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Brad Smith was born and raised in the hamlet of Canfield, in southern Ontario, a couple of hours from Toronto. As a child, he had a Huck Finn existence, building rafts and catching frogs and falling off his bike with regularity. (this was in the pre-helmet days - which might explain a lot) He grew up on stories - both oral and written - reading the hockey books of Scott Young, and listening to the old-timers in the village. His next door neighbor was a WWI vet who had been a sergeant at Vimy Ridge in 1917. Smith attended elementary school in Cayuga, and high school - somewhat sporadically - in Dunnville.

After high school, he worked for the signal department of the Canadian National Railway for 3 years, and then got a chance to work on a rail project in South Africa. He helped install the signal system there under his uncle - W. R. Smith - a high school drop-out who became one of the three top railway signal engineers in the world. Upon returning from Africa Smith worked all over the place - Alberta, British Columbia, Texas - at a variety of jobs. Farmer, signalman, insulator, truck driver, bartender, schoolteacher (certain lies about his post-secondary education were told to acquire that job), maintenance mechanic, roofer, and so on. He became a carpenter and built custom homes in the Dunnville area. He still works as a carpenter when not writing. He now lives in a seventy-year-old farmhouse near the north shore of Lake Erie.

Smith started writing in his late twenties, in part to see if he could, and for a while it appeared that, as a writer, he was going to make a hell of a roofer. There was a certain amount of partying going on at the time and the result was a lack of the self-discipline required to write. The first effort at a book ended after roughly five pages. A couple of years later though, holed up in the small town of Revelstoke in the Rocky Mountains, he actually finished a novel which is unpublished to this day, and will remain so. The next effort, however, was Rises A Moral Man, published by John Flood at Penumbra Press. Since then he has published One-Eyed Jacks (2000), All Hat (2003), Busted Flush (2005), Big Man Coming Down The Road (2007), Red Means Run (coming in January 2012) and Crow's Landing (coming in July 2012).