Author Graham Smith is today (November 30) celebrating the release of his new book The Silent Dead - the first in a new series fronted by character Detective Beth Young. Marking the publication, he's opening up for readers and letting them in on 10 incredible facts, all about him! Read on to find out what he had to reveal...

Author Graham Smith writes an exclusive piece for Female First

Author Graham Smith writes an exclusive piece for Female First

I have twice played darts against former world champions.

My local pub had a very good darts team which I was on the fringes of due to availability rather than any great skill level. By winning competitions against other pub teams, they got to a stage where a professional player came and the person with the highest average per dart went on to a national final against the current world champion. I was nowhere near good enough to win, but I did get to play against Mike Gregory and the legendary Jocky Wilson.

I have a scar on my hand that dates back to a motorcycle race at the age of eight.

Back in the eighties, there was a local carnival style event at Gretna known as a highland gathering. It was basically fairground stalls, a beer tent and lots of activities for kids. Naturally I went on the little motorbikes – which would only do about 10mph tops – and went for it. I got into a race with another kid and when overtaking them on the outside of a corner, I gouged a sickle shaped gash into the back of my hand on his brake lever. I still won the race, but there was quite a lot of blood and a certain amount of tutting from my mother.

I once smacked Emu on the beak.

Again this a story from the eighties. A local hotel would put on a huge firework display for bonfire night and there would be celebrities there every year to start the bonfire and do their thing. To see such famous names as Geoff Capes, Rod Hull and Emu and other celebs of the day was a wondrous thing back then. Rod Hull was doing the rounds with the infamous Emu and when he came my way, I reached out and whacked him good and hard on the snout prompting a puzzled look from Rod Hull.

I once refused to wear a safety harness on the grounds of safety.

Back in the nineties when I was a joiner, I was given the task of stripping timber from a bridge that was being constructed. Traffic was moving below where I was working and there was a drop of at least twenty foot. The site foreman told me I had to wear a safety harness. I asked him what I should affix it to and he suggested the handrail. I took hold of the handrail and waggled it back and forward then gave him the safety harness back along with the words, ‘If I fall, I fall, but I’m not going to drag something to land on top of me.’ In light of my point, the foreman decided it may be wise to stop the traffic while I did what was needed.

I was often terrible to a teacher at secondary school.

Back in the days I attended Annan Academy, there was a teacher who had absolutely no control of his classes and we used to run riot in his classes. I’ve met him since leaving school and he’s a decent man who does a lot for the community. To give you an idea of how bad we were, I used to have him chase me round the class then dive into the cupboards at the back of the room and then I’d crawl along until I popped out the other end.

My musical tastes is firmly stuck in the rock genre.

I love all the cheesy hair rock bands of the eighties like Poison, Def Leppard and Bon Jovi almost as much as I love the heavier bands like Gun’s N Roses, AC DC, Aerosmith and so on. Give me a band who play instruments themselves, thrash out a good tune and allow a light spot of air guitar playing and I’m as happy as a pig in muck.

I love to haggle.

When it comes to buying something, I’ll always try and get a little extra thrown in or the price driven down. It’s surprising how often you can shave a few quid of things or get a freebie. I work on the principal that if you don’t ask, you don’t get and there’s never any harm in asking.

I’ve been lucky enough to meet most of my writing heroes.

Thanks to attending festivals such as Bloody Scotland and the Theakston’s Crime Writing festival at Harrogate, I have got to meet almost every one of my writing heroes. If this wasn’t enough, I have gone on to form last friendships with some of them which sees us get together when schedules allow.

I’m a sucker for a Schwarzenegger, Stallone or Willis movie.

Like my music tastes, all my favourite films are the big budget action movies of the late eighties and nineties. Give me a lump of muscle killing bad guys while making groan-inducing wisecracks and I’m as happy as Larry, whoever he is. For the record my favourite film is Die Hard, and it is a Christmas movie.

I consider myself to be an opener of the window of opportunity.

One of my proudest achievements is the creation of Crime and Publishment. It’s a weekend of crime writing classes that takes place at the hotel I manage near Gretna Green. Each year the highlight of the programme is an agent or publisher teaching attendees how to make a successful pitch and then listening to their pitches on a 1-2-1 basis. Since its inception, ten attendees have climbed through the window of opportunity and secured publishing contracts.

Graham Smith's new book The Silent Dead is out now, available on Amazon and other online bookstores, in both digital and hard copies.


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