Having worked for many years in the publishing industry selling other travel writers' books, in 2003 Duncan J. D. Smith decided to start writing and illustrating his own. As a self-styled 'Urban Explorer', travel writer, historian and photographer, he has embarked on a lifetime's adventure, travelling off the beaten track in search of the world's hidden corners and curious locations. Duncan has so far traversed three continents in search of unusual places and people, from the wartime bunkers of Berlin and the Baroque gardens of Prague to the souks of Damascus and the rock-cut churches of Ethiopia.
His European findings are being published in a ground breaking series of guidebooks - the 'Only In' Guides - published by The Urban Explorer and Brandstätter Verlag designed specifically for the purpose. Volumes on Berlin, Budapest, Cologne, Hamburg, London, Munich, Paris, Prague, Vienna, and Zurich have been published (Edinburgh is in preparation). The series has garnered considerable press acclaim, with sales to date in excess of 120,000 units.
As a result of his extensive travels, not only through the cities of Europe but also in Africa and the Middle East, Duncan regularly generates original illustrated material for publication both in magazines and online. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the places about which he has written, as well as an extensive photo library available for commercial usage, including cards and prints.
Duncan has also undertaken television and radio work in the course of promoting his creative efforts and has given many illustrated lectures in bookshops, societies, universities and London's Victoria & Albert Museum. He released his first audio tour CD in 2010.
Born in Sheffield, England in 1960 Duncan ran his own private museum from the age of ten before going on to read Ancient History and Archaeology at Birmingham University. Together with his father Trevor, he co-wrote and illustrated four highly successful books on the curiosities of Sheffield and Yorkshire, and was the author of the best-selling topographical book 'Yorkshire: A Portrait in Colour'. Still a passionate collector he now tries to restrict his habit to vintage travel books, whilst also enjoying gardening, natural history, and music.
Duncan divides his time between England and Central Europe and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.