I am delighted that GRAHAM SMITH is joining me on my blog today. Graham's latest book - Snatched From Home - was published by Caffeine Nights Publishing on 19 March 2015.
Having been an avid reader since the age of eight and a reviewer for www.crimesquad.com for the last six years, I guess it was inevitable I would at some point try my hand at writing. Once I started writing, I found the whole crime fiction community to be very helpful and supportive. The more I wrote, the more I enjoyed it. My dream is to become a full-time writer so I can spend more time listening to the voices in my head.
Where do your ideas come from?
I take inspirations from everywhere and nowhere in particular. The basic idea for Snatched from Home came from me wondering 'what if someone was kidnapped and their family couldn’t afford the ransom?' whereas I got the plot for the sequel - I Know Your Secret – from a three-second clip of a TV show I was watching. It was enough to me think 'what if the wrong person learned your secrets?' Once I have an idea, I mentally poke and prod at it until I’m satisfied it has the legs to carry a full novel and the necessary sub-plots, themes and other elements that make a great novel. The idea also has to be strong enough to hold my interest for the year it takes me to write and edit a novel.
Have your personal experiences influenced your writing? And if so, how?
I don’t use personal experiences as an influence. I tend to use them as a basis for creating characters' traits and values. In Snatched from Home, I created a situation where a man let down his family in the worst way possible. When I was writing his wife’s reaction to his failings, I imagined what my own wife’s reaction would be in similar circumstances.
Fast-paced, edgy, gripping police thrillers
That’s a tough one to answer as what's normal for me may be strange to others. The majority of my writing is done with me sitting on the couch with the laptop on … well, the top of my lap. I have the TV on in the background and I just write. I try to get something writing-related done every night after my son goes to bed.
Do you plot out the whole book before you start or just start writing and see where it leads you?
Once I have the central idea as mentioned earlier, the setting and the characters, I just start writing and work towards what I know the resolution should be. How I’ll get to the resolution is a mystery to me and that’s the way I like it.
What do you consider to be the hardest part of your writing?
I always find the editing to be the hardest part. When I’m editing, I work ridiculous hours so I can get it done in the shortest time possible. It’s my way of maintaining my author voice.
Has your life changed since becoming a published author? If so, how?
Nothing has really changed for me other than the recognition I get from reviews. I attended a birthday party recently and before I had been there five minutes a lovely lady came across the room and told me how much she’d enjoyed Snatched from Home.
Do you read? If so, who are your favourite authors?
I enjoy books by so many authors, I couldn’t possibly pick favourites. However, books by Matt Hilton, Michael Malone, Eva Dolan and Stuart MacBride are always put at the summit of Mount To-Be-Read if that helps.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would be the title?
It would have to be titled after a cream I invented to cure the ache of fox fur. Therefore it would be called 'Fur Fox Ache'.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
I would always recommend that aspiring writers read five books in the chosen genre. After finishing each book they should write a review. The review should be at least 250 words long and feature comments on pace, prose, plotting, characters and the emotions the book garnered from the reader.
And lastly, why should people read your latest book?
People should read Snatched from Home because it’s a fast-paced thriller packed with believable characters and tense situations.
About Graham Smith
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 14 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.
Find Graham Smith on his official Facebook page and his website and follow Graham on Twitter - GrahamSmith1972
The Major Crimes Team Vol 1: Lines of Enquiry
The Cumbria Major Crimes team is under immense pressure to get results. DCI Harry Evans and his subordinates, DS Neil Chisholm, DC Lauren Phillips and DC Amir Bhaki must juggle cases while tragedy stalks them. Up in Glasgow, DI John Campbell is preparing to replace Evans, whose renegade ways have brought enforced retirement.
Together they must investigate a man killed in his own home, a vigilante group chasing a suspected paedophile, a river dammed for no obvious reason and a woman whose cries of ‘wolf’ turn to ‘rape’. Meanwhile DC Phillips goes undercover off the books.
Middle-class parents Victoria and Nicholas Foulkes are distraught when their children are kidnapped against Nicholas’ gambling debts. Penniless and desperate the couple turn to crime as a way to raise the ransom.
Hot on their heels is recently bereaved DI Harry Evans and his Major Crimes team. Evans is fighting against enforced retirement and his replacement – DI John Campbell – is foisted upon him along with other cases. If he must leave the police then he wants one last big case before he goes.
In a race against time Victoria and Nicholas must evade the police while continuing to add to the ransom fund. If they don’t pay up on time the kidnappers have threatened to amputate their children’s limbs with an oxy-acetylene torch.
Can they save their children before time runs out?