Today on Meet the Author I’m delighted to welcome Graham Smith. He tells us all about his most recent book, what he’d do if he travelled backwards in a time machine and being thrown out of a Church…..
Crime Fiction / Crime Thrillers
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I’m a joiner turned hotelier who has dug drains, slated roofs and built bridges to make ends meet. My free time is spent with my family and friends or reading and writing.
What inspired you to start writing?
Having been an avid reader since the age of eight, I found myself muttering phrases like “I could write a better story than this” when I encountered a bad I wasn’t enjoying. After a while I tried my hand and wrote a truly awful 30,000 words. They got binned, but I had the bug by then and I kept on writing until I had some mastery of the craft.
How many books have you written and published?
To date I have published 10 novels, a short story collection and two novellas. They feature three very different protagonists. DI Harry Evans has three novels, two novellas and a short story collection. Jake Boulder has four novels and DC Beth Young, my latest creation, has three novels to date.
Which book, out of all the books you have written, is your favourite and why?
This an impossible question to answer as I love all of my novels equally. However, I’m going to say FEAR IN THE LAKES, as it’s currently the piece of work I’m closest to. (I am of course working on something else now FEAR IN THE LAKES is published, but it’s not ready to be read by anyone but me yet.) I also feel that it’s the best novel I’ve ever written as each new story is fuelled by the knowledge of the art of writing learned along the way.
How do you choose the names of your characters?
I try to select names that reflect their age, ethnicity and social standing. If none spring to mind, I’ll trawl TV show credits, Facebook groups and anywhere else I can find a list of names that might be appropriate for the character I’m looking to name.
Which of your characters would you want to be stranded on an island with, and why?
All three of my leads would make excellent companions, but if I had to chose one, I think I’d chose Jake Boulder as he’s probably the most resourceful and would have the best survival skills of the three.
Who is your favourite author and which of their books is your favourite, and why?
This is another impossible question to answer as there are so many authors whose work I jump straight to the top of Mount To Be Read. Having said that, Alistair MacLean’s HMS Ulysses is a book I’ve read many times over and I always get something different from it. It’s essentially a war novel at first glance, but when you read it you find that it’s more about the men on the ship and their heroism, along with their foibles, than it is about the actual war they’re engaged in. Honourable mentions should go to Severed by Simon Kernick, The Accident Man by Tom Cain and The Devil Aspect by Craig Russell.
What is the first thing you can remember writing?
I remember being given the task of writing about how places got their names in primary six. The story I wrote got enough of the teacher’s attention that she told her then boyfriend. The boyfriend was a friend of my father and he mentioned the story to my father when they met at the local pub. Needless to say, I was surprised when my father mentioned it the next day, as I had given the usual, “nothing much” answer to what I’d been doing at school.
What other jobs have you done other than being an author?
I am a time served joiner and have worked as a farmhand. I’ve laid drains, slated roofs and done many other construction based jobs. For the last 19 years I have managed a busy hotel and wedding venue.
If you could get in a time machine and had one chance to travel, where would you go? (Backwards or forwards!)
I’d go backwards a few years once I’d made plentiful lists of sporting results I could bet on. After a few good wins, I’d be able to make sure I could provide for my loved ones and then I’d become a full time writer. I’d probably go to LA in the late eighties so I could see Guns N Roses at Whisky A Go Go before they hit the big time.
If you could have one conversation with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
It would be my uncle as I never got to say goodbye to him the way I wanted to.
What are your favourite things to do?
I love spending time with my son, reading and writing. Going to watch Carlisle United with my son is a fantastic experience and one I repeat at every opporchancity. On the gogglebox, I only tend to watch football, Top Gear in all its various incarnations and Game of Thrones.
What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you?
I was once thrown out of a church while researching a novel. A verger was showing me around the private rooms and I stupidly asked what was in the huge safe. The tour was ended at once and I was politely ushered out.
If you could give your younger writing self any advice what would it be?
Pay more attention in English class. I failed my ‘o’ levels twice and only got a pass because the school appealed on my behalf.
Name one book you think everyone should read?!
My publicist would say I should include one of mine, but I’m too bashful for that so I’m going to say HMS Ulysses by Alistair MacLean. No home of mine is complete without a copy of that book.
And finally, tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it?
My latest novel is called Fear in the Lakes. Here’s the official blurb for it:
When Detective Beth Young is called to investigate a victim with multiple broken bones, nothing prepares her for what she finds. James Sinclair is fighting for his life, and Beth can’t shake the idea that the nature of his injuries suggest someone with a personal grudge against him.
But James’s devastated wife Laura insists that her kind, softly-spoken husband is a man with no enemies. She was the one with the fiery temper, but James was so calm, she’d never once managed to provoke even a cross word from him in their eight year marriage. And he was the same with everyone – she can’t name one person who might want to hurt him.
But she knows virtually no details about her husband’s childhood or his life before he moved to the Lake District as a young man, and Beth feels sure that the key to finding James’s attacker is hidden in the secrets of his past. Who was he really? And what is the significance of the coded messages that Beth finds hidden on his laptop?
Then two more bodies are found in one of the deep, picturesque lakes that the area is so famous for, exhibiting similar injuries to the ones James Sinclair suffered. How are they connected? And how many more people are at risk?
Beth knows she is in a race against time to hunt a vicious killer who is both elusive and incredibly dangerous. A killer who knows what James did in the past. Who likes to be one step ahead. But who – if they realise they’re being hunted – might come for Beth next…
Where to buy: https://geni.us/B07RFRDCT7Cover
Thanks Graham for a brilliant interview! I’m sure there are lots of people that would use the time machine for exactly the same reason…although many may not admit it! I also wish you’d found out what was in the huge safe…..
If you have any questions for Graham then you know what to do!
Have a wonderful day lovelies.