I’m going to start this interview a little differently. This is the blurb for Andy Graham’s new book. Enjoy!!!
You’re eighteen. Bored. Dad’s away a lot. Says its business, but you’ve seen the lipstick stains. Mum’s home. Too much. Keeping the world gin market afloat on her own. There’s Ariel, the family maid. She’s cool. The one piece of this messed up world that makes sense. And then there’s Raph.
Raph’s the leader of your gang of two. He gets off on doing those things to the animals you both catch: the slicing, crushing, and maiming. Buried a few alive, too. His relationship with that hammer of his is sick.
You run with Raph because, well, nothing else to do out here, right? Except if your folks found out what you’ve been up to, there’d be hell.
Then you find it. Whatever it is.
It can’t be what you think it is. Those things don’t exist. But it’s staring at you. Asking for help. Is it dying? Can these things die? You need to do something for it. Raph wants to do something to it.
Time to choose. Do you run with the human devil you know, or take a chance on this thing that fell from the heavens?
An Angel Fallen is a tale of divine retribution from British author Andy Graham. On a day when the world is struggling to stay sane, and is being ravaged by biblical plagues, what price will two teenagers pay for their past?
Please welcome Andy Graham to Roadie Notes…….
1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?
Mid-teens. It was a mash-up of LOTR and D&D, written in a red exercise book I’d nicked from school. I don’t know what happened to the original story (it may be gathering dust in a box at the back of my Mum’s loft), but some of those ideas resurfaced recently in some of my short stories, e.g. a spiral staircase that always turns left, whether you’re going up or down it. I then had a long break from writing when the teenage years (and hormones) kicked in. I wrote a lot of short stories when I was working as an EFL teacher, and even looked into publishing them, but didn’t start writing properly until a few years ago.
2. How many books have you written?
Three novels. One set of short stories. One novella.
The novels are my main work to date. The Lords of Misrule is a series of dystopian political thrillers set in an alternate world based on 21st Century EU/ US. They are dark, ambiguous, and the events are very, very possible. That is proving to be both their strength and weakness with readers. Some people like the ‘greyness’ and moral flexibility, others prefer their stories and characters more black and white.
My short stories and the novella explore the dark themes of human psyche in more detail than my longer works. Purely by nature of the stories being shorter, the nastiness is much more concentrated.
3. Anything you won’t write about?
Sparkly vampires with a heart of gold. It’s a crazy idea, it’ll never work. Apart from that, I haven’t found anything I won’t write about, yet. I think most subjects are fair game, it’s the way they are handled that’s important. G.R.R. Martin, for instance, tackles the theme of incest in ASOIAF, but doesn’t go into intimate detail (thankfully). I don’t want to deal with that particular topic, but if for some reason it came up in a story, would I go there? If it revulses me, would it revulse a reader? Is the ‘duty’ of a fiction author purely to entertain? If so, does provoking an emotional response count? I guess if it serves the plot, yes. If it’s there just to be cringe-worthy, then no.
4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…
I’m in my mid-forties (as a friend of mine pointed out – ‘over half-way’), married, and have two kids who are still at the wonderful age when they want to spend time with me, and I with them. My wife, fortunately, also still wants to spend time with me. I do various things outside writing: I play bass in a band, teach sports massage, and I am a qualified osteopath. It’s a little manic at times trying to keep up with all of these things, but I like the variety, and it gives me plenty of material to use in my stories.
5. What’s your favorite book you have written?
Ahhhhh. Pass… Not sure. The first proper novel I wrote (Franklin – The Lords of Misrule: Book 2) is probably my favourite story. I Died Yesterday (the titular short story from my compilation), is the one that haunts me most. An Angel Fallen (this novella) is the one I’m proudest of.
6. Who or what inspired you to write?
It’s always been something I wanted to do. Not entirely sure why. Maybe because I grew up in a house full of books, or because I was a shy kid, happier with words than people. As I mentioned before, it took me a long time before I actually started writing properly. Eventually, it was a case of just making time for something I’d really wanted to do. It’s something I’d encourage everyone to do – if you really want to do something, make time for it. Otherwise, it’s never going to happen.
7. What do you like to do for fun?
Make things up and write them down. Outside of that, I play my bass, run around with my kids, and go to the gym (though that’s more like therapy, to be honest).
8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?
Drink. Wine. Beer. Slivovice. Then start writing the next book.
9. Where do you write? Quiet or music?
I write wherever I can. That’s one of the beauties of the job – you just need a keyboard and imagination. I’m happiest in my front room, sitting in an armchair. I can’t write with music on, it gets in the way of my plot (and spelling).
10. Anything you would change about your writing?
Yes! I seem to have an allergy to punctuation. I’d love to be able to clean that up, it would help the editing process in particular. I tended to get carried away with some of my descriptions in my earlier books. That has improved, I’m much more concise now.
11. What is your dream? Famous writer?
Revenge: to watch my kids struggling with their own children as I struggled with them. Otherwise: Fame? No, not too concerned. Money? Yes, being financially secure would be great. (Anyone who says money’s not important is either lying or loaded.) Success as an author would be fantastic. But, without wanting to be too pretentious, my main dream is for my kids to grow up happy and healthy in a world which is not full of people being such f*****s to each other. But, then, if we did live in such a world, I wouldn’t feel as inspired to write dark fiction.
12. Where do you live?
At the moment in Prague, but we’re in the process of moving to a tiny village in the middle of nowhere. Mixed feelings about it, to be honest. Prague’s a great place, we have good friends, the kids are happy, but the opportunity to ‘go native’ out in the sticks and get ready for the apocalypse is too good to miss.
The kids have two budgies, initially called Bertik and Pirko. (The latter means ‘feather’ in Czech.) Through sheer bloody-minded persistence and repetition I’ve managed to get them renamed Bucket and Pivo. (The latter means ‘beer’ in Czech.)
14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?
Being judge, jury, and executioner. I get to control who lives and dies, who gets vengeance, and who gets what they got coming to them.
15. What is coming next for you?
I want to finish book four of my main series (The Lords of Misrule). I’m about a third of the way through the first draft. I’m finding it tough going at the moment because there’s so much else going on. I’d like that published by the end of the year. I also have a collection of short stories set in that world coming out in a few months’ time. Then, who knows? I have a few ideas knocking around to build on An Angel Fallen, also supernatural horrors, and similar in length. I have rough plans for a few supernatural thrillers, or I may dip my toes in Joe Abercrombie’s pond and go full, epic grimdark.
You can connect with Andy Graham here:
twitter – @andygraham2001
FB – andy graham author.
Some of Andy Graham’s books: