Spring Author Series: Harry Leslie Smith

I am very pleased to have with me today, Harry Leslie Smith. Harry, thank you for joining me.

SK: You've let a very interesting life. Can you tell me about it?

HLS: For most of my life I was not mindful of my bodily health. I have enjoyed both a social and anti- social cigarette. I was never one to turn down on offer of whisky or a midnight cognac, if the conversation and company were agreeable to me. And despite it all, I have survived to be four score and nine. In the measure of things I have seen much and like the Ancient Mariner I have much to tell. But in many ways I have more unanswered questions towards life, than pat responses.

SK: What was the catalyst that led you to begin writing?

HLS: To me it is a mystery and a dichotomy: how mankind has both the ability to create art and just laws and to be merciful to weak at one moment can in the next instance be greedy, backward and destructive. These impulses in humanity to be both angelic and evil is something that I have encountered since I was a lad in the 1920’s and a young man during the Second World War.

Those enigmas about humanity spurred me when I was eighty-five to begin to the write the Trilogy A Place for the heart to Kip. I wanted to find some answers to the question I have asked myself almost every day: who am I?

SK: Tell me about your books.

HLS: My books 1923, Hamburg 1947, and the Empress of Australia which I am just finishing up, examine my boyhood, my youth and my early days as a married man. I will be ninety next February and I still don’t have the full answer to the riddle of Harry Leslie Smith. Fortunately, as I have said before, I am in good health and hope to journey for a little while longer through the tributaries of memory to the sources that made me, Britain and the 20th century.

 SK: Harry, it's been an absolute pleasure. Thank you for stopping by!

About the Author

Harry Leslie Smith was born in 1923, in Barnsley,Yorkshire. He is a veteran of the RAF and the Second World War. After the war, Smith spent several years in Hamburg, Germany as part of the allied occupation force. During his military tour in Germany, Harry Smith developed a strong attachment to the German people, their culture and their language. He returned to Great Britain after being demob and worked in various professions in Yorkshire. Smith became disillusion with life and prospects in 1950's Britain and eventually emigrated to Canada with his wife. In Canada, Harry worked in the oriental carpet trade.  He specialized in designing and importing unique creations from all over the Middle East, the former Soviet Bloc and Afghanistan. Since his retirement from the business world, Harry Smith has been a writer of memoirs and social history. He is the author of 1923, Hamburg 1947, The Barley Hole Chronicles and the soon to be published Empress of Australia. Currently, he divides his time between Canada, Great Britain and Portugal.

Harry is a featured author on Love a Happy Ending.com .

Books By the Author

1923: A Memoir

Hamburg 1947: A Place For the Heart to Kip

The Barley Hole Chronicles: From Hell To Hamburg


11 thoughts on “Spring Author Series: Harry Leslie Smith

  1. Great interview, Stephanie and Harry. I’m so glad you’ve written these books, Harry. We need to have firsthand accounts of the events of those years, not just someone’s interpretation of history as it suits their whim. I’ve seen too many biased history books written by people who don’t know what they’re talking about, or who are trying to be politically correct rather than factual. It’s always good to read about how it was through the eyes of someone who was actually there.

  2. Am thoroughly enjoying your books, Harry and looking forward to the next one. Great to see you here. You are such an interesting man who has led such an interesting life. 🙂

  3. Harry, I’ve not had a chance to meet you in many virtual places yet so it was really wonderful to read your interview. I love your frank and refreshing answers, as well as your reason for writing. Both the cities that you write about and the time periods you present are of great interest to me and I have your books in my TBR. Having read your interview, I am even more intrigued. Nicely done, thank you for sharing! 🙂 Great job, Steph, love the Spring Author series. XX

  4. Enjoyed your interview, Harry. To yourself you might still be a riddle, but you’re certainly a very interesting man who is leading a very interesting life 🙂

  5. Stephanie, thanks so much for the great interview! Harry’s books are truly wonderful and inspiring, and the more questions he is asked, the more inspiring he becomes. He has reached the point of wisdom where his writing deals with the big questions of life that few of us are wise enough to write about.

  6. We’re always growing, Harry. Never quite grown up. Is any man, ever? Fab post. Your books are all the more fascinating for their authenticity. 🙂 x

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