Interview with S.D. Gripton

Published 2013-08-21.
Who am I?
I write under the pseudonym S.D. Gripton, but my real name is Dennis Snape and all my books are copyright with my wonderful wife Sally Dillon-Snape. I write crime novels, real crime novels, war novels and humorous novels. I am Welsh, Sally is English and we live in the county of Norfolk in England. I am so old that I was around at the beginning of rock and roll, I am one of the war babies who broke out of the strictures of 1950's living and decided to have fun. Ergo, the 1960's, the greatest time ever for music and life.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in North Wales, on a mountain, there are many of them in Wales, and because my father was killed during the Second World War and my mother needed to go to work, I was sent to main stream school at the age of 2. There were advantages and disadvantages to this; serious advantages were that I cannot remember a time when I couldn't read or write (by the time the normal school starters began at 5, I could earn a penny for writing 10 lines for them!). I could also speak the Welsh language in those days, but sadly no longer (when I use the language in my books, as I have done, I have to rely upon a translator programme, how sad is that?!). I grew up reading and have read literally thousands of books in my life and all of them, I think, have had some kind of affect on my life. Once I became older though, I got to love crime novels, especially the American crime novels of Elmore Leonard (who sadly died only yesterday) and Henry V. Higgins all the way back to Sam Spade novels and Marlow. I have read them voraciously and hope that one day I can write one half as good. A serious disadvantage of beginning school at 2 was that every afternoon I became tired and teachers used to let me sleep. It is a habit I have never been able to shake off!! And I have never been out of work.
When did you first start writing?
I began writing about ten years ago when I worked on the railways in England in signal boxes, many of which were in the middle of fields or in very isolated areas. I bought a typewriter and began to try to write a book. I wrote millions of words before I managed to put one successfully together and I think of this period as my apprenticeship, passing may happy hours while getting paid!! Now I am really serious about my novels, the feedback of which seems to be quite encouraging. I love communicating with readers of them, which is why I have a feedback email address inside every novel. I have even dedicated one of my novel's to two ladies who discovered errors!!
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book is Number Five in a series of Dave Lewis/Mariska Masekova crime novels. The previous ones are DARK TIMES, which is free on Smashwords, RED DIE, DARKE REVENGE and BUTTERFIELD'S HATE. Each book is a stand-alone novel, but there are strands from each book that lead to the other. At the beginning I wrote DARK TIMES as a single novel, but downloads went really well, so I wrote RED DIE to follow it, and demand has kept me at it ever since. In the beginning, Dave is a cop and Mariska is his housekeeper, but by the time of RED DIE, he is a Senior Investigator for a Private Detective Agency owned by her. He has to lend her the money to set it up of course, and she works from the basement of his home. Once again, as the stories grow, so does the number of people who live in his house, it is now up to six, and two of the are the Twins, Analaise and Victoria Harcourt, who have a mysterious past, though they are only in their twenties. Some rogue Government agents have threatened to murder them and that is why the new novel is called TWIN STRIKE. I should be available in a couple of months, maybe sooner. I love Dave and Mariska!!!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Over the past ten or so years I wanted people to read my books, I don't ever expect to make millions from them, or even thousands, I just felt that they deserved to be read. Like most authors who have gone down the conventional corridors of publishing, I have sent many manuscripts off to agents and publishers, and have been mostly ignored or belittled. I cannot tell you the number of rejections slips I have stored away. I wanted my books to be read, I felt they deserved to be, so when Smashwords popped into my life, I embraced it with every corpuscle of my being!!! And I have never regretted it.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Last year, 2012, was my first full year on the site, and I had about 15,000 downloads and this year is going even better. I have already received approaches from publishers but I am not yet ready to trust them (and it has nothing to do with money, honestly, I only write full novels and only charge $1.99 for them so I am not trying desperately to be richer than I am!!). As my wife reminds me on the rare occasion I get down and feel that I am not selling as many as I could, she says, how many of your books did people read before Smashwords?? And she is right, of course. Without the site, they would still be greying in the trunk where I kept my manuscripts. On thing I should point out. Of the 13 books on the site, only two of them were pre-written, the other 11 have all been written in the last 18 months or so
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
the whole experience encompasses me. When my characters are in danger, I am in danger, when they are in love, my heart swells. I live every moment of all of my books and Sally thinks I am really strange (sometimes); when I kill someone off, especially a good someone, I have been known to cry, when the good guys win, I feel a great pride in them. The process is a real joy to me, the whole thing; I sit in my little room, occasionally stepping out to ask a question about the plot that Sally may be able to answer, or when I am searching for a word that has temporarily disappeared from my brain. I love it, and she loves it too, because it means I keep out of her way!!!
