I am a long time fan of Angela Marsons – I absolutely love her books so you can imagine my joy when Angela agreed to an interview! (Actually, I don’t think you can 😂)
Firstly, thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions in Booked up girl’s “Fast Five” interview, this time focusing on characters. I am an absolute fan of the Kim Stone series, and I am super duper excited to be asking you these questions!
Angela, could you start off by telling us a bit about yourself.
Thank you for having me. I’m 51 years old and was born and raised in the Black Country where the books are set. I live with my partner, Julie, our mad Golden Retriever called Roxy and a potty mouthed parrot called Nelson. I’ll also reveal that I am absolutely addicted to the game pet Rescue.
Your new book has just been released, could you please tell us a little bit about Dead Memories, which I absolutely loved and thought was the best yet! (link to my review)
Dead Memories is book 10 in the Kim Stone series where we uncover a little more about Kim’s past due to a killer who is recreating the traumatic events in her life. I wanted to see how Kim would react when forced to relive events that she keeps locked up at the back of her mind.
1. Having now followed Kim Stone through TEN books, I’ve built a real connection with her and a portrait of her in my mind, it would be great to hear from you, her creator, what is Kim all about?
Kim is direct, often rude and she doesn’t suffer fools gladly. She is emotionally challenged and severely lacking in social skills. Her brusque demeanour hides an unshakeable integrity and drive to protect the underdog and fight for people who can not fight for themselves. She doesn’t want to be pitied for her past. She has come to terms with it in her own way and gives as much of herself as she is able.
2. Kim has had a horrific past, of which we have been given snippets throughout all the books, with a more detailed recount in your most recent book. What was your inspiration for this? Why was it important for Kim’s character?
The character of Kim, her voice, her attitude, formed in my mind much earlier than her whole story. Her voice had been niggling inside me for years but I didn’t let her out as she didn’t sound all that likeable. Eventually when I allowed her out I knew that her back story would have to be horrific enough to have formed the voice of the person who was in my mind. So she came before her past, if you like. I think her past is incredibly important to ensure the reader understands just why she is so so emotionally challenged.
3. In Book 2, Evil Games, we were introduced to villain, Dr. Alex Thorpe, who discovered Kim’s past and exploited it for her own experiments. She came close to breaking Kim (more than once!), how did you come up with her character?
For a long time I’ve been intrigued by the sociopathic personality and the more I researched the subject the more I wanted to explore the subject in a fictional setting. I wanted to represent a true sociopath, without an achilles heel, without the obligatory weaknesses that tend to be written in to TV characters. I wanted to pit Kim against someone who could act completely without remorse or guilt.
4. You have a great set of cast surrounding Kim. I absolutely love Bryant, and really feel he is what keeps Kim grounded – can you give us some more insight into his character?
It was important to me that Kim have someone that she could trust – at least as much as she is able. I wanted to avoid the ‘will they won’t they’ romance question so the reader could just enjoy the true nature and banter of their relationship so I ensured Bryant was happily married and more of a protective big brother character. Scenes between the two of them are my favourite scenes to write as it enables me to have a little fun.
5. Controversial question now… how do you feel about killing off characters?
Throughout the books I do get emotionally involved with all of the characters, even the baddies. They all have to make me feel something whether it be fondness, annoyance, anger or disgust so killing any characters off is not an easy decision. By the same token, all characters have to bring something to the story and if their character has developed so fully that they become repetitive they have to go. That’s not to say there aren’t tears when it happens, though.
Thank you answering these questions, before we wrap up … Can we expect to see more from Kim Stone and the team in the near future?
I’m working on book 11 right now but don’t have a date for publication yet.