Topher Hoffman: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for stopping by to check out our interview today with Keith D Graham.
He currently lives in the United States with his two sons, his wife, and dog COPPER.
(Copper was a rescue from our local shelter. He is white with two copper coloured spots on his back like pennies. He came with the name, so we kept it!)
So, Keith, first I would like to thank you for agreeing to answer a few questions here on The House of 1000 Books! I am excited to see what you have to say about your book and Nessie. I love the topic of Cryptozoology and folklore and want to know how you managed to swirl it together with Sci-Fi.
But, before we dive right into your book, I would like to start at the beginning. It looks like you have had a lot of jobs in your life before you finally put pen to paper. Actually, it sounds like you had a real can of worms when it comes to jobs. (Pun intended). Can you tell me, what is the hardest job you have ever had?
Keith D. Graham: Hardest? In what terms? Physically, probably when I was a boat window builder. Worked for a company call Water Bonnet and I built 100-150 windshields a day standing at a work table. Mentally, I’d say one of my management positions. I don’t like numbers! Lol!
TH: You said that you wanted to write a Science Fiction book for a very long time. Can you tell me when the first time you thought about being an author and what drove you to finally get a story out?
KDG: I wrote a lot of poems in high school, English was my favorite subject. I took 13 English classes in high school. The idea was always in my mind to write a novel, but life always seemed to get in the way. A few years ago, I was in a bad accident and broke my neck and my lower back and was told that I should have either died or been paralyzed from the neck down. So I decided to DO things instead of thinking about them. I was about to give up on writing a year ago, and I ended up in the hospital with a DVT (deep vein thrombosis) a blood clot. It broke lose, went into my heart, and then broke up and went into my lungs. The doctor said that 100,000 people die every year from having one clot, and then she told me that she lost count on how many I had because there were too many. Basically, my lungs were full of blood. I figured then that God wanted me to get something done instead of sitting around.
TH: That’s pretty horrible. Maybe that should be your next book!
The combination of Nessie and Science Fiction is a crazy mixture. What makes Nessie so unique to you? I mean, you could have easily written about Bigfoot and have him face off against Teddy Roosevelt. Er, wait…that’s been done. Regardless, why Nessie?
KDG: My heritage is Scottish. My father’s line is from Scotland, so I’ve always been fascinated by the country, its history, and lore. Nessie is, of course, a big part of Scotland. Once I started researching Loch Ness, I couldn’t stop. I know she is there!
TH: Here’s a fun fact. Where I am from, about 30 minutes away, there is a lake called, Muskrat Lake. In that lake, there is suppose to be a lake monster much like Nessie. This one is called Mussie. I am not joking, even though it’s pretty coincidental that the names are pretty similar. What do you think a Lake Monster really is?
KDG: So, the easy answer is a plesiosaur. It wouldn’t be a stretch, other“extinct” animals have been “discovered.” My book has a very different idea about what “they” are! I explain where Nessie came from, also Champ the monster in Lake Champlain, so even though I didn’t mention Mussie, I think my explanation would cover him too!
TH: What do your kids think of your interest in Scotland and the monster?
KDG: Fortunately my family is used to my odd ways and different view of the world. My sons think it’s cool that I’ve written and published a book. They also are fascinated by Scotland and the castles.
TH: I know when I watch my television shows or try to talk to my wife about these type of things, her eyes glaze over like an oily marble, and I am pretty sure she is ignoring me and the program. What does your family believe in, do they think the same way you do?
KDG: I think I’ve convinced them that something is there. My wife wasn’t into sci-fi when we met, but we’ve been married for 29 years, so she has come over to the dark side.
TH: When writing a novel, I could imagine that it would take a lot of support from your family. Do you have a secure support system at home while it comes to your writing?
KDG: Oh yes! My family goes out with flyers and bookmarks promoting me to anyone they contact. My oldest manages a retro video game store and gives out my info also. They also know not to mess with my “writing area”! lol!
TH: Science Fiction is a broad category, can you tell us what you like so much about it?
KDG: Sci-Fi is wide open! The only limits to writing sci-fi are your own imagination. You want a blue 3 armed bug-eyed assassin hunting your hero? You got it! A planet where everyone breathes nitrogen and poops cherries? I wouldn’t write that story, but you can!
TH: I know how it feels to hold something in, something that is inside you that is just screaming to get out. Much like the story you wanted to write.
Now that you have written your novel, are you satisfied with it, or do you
want to continue writing about other things?
KDG: Not other things, but I definitely want to continue this story! I’ve completed a short story that follows along with my first book, I’m writing a sequel, and have notes for a third story.
TH: Now, for what the readers have really been waiting for, can you please tell us about the book?
KDG: Happy too! McDougal is a lost soul with no purpose in life until he happens upon an alien scout searching for a new home for his people who are being hunted to extinction by a race known as the Raiders. Loch Ness is a perfect place for them, and so McDougal becomes their protector on Earth. I won’t tell you how, but he fulfills his promise to them for over 400 years.
TH: If somebody was to make the book into a movie, would you want to play McDougal, or do have a particular actor in mind?
KDG: I’ve given this a lot of thought! Andrew Lincoln for the lead role! There is a bar scene with the main character and three patrons. I want those three to be my two sons and me. I also wouldn’t mind if Ron Howard wanted to make the movie! Hello Ron??
TH: You said that some of your characters are named after friends and family. If they were to read your book, do you think they will know you are talking about them?
KDG: Yes! They have found themselves and like the roles they play.
TH: What is something that is not on the back of the book that you would like to share?
KDG: Oh My! If there were more room, I probably would have spilled my guts saying something sappy like, “I know I’m not a literary genius, but please read my book!!”
TH: Now, on the back of the book you ask the question “What does a sixteenth-century Scotsman, two opposing alien races, three countries, and four centuries have in common with the Loch Ness Monster?” I ask you this! What is one thing they do not have in common with each other, but the Loch Ness Monster has in common with them?
KDG: Wow, you’re hurting my head! They don’t have the same concern for the environment as each other for sure. Except for the bad guys, they all have a level of compassion for each other just like she does.
TH: What is next for you and your writing career?
KDG: I think I answered that above, but there are at least two more stories I want to write to continue this tale.
TH: Do you have anything else you wish to add?
KDG: Even if my books don’t become bestsellers, I still feel that I have done well. After my first book was published, I was messaged on Facebook by six people from all over the world, Australia, Canada, Texas, etc. telling me that my story (not the book, my personal story) really touched them and convinced them to write a book! One, in particular, was a grandma in Canada. She told me that she wrote stories to read to her children and then her grandchildren. Everyone told her to publish them, but she didn’t have the confidence to do so. After reading my story, she contacted me to say to me that she is searching for a publisher!
Maybe I won’t be on the NYT list, but maybe one of the writers I inspired will be! That would be success to me.
TH: Do you want to tell the readers where they can find your book and how they can hook up with you on social media?
Paperback and E-Book is available on Amazon: THE TACHARAN: A Story of Loch Ness
I’m on Twitter! @kdgraham65 Thank you so much for this time!