Angela Marsons is the author of the Amazon Bestselling DI Kim Stone series – Silent Scream, Evil Games, Lost Girls, Play Dead, Blood Lines and Dead Souls and her books have sold more than 2 million in 2 years.
She lives in the Black Country with her partner, their cheeky Golden Retriever 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 (The Forgotten Woman and Dear Mother) Angela turned to Crime, fictionally speaking of course, and developed a character that refused to go away.
She is signed to Bookouture.com for a total of 16 books in the Kim Stone series and her books have been translated into more than 20 languages.
Her last two books – Blood Lines and Dead Souls – reached the #1 spot on Amazon on pre-orders alone.
Hi Angie and welcome to Compulsive Readers. Firstly before we begin our gentle probing, can you please tell my readers more about you and your books just in case there is someone out there who hasn’t read one of your books yet?
Hi Tracy and thank you for asking me over to Compulsive Readers. I am now a full time writer from the Black Country in the West Midlands, the area that forms the setting of the Kim Stone crime series. Six books in the series have been published and although they can all be read as standalone stories Kim’s character does unfold over the course of the books.
We have said in our introduction that you spent years writing relationship based stories and then turned to crime (writing obviously not real life hopefully), what made you change and now that you have created such a phenomenal series with Kim Stone would you go back to writing another relationship based story?
I’ve always loved to read crime but never thought I would be able to write a crime book. I didn’t feel that I could plot and plan a story or develop a twist that would be convincing so I talked myself out of trying for many years. It was following so many years of rejection that I finally sat down – probably in a bit of a strop – and decided to write the book I wanted to. In a way I suppose it was a rebellious act as I used the unlikeable character in my head that I knew publishers would not like and also set the book in my own area in the Black Country – something else I thought publishers wouldn’t like and the result was Silent Scream. I wouldn’t say never to another women’s fiction title as I still enjoy exploring human emotions and psychological conditions.
Last year you sold more than 2 million books, which is incredible, but I know it wasn’t an overnight success having been rejected by numerous publishers over 25 years, my questions are “what advice would you give to aspiring authors who have been rejected?” and “if you saw any of the publishers who rejected you would you go up to them and stick your tongue out and say ner ner ner ner ner?”
It does sound like a cliche to say never give up but it’s true. I would post out 20 to 30 submissions at a time and often get four or five rejections back on the same day but while there was even just one out there I still had hope. Once they were all back I’d send out another batch. I’d also say trust your own gut. If a potential agent/publisher makes suggestions for changes don’t automatically believe it to be the right thing to do. I was advised by traditional publishers to change the character of Alex Thorne. It was suggested that I soften her a bit to make her more identifiable to the reader. My gut reacted unfavourably to this advice as the woman is a sociopath and I didn’t want readers identifying with her. No, I definitely wouldn’t stick my tongue out to the publishers who rejected me. I would shake their hands and thank them. If they had taken me on I would never have found Bookouture. I do believe that everything happens for a reason and I wouldn’t want to be taking this journey with anyone else.
In your previous career you were a former security guard at Merry Hill Shopping Centre. Can you tell us any interesting stories from that time?
My job was Duty Security Manager supervising a team of 70+ officers (mainly men) so there are quite a few stories I could tell you there!! But one thing I’ll share is that in one of the books Bryant remembers his experience of attending a stabbing victim which was actually my own experience. A youth was stabbed on one of our car parks and although I went into automatic pilot and dealt with it at the time (along with the fabulous security officers) it stayed with me for a long time. Oh and I pretty much locked Russell Brand into Waterstones when he decided he wanted to walk the waiting line at a book signing. He was not overly pleased.
We recently shared the same podcast on Two Crime Writers and a Microphone and whilst I thought my reviews were quite good – your parrot outshone me! Tell me more about him please?
Oh, that podcast was hilarious to do. It was great talking to the guys and I started off in another room as I knew that Nelson would hog the limelight but they insisted on hearing him. He is now 17 years old which is still very young for a parrot. He has full conversations, sings and copies television adverts. One of his favourites is the old Renault Megane song ‘I see you baby, shaking that ass’. He swears and also shouts at the dog which is probably more entertaining than it should be.
If Kim Stone were to be made into a film/TV series and you had an unlimited budget who would you cast in the central roles?
Kim Stone would be played by Kate Beckinsale (Looking how she does in the Underworld films)
Bryant would be Bradley Walsh
Nicolas Hoult would be Dawson
Wunmi Mosaku would be Stacey
Charlize Theron would the Alex Thorne
What makes your laugh and what makes your mad?
Injustice makes me mad. I hate unfair treatment for whatever reason. I don’t mind rules and laws and procedures providing they are applied across the board.
People with the ability to laugh at themselves makes me laugh. I love comedians like Jo Brand who poke fun at themselves before they poke fun at anyone else. And of course I always laugh at puppies doing funny things.
What was the last thing that you remember that made you cringe?
Listening to Diane Abbott on LBC radio when asked the reasonably straight forward questions of how many police officers and how much will they cost? It made me cringe so much I had to listen to it about five times.
What is the oddest/strangest fan mail or review you have received?
Okay not exactly fan mail but I did have a few messages from someone called Angela Toni Marson who claimed she was going to sue me for use of my own name as I did not have her permission to use it. Within the messages she referred to me as a vegetable, an illegitimate product of her mentally ill uncle and offered to send me photos of my real parents. I’m still waiting for the court papers to arrive.
Finally, what are your plans for the rest of the year and any secrets you can share with us now?
I’m currently working on book 7 in the series which is due in to my editor around the end of June. I’ll then take a bit of time off (probably a couple of days) and then I’ll be eager to get working and researching for book eight. If I tell you any secrets my editor would absolutely kill me and as lovely as she is, she frightens me to death.