I am so excited to share a Q&A with Angela Marsons. Angela is the author of the brilliant Detective Kim Stone novels. I have read and reviewed all four of the Kim Stone books and I’ve given them all 5* which is pretty impressive. She has also written two other books, The Middle Child and My Name Is which I have yet to read.
Angela thank you so much for joining us at If Only I Could Read Faster!
1. Can you tell us something about you that we, your readers, don’t know about you?
I rode a moped until I was almost forty years of age. I am terrified of moths and heights which I know makes me a bit of a wimp!
2. Do you have any strange or quirky writing habits?
I’m not sure about quirky or strange but I do still like to write the first draft of my books with pencils and A4 notepads. Each time I start a new journey I have to have a new box of pencils and some brand new colourful notepads.
3. How do you come up with the names of your characters?
For me the name has to match the character traits that I’m trying to convey. When I was looking for a name for my main character it had to be short, sharp, to the point, one syllable, no fuss – a bit like the character herself and once the name Kim came to me I knew it was the right one. A name like Felicity would not have suited the sharpness of her character. My characters have been known to change names half way through a book if their personality has changed or developed beyond what I originally had in mind.
4. Are any of your characters based on you?
Ha, not really. There are elements of Kim that I suppose come from me. Before being lucky enough to write for a living I managed a diverse team of 70+ security officers at Merry Hill shopping centre. It’s not a job you can do without a certain level of directness. However, I do like to think I have slightly better social skills than Kim.
5. Have any of your books had an alternative ending that you didn’t end up using? If so can you tell us any of them?!
The ending in Silent Scream with regard to the relationship between Kim and Lucy was going to be very different. Initially, I had planned that Kim was going to help Lucy in an altogether different kind of way (by ending her misery) but as I was writing the book my gut started to react unfavourably to this idea and the very notion of writing it began to make me angry, always an indication that I’m taking the wrong path somewhere. As the relationship between them grew I knew that I had to end it differently and as soon as I thought about what Kim does for Lucy I knew it felt right.
6. What research did you do into the character Alex, in Evil Games who was a psychopath? How did you find it writing about that character?
I have always been interested in the sociopath/psychopath personality. I am intrigued by a person that is unable to feel empathy for other human beings. To research I read a lot of books on the subject and trawled the internet for more background information. I really enjoyed writing about Alex (quite worrying I know) but it was enlightening having that freedom to explore the personality of someone without conscience.
7. What is the most surprising thing that you learnt while writing Play Dead?
Play Dead was not an easy book to write. The idea had been in my head for quite some time but when it came to putting it onto paper this one would not behave itself. When I sent it off to my editor I was convinced she was going to send a note back saying ‘start again’. Luckily she loved it and I learned to trust in the process. Each journey will be different and some will be harder than others but I learned to trust that it will work out in the end.
8. A lot of Play Dead takes place in what is commonly known as a body farm. And what research did you do into what goes on in a body farm? Is there a body farm in the UK?
There isn’t a body farm that I know of but perhaps that’s a good thing. I did my research by reading about the facilities in America. I spent a great deal of time reading up on the type of experiments they do and the results they are hoping to achieve.
9. Would you donate your body to a body farm?
Yes, I think I would. If anyone can learn something useful from my body after I’ve gone then that’s a good thing.
10. D.I. Kim Stone is such a wonderful, but complicated character. If a movie of your Kim Stone books were to be made who would you like to play her?
The picture in my head is Kate Beckinsale from the Underworld films. Her attitude is SO Kim Stone in those films and I think she is a fabulous actress. And I’d have Bradley Walsh to play Bryant.
11. You are mainly known for your Kim Stone books but you have written other books before, can you tell us a bit about them and why we should read them? I have them on my kindle ready to read but haven’t quite got there yet.
My other two books are stories that explore human relationships and subjects that I find intriguing. I have always been interested in the ‘why’ of people’s actions. I want to know what drives them and these two stories gave me the opportunity to do that. My Name Is focuses on a friendship that builds between two very different women who both suffer with alcoholism. The Middle Child explores the complex relationships between three sisters raised in a physically abusive home.
12. If you were going to be stuck on a desert island who would you want with you? You can choose three people.
a. a character from one of your books – It has to be Kim Stone – she is very resourceful.
b. a character from someone else’s book – Jennifer Knight from Caroline Mitchell’s books. She has paranormal abilities and could let someone know where we were (I’m assuming we haven’t got phones!)
c. someone famous that you don’t know in person or on social media. Aaron Sorkin. He wrote The West Wing (my favourite program) and I would love to have him as a captive and grill him.
You can also choose one book to take. Disclosure by Michael Crichton.
13. And finally can you tell us where people can find you on social media?