Welcome to my turn on the Matching The Evidence tour, where Graham explains how he sources his idea’s.
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 Crimesquad.com since 2009
He is the author of four books featuring DI harry Evans and the Cumbrian Major Crimes Team, the latest being Matching The Evidence.
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.
This is the 1st Graham Smith I have read and what an introduction it is to this author, he writes with flair and feeling, and I quickly grew to like DI Evans and his team.And based on the quality of this book I will without a doubt be reading Snatched From Home.
Am keeping it concise today as I want to focus on Graham’s post but in brief for a short book Matching The Evidence sure does pack one hell of a punch.
Now, over to Graham
One of the questions most asked of authors is a variant of “where do you get your ideas from?”
The answer is complicated and simple. Everywhere!
I get ideas watching the news, reading the papers, from hearing a story someone is telling while we’re supposed to be working and a thousand and one other places. The central plot for my forthcoming novel I Know Your Secret came from a five second clip of a TV show I was watching. The idea for Matching the Evidence evolved from watching a game of football. I’m currently working on the third novel in the Harry Evans series which has some of its origins in the devastating floods which affected Cumbria last December.
Getting ideas isn’t hard. As soon as people learn you write crime they tell you a great way to kill someone or hide a body. (It’s usually at this point they look disappointed when you don’t offer them half of your royalties just because they’ve offered up a single-cheeked theory which doesn’t fare well under the most gentle cross-examination.) The hard part of ideas is distilling them under the microscope of cynicism until you know they meet the required criteria. For me a good idea for a novel must include
- Something to keep my interest for the year it will take me to write and edit the story
- An original central idea or premise
- Enough of a hook to allow me to pique the interest of my readers
- Room for the central idea or premise to grow as the story unfolds in the telling
- A plot which will fit into the location and characters I’m planning to write about
- The opportunity to allow me to build suspense and tension while telling a fast paced story
- Ways to outwit or fool the reader with red herrings or a kickass twist
When I have all of these things in place I start building the story in my head and finally I’ll sit down to write.
It’s more than likely that when I start writing the story, I won’t have a clue as to how I’m going to bring about the resolution. That doesn’t matter because all the heavy lifting and testing of the idea has already been done. Some things are best left to the subconscious.
I’m not a plotter and have nothing written down before I start writing. I just follow the idea and see where it takes it me. Or rather, I throw my characters at the idea and simply record what happens.
Thanks Graham for explaining your thought process and I’m sure people will be looking to buy some of your other titles so I am popping the links to them below.
Snatched from Home
Lines of Enquiry
I Know Your Secret – Out October 2016
You can keep up to date with Graham via social media.
My thanks to both Graham and Noelle (aka crimebookjunkie) for including me in this epic blog tour.
NBR. But very Happy Birthday to my daughter who is 23 today. xx