Today we have my very good friend Graham Smith on the blog. Graham’s novel ‘Snatched from Home‘ has been a runaway success this year and no-one deserves it more than the lovely Graham.
Well, 2015 has been quite the year for you, Graham. Do you have a favourite memory professionally?
With my debut novel being released this year as well as a stage version of it being performed, I have so many wonderful memories to choose from. Do I choose I interviewing Lee Child at Harrogate crime festival and giving him a copy of Snatched from Home after telling him how his email newsletter first attracted me to the festival and set me on the path to becoming an author, only for him to pass the book back, asking me to sign it? Or perhaps the seeing, holding and caressing the physical copies of Snatched for the first time? How about launching Snatched alongside my good friend and mentor Matt Hilton?
Another few shouts go to attending auditions for the play, the first read through with the cast, rehearsing lines with the lead actors, seeing it on stage and hearing applause for something that was created by the voices in my head? I also shouldn’t forget the many wonderful reviews and blurbs Snatched from Home has engendered from my peers, friends and complete strangers. Was it taking part in my first panel or chairing the launch of Crime and Publishment’s second success story? Making it onto the stage with Val McDermid and Mark Billigham at Harrogate because I played a game with some guys who are better than me at football was a thrill, as was being chosen to be the first author to feature at Bloody Scotland’s Crime in the Spotlight where I had a three minute slot to read from Snatched in front of Ian Rankin and Arne Dahl’s audience while the main men sat behind me. Or do I step aside and put others first as more of my Crime and Publishment gang achieved success? I don’t know which memory wins as they are all etched into my mind as equal parts of a fantastic year. All I know is I’m truly thankful to 2015 and everyone who made it such a good year for me.
And how about a favourite moment from 2015 generally?
This is an easy one in comparison to the first question. I did an author talk in Moffat at the wonderful Brodies café and bistro. My ten year old son came along and when I was taking him to the Moffat Toffee Shop afterwards (It’s like the sweetshop from your childhood dreams with a whisky section at the back), he told me my “speech” was better than the chocolate cake and hot chocolate he had at Brodies. Knowing how good the food and drink are at that fine establishment, I took the compliment as intended and almost had a man-wobble on the street such was my happiness.
Favourite book in 2015?
Beyond the Rage by Michael Malone. For me, it redefined the term unputdownable.
Favourite film of 2015?
I haven’t seen any new films this year other than ones I’ve taken my son to see so I’m going to say Die Hard as it’s my favourite film and I’ve seen it more times this year than any other film.
Favourite song of the year?
I’m not enough of a music fan to know any new music. I’m an eighties hair rocker with no hair.
Any downsides for you in 2015?
The only downside I’ve had this year is a constant feeling of impending doom. When you’ve had such an unbelievable year as I’ve had, karma has to kick in at some point and I’ve been wondering how life was going to kick the legs from under me. So far it hasn’t, so it’s Karma 0: Fat bald guy 1.
Are you making resolutions for 2016?
My only resolutions for 2016 are to keep on being grateful for the support I get from my wife and son, to keep working hard and to try and grab the odd moment to sit still and reflect on how bloody lucky I’ve been.
What are you hoping for from 2016?
Professionally, I’m hoping that it’s half as good to me as 2015 has been. I’m a pessimistic realist at heart when I’m not being cynical. 2015 has been such a massive years of constant highs and ground-breaking firsts for me that I know it can’t continue.
On a personal level, I’ll be more than a little bit happy if those I care about are still around me when 2017 shows its ugly face. (Note to editor: 2017 will cease to be ugly on the 31st of December 2016 and become beautiful like that ugly swan and duckling thingy).
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. For the last fourteen years 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 Crimesquad.com for over six years.