AUTHOR IN THE SPOTLIGHT
is a new Q&A feature on my blog
I am delighted that ANGELA MARSONS is joining me on my blog for my first author interview. Angela is one of my favourite new authors. Both of her DI Kim Stone books - Silent Scream and Evil Games (out on 29th May 2015) - are published by Bookouture.
So Angela, what inspired you to write a book in the first place?
The first book I wrote was about alcoholism. I was fascinated by the ability of the disease to attach itself to any gender or class. This grew into the novel about a friendship between two very different women who are brought together during their recovery.
Where do your ideas come from?
Normally, they come from a subject that fascinates me. Silent Scream came from my intrigue in a children's home when I was a teenager. Evil Games was born from my interest in the sociopathic personality.
Have your personal experiences influenced your writing? And if so, how?
I think my writing has grown with me. I always wanted to explore emotions and tell stories, but I think now I appreciate the need to treat subjects with the respect they deserve. For example, in Silent Scream I wanted to depict the condition of muscular dystrophy with accuracy and the same with autism in Evil Games. I think earlier in the writing life, I might not have been so diligent.
Describe your writing style in 10 words or less?
Oh, excellent question. I would call it: 'Intensely fast-paced stories with unforgettable characters'.
Not so much strange habits, but I do like to start a project with a whole new set of exercise books and pencils bought especially for the occasion. I suppose that's just the symbolic start of a whole new journey.
Do you plot out the whole book before you start or just start writing and see where it leads you?
When I start writing I have a vague idea of where I want it to go, but that's subject to change. I love the plot to grow organically as I'm writing the story so that even I don't know where it will end. I once tried planning a book thoroughly and by chapter three I was bored to death. So I knew that method wouldn't work for me.
What do you consider to be the hardest part of your writing?
Tackling difficult subjects but I won't shy away from them because I don't like them. There are scenes that I have found upsetting to write, but I try to treat each subject with sensitivity and respect and without sensationalism.
Do you read? If so, who are your favourite authors?
My favourite authors are Karin Slaughter, Carol O Connell, Val McDermid and a James Patterson now and again.
How has your life changed since becoming a published author?
Oh wow, where to start. I have met so many wonderful people throughout this journey who I now count as good friends. I have been given the unbelievable opportunity to focus on writing full time, which is a dream come true. To be able to call something you do second only to breathing your job is like no feeling on earth. And I even bought an iPhone!
If you were writing a book about your life, what would be the title?
'Mind Your Own Business.' This has been a common thread throughout my life so far. It started at school and has lasted until now. It's a phrase I hear a lot. But I always want to know the details. I want to why, who, how of everything. And it's probably unlikely to change.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Never stop writing and never forget why you do it in the first place. Never allow rejection letters to overshadow your passion to tell a story. Also, there's an old adage - 'Write about what you know'. I'm not sure that's right, especially if you're writing about crime or serial killers! I would advise you to write about something that interests you. It will show in your work.
And lastly, why should people read your next book?
Evil Games features a female sociopath and an epic cat-and-mouse game between two very intelligent women. But has Kim Stone met her match this time?
About Angela Marsons
Angela lives in the Black Country with her partner, their bouncy Labrador and potty-mouthed parrot. Visit Angela's website to learn more or follow her on Twitter.
Read my review of Silent Scream here
My review of Evil Games will be coming very soon. Here's a taster of my verdict:
'Evil Games is certainly as good as the first DI Kim Stone book [Silent Scream], if not better, and I wish I could give it a higher rating than 5/5.'