Roland Smith has an interesting story to tell. Throughout his life, he has enjoyed two loves: writing and animals. Smith has done something that many people will never do. He has accomplished success in two separate careers, and he has also managed to blend them together. Originally Smith was a zoologist who worked with animals. Then he became a writer. Now Smith works as a full-time author whose books relate to animals in some way.
Smith was born in 1951 in Portland, Oregon. At the age of five, his parents did something that impacted his entire life. They gave him an old manual typewriter. Young Roland loved this typewriter. He would spend hours typing on it. Even though five-year-old Roland didn't know how to spell and had just learned how to read, he still found the typewriter alluring. He enjoyed hearing the sounds of the typewriter as he hit each of the letter keys. As Roland learned how to spell, he began writing stories on his typewriter. Of all the things he owned, the typewriter was his favorite possession.
From a very young age, young Roland loved books. He always knew he wanted to be a writer. He would regularly go to his parents' library and take books off the shelf. Roland would look at them and even smell them. When he learned to read, he read often. Eventually Smith finished high school. He attended Portland State University and studied English and biology. He planned to become a writer. Oddly enough, Smith's need for a part-time job led him to his first career, working with animals.
Smith was able to get a part-time job working at the local children's zoo. Soon after getting his job, he happened to be in the right place at the right time. Two large South American rodents called agoutis escaped. Later a myna bird escaped. When Smith was able to quickly capture these animals, the zookeeper was impressed. He offered Smith a full-time job. This job led to Smith's career working with animals for more than twenty years.