Five on Friday with Graeme Cumming @GraemeCumming63

Graeme Cumming 23 F 10x8 V2.jpg

I’m delighted today to feature Graeme Cumming, who I had the pleasure of chatting to at the Theakston Crime Festival this summer. His book Ravens Gathering has been sat on my Kindle patiently waiting for far too long – I will remedy that Graeme.

Author Bio:-

Graeme Cumming lives in Robin Hood country, and has spent most of his life immersed in fiction – books, TV, movies – turning to writing his own during his early teens.

With his interests in story-telling sparked by an excessive amount of time sitting in front of a black and white television, his tastes are varied.  Influences ranged from the Irwin Allen shows (Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Lost in Space, etc.) to ITC series (The Saint, The Champions, Randall and Hopkirk (deceased) and so many more), so the common theme was action and adventure, but crossed into territories including horror, fantasy and science fiction as well as crime and espionage.

This diverse interest in fiction continued with his reading and his discovery of the magical world of cinema.  As a result, his stories don’t always fall into a specific genre, but will always maintain the style of a thriller.

When not writing, Graeme is an enthusiastic sailor (and, by default, swimmer), and enjoys off-road cycling and walking.  He is currently Education Director at Sheffield Speakers Club.  Oh yes, and he reads (a lot) and loves the cinema.

 

So over to Graeme

 

Which 5 pieces of music/songs would you include in the soundtrack to your life and why?

music-score-notes.jpg

 

Live and Let Die – Paul McCartney and Wings. Live and Let Die was my first Bond movie. I’d already started to fall in love with cinema, but the spectacle of that film took things to a new level. Sharks, snakes and crocodiles; a bus chase; hang-gliding (in 1973!); an airplane chase on the ground; and probably the best boat chase ever filmed. I was 10 years old and loved it – and still do now. This song will be played at my funeral.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqdqAAzjgDE

 

Excerpt from a Teenage Opera (Grocer Jack) – Keith West (no, I’ve no idea who he is, either). I have a strong memory of my granddad being on all fours and me riding on his back while he sang this to me. Can’t remember the circumstances, but whenever I hear it I’m reminded of that moment of closeness with him. He was a kind man with simple tastes and, together with my grandma, they formed the foundation of what I’ve found to be a very loving and nurturing extended family.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENblHOxi1c4

 

Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon – The Kinks. A fuller explanation of this appears in a series of blog posts, but it reminds me of a sailing experience. Sailing has become a major passion for me in the last few years. I’m primarily a dinghy sailor, and there is little more exhilarating than having a boat tilted on its edge while you hang out the other side to balance it as the wind fills your sails and you slice through the water. But sailing can also be very relaxing and I have a great memory of a group of us on a yacht singing this as we motored back to port after a terrific week on the water.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLs09J_x6-c

 

Tower of Song – Leonard Cohen. I have been a melancholy teenager riddled with angst as I’ve listened to Cohen’s music (music to hang yourself to, according to some sources), but I’ve also grown to love and appreciate his humour. Having had the privilege of seeing him perform live on two occasions (I will talk about it eventually in my “Gigging Years” blog posts), I’ve felt the warmth of his personality as well. Like so many of his songs, this one tells eternal truths, and, sadly, I can now relate to the imagery of those opening lines:

Well, my friends are gone, and my hair is grey,

And I ache in the places where I used to play…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiAuXRK3Ogk&list=RDoiAuXRK3Ogk

 

Leave This Town – Thin Lizzy. Live music has been an important part of my life, and that part would be incomplete without Thin Lizzy. They are still the most exciting band I’ve seen perform. There are so many songs of theirs I could choose to include here, but I’ve picked this one because it really captures their tone and style: pulp fiction set to music.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VH4c3Kts8Tw

 

Highlight 5 things (apart from family and friends) you’d find it hard to live without.

 

Turkish Delight, and I mean the proper stuff – rose and lemon covered in icing sugar. The stuff with chocolate on is okay, but nothing beats the real thing…

Books. Pretty obvious, I know, but I’ve been reading for pretty much as long as I can remember, and it’s very rarely I can sleep at night without having read a chapter or two. So I need them to avoid insomnia.

Cinema. I’ve already mentioned my passion for the movies. There’s no better way to watch a film than on the big screen – though I do yearn for the days when you could see old movies there rather than on TV, and for double bills (remember those?).

Sailing. There really are few things as exhilarating that you can do with your clothes on…

Can’t think what the fifth one is…

 

Can you offer 5 pieces of advice you’d give to your younger self?

 

Be more disciplined (and I’m not talking about visiting Miss Whiplash). It’s okay to have fun, but if you want to achieve anything in life, you need to focus on it to make it happen.

Buying a house when you’re 20 might seem like the sensible thing to do, but it’ll tie you down. Defer that need to acquire assets – they get in the way of you exploring what you really want to do in life. Besides, you’ll give away most of those assets when you split up with the mother of your children!

Treat your mum better. It’s easy to take parents for granted, especially when you know deep down that they’ll love you no matter what. And, remember, what goes around comes around.

Mean and moody is great if you’re Dirty Harry, but it’s not conducive to good personal relationships in real life.

