Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Angie Marsons in Conversation with Gillian Hamer

Angela Marsons lives in the Black Country with her partner, their bouncy Labrador and a swearing parrot.

After years of writing relationship based stories (My Name Is and The Middle Child) Angela turned to crime, fictionally speaking of course, and developed a character that refused to go away.

She is signed to Bookouture.com in an 8 book deal. The first book in the Kim Stone series, Silent Scream, was released in February. The second instalment Evil Games was released 29th May 2015.

Hello, Angie, Welcome to WWJ. Tell us a little about you and your writing? 

Thank you so much for asking me. I’ve been writing and submitting for many years. I began writing character based relationship books with stories that were burning inside me. I have always read crime fiction and psychological thrillers and a character had been chirping away in my head for years. I ignored her for a long time as I knew she was not the most likeable character but eventually broke free and she is now Detective Inspector Kim Stone.

Why did you settle on crime fiction?

I’ve always been an avid reader of crime fiction but thought I could never actually plot a crime book myself. To prove my point I had to give it a try and found that I didn’t have to know every answer before starting. As I wrote Silent Scream a great deal of the plot grew organically and one idea led to another. It was something that had never happened to me before.

For writers interested in the whole nuts and bolts process, can you give us a potted-history of your route to publication? 

Over the years I have been represented by an agent twice but it has not worked out for me. Luckily, an editor I worked with in the past never quite forgot about Kim Stone and submitted Silent Scream to the young and dynamic publisher Bookouture. I didn’t even know she had. Thankfully they felt as passionate about Kim Stone and her stories as I did and asked me to sign with them for four Kim books which has now been increased by a further four books.

Why did you decide to set your novels in an ‘unglamorous’ location like the Black Country?

For many years I wrote books with an editor on my shoulder. I constantly thought about likeable main characters and glamorous locations that I didn’t know. When I decided to write Silent Scream it was originally just to see if I could so I went with the character that had been in my head for years and based it in my local area. I could never have guessed that both the character and the location would be received so positively.

How do you handle the research required for police procedural?

In my previous job I worked quite closely with the police and learned a lot. I have the PACE book (full version) on my bookshelf for reference and anything I’m not sure about I read the most up to date versions for clarification.

What’s the best thing about being a full time author?

The absolute best thing for me is being able to do what I have loved since I was a child and have the privilege of calling it my job. I am thankful every single day that I have been given the opportunity to fulfil that lifelong dream.

And the worst?

Trying to make a routine. I’ve always written around a full time job like most people and somehow you manage to make the time. Because of that ethos I want to be at my desk all the time. I still view the working day as available time before I have to go to my real job so it takes a while to get used to forming a working day.

What do you know now as a writer that you’ve learned since the publication of your first novel, SILENT SCREAM?

I have learned that not everyone is going to like your book or your character and that it isn’t personal. As writers we pour a little of ourselves into every book we write so harsh comments can be hurtful in the early days. I have learned to accept the negative comments but not dwell on them and to focus on the good ones.

DI Kim Stone is a formidable character, is there any elements of you in there?

I did work as a Security Manager for many years. Working with a large, diverse group of people you have to learn to communicate with a certain level of directness. But, I do like to think I have better social skills than Kim Stone. I’ve never rode a proper motorbike but I did have a moped for a number of years. I’m not sure that counts, though!

Would you like to write a book in another genre? If so what would it be and why?

I think I am now well and truly addicted to crime. If I tried to write anything else I’d constantly be thinking about crime scenes and forensic details. I’d probably like to try and write a romantic comedy as my humour is not always appropriate

What book has most impressed you over the past year?

The Stolen Child by Renita D’Silva. It is a story of friendship so beautifully told that once I started it I couldn’t stop reading and the characters stayed with me until long after I’d finished the book.

What are you top 3 favourite crime novels of all time?

Wire in the Blood – Val McDermid

The Surgeon – Tess Gerritsen

Faithless – Karin Slaughter

Following publication of your second novel, EVIL GAMES, what are your future writing plans?

More from Kim Stone and her team. I am contracted to write 8 Kim Stone books altogether so that’s me busy for the foreseeable future.

Top 3 tips for up-and-coming authors?

1. Don’t stop writing. Whether you are submitting or not, being rejected or not. Keep writing and always remember what inspired you in the first place.

2. Leave the internal editor, publisher and critic out of the first draft. Write what you want. That’s your time and your playground. Bring the others out for draft two.

3. Trust your gut. Don’t make changes that don’t feel right. Everyone will have an opinion but stay true to what you believe.


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