Today Graham Smith joins us to talk about his writing and the various guises of his good guys.
What motivates you to write?
I’m motivated to write by the urge to tell my own stories. Although I plot them out in advance I always leave some latitude for developments brought about by the writing process. I just love the whole creative process, from the planning to the plotting out, but most of all I love the thrill of throwing down a first draft and seeing the story I’ve plotted out taking a real shape and form.
Which do you like to write, series or standalones? If you write both, what do you find the difference?
I enjoy writing a series because I find that I grow fond of my characters, but I have written a standalone that’s with my agent and I found it a very liberating experience to write knowing that the entire story arc is contained in a single novel and that I didn’t have to create plot lines and relationships to be picked up in future novels in the series.
Is there anything you wouldn’t write about?
There are several things I wouldn’t write about. The main ones being genres outside crime and thriller fiction as I don’t read those genres so wouldn’t know how to write in them. When it comes to crime and thrillers, I stay away from horrible topics like child abuse and while I have a wonderful idea for a terrorist plot, I could never write it as I couldn’t bear the idea of it ever falling into the hands of someone callous enough to use it.
Who is your favourite of your characters, why and in which books do they appear?
My favourite character changes very much depending on which series I’m working on. As I’m currently writing novels, under the pseudonym of John Ryder, featuring Grant Fletcher, I’d have to say he’s the man of the moment, but if I ever went back to write about Harry Evans, Jake Boulder or Beth Young, then they’d be my pick. Fletcher has his own logical way of seeing the world and he’s a man of action who I can easily put into fights both fist and gun, have doing the improbable and yet still show his battle logic as he’s dodging bullets. He appears in First Shot, Final Second and Third Kill.
Who is your least favourite of your characters, why and in which books do they appear?
I don’t tend to have a least favourite character. However, there’s one who stands head and shoulders above all the others as the least likeable. Despite having written about serial killers, murderers and assassins, the character who is the most callous has to be Cameron MacDonald. He’s Jake Boulder’s biological father and appears in Past Echoes. He doesn’t kill anyone, nor does he actively set out to cause trouble, but he somehow finds a way to one create disastrous situation after another with his self-centred behaviour and utter lack of morality. Conversely, I have a special place in my heart for him as he was involved in my favourite ever character kill and he was absolutely fantastic to write, as when I was writing him, I just kept thinking “what’s the worst thing he can do here?” and then have him do it to massive effect.
Tell us about your last book…
My last book saw Grant Fletcher travel to Wisconsin to investigate the murder of a farmer’s wife. He ends up on the trail of a deadly serial killer who is targeting farmers for reasons unknown
What’s coming next…
My next release is Third Kill. It’s surprisingly the third book in the Grant Fletcher series and he has to apprehend and neutralise a wraithlike killer who is targeting casino owners in Las Vegas. If I can say so myself without coming across as egotistical, I think it’s one of the fastest-paced novels I’ve ever written.
Anything else you want to share?
Just my thanks to Gail for hosting this and all those who’ve taken the time to read it. Without readers, I’m nothing more than a stenographer for the voices in my head.
Graham Smith is a time served joiner who has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet.
He is an internationally best-selling Kindle author and has six books featuring DI Harry Evans and the Cumbrian Major Crimes Team, and four novels, featuring Utah doorman, Jake Boulder. His ‘Lakes’ series which has three novels featuring DC Beth Young has received much critical acclaim.
Graham also writes as John Ryder, and as John has released, First Shot and Final Second with Third Kill being released in April 2021
Thanks Graham, like you I have the terrorist plot I could never put on paper, but who doesn’t?
Tomorrow we’ll be hearing from Chris Lloyd