Be grateful. You have a lot of good things in your life. Bad stuff is part of life, and there’s nothing you can do to avoid it (though celibacy might have helped), but focusing on the good things and being grateful for them means you’ll enjoy life more.

 

Tell us 5 things that most people don’t know about you.

 

I am sinister – in more ways than one.

I have twice walked across 12 feet of burning hot coals – and burnt myself the second time!

I’ve never been married, but I did once propose to someone on a submarine.

I read Live and Let Die when I was 10 – and didn’t understand why there wasn’t a boat chase in it.

I nearly died at birth, so I’ve had a charmed life regardless of how it turns out.

 

What are the first 5 things you’d have on your bucket list?

 

Go skiing. Never been, but always fancied trying it.

Find a zip wire with a gentle finish so I can take my partner on it. She’s never done one and for medical reasons there are potential risks with the jolt at the end, but she’d love to have a go and I’d love to share the experience with her.

Tour the country. Part of me wants to get a camper van and just set off and roam, stopping off when and where I feel like it. But I like my comforts, so I’d probably need to hop from one motel/B&B to another. Along the way, I’d meet up with old friends (and maybe some new ones).

Hire a cinema and get them to screen Live and Let Die – and ideally another movie so I get a double bill.

Live on the coast. Part of me wants it to be on a yacht – there’s the potentially nomadic lifestyle, plus that gentle rocking motion gives you the most refreshing night’s sleep. But I suspect the need for home comforts would win out and I’d plump for a house.

 

Great answers Graeme, bit worried about the sinister comment though, you seemed quite normal to me – though maybe slightly over obsessed with Live and Let Die.

 

o – 0 – o

Graeme’s Book

Ravens Gathering Cover

Martin Gates left the village fifteen years ago because he didn’t belong any more.  Now he’s back, and looking for answers.

A horrific accident leaves a farm worker fighting for his life, a brutal killing triggers a police investigation, and even the locals are starting to fall out among themselves.

While Martin makes his presence felt, it becomes clear that he isn’t the only visitor. As the ravens gather and darkness descends, it’s time for history to repeat itself.

“Engrossing, fascinating, terrifying!”  Amazon Review

“…a dark and creepy piece of horror and mystery writing.”  Goodreads Review

 

Ravens Gathering Cover

Ravens Gathering – Amazon Blurb

 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.

 

Where to buy:

www.amazon.co.uk/Ravens-Gathering-Graeme-Cumming-ebook/dp/B00AGIDQA2/

www.amazon.com/Ravens-Gathering-Graeme-Cumming-ebook/dp/B00AGIDQA2/

www.troubador.co.uk/book_info.asp?bookid=4280

For an autographed copy:

www.graemecumming.co.uk/contact/

 

Link up with Graeme via

His website

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

 

 

 

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33 thoughts on “Five on Friday with Graeme Cumming @GraemeCumming63

  1. Rather belatedly, Jill, I’ve checked Twitter and found a whole host of shares relating to this post. Many thanks for giving me the opportunity to reflect a little on the things that are important to me. And, what can I say? There’s a movie I have very happy memories of. As for the sinister, if you’re not sure, look up the word’s origins – though it might just be what I write about…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post Jill and I’m detecting a covert fantasy for Graeme as 007 himself. Sailing, skiing and zip lines have all the hallmarks of a secret agent IMO.

    Love the post and new things about Graeme too. Always nice to get to know authors better…. Although I had the pleasure of doing a spotlight for him this year (I can still say that today!) too.

    Nice answers too Graeme!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Jill, thank you! Mr. Cumming sounds so interesting. I also like the same music, but his other interests are a bit out of my league; however, his book sounds amazing.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Actually I have never heard of Grocer Jack, but I adore the Kinks and Wings and I’ve wanted to sail, but that and an ocean liner are the only two I haven’t tried.

    Liked by 1 person

    • GJ is a bit obscure, to be fair, and it’s not even that great a song, but it evokes such strong memories for me that it’ll always be with me.
      Can recommend the ocean liner experience, but prefer being in a smaller boat – though whether I want to be in the middle of an ocean in it is a different matter. I’m not sure if B&N have Ravens Gathering in stock, so it might be worth following Jill’s advice – though I’m going to have to look into that one myself. If you have difficulty getting it, let me know via my website.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I will check Barnes and Noble right now, and also the Book Depository. I hope one has it. I think an ocean liner would be claustrophobic for me, but I have always wanted to sail since watching Jean Cousteau; however, I been on speed boats, canoes, cabin cruisers ( on lakes and in the ocean), and there is something so very exhilarating about the experience. Music has always been one of my loves: I was raised on classical and opera, but I adore rock, folk and Celtic folk, and music has always serves a my special muse.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Interesting to see you like Celtic Folk Skye, so do I. I have Scottish roots on my Dad’s side (and a recently discovered Irish link as well). I’m also married to an Irish man – we both met at University in Scotland and lived in Glasgow for a while – so I can’t escape the Celtic connection.

        Like

  5. Pingback: Blog Posts I’ve Enjoyed This Week – Secret Library Blog

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