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Writer Wednesday: Angela Marsons

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

She first discovered her love of writing at Junior School when actual lessons came second to watching other people and quietly making up her own stories about them. Her report card invariably read "Angela would do well if she minded her own business as well as she minds other people's".

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.

1. Why did you want to become a writer?
I loved reading as a child and was never as happy as when my head was in a book. The more I read the more I wanted to create the stories that took people on incredible, exciting journeys. I wanted to explore human emotions and motivations and would invent situations just so I could explore how I felt about them. I once pretended that my Dad had left us so that I could write down my innermost feelings. I was scribbling away in tears and he had only nipped over the pub.

2. What's the toughest part of the writing process for you?
Discipline. I love every part of the process, research, first draft, second draft, third draft, editing. I really do love every part of the process but really struggle with the discipline of staying off social media and getting involved in things that don’t concern me just because I’m nosey. I think my productivity would increase tenfold if I could just learn to mind my own business.

3. What's the most enjoyable part of writing?
For me the most enjoyable part of writing is beginning that first draft. There is nothing like fresh notebooks and pencils just waiting to be filled. I call the first draft ‘my sandpit’ and I allow myself to write whatever I want. There is no editor on my shoulder or critic standing behind me. I leave them in another room and just write. I don’t share this draft with anyone until it’s finished as for me it’s the most magical part of the whole journey and my one and only chance to bond properly with the story.

4. Out of all the amazing books out there, which book do you wish you had written and why?
I wish I had written Disclosure by Michael Crichton. It was a book that captivated me from the first page and I simply could not put it down. It is the only book that has ever caused me to call in sick for work. I was so entranced by his ability to constantly pose questions that I just had to have answered before I put the book down. I read it again with a more analytical eye just to find out how he had managed to ensnare me so brilliantly.

5. If you could only save one of your characters from fictional calamity, which would you pick and why?
It would have to be Kim Stone - the main character in my current crime series. There is still so much that I want to discover about her and the demons inside her and luckily for me she still seems to have a lot to say. 

6. If you could spend the day with your favourite literary character (not from your books), who would you spend it with and what would you do?
I would spend the day with Tony Hill from the Val McDermid novels. His character is just a little off kilter, a little strange and quite mysterious. I would just want to follow him around for a whole day with the option of asking him questions about profiling and psychology whenever I wanted to. It would probably be a MISERY type situation with me in the Kathy Bates role.

7. What can we expect next from you?
I am still working on the Kim Stone series. Book four - Play Dead - has just been published and I am currently working on book five. I am currently contracted to write 8 Kim books altogether.

8. Is there any particular writing advice you wish you'd been given at the start of your writing career? If so, what is it? If not, what advice would you give to someone starting out?
The advice I would give to anyone starting out is to always remember why you started writing in the first place. Once you begin to submit work it is easy to become embroiled in the ‘business’ of writing. Rejection is always personal and can wither the spirit. It is important to maintain that love of words and storytelling and the passion for wanting to connect with the reader.

9. Tell us what a typical writing day involves for you.
My ideal writing day begins early. My favourite time to write is first thing in the morning before the rest of the world wakes up. I love that intimacy and feeling as though I’m stealing time. I think this comes from writing around a full time job for many years. Normally around lunchtime I’ll catch up with the rest of the world and social media, have some lunch, walk the dog and do household tasks. Often I’ll grab another couple of hours late at night.

10. Finally, what are you reading at the moment? 
I’m about to start See How They Run by Tom Bale. I always have a book to reward myself with once I’ve sent a book off to my editor and this one is burning a hole in my kindle.

*

The dead don’t tell secrets… unless you listen.

The girl’s smashed-in face stared unseeing up to the blue sky, soil spilling out of her mouth. A hundred flies hovered above the bloodied mess.

Westerley research facility is not for the faint-hearted. A ‘body farm’ investigating human decomposition, its inhabitants are corpses in various states of decay. But when Detective Kim Stone and her team discover the fresh body of a young woman, it seems a killer has discovered the perfect cover to bury their crime.

Then a second girl is attacked and left for dead, her body drugged and mouth filled with soil. It’s clear to Stone and the team that a serial killer is at work – but just how many bodies will they uncover? And who is next?

As local reporter, Tracy Frost, disappears, the stakes are raised. The past seems to hold the key to the killer’s secrets – but can Kim uncover the truth before a twisted, damaged mind claims another victim …?

Follow Angela on Twitter | Buy Play Dead on Amazon | 
 Visit her blog | Like her on Facebook

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