I am SO excited today to be launching my new series – Meet the Author!! Every Wednesday and Saturday we will hear from a different author and I’m over the moon to be kicking off with Grahame Peace! So without further ado…..let’s hear from Grahame!
My fictional book genres are humour, paranormal-supernatural-historical-fantasy, mysteries, and fashion. I don’t write horror as such, my books tend to revolve more around the paranormal, hauntings, history, and the mysterious with some humour, so you won’t find a lot of gore. My fashion books are amusing and tend to focus on the high-end fashion names, both past and present.
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I was born in Huddersfield in West Yorkshire, England, where I still live. I have several nursing qualifications and a degree in Health & Social Care, and a master’s degree in Innovation and Leadership. I worked for many years for the National Health Service in Mental Health Services, before becoming a full-time writer. So, I know about ‘life’ and the many challenges, and ups and downs it can throw at people.
I’ve always had a fascination with the history of fashion, especially the high-end fashion industry, which is evident in some of my books, in fact, fashion has a habit of creeping into all my work.
My other interests in no particular order are, keeping fit, fighting off the ravages of time, theatre-going, music, history, the cinema, good coffee, travelling, reading, cooking, oh and the odd glass of white wine or anything that sparkles!
What inspired you to start writing?
I retired nearly five years ago from the NHS, and I’d always enjoyed writing, but most of it had been work reports and academic assignments. I like writing about my home town of Huddersfield and thought I had a story to tell; my writing grew from there. I think it takes a lot of bravery to write and put your work out there; it’s very exposing, so it took a lot of courage; I’m still learning.
When I published my first book in 2014 (no longer in print) I had one scathing review, it was done with real venom, it was a real rant, and although some of the comments were justified, a lot of the things that were said were incorrect and untrue, it almost felt like a personal attack. So, I lost confidence for a while, but slowly I picked writing back up again, and the scathing review taught me a valuable lesson. But as I say, I’m still learning and probably will never stop, like it or not; everyone has an opinion.
How many books have you written and published?
To date, I’ve published six books, and I’m currently working on my seventh, which is the fifth book in my Ghost from the Molly-House series, I hope it will be out later this year.
Which book, out of all the books you have written, is your favourite and why?
I love them all, but I think my latest book ‘A Journey into Fashion (The Dressing Room)’ is the one I feel closest to. It’s fiction, but I’ve used a lot of my own experiences and observations in the book, plus it’s about my passion, fashion. It’s also set in my home town of Huddersfield. I feel the book is true and honest, and while it touches on some sensitive subjects, I’ve tried to do it with humour, it’s not a dark story.
How do you choose the names of your characters?
My ghost stories involve a lot of actual historical events, which I mix with fantasy. So, I research popular names of the period or country for my characters.
Which of your characters would you want to be stranded on an island with, and why?
Oh, that’s easy, my time-travelling ghost Jasper Claxton, he’s great fun, and has a wicked sense of humour and all manner of super-powers. He would be the perfect person to be stranded on a desert Island with.
Who is your favourite author and which of their books is your favourite, and why?
I don’t think I have a favourite author; it depends on what I’m reading at the time. I like the classics from people like Jane Austen; I also like the pace of a Dan Brown book. I’m currently reading a book by Darcy Coates, which I’m enjoying. I also enjoy biographies, particularly ones about historic fashion designers or film stars. I enjoyed Bette And Joan: THE DIVINE FEUD by Shaun Considine
What is the first thing you can remember writing?
It was when I was around 11 years old, and it was a school English assignment, my story was about a night club, or how my 11-year-old self imagined a night club to be. I remember being very influenced by science fiction at the time, so the night club had a space-age theme with rockets and space ships.
What other jobs have you done other than being an author?
When I first left school I worked in a book shop; I left there to go into nursing, which became my long-term career. I really wanted to go into fashion design, but young working-class men from the North of England did not do ‘fashion’ in the early 1970s, it’s all in my new book.
If you could get in a time machine and had one chance to traveL, where would you go? (Backwards or forwards!)
Ancient Egypt, it’s always fascinated me. In fact, in my book The Psychic Agency, which is part of my Ghost from the Molly House series, there’s a whole story about the Abydos Temple and all the Ancient Egyptian gods. Ancient Egypt appears in another story of mine The Brotherhood, which is in The Jasper Claxton Mysteries, the second book in the Ghost from the Molly-House series.
If you could have one conversation with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
For me it would have to be the late Cristóbal Balenciaga, the most celebrated haute couturier who ever lived, he was known as the couturier’s couturier, Dior called him ‘the master of us all’. I’ve visited the Balenciaga museum in Getaria in Spain; I was allowed to have the whole museum to myself after it had closed, it was a 60th birthday present from my family. It was eerie but amazing. I would want to know everything about his early life in Getaria, what had inspired him and how he developed his many couture innovations and fabrics. I do know a lot about him, but it would be good to hear it from the man himself, although he was quite a reclusive character, he rarely gave interviews. Of course, there are many others.
What are your favourite things to do?
I’m a Taurus, we like all the good things in life, so I enjoy art, good food, architecture, the theatre, and of course, fashion. I also enjoy travelling, preferably first-class! Which I do very rarely.
What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you?
Well, I worked in psychiatric nursing for 36 years, so as you can imagine a lot of unusual things happened, I don’t wish to sound disrespectful, but I wouldn’t know where to start.
If you could give your younger writing self any advice what would it be?
Like anything it’s a craft that has to be learned, it’s trial and error, I’m still learning and will never stop learning, you have to stick at it.
Name one book you think everyone should read?!
Barry Hines’s A Kestrel for a Knave, it’s a book that is as raw, intense, and bitingly honest as the world it depicts. It’s a story about Billy Casper, a troubled teenager growing up in the small Yorkshire mining town of Barnsley. He’s treated as a failure at school, and unhappy at home. Billy discovers a new passion in life when he finds Kes, a kestrel hawk. The bird inspires in him the trust and love that nothing else can; he discovers through the bird the passion missing from his life. It’s a story of survival in a tough, joyless world.
And finally, tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it?
I’ve already mentioned my new book A Journey in Fashion (The Dressing Room). Yes, it’s about fashion and fashion history, but it’s so much more. This is the book blurb.
Should you follow a dream? How much courage does it take to be who you really are?
A Journey into Fashion (The Dressing Room), is a story about the healing power of love and friendship, it’s also a celebration of the high-end fashion world. It’s a touching, amusing, coming of age story, set in the North of England. It starts in the late 1950s and describes one man’s 40-year journey from humble, unhappy beginnings to find himself and build a future while striving to make his dreams come true. His is an unusual story driven by self-doubt, dogged determination, and hope to enter the world of fashion; it’s a journey full of diversions. The story covers a number of significant events and is told with honesty, and humour and takes you on his voyage of self-discovery and into fashion.
Where to find Grahame’s Books:
All my books are available worldwide on Amazon.
A huge thanks to Grahame for being the first author to take part in this new series! It’s so lovely to learn about each other and I’m sure you’ll agree that Grahame’s books sound fab!! I’ll most definitely be checking them out myself so keep an eye out for reviews!
As this is a new series, I’m fully open to any comments/suggestions so please give me a shout if you think I can improve these in anyway. Also, if you have any questions for Grahame, I’m sure he’d be delighted to hear from you!
Thanks again Grahame!