Indie Author Extraordinaire – Colin Griffiths
1/ When and how did you first realise you wanted to be an author? I’m not sure there was a specific time. When I was a teenager in the 70’s I used to write a lot of poetry. They were a bit dark. I wrote a novel when I was seventeen, about a songwriter seeking fame. I’m not sure what happened to it. It was something I always wanted to do for 40 years and at the age of 56 I done it. But to be honest I always thought there was one in me. When I finished it I was elated. I never thought for one minute there was more to come.
All my life I’ve put pen to paper in one way or another, just never as a novel. My biggest regret is not having done this earlier. Who knows I may have written a best-seller. When you think of it, once you’ve written a book you will always be an author.
I still regard myself as the youngest of nine who grew up in a caravan and upgraded to a council house. I feel I haven’t earnt the right to be anyone else. Just yet.
2/ What excites you most about writing?
Let me tell you Grant, sometimes I’m sat there and I’m not at all excited and feel like giving up as I wonder where the next sentence comes from, never mind the next chapter. Then all of a sudden something flashes through your mind and the pen starts flowing again, that makes me excited getting over that block. But I think what excites me most is when I’ve written the last sentence of the last chapter. It’s more than a feeling of satisfaction. It makes me want to punch the air. When I think of it. It’s all exciting!
3/ What is the best book you’ve read in 2015?
I’ve probably read more books in 2015 than in the previous 10 years. It was 2015 I really discovered the “indie” author market having become a part of it myself.
Michael Kelly’s Damsels was disgustingly funny and quirky. Mr. Mercedes by King comes close. I also liked Girl on a Train a lot. But I’m going to go for Four to Dawn by May Panayi. I’m on my fourth book of hers. It’s about four girls trapped in an office block who start telling their stories, but it’s a lot more than that. It’s dark and deep with an extremely good twist. Its graphic in parts but any book that makes you think about it long after you have read it has got to be good. The best book I have ever read is “The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist”. It should be on our curriculum.
4/ You have some awesome characters in your books – which one is your favourite and why?
I like Lily in “Underwood,” she has spunk and bottle and goes through a lot for such a young girl. Katy from “Never Say Goodbye” has a hard time but manages to pull through. There’s a character that comes into “There was no Body” called Gabriel Fenton; he was only in it for a short while, but I’m going to bring him back.
Madison Hughes in “Never say Goodbye” is by far my favorite, though. She was never part of my original idea but soon become my favorite and took on a major role in “Never Say Goodbye” that was completely by accident. To me she was THE hero. I wanted to write a book about Madison Hughes but then decided she should be the main character in “There was no Body”. I think she’s still an enigma and I don’t think I’ve told her full story yet. I’m writing a third and final “Fenton” book and I’ve no doubt Madison Hughes will appear somewhere after that “Madison Hughes: Mind Reader”; sounds good.
5/ Are you like any of your characters and in what way?
That’s easy Grant. The dimwitted Todd Fenton. The laid back window cleaner who has no idea what or who he is. Take away his abilities and I think that’s me at his age. Living on a caravan site you didn’t need a ladder to clean the windows.
6/ How do you handle criticism of your work?
I can’t answer this directly so I’ll try to explain. If I have a bad review it does tug at my heart strings because we all want everyone to like our books. In life that isn’t going to happen. Constructive criticism I handle fine, particularly when it comes to editing. I’ve taken great advice from constructive criticism. If it’s to criticize me personally I don’t care.
But what really pisses me off is when people feel the need to give warnings that my books are written in “Third Omni Style”. For God’s sake, most readers wouldn’t even know what that is. I bloody didn’t, and to be quite frank still don’t. Would someone put a warning “this is written in First Person?” probably not! I think those that do that are authors who think they are clever.
So Grant, I don’t handle that very well. I think my best answer now could be “So was J K Rowling and Tolkien”. My style is not everyone’s taste and I fully get that.
7/ What makes you laugh?
Sarcasm: I’m very sarcastic, well I call it wit, but others call it sarcasm. Jokes like “Just found out
my wife is allergic to the dog so we have to give her away. She’s 52 and a very good cook!” That’s my humor.
Nelson Mandela – Just to shake his hand.
Bob Dylan – I have got everything he’s ever done, I would just stare at him.
My Father – So I could ask what I did wrong.
Margaret Thatcher – So I could ask – Why?
My Wife – So she could stop me making a fool of myself and stop me staring at Bob Dylan.
9/ Final question – Why should our readers buy a Colin Griffiths?
I have got to tell you this. When I first wrote “Never Say Goodbye”, I posted on Facebook that if people bought it and read it I will give them the money through PayPal. One person took me up on it so I paid him £2 and he never bought the book. I will remember you! Ha Ha Ha!
All I can say is I try to put the reader inside the book; make them feel part of the story, because the most important character is the one that’s reading it.