About Me

My Jack of All Trades series can be found here.

My full name is Derek Howard Smith. I write under the names of Derek Smith and DH Smith.

I live in Forest Gate in the East End of London. In my working life, I have been a plastics chemist, a gardener and a stage manager before becoming a professional writer. I began with plays, working with several theatre companies, and had a few plays on radio and TV, as well as quite a few on stage. In the early 80s I became involved in running a co-operative bookshop and vegetarian café in Stratford, learning to cook, and having my first go at writing a novel. The first was a mess, and, after too much rewriting, binned. The transition from drama to novels took me a couple of years to get to grips with.

My first success was a children’s novel, Hard Cash, published by Faber. Buoyed up by this, I stuck with children’s work, did school visits, and made a hand to mouth living as a full time author, topped up with some evening class work in creative writing at City University and the Mary Ward Centre. A few adult fiction titles appeared from time to time, between the children’s list. Since 2013, I have been working on my Jack of All Trades series of crime novels.

My daughter, Lia Rees, who has skills in proofreading, cover design and layout (www.freeyourwords.com) has worked with me since 2012 on ebook and paperback design as well as with general marketing.

Good reading!

10 thoughts on “About Me

  1. It is always a great pleasure to discover a new (to me) British author. I really enjoyed Jack of All Trades, well written and easy to read and I will certainly be reading your other books.


    • A very late reply due to me not knowing I was getting comments on my website, Maureen. Something I’ve corrected. I’m glad you enjoyed Jack of All Trades. And hope you are enjoying the others.



  2. Hi.Just thought i would say hello and congratulate you on some excellent novels – Being an east end boy from Stratford and born in plaistow its great relating to areas of Forest Gate etc that i know so well.Keep up the good writing and good luck for any future novels.
    Terry Hobart


    • Glad you know the area, Terry. Stratford, Plaistow, Forest Gate – that’s my manor! Sorry, I’ve been so long in replying but I didn’t know I was getting any comments on my website until this morning. And then found I had a year’s worth! I do like to hear from readers and like to reply. There’s almost six in the Jack of All Trades series now, with the next due in March.

      So have a good read!


    • Glad you enjoyed the book, Reg. Obviously a man of good taste! Sorry for the belated reply but I didn’t realise that I was getting comments. There’s another four, nearly five for you to catch up on.

      All the best


  3. I really enjoyed Jack of All Trades. Strangely enough Jack’s home area was very familiar having lived in Clova Rd thirty five years ago. (I wish I’d kept the flat to sell now, it cost me 16k and last sold for 210!). Keep up the good work. I’ll leave a review on Amazon tomorrow.


    • Dear Dave
      Thank you for your comment. I’m glad you liked the first in the series. Thanks for the review too. I’ve only just realised I was getting comments, figuring no one was going on the site. I do like to reply to readers as authors need readers. And I’m one myself! The 6th book in the series, Jack on the Tower, due out on March 8, is set on Clova Road, though I do take liberties with distances, making Earlham Grove where Jack lives, and me too, somewhat further away.

      Good Reading!


  4. I absolutely loved ur book, thank-you for writing it. I love to read & tried it book on a whim!! Disappointed I was not. Keep up ur writing so I can have more to read ♥️♥️♥️


    • Thank you for your approval, Angel. I’m glad you enjoyed the book, picked up on a whim which worked out for you. There’s eight others in the series (so far), so you might have another go. Less risky this time. Good Reading!


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