H. J. Smith was born in Markdale, ON, and currently lives in Guelph. At the age of five he tied a barrel to the basement joists and swung in it pretending to fly. At six he tied an apple box to a rope and pulley and hoisted himself up underneath a maple tree limb, swinging to and fro and “flying” for hours. Smith’s first real flight was at age fifteen when he spent all the money he had ($10) for a ten-minute hop in a helicopter over the International Ploughing Match in Bruce County, ON. Years later he earned his private pilot’s licence flying with instructors Frank Montgomery (Mosquito fighter pilot, WWII) and Marion Orr (Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame, Order of Canada) from the Peterborough Flying Club. Smith is addicted to airplanes and fly-fishing, habits he supports by working as an agrologist with the Ontario Department of Agriculture in the area of farm environmental education. He wrote Smoke in the Cockpit, which was released in the Fall of 2006 and sits on NeWest's bestseller list.