Dan Smith - Author Picture

Dan Smith - Author

Growing up, Dan led three lives. In one he survived the day-to-day humdrum of boarding school, while in another he travelled the world, finding adventure in the padi-fields of Asia and the jungles of Brazil. But the third life he lived in a world of his own, making up stories . . . which is where some people say he still lives most of the time!

Now settled in Newcastle with his wife and two children, Dan writes stories to share with both adults and children – and with an interest in World War 2, a great-aunt who was a flak-gunner, and a grandfather who was an army captain during the war, is it any wonder that his first book for children is set during those uncertain days of 1941?

A Q+A with Dan

You have books published for adults and children. Do you find it easier or harder to write for children? I don’t think I find it easier or harder. Of course there are differences in the way I write for adults and children, but those differences aren’t very big. I approach stories as stories whoever I write them for. My adult books often have children in them, and my children’s books often have adults in them, so I just change the focus of who tells the story – the adults or the children.

How did you get your big break? It’s difficult to say whether I’ve had a big break or not. I think I’ve had a series of small breaks – which makes me sound like I should be in hospital. My first break, though, was finding a great agent who loves my writing. I spent a lot of time sending letters and sample chapters to different agents until I found just the right one. She always gives me good but brutally honest advice about my books, which is sometimes hard to listen to, but helps me get better and better at telling stories.

Any advice for budding authors? Read, read, read. And then read some more! I really believe that the more a person reads, the better they will understand how stories and characters work. The other important thing is to write. It might sound obvious, but if you sit about, waiting for inspiration and dreaming about being an author, then you’ll never be an author. Writing makes you an author so … get writing!

Where is your favourite place to write? I sit on a small sofa in the corner of the sitting room. It’s not very glamorous but it’s comfortable and it’s the brightest, warmest room in the house. I put my laptop on a cushion and perch it on my knees and, you know what? It’s just about the best place in the world.

Have you ever wanted to do anything other than write? When I was very young I wanted to be a judge. I have no idea why. Then I wanted to be a vet until I saw Star Wars at the ripe old age of seven. After that I knew what I wanted to be. I wanted to be Han Solo. I was never any of those things, though, and by the time I was a teenager, I knew I wanted to be a writer. Nothing else would have been good enough. Apart from, perhaps, being Han Solo.

You can only read three books for the rest of your life, what would they be? Well, if you asked me this on another day I might give you a completely different answer but today I’m going to say Lord of The Flies by William Golding because it’s a brilliant story about children who find themselves in a terrifying situation without any adults to help them, The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway because it’s the classic tale of man versus nature, and The Go-Between by LP Hartley because it’s a summery, dreamy tale about a shy child who is thrown into an adult world that he struggles to understand.

Do you visit your local library? Really, I like to own books, because they’re such lovely objects to hold and look at, but, yes, I do visit my local library. I find the library especially helpful when I’m researching a book of my own and I’m looking for information about something in particular. Also, both of my children love to borrow books and they take part in the Summer Reading Challenge every year.

Featured Books, with extracts, by Dan Smith

Reader ReviewedBig Game Movie Tie-in
Dan Smith
As boys' own adventures go, Big Game takes some beating! Thirteen year old Oskari sets out into the wilderness of his Finnish homeland as part of an ancient trial of manhood. He's small, a bit clumsy and no-one expects him...
Lovereading Price: £5.59 - Saving £1.40 (20%) Featured in: 9+ readers | 11+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 02/04/2015
Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

Reader ReviewedBig Game
Dan Smith
As boys' own adventures go, Big Game takes some beating! Thirteen year old Oskari sets out into the wilderness of his Finnish homeland as part of an ancient trial of manhood. He's small, a bit clumsy and no-one expects him...
Lovereading Price: £5.59 - Saving £1.40 (20%) Featured in: 9+ readers | 11+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 01/01/2015
Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

Reader ReviewedMy Brother's Secret
Dan Smith
May 2014 Book of the Month Growing up in Germany at the beginning of the Second World War, Karl Engel imagines the role he might play in fighting for his country. Joining the Hitler Youth movement will be his first...
Lovereading Price: £5.59 - Saving £1.40 (20%) Featured in: 9+ readers | 11+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 01/05/2014
Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

My Friend the Enemy
Dan Smith
July 2013 Book of the Month An exciting and thought-provoking World War II adventure for children aged 9-12. With shades of Michael Morpurgo, Michelle Magorian and Robert Westall's classic The Machine Gunners the author carefully explores the moral dilemma of...
Lovereading Price: £5.59 - Saving £1.40 (20%) Featured in: 9+ readers | 11+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 04/07/2013
Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

Loading other books by Dan Smith...


Author Info

Author's Website

www.dansmithsbooks.com/

Author's Facebook

Find Dan Smith on Facebook

Author's Facebook Latest

Author's Blog

dansmithsbooks.wordpress.co...

Did you know

At Lovereading4kids you can download and read an Opening Extract and an online review of books by Dan Smith and hundreds of other authors.


It gives me a chance to read types of books that I would not normally try, and it motivates me to read every night to finish it!

Alice Horncastle, age 14

I love finding new books to read. My mummy and me look at the new ones coming out. I have written reviews of some of them!

Jessica Cobbin – age 7

You give me age appropriate ideas of books I can read and buy for the children and find out what other children their age think of them too.

Katie Lonsdale

We love Lovereading4kids because it promotes reading choices, new authors and a sense of community for children of all ages!

Rachel Bridgeman

I love Lovereading because I often never know what to read and this helps you find a good book. I have recommended this to many people.

Shannon-Louise Masters – age 15

It’s really exciting to read and review new books, thrilling to see my reviews online and I love finding the final published copies on sale.

Sam Harper – age 10

It has introduced my children to books we hadn’t come across before. Real children’s reviews gives a great insight into what others think to

Lorraine Woods

I think Lovereading4kids is an amazing company because of the friendly staff and the fabulous chance to read great books before publication.

Adam Graham
Lovereading

Lovereading 4 schools