This week I am delighted to welcome UK author Angela Wren to The Alternative CV.
Great to meet you Angela and thank you for agreeing to answer a few questions for us.
Let’s start with –
One quality you have which other people who know you might question.
To a lot of people I appear very well organised and focussed with everything in its place and a place for everything. Those people may be surprised to learn that my desk in my ‘Writing Shed’ is a disaster. I know exactly what is on there, of course, it’s just that I can’t be bothered to file it or bin it. Well, you never know when that bit of paper with that random scrap of a note on it might be useful. Oh and the post-it notes. The pad on my desk is covered in post-it notes for exactly the same reason.
A fictional character you fantasise over/ fell in love with. (One of your own preferably.)
I’m far too much of a realist to do any fantasising, so I don’t have anyone who fits the bill at all. However, I am writing the follow up to Messandrierre at the moment and my hero, Jacques Forêt, is currently my constant imaginary companion. And he’s quite a guy too, tall, dark-haired, French, honest, steely and determined, kind and generous. He’s also been described by one reviewer as ‘quietly sexy’. Actually, I think I’ve just found my first fantasy! Would be good if it were that simple to create such gorgeous guys for real!
One item you would consign to Room 101.
Spiders – all sizes, shapes, designs and colours. I don’t care what they do or if they’re pretty or not – mostly not, in my view – I absolutely cannot stand them and I blame my brothers for this irrationality.
One line that sums up your WIP this week.
One line? Can do that in one word. RATS! (Random Adjectives Temporarily Suspended)
One sentence that sums up your thoughts about social media.
Ditto, but scratch the bit in brackets!
Kindle, tablet or paperback. Which one do you go to bed with and why?
None of those. I do own a tablet and I do have a Kindle app on there but reading for pleasure from a screen really isn’t something I want to do by choice. It just spells business change and project management work to me. Paperbacks – yes I can handle those and frequently do, but I consider them to be frivolous and temporary reading companions. It’s First Editions that I really get excited about. A beautifully bound book with dust jacket and some amazingly good words inside. Add to that the thrill of the chase to find said book, the realisation upon discovery and viewing from afar that the book really is the one of your dreams. Then the frisson of anticipation as you espy the spine of your sort after book across a crowded bookshop. You rush across to introduce yourself and then feel the nervousness as you worry about whether the content will engage your mind and whether the dust jacket is a little too worn or the pages a little too foxed. Then the heart-melting realisation that the book really is for you and you make the purchase. Next, it’s the final journey home and a resting place on the bookshelf, where said tome will live in perfect harmony with you and provide everlasting entertainment. It’s a marriage made in heaven as far as I’m concerned. A book of such calibre is welcome on my bedside table any night of the week!
One thing lurking on your writing desk that shouldn’t be there?
Apart from the post-it notes you mean? The Wolseley car decal from the 1920’s. I’ve been researching my family history and one of my ancestors was a Chauffeur Mechanic and he drove a Wolseley A4. I tried to trace the car but couldn’t find it. So my brother bought me the decal from some car boot sale and gave it to me as a consolation prize.
Where do you see yourself as a writer in five years’ time?
Hopefully with the whole series of my Jacques Forêt novels on the shelves in bookshops. My anthology of alternative Fairy Tales selling well with probably a follow up in the pipeline. Maybe working on my series of romantic crime novellas featuring Nicolas Cheverny. Negotiating the film rights for Messandrierre? Proud owner of a red Morgan V8 maybe? Who knows!
Tell us a little more about yourself Angela.
Having followed a career in Project and Business Change Management, I now work as an Actor and Director at a local theatre. I’ve been writing, in a serious way, for about 5 years. My work in project management has always involved drafting, so writing, in its various forms, has been a significant feature throughout my adult life.
I particularly enjoy the challenge of plotting and planning different genres of work. My short stories vary between contemporary romance, memoir, mystery and historical. I also write comic flash-fiction and have drafted two one-act plays that have been recorded for local radio. The majority of my stories are set in France where I like to spend as much time as possible each year.
And finally give us a taster of Messandrierre which, I notice, has received great reviews.
Sacrificing his job in investigation following an incident in Paris, Jacques Forêt has only a matter of weeks to solve a series of mysterious disappearances as a Gendarme in the rural French village of Messandrierre.
But, as the number of missing persons rises, his difficult and hectoring boss puts obstacles in his way. Steely and determined, Jacques won’t give up and, when a new Investigating Magistrate is appointed, he becomes the go-to local policeman for all the work on the case.
Will he find the perpetrators before his lover, Beth, becomes a victim?
Messandrierre – the first in a new crime series featuring investigator, Jacques Forêt.