Recovering from a brutal attack where she was savagely raped, university student Sam Smith attempts to rebuild her life and overcome the ongoing effects of her ordeal. Her ultimate goal is to bring her assailant to justice, but before she can do so her life and loves take a series of intriguing turns as she continues her sometimes unconventional education.
Eventually she is able to identify her attacker and decides to exact retribution in her own particular style, but during her preparations Sam becomes aware that her every move is being tracked by a mysterious organisation. To avoid detection by the police and also her hidden watchers, Sam Smith attempts to commit the perfect crime. However in the aftermath of her vigilante action events change rapidly to bring about a most unexpected outcome.
Miss Smith Commits the Perfect Crime? is the first book in the Sam Smith Adventure Series and can be read as a standalone.
– When and where do you prefer to write?
I try to start writing at around 7.30 every morning in my lounge, sitting in my comfortable armchair using a small laptop. My wife likes to sleep in, and usually, I can get around two hours of writing done without interruptions.
– Do you have a certain ritual?
The ritual starts the night before. Just before I go to sleep, I go over in my mind what I have written that day, thinking about the characters and the plot. Invariably, I wake up the following morning with the next chapter buzzing in my head.
– Is there a drink or some food that keeps you company while you write?
I suppose it’s being British that drives me to the teapot for inspiration. When I get up each morning, I make a pot of (Yorkshire) tea and always have a big mug beside my armchair, sipping it slowly to make the creative juices flow.
– What is your favourite book?
It would have to be The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stig Larsson. He created such an intriguing plot with vivid characters that I couldn’t put the book down. When I finished, I immediately bought his two other books. His premature death is a sad loss to literature in my view.
– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
I would love to write humorous books. I am a great admirer of PG Wodehouse, and to create a daft series of novels as he did so successfully, would be quite an achievement. Sustaining humour throughout an entire book is an extremely hard task, and few even attempt it. So far, I have not been brave enough to try, but maybe one day?
I have to confess that my first draft of Miss Smith Commits the Perfect Crime didn’t work. I found the opening far too grim, dealing as it did with scenes of rape and murder, so I scrapped the first third of the book and started again, taking a leaf, figuratively, from the works of Wodehouse. Frequently, he starts his shenanigans with a prize pig, so I’m not ashamed to say I did the same.
– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
Absolutely. I have to be able to picture my characters before I can write about them. For my heroine Sam Smith, I settled on a beautiful young dancer I worked with when I was producing the British Fashion Awards. She was barely twenty, had a flawless complexion, naturally golden hair, a figure to die for and a naive sexual allure. The men on the crew couldn’t do enough for her. Even our gay choreographer was drooling all over the young woman. For her lover, Ari Levi, I pictured the unsavoury looking boyfriend of a model that I had worked with. They were such an unlikely looking pair that the crew dubbed them ‘Beauty and the Beast’: a name that found its way into the book.
– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
I only take a notebook around when I am on holiday. At home, I can usually remember the odd idea. I guess if something amazing struck me, I would dictate it onto my mobile phone. A notebook is always by the bed, and on the odd occasion, I have woken in the middle of the night to scribble down something critical.
– Which genre do you not like at all?
I’m not keen on the supernatural/mythological types of novels. I suppose I’m a sort of down to earth kind of person and the fantasy stuff doesn’t grip me at all. Strangely, I quite like well-written science fiction. Many people lump the two genres together; assuming, that if you like one, you’ll like the other. Certainly not true in my case.
– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
That’s a tough one. There are so many authors whose works I love and admire. But I guess it doesn’t have to be another author. I think I would settle on the journalist, Denis Sefton Delmer, Tom to his friends. During the nineteen-thirties and forties, he was the top reporter at the Daily Express. His personal exploits in getting the news ahead of his rivals made him one of the highest-paid journalists in Fleet Street. During the War, he ran the Black Broadcasting section of the Secret Service, coming up with all manner of innovative, often outrageous ideas to fool the enemy. I would imagine writing with him would be a roller-coaster ride. His vast knowledge of Europe, his amazing personal contacts and the skilful use of propaganda, would provide the basis and stimulation to create the most intriguing plots and characters. He was someone I would have most happily collaborated with to produce a book.
– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
I’d like to set a Sam Smith adventure in Norway. Its a place I have visited many times, but I suspect the real Norway is never found by tourists like myself. Somewhere up in the icy wastes must be places where great adventure stories could be set, hidden from the rest of the world. Norwegian hero, Jan Baalsruud, in his autobiography, tells a wonderful story of how he fought his way through snow and ice, hiking and skiing from Tromsø inside the arctic circle, to meet up with a group of Lapp reindeer herders on the high plateau where the animals range and continue by sledge to central Sweden. To relive some of these scenes and base part of the plot on the experiences would be quite something. Jan lost most of his toes to frostbite on his journey, something I definitely would avoid. I’m all for realism in my books, but that would be a step too far.
Thank you, Guy Caplin and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
Guy Caplin worked in television broadcasting for over 40 years and is one of the few people to have achieved success in both the technical and artistic branches of the medium. He has worked with many celebrities including, the Beatles, Ella Fitzgerald, Bob Hope and Maria Callas.
He moved to ITV’s Yorkshire Television in 1969 as a Producer and Director of Sport, Outside Broadcasts and special events. Among the many programmes he devised was the quiz programme “Winner Takes All” fronted by Jimmy Tarbuck and Geoffrey Wheeler, which under his tenure was regularly amongst the Top Ten TV programmes and twice reached the coveted Number One Spot.
When the final series of the hit American programme Dallas ran into technical problems in Hollywood in 1989, Guy left YTV and joined a UK broadcast engineering company to try to come up with a solution. The solution proposed resulted in the creation of the DEFT process, which although too late to be used on Dallas, was used initially on the Simpsons and subsequently on Friends, Frasier, Superman and many others America series. DEFT was awarded an Emmy for outstanding technical achievement.
Back in the UK Guy owned and ran a company creating video productions for both broadcast and industry, was a freelance trainer at the BBC and a visiting tutor at the National School of Film and Television
For the past thirteen years Guy has also been regular lecturer for P&O cruises and Cunard and has effectively travelled twice around the world.
Now, having closed his video company, he spends his time writing under the name of Guy Rolands and has now completed four novels in the Sam Smith Adventure series. Having worked all over the world and encountered hundreds of remarkable characters, his experiences provide colour and intrigue to his work.