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later though, holed up in the small town of Revelstoke in the Rocky Mountains, he actually finished a novel which is unpublished to this day, and will remain so.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 (2012), Crow’s Landing (2012), Shoot The Dog (2014), Rough Justice (2016), Hearts of Stone (2017), The Return of Kid Cooper – 2019 winner of the Spur Award for best traditional western novel and The Goliath Run – available spring 2020.