– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘Miss Smith Commits the Perfect Crime?’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.
About the Author :
Guy Caplin worked in television broadcasting for over 40 years and is one of the few people to have achieved success in both the technical and artistic branches of the medium. He has worked with many celebrities including, the Beatles, Ella Fitzgerald, Bob Hope and Maria Callas.
He moved to ITV’s Yorkshire Television in 1969 as a Producer and Director of Sport, Outside Broadcasts and special events. Among the many programmes he devised was the quiz programme “Winner Takes All” fronted by Jimmy Tarbuck and Geoffrey Wheeler, which under his tenure was regularly amongst the Top Ten TV programmes and twice reached the coveted Number One Spot.
When the final series of the hit American programme Dallas ran into technical problems in Hollywood in 1989, Guy left YTV and joined a UK broadcast engineering company to try to come up with a solution. The solution proposed resulted in the creation of the DEFT process, which although too late to be used on Dallas, was used initially on the Simpsons and subsequently on Friends, Frasier, Superman and many others America series. DEFT was awarded an Emmy for outstanding technical achievement.
Back in the UK Guy owned and ran a company creating video productions for both broadcast and industry, was a freelance trainer at the BBC and a visiting tutor at the National School of Film and Television
For the past thirteen years Guy has also been regular lecturer for P&O cruises and Cunard and has effectively travelled twice around the world.
Now, having closed his video company, he spends his time writing under the name of Guy Rolands and has now completed four novels in the Sam Smith Adventure series. Having worked all over the world and encountered hundreds of remarkable characters, his experiences provide colour and intrigue to his work.
Facebook Author Page
Recovering from a brutal attack where she was savagely raped, university student Sam Smith attempts to rebuild her life and overcome the ongoing effects of her ordeal. Her ultimate goal is to bring her assailant to justice, but before she can do so her life and loves take a series of intriguing turns as she continues her sometimes unconventional education.
Eventually she is able to identify her attacker and decides to exact retribution in her own particular style, but during her preparations Sam becomes aware that her every move is being tracked by a mysterious organisation. To avoid detection by the police and also her hidden watchers, Sam Smith attempts to commit the perfect crime. However in the aftermath of her vigilante action events change rapidly to bring about a most unexpected outcome.
Miss Smith Commits the Perfect Crime? is the first book in the Sam Smith Adventure Series and can be read as a standalone.
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
Throughout my adult life, I have written in as part of my work as a TV producer and director. Unfortunately, it was pretty uninspiring stuff: ‘And our next contestant comes from the town of … ‘ I got hooked on writing fiction through an odd quirk of fate. I had just given up the day job in April of last year when I broke my foot and was virtually immobile for a couple of months. My eldest daughter (the author Jules Wake) said to me, ‘If you’ve nothing better to do Dad, why not write a book?’ Once I started, I realized this was something most enjoyable and satisfying. As my Beta readers were most encouraging with the results of my labour, it became a full-time passion.
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
As a child, I loved adventure stories, starting with the Biggles’ books of Captain WE Johns when I was very small. As an adult, I could not put The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo down. Stig Larsson’s Millennium trilogy ranks as my all-time favourite set of books. His plot, his characters and the way he draws the reader in, are unparalleled in my view. While my preference is mainly for adventure and mystery, I enjoy reading humorous fiction. Sadly few authors can pull it off consistently. I keep going back to PG Wodehouse as the adventures of Jeeves and Wooster never fail to raise my spirits.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I would have to opt for Jeffrey Archer. As an author, he never fails to satisfy. Every one of his works I have thoroughly enjoyed. Despite the large number of books he has written, his characters are always compelling, and his plots are novel and intriguing. I would love to know how he manages, despite his considerable output, to remain so fresh and successful.
