I connected with author, Granville Brown on Twitter (Follow him @writingonmyrock)
I admit, I picked up The Dealer's Daughter with trepidation. I don't normally read thrillers because I don't like graphic content. It sticks in my brain, makes me cringe, and freaks me out forever. I hoped for the best because Granville is a delightful person. I was so relieved that The Dealer's Daughter is an exciting international journey through abduction, car chases, a high powered drug ring, and ill-fated love. Sounds intense, right? But it's also fun and humorous in just the right balance. This is a quick read that's perfect for a relaxing summer day. If you're a fairly squeamish reader, like me, and even if you're not, this would be a good bet for an enjoyable thriller. It's on Kindle Unlimited, or regularly $2.99. Definitely worth checking out.
If you want a taste for the kind of adventure that awaits you in this book, you'll enjoy this interview. Granville's own life is pretty thrilling itself! Color me impressed.
SJ: What made you decide that you’d like to be a writer?
GB: I’m not sure I ever did decide to be a writer. I’d been reading a lot of thrillers, some good,
some not so. One day, I was about three hours into a six hour train journey and I’d just finished
the book I was reading. It was an okay kind of story that I’d managed to finish (rather than stop
after three chapters) and I just thought to myself, “I wonder if I could write something better than
that?” So I took out my laptop, opened a Word document and just started writing down the first
thing that came into my head. Six years, some headaches, heartaches, a huge amount of editing
and a mass of determination later, I have a finished novel. I still don’t refer to myself as a writer
though, I think I’m more of a storyteller.
SJ: What came to you first for The Dealer’s Daughter? Title? Characters? Scenes?
GB: I had a very basic idea in my head that the first scene would be set in a transport office. I’ve
worked in road transport for most of my life, so setting the opening chapter in an environment I
knew so well, felt right. That quickly changed after my read through of the first draft. Having the
story open with someone standing by a photocopier, drinking a cup of tea, was never going to
hook anyone in to the story.
The original title (working title) was Come With Me but this later became the title for chapter
two, after deciding upon The Dealer’s Daughter for the main title.
I wanted the characters to feel like real people but they also needed to mean something to me on
a personal level. The name, Clive Burton took me about ten minutes to figure out. I used to live
in a beautiful village in Dorset that had Burton in its name. With his surname sorted out, I
wanted a first name with just one syllable, to make his name easy to say and a bit punchy. I went
through all the names of people I had ever met. I’ve known three Clives in my life and I like all
of them. That was it. Clive Burton was born.
SJ: Clive and Sabine get to travel around England and France in this book. Which countries have you traveled to? Where else would you like to visit?
GB: I’m an Englishman who lives in Scotland and I’ve traveled the UK extensively, both for
work and pleasure. I own a small house in France and again, I’ve explored this beautiful country,
significantly. I’ve also visited all of the western European countries and Scandinavia.
In 2016, I was part of a BBC television program, filmed in Cape Town, South Africa. This was
the experience of a lifetime. I met several celebrities while there, ate some of the most wonderful
food in the world, and took in the breathtaking scenery. It is a country of great beauty, but has a
troubled past. While there, I visited Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.
Even now, when the prison is a tourist attraction, it is a harrowing experience to be there. I don’t
think I would go back.
In 2003, I had been running my own vehicle transport business for a couple of years. I was
approached for the role of European coordinator for South Korea’s largest ever car event, The
Hollywood Motor Show, held at the CoEx exhibition Centre in Seoul. I located and shipped
several famous cars for the show, including; Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Back to the Future
Delorean, a couple of James Bond cars and the Shaguar from Austin Powers. To mention but a
few. I spent five days in Seoul, helping to put the show together and exploring the city. It is the
friendliest city I have ever been to.
I have family living in Brazil and fly over to see them whenever I can.
I would love to visit Canada and the North American states on its border. Australia and New
Zealand are also on my bucket list.
SJ: I don’t usually read thrillers because I don’t like graphic violence, but I was pleased that your book is suspenseful and exciting without being graphic. Was that a conscious decision or just how the book came out as you wrote it?
GB: I don’t see the point of writing graphic violence in to a story, unless it’s needed for the plot.
There is a part in the story where one of the French henchmen crashes a car. It was important to
say what happened to the people involved and their condition after the collision. I didn’t need to
go into the details of which body parts weren’t in the correct position.
SJ: Who are some of the authors you most admire?
GB: I’ve read all of the Ian Fleming novels, some more than once. Dick Francis is another
favorite. He’s such a great storyteller. Harlan Coben has some great books, and if you want your
brain to do gymnastics inside your head, read The End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas. It’s really
weird, very well written, and has a moral undertone that sits really well with some of the immoral
Growing up, I read a lot of Enid Blyton. Famous Five and Secret Seven were my favorites. As a
teenager I became fascinated with Douglas Adams and The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
series. I love his writing and still dip into his books from time to time.
