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Sunday, 14 February 2016

Q&A session with the creator of Granny Smith

This MARCH a all new Granny Smith adventure will be hitting the digital bookshelves, and in order to celebrate the release of the eagerly awaited fourth book in the Granny Smith series, the first three titles have been reduced to 0.99c on Amazon for the Kindle versions. This offer will continue until 30th March so why not catch up on Granny Smith now. Get yourself in the loop before the publication of, Granny Smith: Murder Plot.

Born in 1965, Gary M. Dobbs (Gary Martin Dobbs) is a British writer and actor. As a writer using the pen name Jack Martin[1] he is responsible for a string of popular westerns for Robert Hale's Black Horse Western imprint. These include 'Arkansas Smith', 'The Ballad of Delta Rose', and 'The Afterlife of Slim McCord'.
As Gary M. Dobbs he has written the popular series of mysteries featuring the character of Granny Smith - described as Miss Marple on steroids. As an actor Dobbs has appeared (often unaccredited) in many British TV shows, as well as in the films The Reverend[2] and Risen.[3] In 2014 Gary wrote the non-fiction historical book, Cardiff and the Valleys in the Great War, published in 2015 by Pen and Sword Books.

Q- So what next for Granny Smith?

A-    Well, of course we have just seen Gerald’s wedding,which changes the Granniverse somewhat.  The next full-length novel will be called Murder Plot and concerns murder and intrigue at the allotments society. It's very nearly ready to go and will see publication at the end of March.

Q-Where did the idea for Granny Smith come from?

A- The back of my brain, likely. I’ve a fondness for classic crime fiction and also the old Ealing comedy movies. I think that the Ealing movies and Agatha Christie, particularly her Miss Marple series are the two biggest influences on the Granny Smith series, but there are other influences that all meld together to form the unique universe of the novels, the Granniverse of you like. I love Tom Sharpe for instance and although my writing maybe more PG Tips than PG Wodehouse I do hope there’s a lot of good humour in the books. M C Beaton’s The Agatha Raisin series are also a major influence. I’m aiming for the sky with Granny Smith, but if I only reach the shithouse roof then at least I tried.

Q – The books usually concern a murder and the subsequent investigation. Does humour have a place amongst such dark themes?

A- The novels would fall loosely into the cozy crime category, so yes there is a murder but this takes place off page and there is very little gore or graphic detail. And of course the characters are all so much larger than life. We know we’re not dealing with a real world murder and all the ramifications resulting from such.  It’s all fantasy as
is our detective the very wonderful Granny Smith. Miss Marple on steroids, indeed. In one of the reviews someone called her, Batman with dentures...I think I like that.

Q- Which character from the Granny Smith books would you most compare yourself to?

A-    Gerald, obviously! But no I think there’s a bit of myself in all the characters. I love the way Granny sees political correctness for what it truly is and I hope I share this trait. Also Gerald’s flamboyance, Arthur’s lust for solitude and Twice’s self importance are swirling around in my DNA.

Q- Granny aged ten years from the original draft of the first novel. Why was this?

A-    It’s true when I first wrote Granny Smith she was in her early Sixties, but I always wanted her to be older. I always thought her early Seventies was the correct age for the character but I was worried that it would be too much of a stretch to imagine all the things she does and so I created her as an extremely fit woman in her Sixties – which is not old by modern standards. Of course I soon realised that this was a mistake and that she had to be an older woman – and so I republished the first novel and aged her. That’s the beauty of electronic publishing in that it is so easy to go back and revise a book that’s already been published. I guess I’ll age Granny into her Eighties over maybe ten books.

Q- So you see the series going on for at least ten books?

A-    And more. Granny’s a fun character to play with and I love the way the world looks through her eyes. I’ve become a fan of series characters in cozy crime and especially enjoy the works of Simon Brett, M. C. Beaton and Lesley Cookman and if these guys can continue to come up with ideas for their characters then I’m sure I can for mine.

Q- You have had some success writing westerns as Jack Martin so isn’t cozy crime a big switch?

A-    Not really. My westerns contain a lot of humour. And I see no reason why a writer is expected to stick to one genre. That doesn’t happen in other fields where creators are free to switch genres whenever the fancy or need takes them. Stephen Spielberg doesn’t only make one kind of movie and The Beatles switched genres from track to track. I write the story that takes over my imagination at any given time and the genre is a secondary issue.

Q- So would you write Erotica?

A-    Good God, no. I find it difficult to type one-handed.

Q- Where can people find out more about your writing?

A-    That’s a convenient question – thank you. Well you can follow me on Twitter @garymartindobbs and I keep a Facebook page under the name Gary Martin Dobbs and then there’s my very active blog, The Tainted Archive which you can find at . Oh and Granny has her own Facebook page:

Q- Finally where you get your ideas?

A-    Well I do a lot of people watching – well one woman really but the police have told me I’ve got to stop. Where do ideas come from? Anywhere and everywhere – from other books, movies, events in newspapers.

Q- Tell the truth: you made these questions up yourself didn’t you?



"The story then follows Granny Alice Mary Smith into various stages of the mystery in a humorous but intense way. The book is beautifully written and is a pleasure to read. The Miss Marple references are not only in our mind but the author has made them too, calling Granny Smith as “Miss Marple on steroids”

It is a cozy and wonderful murder mystery, the likes of which, I have not read for a long time. Agatha Christie story lovers must catch this book. It brings back many memories of age old murder mystery classics.
" Goodreads five star review for Granny Smith Investigates


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