Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
My name is Craig Smith and I am 42 years old.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I live in the shires of South East England in a forgotten little village called Cold Ash.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I have three daughters, two of which are teenagers and barely speak more than one syllable and one who is nine years old and seems to be full of answers.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I have just published ‘The Sleepover’ which is a really cool scary book about a teenage girl called Mandy who’s arranging a sleepover with her friends in a creepy old forest and things don’t exactly go well for her friends shall we say.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
It feels like I have been writing forever, certainly as long as I can remember. There’s something about the escapism of the process, to lock myself away in my little room and escape to new worlds. I’m obviously frustrated at quite a deep level, having found myself being a middle aged accountant.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I published my first book ‘The Leopard Child’ you ought to read it, it’s amazing!
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve always fancied going to Africa and seeing the wild animals and the rust-red landscape, but could never afford to travel there so I thought I’d write about it instead. ‘The Leopard Child’ is the story of Kadogos, a tribal chief’s teenage daughter who is wronged and decides to go on the rampage and kick some ass. I might not have mentioned it, but you ought to read it, its amazing!
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Kadogos is a Swahili term for ‘child soldiers’ and is the name of the main character in the series of books. I was going for the whole ‘Tarzan’ thing and using a word that is non-familiar as the main title to the books.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I write quickly and sub-consciously. I frame the main structure of the book across 50 chapters, and capture brief notes against each chapter on an xl spreadsheet. I then a set aside a month where I blast the story out in a fit of cursed energy.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Its all completely made up – apart from the fact that the main character always seems to think about things the way I do and talks a little like me.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
The extent of travel for my Kadogos series of books was the local library and the living room to binge watch every discovery documentary about Africa.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I designed the covers for my books, and I am pretty pleased with them.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes, life’s a tough scary beast so you better lift your hands up and start fighting it or it will devour you bit by bit.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favourite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
I was trying to think of some cool AvantGarde type authors to impress, but couldn’t think of any. I always find Dean Koontz books to be a bit of a giggle and a good ride.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Me myself and I. There has been no one. Zilch.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Absolutely. And I reckon I’ll achieve it by the time I retire.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not one thing, ‘The Sleepover’ is one cool scary book that should be on every personsshort list of books to read for the new year.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Yes, that forests at night are creepy and I wouldn’t recommend camping out in one for research under any circumstance.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
For The Sleepover, it would be Ziegler – the kooky-teenage dancer in the Sia music videos. For Kadogos it would be Quvenzhane Wallis from the latest Annie film.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Yes – read my books ‘The Sleepover’ and ‘The Leopard Child’ and please please please leave reviews and ratings. It’s so hard to encourage people to leave ratings and reviews and it all helps with the old Amazon algorithm.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m re-reading Papillion by Henri Charriere – the ultimate story of perseverance against adversity
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No – probably something about He-Man.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Never tire of laughing at Will Ferrell in Elf and only seem capable of crying at the end of ‘A wonderful Life’ on Christmas Eve each year.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I can’t really think of anyone specific no. Maybe Henry Winkler.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Writing, gyming, reading, running, watching people.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Just finished watching the latest series of Luther. Pretty gruesome.
Fiona: Favourite foods, colors, music?
I like a good Tikka-Masala, I’ve always liked the colour green and my favourite band are Elbow.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I can’t imagine not writing, it’s a part of who I am. But if I wasn’t writing then I would probably be a full time musician.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
With my family.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Never gave up.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Yes, my website is https://www.clsmithauthor.co.uk/ and the blog can be found on there. You can find the books on amazon at:
Amazon Authors page UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mr-C-L-Smith/e/B01N0S1JBY?ref=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000