- Crime & Mystery Novel
- Love, Sex & Marriage Humour
- Humourous Fiction
♥ Blurb ♥
The first in a hilarious new series featuring a regular girl set down a path strewn with misadventures and murder to her destiny as `The Love Detective’. Clarry is 26, attractive, funny – and on the road to nowhere. Living a makeshift existence as a waitress, she knows life should be led with some sort of plan, but unfortunately planning is something she needs to get around to. Enter her best friend Laura with a seemingly simple request: check out Simon, estate agent and new boyfriend, to make sure he really is interested in Laura and not the solicitor help she can provide. Clarry is no detective, unless you count tracking down where her next tip is coming from. Still, what harm could a little amateur sleuthing do? With the aid of Flan, a glamorous septuagenarian, Flan’s lover, and a cast of colourful characters from the restaurant she works at, Clarry plunges into the investigation with a few pitfalls, pratfalls and a dodgy moment where she’s mistaken as a pole dancer (and not in a good way). It isn’t until 1) she discovers that Simon’s a two-timing creep, and 2) in a sinister turn, she uncovers an evil criminal enterprise, that she realises amateur sleuthing is not for the faint of heart! Cynical and yet romantic, Clarry is an unlikely heroine that readers will both identify and fall in love with. Her misadventures and comical outlook mesh brilliantly with a thrilling story that will appeal to readers of romance, crime and chick lit. Set to be the first in an entertaining new series, you don’t need to follow the clues to know The Love Detective is one book you don’t want to miss out on!
♥ Author Info ♥
Angela Dyson ditched her London life and downsized her home to move to the sticks in Surrey, to follow her dream to become a professional author. She loves to write but to pay the bills (Angela soon discovered that utility companies, bank managers and landlords aren’t known for their generosity and understanding natures) she had to squeeze the writing in with working for a living. Some of the jobs to which she only gave half her attention have included working for a recording studio and a record label, running a building maintenance company where pretty much the only upside was getting to boss a lot of men about all day, doing a bit of plus size modelling (strictly clothes on) and, for one memorable summer, making a living reading palms on a Greek Island.
♥ Character Spotlight ♥
- How do your characters begin in your writing process? Do you have an incline for a name or you know how you want them to look?
I’m very dialogue driven and so I hear what my characters are saying to begin with (but not in a crazy I hear voices kind of way!). Then the physicality of the person starts to take shape as I begin to understand how they are thinking. There have been times when I’ve been a bit hazy about how a character looks and so I visit a Gallery. I’m not looking to create an exact replica of a portrait’s subject but it’s more that I’ll spot a certain knowing look in the eye or arrogant tilt of the chin and this sparks ideas that I can literally flesh out.
- How do you choose your names?
Names are a tough one. In the writing of Charles Dickens, I love that the character’s name gives a clue to his or her personality. For example Thomas Gradgrind in Hard Times, a School Board Superintendent who grinds down the soul of those under his care and Sir Dedlock in Bleak House, a man who is stuck in an interminable law suit…….but I don’t think this would be appropriate for today’s reader!
What I do try and avoid is anything too cutesy, too self-consciously ‘oh look at me I’m so effortlessly beautiful.’ I don’t write characters like that, so I tend to go for relatable names.
I do find that I often change a character’s name as I go along. Suddenly they sound to me more like a Jess than a Helen and there’s no real reason for that – probably to do with people I associate with certain names.
Also, I think about how the characters would sound if they introduced themselves. What would the inflection of their voice suggest? What syllable would they stress? I don’t know why but I find that helps!
- Which character is your favourite to write?
The heroine, Clarry (short for Clarrisa) Pennhaligan, in The Love Detective came very naturally to me. I feel I know exactly who she is although she is certainly capable of surprising me. And Flan, Clarry’s much older, glamorous, gloriously outspoken side-kick. I could hear her voice so clearly that sometimes, when I was working on the novel, it was if she was in the room with me.
After finishing the novel, I had planned to take some time off before embarking on the second book in the series, but I found that I missed Clarry and Flan– I wanted to know what they were up to and what adventures they would have next (I don’t plot out my story lines in advance!) and so now I’m busy writing book number two.
- Which character is the hardest to write?
Incidental characters that are only briefly introduced as an end to a means. There’s no time (nor need) to fully flesh them out but they do need to come across as authentic and real.
- Are any of your characters based on a real-life person?
Flan is a hybrid of the female members of my family (both living and dead) – The Love Detective is dedicated to them.
- Lastly, if you could have dinner with one of your characters, who would you pick and why?
I wish it could be both Clarry and Flan but if it has to be just one then it would be Flan. She’s much older than I am but she really knows how to live. I admire that. Flan is undoubtedly wise but she’s also really good fun. We’d have a cracking evening.
Once again thank you!
Thank you so much, Angela, for stopping by today for a natter. Do come back very soon.
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