Interview with Anna Smith - September 2016
BCB - Kill Me Twice is the 7th book featuring Rosie Gilmour, who’s a great character – how would you describe her?
Anna: Rosie is a gritty journalist who stops at nothing to get her story. But she's also a little vulnerable, haunted by childhood memories and difficult times. Her editor, McGuire, describes her as a 'bleeding heart', and that's about accurate. But you wouldn't step on her toes!
BCB - Do you enjoy writing Rosie?
Anna: After 7 books, does she ever surprise you?I love writing the Rosie books. The stories can often be inspired by just sitting in a cafe, people watching. Then they take on a life of their own. Rosie has become very real to me, and yes, sometimes she does surprise me with some of the things she says and does. I know that's a little weird, given that I create it all, but that's how it is!
BCB - Rosie is an investigative reporter and you were a journalist before you turned to novels – do you use a lot of you experience when writing your books?
Anna: Much of what I write comes from my own experience as a journalist. Especially my descriptions of drug addicts and characters like that who I encountered many times and in many forms over the years. Also I use a lot of my travels in foreign trouble spots to make my stories come to life. I've had a few refugee characters in my books and I think that's because some of the people you meet in these sad circumstances stay in your mind.
BCB - Your books deal with quote serious themes – forced marriage, child abuse – do you think books are good ways of exploring these issues?
Anna: I think when you take subjects like child abuse and forced marriages and put a story behind them, then it is easy for people to relate to because the characters become very real. It's a good way to have people talking about these issues.
BCB - Your books are set in your hometown Glasgow. Why did you chose Glasgow? Why do you think that setting works so well?
Anna: Glasgow is such a natural city to set the kind of crime books I write. It's full of characters, stories and just a great city to describe. I feel very at home there. Although I'm from Lanarkshire, I grew up in newspapers in Glasgow.
BCB - Why do you think the crime genre is so popular?
Anna: I think crime throws up a lot of characters who are identifiable to readers. You have villains and you have victims, and people relate to both of these for different reasons. Crime produces great characters and the stories are always good to read the various twists and turns.
BCB - Do you read a lot of crime fiction? If yes, who are your favourite authors?
Anna: I read when I get time, and these past 18 months I've been really involved in writing. But I get to read when I have a holiday, and I read Jo Nesbo books and also Michael Connelly and Harlan Coben. I also like David Baldacci.
BCB - If you could write in another genre, what would it be?
Anna: Not really sure what other genre I would write. But perhaps something funny, to do with travelling. You meet a lot of odd and interesting people when you travel alone on trains, planes and buses as I do frequently going to and from to Ireland and Spain.
BCB - You split your time between Scotland, Ireland and Spain – do you have a favourite?
Anna: I love Spain and Ireland in equal measure. I feel very at home in both places because the people I know there are almost like family. Spain is just about as perfect as you get because of the weather and the food. And Ireland in all weathers is a real beauty, so I love to cosy up at the fire and write on a winter's afternoon there.
BCB - What’s one thing your readers don’t know about you?
Anna: I'm sure there's plenty of things readers don't know about me!