First Drafts With… Graham Smith

Hi everyone, I’m delighted to welcome back to the blog, crime writer Graham Smith.

Having previously featured in my 10 Questions With series last year, I was very happy when he agreed to feature in the First Draft series too!

Over to you, Graham…

1) When you begin the next book, how do you go about it?

I generally start with an idea. I know the crime, the major characters and what the resolution should be. I also know where it is set, but other than that, I just sit down and start typing, letting the characters tell me the story as I go. I may also know one or two key points I have to hit along the way, but this isn’t always the case.

2) Do you follow the same process for the book as you did before?

I tend to repeat my process as it’s one I have honed over 11 novels, 3 novellas and numerous short stories. It works for me and that’s all I can ask of it.

3) What is your research process, if you have one?

I tend to do research sporadically as I go along with the story. I usually know where the next few chapters are going so I can pick up the information I need in advance of the scene where it features. If possible I’ll visit real locations that I use in my stories and when there, I’ll sit in a cafe and listen to how the locals speak and interact with each other.

4) How quickly after thinking or planning do you sit down to write?

I have a bank of ideas and when I’m looking to start a new project, I’ll discuss them with my editor and once we have agreed on which to write, I’ll get to work. Because my process doesn’t involve major planning or full outlines, I take notes of ideas to include during the time I’m writing the first draft.

5) How does the draft form on the screen?

The first draft pours out of me. There’s nothing quite like the thrill of being the first to hear a new story. At this stage the story is full of typos, bad grammar and repeated points along with plot holes and timeline errors. They all get fixed in subsequent drafts where I may also feed in more of the research I’ve done.

6) Where do you write the majority of the draft?

I write everything in my living room with the TV or radio on in the background.

Thank you for visiting my blog Graham – finding out about your first draft process has been great!!


Graham Smith is a time served joiner who 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 since 2009

 He is the internationally best-selling author of four books featuring DI Harry Evans and the Cumbrian Major Crimes Team and two novels, featuring Utah doorman, Jake Boulder.


Graham can be found at:





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