Right now, I’m reading The Cherries by DB Carter. It’s good so far and I’ll be leaving a review
on Amazon when I’ve finished it. The next book I intend to read is, Dream Girl by S.J. Lomas.
I’ve heard good things about this book and am looking forward to reading it. [Interviewer note: I am so flattered! Thank you so much, Granville!]
SJ: There are several different kinds of cars mentioned in the book. Are you a car guy? What is your dream car?
GB: I am a car guy. For many years, I was part of the UK Hot Rod and custom car scene. I’ve
owned several, one off, hand built cars, usually with big V8 engines and crazy paint work. I had
the role of Legislation Officer for Europe’s largest Hot Rod club and I ran a small transport
company that started up by transporting cars to shows. That’s how I got involved with the
Hollywood Motor Show. These days, I’m a little more sedate in my choice of vehicle, but I’m a
massive Alfa Romeo fan and hope to own my fourth Alfa Spider, sometime soon.
My dream car would be a 1967 Alfa Romeo Duetto in red.
SJ: I’m the kind of undisciplined author who only writes when I’m in the right mood. What is
your process like?
GB: Sometimes the words just fall out of my head and I can’t write them quick enough. This
makes editing a nightmare because it’s usually just a jumbled few paragraphs that make no
sense. Then there are the days when it’s nice and gentle, and I feel at ease with my storytelling. I
can produce some good quality writing at these times and have been known to write five
thousand words in one day. I slept well that night! Then there are days with no thoughts, no
inspiration, no desire or even ability to write, so I don’t. These quiet times can last from a day, to
SJ: Are you currently writing anything? If so, is there anything you can tell us about it?
GB: I am eight chapters in to the sequel of The Dealer’s Daughter. It’s going well and I really
love the opening chapter. No spoilers, but it is faster paced than the first, which was quite fast in
itself. Many of the characters from the first are in the sequel, but there will be some new ones to
open new story lines.
I’m also writing a short film script, which I hope to finish this month and film later this year. It’s
based in an Arts Centre café and will only be between five and eight minutes long, but it’s my
first trip into script writing and filming, so I’m excited to see what I can achieve.
I’m reading a lot right now, which can only make my writing better. I’m also learning a play,
only for understudy purposes, but I might have to do some acting.
SJ: Writers can’t spend all their time writing. What do you like to do to unwind and recharge?
GB: My wife says I am very hard to keep up with. That I do everything at a hundred miles an hour, and she’s quite right. I’m renovating two cottages at the moment, one in France and one in Scotland. I run a minimum of five kilometers, three time a week. I’m a member of the local archery club and can shoot over four hundred at a standard, Portsmouth competition and I’m learning to be an instructor.
SJ: If Clive and Sabine knocked on your door and said they needed your help, would you go with them?
GB: Well, I don’t want to give any of the story away, but if they had knocked on my door in the
first four chapters of the book and asked if I wanted to help, of course I would have gone. Who
wouldn’t want to go on an adventure with those two? You’d get to visit beautiful places, drive
amazing cars and challenge bad guys and girls. Mind you, I might ask for a room that isn’t
adjacent to theirs in the hotel.
SJ: I write while listening to music. I also tend to choose theme songs for my main characters
and the story as a whole. What would you choose as a theme song for Clive? Sabine? The
GB: Clive’s theme song has to be, My Type by Saint Motel. It’s upbeat, likable and feels good.
If you take the lyrics at face value and ignore any double meaning, it’s Clive’s song.
Sabine’s song is, Derniere Dance by Indila. The lyrics work, especially when you haven’t read
the book yet, and the song even sounds a little bit like her.
The song for the book is a little more difficult and I think there is more than one. The first would
be, The Wake up by Will McNicol. It captures the more sedate parts of the story, particularly
well. The second is Blind Faith by Chase and Status. It just works so well. Two completely
different songs but between them, they sum up the book really well.
SJ: This is a self-indulgent question. I know you live in Scotland. Can you share with us a little
description of what your location is like?
GB: I live on a remote island, in the north west of Scotland. There are some beautiful beaches of
white and golden sand. Rolling hills of lush, green grass and meadow. Tall mountains, deep
lochs (lakes) and rugged cliffs. Now doesn’t that sound like perfection? When the wind blows, it
really blows. One hundred miles per hour winds are not unheard of here and the average
windspeed is about twenty five. It rains a lot and we get hail the size of golf balls. During the
winter, the ferries and aeroplanes are often canceled due to the extreme weather. It is a wild,
beautiful and unusual place to live and I love it.