Angela Wren is the next and last author in this Character Traits series, well, at least for now. Known for her Jacques Forêt Mysteries, Angela writes about Alice Tomlinson, who appears in an anthology series. Next this character will be part of a new series she is launching — exciting news for us fans of her writing. Here. I will let her tell you about it.
Hello, Joan, and thank you very much for hosting me on your blog and letting me run riot about my stories, books and, my newest character.
An introduction to your character, including which book she appears.
Meet Alice Tomlinson. She’s my crime-busting singleton who is helped by her dad. More accurately, mostly hindered by her father. She’s also an interloper because she lives in London but all the crimes occur in the fictional village of Beauregard which is situated a few kilometres south of the fabulous city of Blois with its medieval château and a long history full of kings and dukes, war and rebellion.
Alice first appeared in the short story The Bookseller’s Secret Octavo which was included in the anthology Autumn Paths and published in 2021. The story examines the relationship between Alice and her dad, Peter Tomlinson, whilst also solving a mystery. It’s Alice’s experience as a valuer and auctioneer that has brought her to Beauregard, at the request of Peter, for the weekend. Through the story the reader discovers that perhaps not everything in Alice’s life is as good as it could be – much to the disapproval of her father!
How did you come up with the character and his/her name?
I’m an actor and I’ve been working on stage since I was six years old. Whether it’s for stage or the page, I build my characters in the same way. I always start with the shoes. Once I’ve got that right I know I have the gait and with that, the posture. Knowing the posture enables me to make decisions about the vocal qualities of the character. Other details, for example, name, age/date of birth, height, weight, colouring, I just pick and choose until I have what seems to me to be the right combination. So, Alice is average height, slim, in her late twenties, fair-skinned, and has unruly, dark-red hair. All the other attributes that makes us the people we are, such as attitudes, beliefs, aptitudes, feelings, etc., I decide on as I create the backstory for each individual. For Alice, that meant she lost her mum when she was still a child, has a passion for music, and can play the violin. She’s quite feisty, she challenges her father, and she keeps him, a man who is a bit of a chancer, on the straight and narrow. And, if I tell you too much more, your readers probably won’t want to discover her for themselves, Joan. But, I like her and some readers and reviewers do too!
Tell us more about Autumn Paths.
Autumn Paths is a multi-genre anthology and I collaborated with eight Canadian authors during it’s creation. My story is a cosy crime mystery that sits with other tales about family, loss, adventure, sci fi and a good old-fashioned murder! The book is the first of four. Winter Paths was published last year and my story in that one related to a French character in the village of Beauregard. The third book, Spring Paths, is in the making now and will be out later this year. My story in Spring Paths features Alice and her dad and a mystery that has to be solved. But there are some surprising consequences. The fourth book is yet to be planned.
Short stories are not the only instances when Alice and her dad appear on the page. I’m currently working on the first in a new series of novels, The Beauregard Mysteries, which will put Alice at the heart of crime solving in the sleepy little village. I’m hoping to get my current work in progress finalised in the next couple of months or so. So, I hope your readers will check out my website and social media in the autumn for news of the new books.
Angela Wren has worked as an actor and director at a small theatre a few miles from where she lives in the county of Yorkshire in the UK. She has also worked as a project and business change manager – very pressured and very demanding – but managed to escape, and now she writes books.
Stories and story-telling are things that Angela has always loved. Her first published story was in an anthology put together by the magazine ‘Ireland’s Own’ in 2011. She now works with eight other northern writers to create the Miss Moonshine anthologies alongside her collaboration with the Canadian for the Seasonal Paths collections. Angela has written some darker fiction for the Dark World charity anthologies created by her publisher Darktroke Books.
Her six full-length Jacques Forêt Mysteries are all set in the Cévennes in south-central France. And France is where Angela likes to spend as much time as possible each year.
Links to books and social media
Amazon : AngelaWren
Website : www.angelawren.co.uk
Blog : www.jamesetmoi.blogspot.com