#TenThings about Graeme Cumming #author of Ravens Gathering @graemecumming63 #lovebooksgrouptours

#TenThings

I met Graeme Cumming at a recent bookish gathering in York so it is a pleasure to welcome him today as part of the blogtour for his novel Ravens Gathering. He is sharing TenThings he would like his readers to know about him.

Graeme Cumming

  1. For some reason, as a child, the idea of living on my own in the middle of nowhere really appealed. Where the idea of being a hermit came from, I don’t remember but, as I’ve got older and found partners, children, clients and colleagues all demanding my time, the idea of cutting myself off from the rest of the world has become increasingly attractive… And I might get more writing done.
  1. I don’t jump out of airplanes, or throw myself off bridges with bits of elastic attached to me. But I try not to live life the way society expects me to. That doesn’t mean I’m a beatnik, or I’ve found my hermit’s cave. But, when my main financial responsibilities were gone (AKA my children), I decided to sell my business and take the risk that I might earn money from my writing before the sale proceeds ran out. I’ve got another four years and the clock is ticking…
  1. One reason I take risks is because I nearly died at birth. I’m lucky to be here, so I need to make the most of it (though I’m still not jumping out of an airplane). A side-effect of my difficult birth is that I am deaf in one ear. There may be occasions when we meet, so bear in mind that, if I ask you to repeat yourself, it’s because I’m interested in what you have to say.
  1. If we want to achieve anything significant in life, we need to be able to communicate effectively. That not only means writing clearly, but having the ability to put something across orally too. For that reason, public speaking is an important skill, but it’s still a big fear for most people. I’m currently Education Director at a Speakers Club, where it’s possible to practice in a supportive environment, and I’d recommend it to anyone.
  1. I used to love reading to my children when they were younger, but I also made stories up for them. A few years ago, in a rare fit of pride in something I’d just written, I read my teenage son a section of a story I was writing. Half way through, he suddenly said: “Isn’t that the story you used to tell us when we were little?” I didn’t think he’d have remembered it. It’s surprising what sticks in their minds.
  1. That story is called Carrion. It will be somewhat darker than the story I told the children, but they can judge it for themselves when it’s released next year.
  1. Like most authors, I’ve always read a lot but, when it came to sparking my imagination, the biggest influence on me as a child was watching TV. Our television was little more than 20 inches, black and white and had a a dial to change channels. Yet it provided me with some of my most magical memories, from Gerry Anderson shows like Thunderbirds, to Irwin Allen shows like Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and ITC series like The Champions. There was action and adventure, but horror, fantasy and science fiction too. As a result, when I write, I find it hard to settle into a particular genre.
  1. I do find influences from the past affect me more than current trends. So I love listening to music from the ’70s and ‘80s and I’m just as keen to watch old TV shows and movies from that time. Admittedly, some are lacking in a few things, but there were some very creative writers, and producers prepared to take risks on new concepts instead of rehashing old ideas. I’ve written about some of these in my Gogglebox and Gigging Years blog posts in the nostalgia section: https://www.graemecumming.co.uk/blog/

  

  1. I like a story to keep the reader on edge and surprise them. To do that effectively, you need to plot, otherwise the “surprise twist” might seem a little convoluted. Before I wrote Ravens Gathering, I spent a week writing out the story in chronological order, then took the elements of it to create a chapter plan revealing what was needed at the best time for the biggest impact. From the responses so far, I think that worked.
  1. The six degrees of separation theory states that everyone is no more than six steps away from knowing any other person. The people who are significant in our lives may only be bit-players in other people’s. So we all might have a tenuous connection to a hero, a villain, a romantic, a womaniser, a bent cop, a cancer sufferer or a time-traveller. For that reason, the stories we hear can touch all the genres and still affect us. My stories will cross genres, but they’ll also connect characters. It’ll be interesting to see how the connections pan out.

 

My thanks to Kelly at LoveBooksGroupTours for inviting me to take part. Ravens Gathering is available now as an ebook and in paperback. You can order a copy online here: Ravens Gathering

 

About the book

Ravens Gathering by [Cumming, Graeme]

As she let her gaze drift around her, she saw that there were more birds. Perhaps a dozen or so, perched among the trees that stood on the edge of the clearing. And yet more were arriving, swooping down through the gap overhead and landing on branches that overlooked them. The birds weren’t threatening, yet the sight of them all coming together in this dark and isolated spot was unnerving. Tanya reached a hand out towards Martin, and was relieved to feel him take it. She felt him move in behind her. After the uncertainty she’d experienced with him in a similar position only a few moments ago, she recognised the irony of her reaction. His closeness offered security. 
“You know what they are, don’t you?” 

A stranger’s arrival in a small village coincides with a tragic accident. For the Gates family in particular it’s more than a coincidence, but unease increases following a brutal attack. As tensions rise, a dark past returns to haunt them and others, while newcomers to the village are drawn into a mystery with terrifying consequences. 

And only a select few know why the ravens are gathering.

Don’t miss the rest of the blogtour stops

ravens-gathering

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2 thoughts on “#TenThings about Graeme Cumming #author of Ravens Gathering @graemecumming63 #lovebooksgrouptours

  1. Graeme Cumming 17/09/2018 / 12:09 pm

    Thanks for this, Joanne. We met only briefly, but now you and your readers know more about me than my children do – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing!

    As an extra bonus (and this wasn’t planned), Amazon seem to have discounted the price on my paperback with them. They’re claiming there’s only one in stock, so it might be to clear it out, but it’s a bargain while it’s available.

    Liked by 1 person

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