How did you become a writer?
I was writing when I was a child and teenager, and then worked as a daily newspaper journalist covering stories and investigations all over the world. I gave up the day job to write full time.
Name your writing influences (writers, books, teachers, etc.).
As a teenager I loved J D Salinger (Catcher In The Rye), and the poignant voice of the young character. Later, I would read everything from thrillers to romances, from Irwin Shaw to Harold Robbins to Michael Connolly. One of the great Scottish crime writers who influenced me was William McIlvanney who created the cop character Laidlaw, and that has spawned a raft of police procedurals from authors across Scotland and beyond.
When and where do you write?
I write mostly in Ireland where I have a house on the West coast, or I go to Spain to the Costa del Sol, mostly locking myself away to write. I do write sometimes here in Scotland, but I find it easier to work if I’m away from people.
What are you working on now?
At the moment I’m working on the third novel of a gangland crime series, set in Glasgow, London and the Costa del Sol, featuring a strong female protagonist who is the reluctant head of a gangland family.
Have you ever suffered from writer’s block?
I never suffer from writer’s block, because I believe if you just sit and write something, then before you know it a character will speak to you.
What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
I’m not sure I’ve been given a lot of advice on writing. I write from instinct, maybe even from need.
What’s your advice to new writers?
If you are a new writer, then the message is to keep going, keep writing, never stop believing. And even if you get knocked back from a few publishers or agents, go back to your characters and move the story on.
Anna Smith is an award-winning journalist who spent a lifetime in daily newspapers, reporting from the frontline all over the world. Her first series of thrillers featured a gritty Glasgow journalist Rosie Gilmour, and Anna used her vast experience as a journalist to create the popular character. Her growing army of readers are now enjoying Anna’s gangland crime thrillers, and the first novel Blood Feud introduces Kerry Casey, who becomes head of a Glasgow crime clan with contacts all over the UK. The sequel, Fight Back, is in Amazon Kindle’s top five for the past month. It’s published in paperback on May 2.