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September 2016 Bloody Scotland Special Crime author of the month interview with 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. Since Christmas 2000 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 since 2009


He is the author of four books featuring DI harry Evans and the Cumbrian Major Crimes Team.
1. How did you get started writing?

After tossing the umpteenth book across the room complaining that I could write a better book myself it became time to put my money where my mouth is. The first attempt was so bad I realised I had better get good quick or stop tossing books across the room.

2. What drew you to write a crime novel?

They say write what you know and I have been reading crime and thrillers for the best part of thirty years. Not having read other genres, there’s no way I could have begun to write anything other than a crime novel.

3. Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing?

Every author I’ve ever read has influenced me by showing me good or bad writing, but specific influences are Craig Russell and Matt Hilton. They are both excellent authors and I’m proud to call them my friends.

4. When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest?

I was very lucky because I’d been reviewing for for four years before I took to writing. During those four years, I attended events, interviewed star names and basically got my name out there. When my own writing ambitions surfaced I was lucky enough to have enough contacts to put together my own weekend of crime writing master-classes where industry experts taught wannabe authors such as myself. The weekend is called Crime and Publishment and to date six attendees, including myself, have signed publishing contracts.

5. There are many interesting characters in your Novels, do you have a particular favourite one?

That’s like asking which is my favourite child as I love them all. If pushed, I would have to say DI Harry Evans as he’s the alter ego for me and gets to do and say all the things manners and consideration for others prevent me from doing.

6. What kind of research have you have to undertake for your Novels?

I have had to do quite a bit of research on various topics and specifically the areas where I set elements of the story. Fortunately I have police, lawyer and probation friends who are fonts of knowledge. I did however manage to once get myself ejected from a church while researching I Know Your Secret

7. Are the characters in your books based on any real life?

Every character I’ve ever written has elements of someone or some people I’ve met or know well. However, no character is a complete copy of the real person, rather they are a melange of different people.

8. What do you think makes your novels stand out from all the other Crime Fiction Novels out there?

I’d like to think it is my plots and plotting. I love to mess with readers’ heads and confound them by shifting plotlines in unforeseen directions while also trying to tell unique stories in a way that keeps the reader turning pages.

9. Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa?

DI Harry Evans is hard-drinking, fast-driving, bad-tempered and incredibly intelligent. I can only claim three of these qualities.

10. If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you have planned?

I’m currently writing the third novel in the series and it sees a headless body found in the boot of a car towed out of floodwater.

11. Out of all the Novels you have written do you have a favourite one that stands out to you?

I cannot choose between any of my novels as they all hold a special place in my heart for different reasons. Snatched from Home was my first, I Know Your Secret is my next release and When the Waters Recede (working title) is the one I’m currently immersed in.

12. As an up and coming crime writer do you have words of advice you can share?

I would always always always recommend that new writers read several books in their chosen genre and then write a 500 word review. When you know you have to write a review, critical or otherwise, you read novels in a slightly different way.

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? 

Carlisle United are playing Millwall and the Major Crimes Team are assigned to crowd control as punishment for their renegade ways. Typically, DI Harry Evans has other ideas and tries to thwart the local firm’s plans to teach Millwall’s notorious Bushwhackers an unforgettable lesson.

Meanwhile an undercover cop is travelling north with some of the Millwall contingent. His mission is to identify the ringleaders and gather evidence against them.

Three illegal immigrants have been transported to Carlisle and are about to meet their new employers.

Nothing is as it seems for Evans and his Major Crimes Team as they battle to avoid a bloodbath while also uncovering a far more heinous crime. 

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. 

Set in modern day Cumbria, I Know Your Secret is a police thriller in which a priest is found crucified to the stone floor of his church. Fearing more attacks on the clergy, DI John Campbell and his team of misfits race to find the killer before he strikes again.
Meanwhile, DI Harry Evans, spends his days attending the trial of his wife’s rapist and his nights interfering in the investigation. 
Can they catch the killer before he strikes again? 





Amazon Author Page




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