“My writing led me to animals and my work with animals led me back to writing. It’s funny how these things work out.” — Roland Smith
Born in Portland, Oregon, Roland Smith knew what career path he wanted to take at an early age. “I’ve wanted to be a writer virtually my entire life,” he remembers.
When he was five years old, he received an old manual typewriter from his parents that quickly became his favorite possession. “I spent hours in my room clacking away on that old typewriter,” he recalls. “Even before I knew how to read, I always loved books.”
Roland’s passion for writing unexpectedly led him to working with animals. While pursuing an English major at Portland State University, Roland took a part-time job at the local children’s zoo. Little did he know that his parttime job would lead to a twenty-year career with the zoo and that his work with animals would take him all over the world.
Roland continued to practice his writing, but it was hard because the animal work took a lot of time. Still, he kept writing and getting his books published. Eventually, Smith left the zoo to write full-time.
Even now that he no longer works with animals, his love for them still shapes a large part of his work as a writer. “Most of my novels are a result of my travels and experiences in the field,” notes the author.
Over the years, Roland has written numerous books for young readers, including Jack’s Run, Zach’s Lie, Cryptid Hunters, Peak, Tentacles, and the Storm Runners series. He is also the co-author of numerous picture books with his wife. His most recent novel is Shatterproof: Book 4 in the bestselling The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers series. Currently Roland is at work on the third book in his popular Cryptid Hunters series, Chupacabra.
A frequent speaker at schools and libraries across the country, Roland lives with his wife on a farm near Portland, Oregon.
You can find him online at rolandsmith.com.