Noel 'Razor' Smith was born in London in 1960. He has fifty-eight criminal convictions and has spent the greater portion of his adult life in prison. Whilst in prison he taught himself to read and write, gained an Honours Diploma from The London School of Journalism and an A-Level in Law. He has been awarded a number of Koestler awards for his writing and has contributed articles to the Independent, the Guardian, Punch, the Big Issue, the New Statesman and the New Law Journal.
He was released from prison in 2010 after serving 11 years of a life-sentence for armed robbery, the last few years at Grendon being the subject of this memoir. He is the previous author of the highly acclaimed A Few Kind Words and a Loaded Gun (Penguin, 2005).