Boats and Drugs

During the writing of Andaluz Blood, I stayed on board a small yacht near Almería and was able to gain an insight into the world of drug smuggling from the Moroccan coast to mainland Spain, a practice which often happens in the dead of night in all manner of craft from sailing yachts and kayaks to motorboats and RIBS (rigid inflatables). The Guardia Civil vessels are on patrol and regularly make seizures, often with force, as illustrated below by the plethora of bullet holes in this motor boat.

Although Andaluz Blood is fictional, many of the encounters faced by the lead protagonist (Charles Hale) and other characters are drawn from news items, accounts from people at the marina, and real seizures (the latest, an 11-tonne haul of hashish).
A walk around the boatyard reveals many boats, some abandoned or wrecked, which I’m sure have interesting stories associated with them.

Extract from ANDALUZ BlOOD
4:07 a.m.

The Guardia vessel – a stealth machine bristling with technology, deployed to track modern-day pirates, immigrants, and drug smugglers – moved into position at the marina tower. Spray and smoke swirled about the decks under the brilliance of its lights, the twin jet turbines churning up the water, turning it to foam. The boat edged into position against Puerto de Santa María’s quay.

Behind, Blue Too rocked gently. Hale idled the engine, waiting for instruction. It soon came as the radio burst into life over the deck speaker: “Blue Too, moor at the tower. Blue Too, moor at the tower.”

Jack acknowledged on the radio handset. Hale brought her about in the damp, the rain having now turned to drizzle. He moved her in closer to the quay, opposite the lights of the marina office, the office that never slept.

Over the years, Hale had often been out on deck at night, unable to sleep on board. Looking west, there was always someone operating the marina tower night and day. Marineros – smoking, bored, looking to pass the hours – hung around waiting for a call. Holidays, fiestas, or normal working days, it made no difference. Vessels were always at sea or visiting the port for some reason.

Dean threw a line from the bow to the marinero ashore while Hale mulled the inevitable question from the authorities:

What was your business at sea tonight, Mr Hale?


James Smith © 2017

Read Andaluz Blood on Amazon Kindle


How to increase your actor IMDb STARmeter rating

The IMDb database and STARmeter are often used by industry professionals to assess and select talent, so it’s essential for actors who are serious about their work to have a good profile. Here are some tips on how you can improve your rating:

  1. Have a professional head-shot photo on your profile via IMDbPRO
  2. Be actively involved in film, web, or TV productions and increase your associated credits
  3. Be active on social media, drawing people to your IMDb page
  4. Ensure your IMDb profile is comprehensive, up-to-date, and professionally-written with accompanying images


Walking from Loughborough to Asia for Baca Charity

Dear All

I’d like introduce you to a friend of mine, Dom a.k.a. Tiberius Russo and Alfie Butler. I met Alfie just briefly some weeks ago in Caffè Nero, Loughbourough – he was recovering from dentistry and, thus, was only able to garble a few words out about the duo’s venture, which entails walking from Loughborough (UK) to … wait for it … ASIA! Yes, Dom and Alfie are undertaking this ambitious and gruelling expedition for the Baca Charity who provide “specialist supported accommodation, independent living training and futures development for young forced migrants sixteen years and over.”dom-alfie-001I have known Dom for just over a year now through his invaluable work in assisting with the production of one of my films – in fact, without his involvement, and that of his family, the film would never have been shot. Dom and Alfie’s story is captured on their Facebook pages and blogs as they undertake this incredible trek. Although they make light of their adventures, with the colourful characters and places they visit, I think you’ll find that immense fortitude and conviction is required to undertake this journey in which they will inevitably face great hardships and challenges. With the above in mind, I do hope you find time to read and share their posts, and possibly also donate to the cause they are supporting (links below).

Go guys!
James Smith


Baca Charity

Long Walk Home – Facebook

Photo Story: Spain 2016

I’m in Andalucía, Spain for a few weeks undertaking research for feature films The Finca and Guilty in Andalucía whilst coordinating post-production on Do Something, Jake.

Despite the schedule, there’s always time to pick up a camera, so I’ll be posting some photos and snippets relating to Andalucía and my novel, Andaluz Blood

© James Smith
© James Smith

Do follow and share my posts/tweets on @jsmithwriter or @AndaluzBlood and Facebook using the hashtag #AndaluzBlood over the next few weeks.

I hope you enjoy!

What’s your favourite film?

I was recently asked to write a sentence or two about “my favourite film”. Difficult, as I have many, including Michael Clayton, Some Like It Hot, Fargo, and Heat to name just a few. I’ve always had a love of Tony Scott’s work, so I gave this answer:

A: ‘Man on Fire’ by Tony Scott. This film is a fine example of deft script writing, fast-paced dialogue, and great acting – all complemented by Tony Scott’s dynamic multi-camera shooting style and quick-fire editing.

What’s your favourite film?

March in Andalucía

In Andaluz Blood, the background often describes heat and dust, however, there are only a few months of blistering heat in Andalucía. There is plenty of variation throughout the year, including rain storms, snow, high winds, and rapidly-changing temperatures.

So, if you like the outdoors, this region is for you, but don’t make that rookie mistake of only packing shorts and t-shirts!

Follow James Smith on Twitter @jsmithwriter

His thriller, Andaluz Blood, follows Englishman, Charles Hale, who travels to Andalucía for supposed ‘sailing holidays’. These, however, are merely covers for contraband runs he makes across the Alborán Sea with seasoned British criminals, Jack Weir and Dean Oliver.

Buy Andaluz Blood

Christmas Reading – Andaluz Blood

An unlikely combination maybe, but the heat and dust of Andalucía is just one setting for thriller, Andaluz Blood, a story that weaves through various settings including London, Essex, southern Spain, and, finally, London’s Covent Garden on Christmas Eve.

Christmas, Covent Garden, London
Christmas, Covent Garden, London

Start reading now and be reading the finale by the 24th December!

Andaluz Blood available now on Kindle and paperback