The Road to The Child Thief Movie

Now, where was I? Oh yes, I was talking about survival stories. At least, I was a few months ago, but things have run away from me where blogging is concerned. It seems like everything has been SO busy, but I’ve been thinking about The Child Thief recently, because after a lot of back and forth negotiating, I’ve finally signed the movie option agreement. It doesn’t necessarily mean that a film will be made – the film business is something of a mystery to me – but it means there is some intent. So there ‘might’ be a Child Thief movie.

The Child Thief is a survival story. It’s about a man and his sons hunting a child killer across the winter wilderness in 1930’s Ukraine, but it didn’t start off that way. The original idea came to me after reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

Screen Shot 2015-06-14 at 18.29.24McCarthy’s setting is built with great skill, and the relationship between the two nameless characters is full of emotion. I was with the boy and the man every step of the way through the endless, soul destroying cold, and the awful, impenetrable dark. And McCarthy’s prose is some of the most beautiful I have ever read. I’ve also always loved the post-apocalypse thing, so was fascinated that McCarthy had used the setting in that way. Usually that kind of environment goes hand in hand with zombies or leather clad, gasoline-worshipping maniacs –  which is awesome because I LOVE those things, but McCarthy’s post-apocalypse is more subdued. It’s a grey, impossible place full of very real horrors. And the man will go to great lengths to protect the boy. Ultimately, it’s a story about a father’s love for his son. Anyway, I got wrapped up in it and, after some time thought, ‘Yeah. Post-apocalypse. If McCarthy can do it, then why can’t I?

Screen Shot 2015-06-14 at 18.30.19Well, because I’m not McCarthy, that’s why. And McCarthy had already done it with such brilliance.

My post-apocalypse felt silly and . . . not right. So I changed it. I found a setting that was just as bleak, and just as difficult. It was a time I hardly knew anything about; the year before the initiation of the man-made famine that starved millions of Ukrainians. As it turns out, whatever terrible things we can imagine, there’s a pretty strong chance that something far worse has already happened.

That’s all.


MAMILs, Lycra and a Book Birthday!


We get a bit of sunshine and then . . . BAM! . . . MAMILs take over. They’re everywhere. You’ve seen them, travelling in small packs. You know who they are. Maybe you even ARE one.

Middle Aged Men in Lycra.






. . . words fail me . . .


Sorry about that. I was distracted for a moment. I just opened the curtains and there they were, zipping past like peacocks in their bright colours and gel padded shorts and . . . oh, for the love of all things good in this world, can’t someone please invent some kind of modesty  gear for these guys?


The Child Thief US edition

Anyway, what I actually wanted to say is that The Child Thief was officially released in the United States yesterday!

I was pleased to see it appear in the Los Angeles Times Summer Book Guide, and the New York Book Journal has given it a great review calling it a ‘ . . . straightforward, beautifully written thriller . . .’ And, Publisher’s Weekly says ‘From the arresting opening to the tense finale, Smith doesn’t hit a false note in this captivating tale of the power of the human spirit when pushed to the brink.’


So there it is –  a quick bit of self publicity which is, hopefully, not too vulgar. I mean, I could have shown you a picture of men in lycra and that would have been . . . oh. I did. Yeah. Sorry about that.



Thats all.






The Child Thief in Paperback!

Child Thief HBR frt10Today’s the day  The Child Thief makes it’s paperback foray into the world.

Happy paperback publication day!

Next month it’ll be published in the USA where it’s been getting some great attention. It was picked as one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Top Ten Best Summer Books 2013 (Mystery and Thriller section) and picked up a great review in the publication.

There’s also another snip of news about The Child Thief that I’m itching to tell you, but will have to wait just a little while longer.

In the meantime, I’ve put a signed copy of The Child Thief up as a giveaway on Goodreads, so if you’re registered you can enter to win. If you’re not registered, well, it’s free and easy so whattayawaitinfer?

That’s all!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Child Thief by Dan  Smith

The Child Thief

by Dan Smith

Giveaway ends July 04, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Curse You, Self-Doubt!!

Finishing a book is always an odd time for me. And I’m talking about writing one, not reading one. Y’see, I don’t show it to anybody while I’m working on it, so I’m never quite sure what the reaction to it will be. Sure, I might discuss a few ideas with my wife, but that’s all, so when it’s finished it’s . . . unseen. And there’s always that niggle of doubt. Curse you, self-doubt!

I don’t push the manuscript to one side and think, ‘Right, that’s the next masterpiece written, what shall I do to change the world today?’ No, it’s more of a tentative handover to my wife, slightly cringing, hoping that she’s going to like it.

And that is the first airing. The first test.

Usually it comes back with a few suggestions, but nothing too major. Because the real test is yet to come.

If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll know I have a no-nonsense-tell-it-how-it-is agent and that she is the real test. Because if there’s even the slightest thing wrong with the manuscript, she will be sure to let me know. No sugar coating. No niceties. No beating about the bush.

So it is with great relief that I can tell you she loved the new book, describing it with words like ‘exciting’, ‘strong’ and ‘intense’. Oh and the twists all took her by surprise.

And this is great news for me. I wrote this book in a very short time after a long talk with my publisher about producing a new novel to slot in between The Child Thief and God and The Devil (which is already written and was originally due in 2013 but will now come in 2014). This new novel is the perfect companion to The Child Thief and will whisk you back to Eastern Europe – Russia this time – and drop you right into a land stricken by civil war where you will join the main character in his search to discover what has happened to . . . and why . . . and who . . . no, sorry, I just can’t tell you any more.

So there it is. The new book is gathering momentum and my excitement levels are growing as the heads of approval begin to nod. We writers are such fickle devils, you see, that we thrive on acceptance and praise.

Oh, and in the meantime, The Child Thief is getting some great coverage over in New Zealand which is fantastic. Reviews, interviews and giveaways have appeared in ten different publications – from the New Zealand Herald to The South Taranaki Star and The Northern Advocate, The Bay of Plenty Times, The Wairarapa Times and the Wanganui Chronicle.

Awesome names.


That’s all.