Graham Smith not only has three crime fiction series on the go – the DC Beth Young, Jake Boulder, and DI Harry Evan series – but also runs a hotel and wedding venue in Scotland and a group called Crime and Publishment. Which leads me to believe he has a twin brother we know nothing about, stashed in his attic – or he just works like a railway navvy.
Here he is, talking about how books make him tick.
A friend of mine doesn’t read fiction, paraphrasing Frank Skinner about it all being made-up and he has no time for any of that. What words do you have for such a philistine?
Most of the words I’d have would be suffixed with ‘off’. Fiction is as old as time itself because stories have always been around. To close your mind to fiction as a form of entertainment is to close yourself off from pleasure.
What must a protagonist have to make you read on?
A strong and believable motivation for their actions.
Do you need a likable protagonist?
Not at all, I like to enjoy protagonists of all natures and some of my favourite books have killers and assassins as their protagonists.
Name a great antagonist, in a novel or movie, and what they do for you.
I love the character Lennox as created by Craig Russell, he’s a Canadian in 1950s Glasgow who works as an enquiry agent somewhere between the police and the crime gangs. He’s a sardonic sleuth and I love his entire character, from his dry wit to his strong sense of justice – there’s not a part of him that isn’t entertaining.
What makes you throw a book out the window?
Implausibilities and inconsistencies make my teeth itch. One book I was reading had a woman driving a Porsche when in fear for her life. The pursuing baddies were in a van and managed to not only catch the Porsche, but using side streets cut it off. That book got launched across the room by swearing alone.
Do you grit your teeth all the way to the end of a dodgy novel?
Not at all. I used to do that but now I just move on. I’m usually a good judge of what I’ll enjoy, but from time to time I make a mistake and select the wrong book. Sometimes I’m the wrong reader and sometimes the writing isn’t as good as it could be.
What gets you writing? Is it a great novel, maybe? Something you saw on the street or TV? Something else?
I’m fortunate and don’t need anything except time to get me writing. I have a head full of ideas and love the process of writing so for me it’s as much a hobby as anything else.
What did you learn about writing from the last book you wrote?
That I can actually write to an outline. For the first time ever I outlined a novel instead of pantsing my way through and it worked for me.
What’s your next book, in 30 words or less?
Due to contract negotiations still being under way, my next novel is currently such a big secret I don’t even know what it’s about.
Where can readers connect with you?
I can be found at all the following places
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/grahamnsmithauthor
Twitter – https://twitter.com/GrahamSmith1972
Website – www.grahamsmithauthor.com