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
I would like to invite the character, Nick Armitage, Sam Smith’s boyfriend at the start of my book, and ask him what he hell he thought he was playing at. When I originally conceived him, he was a nice guy: he was to be the rock on which my heroine would depend in her hour of need. People who don’t write fiction themselves will find this hard to believe, but this character had a mind of his own and drove the plot in a totally different direction. He let poor Sam down when she was extremely fragile and ultimately met a rather unpleasant end. Since he was driving the plot, you could say he brought his misfortune upon himself. Odd, isn’t it?
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
The ritual starts the night before. Just before I go to sleep, I go over in my mind what I have written that day, thinking about the characters and the plot. Invariably, I wake up the following morning with the next chapter buzzing in my head. I try to start writing at around 7.30 every morning in my lounge, sitting in my comfortable armchair using a small laptop. My wife likes to sleep in, and usually, I can get around two hours of writing done without interruptions. I suppose it’s being British that drives me to the teapot for inspiration. When I get up each morning, I make a pot of (Yorkshire) tea and always have a big mug beside my armchair, sipping it slowly to make the creative juices flow.
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
I have to have a central, but very simple plot issue to drive the story on. In Miss Smith Commits the Perfect Crime, my heroine wants retribution – nothing more, nothing less. Hitchcock called this having a McGuffin. No matter how how complex or convoluted the plot, everything must revolve around the McGuffin.
While I like to base my characters on people that I have encountered, you would be hard put to identify specific individuals. For example, my heroine Sam Smith was based on one of the hundreds of professional show dancers I worked with over the years. She was barely twenty, had a flawless complexion, naturally golden hair, a figure to die for and a naive sexual allure. The men on the crew couldn’t do enough for her. Even our gay choreographer was drooling all over the young woman. For her lover, Ari Levi, I pictured one of the models’ unsavoury looking boyfriend. They were such an unlikely looking pair that the crew dubbed them ‘Beauty and the Beast’: a title that found its way into the book.
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I guess I am a pantser. I establish my Mcguffin and then set about finding my key characters. If I have them clear in my mind, then the main figures drive the story towards its goal. That makes it sound as though I sit back and just let it happen. If only it were that simple. Once I have a chapter completed, I take a step back, and ask myself does it work? If I have any doubt whatsoever, I cut the offending section. I am quite ruthless, and I am happy to rewrite as many times as it takes until the story flows on in a manner that satisfies me.
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Try and set yourself a goal: a number of words to write every day. This will be tough if you are holding down a full-time job, but be realistic. Set yourself a target that’s achievable: 500 words a day of carefully crafted material is far better than 2000 words of rushed work that doesn’t satisfy you. I suggest all aspiring writers stick to the rules of the old radio show, Just a Minute: No hesitation, deviation or repetition.
What are your future plans as an author?
Having established my heroine, Sam Smith, I am working to create a series of books featuring her adventures. Watch this space.
Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
I have selected a passage which is a key moment in the plot, where Sam and her boyfriend Nick think they are about to consummate their relationship. Please don’t think from this extract, that this book is a graphic ‘bodice ripper’. The passage is a turning point in the heroine’s motivation and charts a milestone in her coming of age.
In the car, as Nick drove back to the flat, Sam was happier than she had ever been in her life. They entered the hallway, and she still felt as if she was floating on air. Nick went to put the light on in the lounge, but she put her hand over his whispering, ‘Can we leave it off.’
He brought his hand away from the switch and with his arm round her shoulders they moved through the darkened room to stand in front of the picture window, looking out on the twinkling lights of the city. Sam snuggled up to Nick, and their lips met in a long and passionate kiss. Her heart was pounding as he undid the zip of her dress, which slowly slid to the floor, leaving her wearing only the new undergarment that Fran had found at the last minute. It was the tiniest thong imaginable, just a minute wisp of lace. Nick obviously found the sight of her near-naked body irresistible, and his kissing became more intense. Sam felt his hand slide over her skin to remove the delicate lace garment.
That was when things went catastrophically wrong.
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Guy Rolands.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds
P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!