Exclusive Interview with Roger Smith

    ‘What I’ve written is no love letter, I set out to write a bloody, amped-up page-turner, but I wanted it to be fuelled by the things that anger me about South Africa.’

     

     

     

    Sex, crime, politics and rituals, just some of the engaging topics featured in Roger Smith’s intriguing books. ‘Apartheid is over, but a violent crime epidemic, poverty and the highest incidence of HIV/ AIDS in the world present new challenges that are left largely unaddressed…teenage girls are sold into slave marriages in the name of tradition and some men believe that raping virgins (often children) will cure them of AIDS.’

     

     

     

    Roger Smith is the South African author of a host of gripping crime fiction inspired by events and experiences in his home country. ‘Since I was a kid I was crazy about crime fiction and always wanted to write it. But during the apartheid years in South Africa writing crime fiction seemed to be beside the point: there was a far greater crime to talk about.’

     

    After years of working in TV and film, taking the step into writing books was only natural, otherwise ‘I’d probably still be a frustrated screenwriter.’ Roger Smith told us. Lucky for Roger, he doesn’t have to worry about being a frustrated screenwriter anymore, he is the successful author whose action-packed titles include ‘Mixed Blood’ and ‘Dust Devils’.

     

     

     

    However natural the first step into the perfect career may have been, it was still daunting. Roger told us, ‘One day in 2007 I said to myself, “Okay, this is it, time to see if you can write that crime novel.” So I sat down and wrote Mixed Blood. I had very few expectations and no sense at all that I was doing something that would completely transform my life.’

     

     

     

    For the former screenwriter it’s never really been down to lady luck, Roger Smith has been able to push past the barriers that every creative person comes up against.

    ‘Your challenge is to find stories and characters that move, stimulate and excite you -material that you are passionate about. If you find yourself shocked, appalled, terrified and moved by what appears on the page, then your readers will be too.’ He told TheRightCopy.

     

     

     

    With his background in film and television Roger may have a slight advantage on some of us writers. ‘I’m writing novels full-time now, but having a screenwriting background helps with plot, structure, pace – and dialogue of course. It also encourages a certain leanness, stylistically.’

     

     

     

    Evident in ‘Dust Devils’, South Africa’s crime scene has fed into Roger’s captivating novels. ‘A few years back I read a crime report in a South African newspaper, and one of the accused was called “Disaster”. I couldn’t resist using it. Back in the 70s James McClure wrote a seminal crime series set in South Africa and he had a Zulu detective named Zondi, so this is a little homage to him.’

    If you haven’t read any of Roger’s work yet, then count yourself amongst the lucky yet to discover his spellbinding work and enter our competition to win a copy of ‘Dust Devils’, visit our facebook page or follow us on twitter for more details.

     

     

     

    Crime fiction fans, make sure you visit www.rogersmithbooks.com

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