After earning a photo-journalism degree Dawn Smith intended to work for National Geographic. Instead, she married National Geographic. With her husband, JW Smith, co-owner of Rod & Gun Resources, she has worked as an Alaska camp cook and fly-fishing guide, and traveled and fished in the United States, Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile. Trips to Scotland and Colorado provided inspiration for her first two books.

She is the mother of a college professor/professional belly-dancer daughter, a genius mechanical and electrical engineer son-in-law, and grandmother to a Girl Scout cookie-selling granddaughter. She is step-mother to a computer-security specialist stepson and his gifted-and-talented-teacher wife.

She writes cozy mysteries with elements of thrillers, suspense, and romance.