I am so excited to be able to interview Graham Smith, author of ‘Lines of Enquiry’ and ‘Snatched From Home’. He’s my first ever author interview! You’ll see from his responses that, although Graham writes about crime, he has a wry sense of humour too.
Graham Smith Interview
- How did your writing career begin?
I’ve been an avid read of crime fiction since the age of eight. A chance encounter at the Harrogate Crime Festival saw me join the ranks of www.crimesquad.com as a reviewer. Through Crimesquad.com, I got to meet and interview lots of authors. Eventually the urge to jot a few ideas of my own down saw me embark on the journey that is writing a novel. I also encountered a lot of books where I’d be thinking, “I can do better than this.” It got to the point where I needed to put my money where my mouth was. I did and was lucky enough to earn a publishing contract for ‘Snatched from Home.’
- What motivates you to write?
The voices in my head keep telling me stories which I think are worthy of a wider audience. Plus there are a lot of mental health benefits in letting some of the voices out. Being more serious, I have a caught the writing bug so badly that if I was alone in the world with no possibility of anyone to read my stories, I’d still be writing them.
- What do you read when you’re not writing?
I always have a crime novel on the go. The only exception to this is when I’m editing. Then I try to read books which will help me with my research.
- Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m a pantser through and through. I need only the setting, lead character, the major crime and the resolution I want to happen (eg a serial killer being caught or killed by the hero) for me to start writing.
- Do you create characters for the plots or vice versa?
The answer to this is neither and both. I have a head full of ideas and I have two series characters. I tend to choose which idea is best for which character. Having said this, I always have to introduce new characters within the framework of my story. The first third of the last novel I wrote, took a totally unexpected turn when a character took over the story despite being dead from the first paragraph.
- Would friends and family members recognise themselves in your writing?
Some traits from family members are definitely included in my characters, but it’s the little things I pick up from strangers and overheard conversations which often create the most memorable traits.
- What plans do you have for future novels?
I have the sequel to ‘Snatched from Home’ completed and submitted to my publisher and I have another novel – ‘The Watcher’ – out on submission. I have enough details for both the third Harry Evans novel and the sequel to ‘The Watcher’ swirling around my head. I plan to start one of them in the next few days.
- Which five authors would you have round for dinner?
I’m gonna go for an odd and eclectic bunch as I’ve been lucky enough to meet most of my writing heroes. My five dinner guests would be, Wilbur Smith, Tom Cain, Alistair MacLean, Ian Fleming and J.R.R. Tolkein. I’d serve a huge shepherd’s pie and make sure there was plenty of beer available. It’d be a proper boys night in.
- Which book do you wish you’d written?
‘The Da Vinci Code’. I believe there’s a great story hidden among all the clumsy phrases. Plus, there’s a certain financial benefit to be had from being the author of one of the best-selling books ever.
- Your debut novel ‘Snatched from Home’ is being made into a play for the Manchester Arts Fringe. Can you tell us about this?
I’m very lucky to have met the actor and director, Derek Lawson, when he directed the adaptation of a friend’s novel. We got talking and he asked to read my work. From there he adapted it into a play and it was picked up by the Fringe festival. It will be showing at the Salford Arts Theatre from the 8th -10th July. I have been involved in creating the script and the casting and have to say I’m blown away by the level of talent involved and can’t wait to see it live.
Graham Smith is married with a young son. A time served joiner he has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. For the last fourteen years he has been manager of a busy hotel and wedding venue near Gretna Green, Scotland.
An avid fan of crime fiction since being given one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books at the age of eight, he has also been a regular reviewer and interviewer for the well-respected website Crimesquad.com for over six years.
I’m sure you’ll want to find out more about Graham Smith so here’s where you can do just that:
The Major Crimes Team Vol 1: Lines of Enquiry
Snatched from Home