From Peaky Blinders to Murder by Pencil: Burnley author's debut novel has "a bit of everything"

Having graced the screen in award-winning shows such as Peaky Blinders and Porridge, a Burnley actor has penned and published his debut novel, a crime thriller based in Las Vegas.

Friday, 14th July 2017, 12:34 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:44 am
Graham Parrington with his debut novel, Murder by Pencil.

Inspired in part by his experience in television crime dramas, Graham Parrington wrote Murder by Pencil after appearing in the 2014 miniseries, Prey, and after receiving a swathe of praise decided to try and get the work published.

"The guy that wrote [Prey] lived in Burnley and I was friends with him, so the idea came from there," explained Graham, who has lived in Rawtenstall for the past five years. "I wrote it and everybody said it was great - my wife liked it - and said 'why don't you get it published?'"

Taking his wife's advice, Graham sent Murder by Pencil to a few publishers only for them to reject the transcript, explaining it read more like a film script and that he should submit it to a studio, before Author House - a provider of self-publishing services for authors - contacted him to express their interest in the novel.

"It's an adult crime novel based in America about a Las Vegas businessman who hires a hit-man from England to come across to solve a few problems," explained Graham, a former Rosegrove Secondary School student who has previously written numerous short stories.

"Acting in crime television - along with a few other things - has definitely influenced by writing," Graham added. "There's a bit of everything in the book: comedy, dark humour, sex, drugs, and a twist in the tail.

"I've always been interested in writing and I've always read books," said Graham, whose father Arthur was a professional footballer with Burnley FC in the 1950s. "My auntie Margaret Parrington was an author who wrote a few novels, and so I suppose it came from that."

Inspired by the positive feedback he has received so far, Graham is hoping that the upcoming sequel proves as popular, explaining: "I've been asked by people who have read the book to make it a series and I've started the follow-up novel, so hopefully I can get that moving."

Murder by Pencil can be bought on Amazon in hard copy and as an e-book at