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Saturday, 26 November 2016

The Hippo Hands Over . . . . to Luke Smitherd

Today I'm delighted to be handing over to Luke Smitherd, the bestselling author of The Stone Man, which was shortlisted for Audible UK's Book of the Year Award 2015. Luke's other books include In The Darkness, That's Where I'll Know You and A Head Full Of Knives. If that's not enough his latest book, Kill Someone will be released on December the 6th.

 If you think it looks great, you should read the blurb as it sounds great too:

Here are the rules.

Method: you can’t use a gun. You can’t use explosives. You can’t use poison. It has to be up close and personal. You don’t have to worry about leaving evidence; that will be taken care of.

Victim: no one suicidal. No one over the age of 65. No one with a terminal illness.

Choose your method. Choose your victim.

Chris Summer was a 21 year old call centre worker and a drop out. A nobody, still living at home with his parents. Then one day the Man in White came to his family’s house, offering a seemingly impossible choice: kill a random stranger - one of Chris’ choosing - within twelve days in order to save the lives of five kidnapped siblings. Refuse, and they die slowly and painfully. The clock is ticking, the Man in White is watching, and Chris has some very important choices to make.

This is a tale of fear, indecision, confused masculinity and brutal violence; a story of a coddled young man thrust into a world of sharp metal and bone.

Ask yourself if you could do it. Then ask yourself who you would choose.

I've read the opening chapter and it's a cracker! Kill Someone is available for pre-order now using the links below:


So that's the new book, but what about the man himself?

Photo courtesy of Luke Smitherd

Luke was born in the United Kingdom and has made his home town of Coventry the setting for most of his work.  He attended Coventry University, graduating with a BA in Theatre.  Prior to being a full-time novelist, he held diverse jobs ranging from copywriting to singing/ songwriting.  For a while, he considered trying to become a professional darts player, but decided writing was his true calling.  He hasn’t looked back since.

He entered the world of audiobooks in 2015 when he collaborated with British actor, Matt Addis, to produce the audio version of, “The Stone Man”.  This book went on to be shortlisted in the final 12 for “Audible Audiobook of the Year 2015” amongst such writing superstars as Stephen King and JK Rowling.  Luke has narrated all of his other audiobooks.

Luke now spends his time writing and travelling the world for inspiration.  He supports charitable organisations ranging from Water Aid to the National Deaf Children’s Society to end-of-life care institutions.

Luke has many exciting projects scheduled for the next year (which shall remain nameless). They are going to involve a lot of work, but he believes his fans will be happy with the end result.

Luke’s relationship with his readers is very important to him.  He knows their loyalty and excitement about his work allow him to continue to do what he loves.  He enjoys talking to fans on Facebook and Twitter, and he is famous for the “Afterwords” to his books, where he talks about how the story came about, as well as sharing personal details about what was going on in his life as he wrote the book.  His “Afterwords” are favourites of his readers.

To give you more of a glimpse into the man behind the words and to find out what goes on inside his mind, here are some questions that he's been asked by his readers.

What is it like narrating your own audiobooks? Is this something you will continue to do? I like the performing part, and getting to act out the character dialogue, but I don’t really enjoy doing the narrating itself. I talk very quickly normally and having to read at a narrator pace pretty much drives me insane.

Many of your books centre around the concept of death. Why do you think that is? Because I’m obsessed with dying and live in constant fear of it, if I’m honest ...

Which of your books are you most proud of? In terms of plotting, The Physics of the Dead for certain. As an overall book, I’d probably go with In The Darkness, That’s Where I’ll Know You.

You travel through Europe and the US a good deal of the time. What are your reasons for not staying in one place very long? I get very restless and hate the idea of wasting precious time (see question 2.) I’ve only got so long to see and do so much.

Your reviews often mention the “Afterword” section of your books. Was it a conscious decision to share so much of yourself with your readers or did it just happen naturally? Always, absolutely. Stephen King’s afterwords, both getting to know the man better and the ideas and thoughts behind the story, I thought that was fascinating, and couldn’t imagine writing a book and not doing the same.

What is the most frustrating part of being an author? Have you ever thought of giving it up? Many times, for the first few years. Trying so many things to promote yourself that never pay off, spending months on a book, releasing it and seeing it do absolutely nothing ...I’m glad to leave those years, for the most part, behind.

What made you go into writing? I’ve always loved making up stories, and I’ve always loved jobs where I don’t have to get up and go to work in the morning. More the latter than the former.

Did you read a lot growing up? Yes, I read all the time when I was a kid. To the point where I got a Christmas card from another kid at school when I was about ten-years-old. It was a picture of a baby penguin sitting on a block of ice; the gag being that the penguin was on the toilet, and the kid that gave me the card had actually drawn a book in the penguin’s hands because I read so much.

If you could change anything about your books, would you? I already did.  I published, “The Stone Man”, which is my biggest book and then last year I trimmed about ten thousand words out of it.  I’ve realised I have a tendency to be quite verbose so I’ve gone through one or two of the books and trimmed them a lot and I try to keep an eye on that as I write now.

How do you come up with the ideas for your stories and how do you keep the storylines straight as you write? I have a list in my phone for when an idea come to me. It’s always like a concept; it’s always like a “what if” idea, “what if this happened”, and I think where’s the story in that, and I sit down and thrash it out and note down stumbling blocks and try to keep it as straight as I can and as watertight in terms of logic.

If you'd like to find out more about Luke's book or connect with him you can use the links below:


I'd like to thank Luke for dropping by today. After reading the first chapter of Kill Someone I can't wait to read more and I wish him lots of luck with it 😉

1 comment:

  1. Glad to see Luke on here (though you were warned about him hehe)
    He's great fun and I love his books. Right up my street! I've stalked ahem followed him from his 1st potd =physics of the Dead & was hooked big time!
    He has a good (mad) podcast with Matt Shaw worth a listen to 😄