What do your fans mean to you?
Fans are my everything, I live to receive email from them, the email address is in every book, and one or two of them have befriended me on Facebook. It is awesome to think people from the other side of the world are reading my books, people from all over the world. It takes my breath away when I think of it. All I can say to them is, please enjoy the novels, don'[t be afraid to criticize, I will not be offended and really, have a good time with them. And thanks for reading them.
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Latest books by This Author

Right Life Left Life
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 57,140. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: October 7, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay
It is 1962 and men are dead in the street, victims of 'queer-bashing', gangs roaming the streets searching for homosexuals to beat and sometimes to kill. Robert Tennell, a hidden homosexual police officer, investigates the murders during a time when he is falling apart, when he is almost broken by what he sees and hears and by his desire to openly live the Right Life and not the Left Life.
Hard North
Series: A-Z Andy North Crime Adventures. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 50,110. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: October 2, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Police Procedural
A group of female vigilantes calling themselves The Enigmas arrive in the City with vengeance on their minds. They are going to stab unprosecuted domestic abusers and they are going to do it in Andy North's name; he is their hero, the man who is not afraid to deliver justice. The 8th in the series of Andy North Crime Novels
Memories Of A Monster
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 74,330. Language: English. Published: August 7, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
(5.00 from 1 review)
Thomas Ellis has been killing young girlf for over fifty years. He has never been captured, not even questioned. A new Cold Case Unit is looking into some of his early killings. The Unit, headed by Rosie Butler, who is depressed at being shunted out of the capital and her job with the National Crime Squad, is only three strong. Can they ever apprehend Thomas Ellis, who is a most evil man?
The Hero Of Terroy - The Life And Times Of U.S. Marshal Arthfael Evans
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 102,320. Language: English. Published: March 20, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Western, Fiction » Historical » Western & American frontier
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
One Town. One Man To Stand In Its Defense. One Woman To Stand Wth Him. The Story of Arthfael Evans U.S.. Marshal
Grim North
Series: A-Z Andy North Crime Adventures. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 51,080. Language: English. Published: October 18, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Police Procedural
Juliana Andrews is dead from a drug overdose; she was sixteen. Colin Wilson has killed three people; he was an ex-Army sniper; Andy North has a daughter and he is without a wife who is now a mother and he is without sleep. As he attempts to discover why Juliana died, he comes across horrific facts; as he learns that Colin Wilson killed because of a misplaced word. Life is grim for Andy North
Fatal North
Series: A-Z Andy North Crime Adventures. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 50,960. Language: British English. Published: April 5, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
Claire MacIntosh disappears; her mother searches for her; she asks Andy North to look for her and as usual, Andy does with the help of Ellie Tonbridge, his promiscuous Detective Sergeant. What they discover horrifies them as they discover the sleazy practice of sex for rent where students from the university agree to sleep with their landlords and landladies. As hard-hitting as is expected
Edgy North
Series: A-Z Andy North Crime Adventures. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 51,220. Language: British English. Published: August 21, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
Five kids dead in an overturned van in deep snow. Who are they, where were they going, who was waiting for them and who double-locked the skimpily dressed teenagers in the back of the van. Detective Inspector Andy North and Detective Sergeant Ellie Tonbridge are on a case that takes them from the Norfolk seaside to the city of Manchester. Andy, rude and obsessed, wants answers.
Deadly North
Series: A-Z Andy North Crime Adventures. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 51,070. Language: English. Published: February 17, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
Women disappear. Nobody cares. A pimp sells young bodies to old men. Nobody cares. A conman priest steals from old people. Nobody cares. Then Andy North becomes involved and things change. He cares. He cares a lot. At risk of his own life, he sets out to prosecute pimps, bring down a conman and discover what the hell happened to the disappeared women nobody cared about. Andy is back
Cold North
Series: A-Z Andy North Crime Adventures. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 50,390. Language: English. Published: October 29, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Three people dead; one teenage girl who links them all. Andy North and Ellie Tonbridge must fit the pieces together; they must discover the whereabouts of another teenager, who the drugs belong to and they must bring down Taylor Sanchez, the cruel abuser and groomer of young girls. The third novel in the Andy North series.
Broken North
Series: A-Z Andy North Crime Adventures. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 50,400. Language: English. Published: September 13, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
A young girl is groomed; a cop is shot; Andy North returns to work. Just in time to work on both investigations as a demoted Detective Constable, returning to work following the abduction and torture of his wife, Zoe, two years earlier, his friend Ellie Tonbridge being promoted in his absence. The novel in another in the A-Z series of Andy North crime series. Very fast paced and hard-boiled.
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