the writings of Louis L'Amour.

Smith is also a huge fan of comic books and after years of following Geof Isherwood's work, he was ecstatic when Isherwood came on board to illustrate Antiquitas Lost.

In addition to authoring Antiquitas Lost and helping his wife raise their young son and daughter, Smith has numerous degrees, including psychology (B.A.), applied microbiology (B.S.), anaerobic microbiology (M.Sc.), and a Medical Doctorate (M.D.). He currently serves as an interventional cardiologist at the Oklahoma Heart Institute. And somewhere in the middle of all this, he found time to dream up new worlds.