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?
Hello book lovers! Today is a day where I will be writing another author spotlight for a well-accomplished author whose work I have loved. As you know book lovers I love learning about authors and the inspiration behind their work, it fascinates me and adds to the depth of the book because the reader will be able to better understand it. That is how the author spotlights were created because I soon discovered that you lovely readers ALSO love learning about author’s, so I am excited to tell you a little bit more about author Angela Wren whose book Messandrierre thrilled me from beginning to end. I personally would recommend this book to all of those that love detective novels but really the book can be read by anybody as it is flawlessly written and highly enjoyable. With today’s author spotlight for Angela Wren, a biography of the author and an interview between me and Angela Wren will be shared, and I hope that you book lovers enjoy reading it! To kick this off here is an author bio about the wonderful Angela Wren!
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, since 2010. 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.
Now, how wonderful does Angela Wren sound?! Angela Wren is a truly exceptional writer and I hope that you lovely readers have a read of Angela Wren’s work because you will not regret it! Please see below an interview between me and Angela Wren, I hope that you enjoy Angela Wren’s answers to my questions, they are incredible and provide some great advice too!
Thank you for joining us today at Red Headed Book Lover! Please tell us more about yourself
I’m a writer and also an actor and theatre director for a small theatre near where I live in Yorkshire (UK). I did once have a proper job as a Business Change and Project Manager, but it was very pressured and very demanding and I succeeded in escaping from that work in 2005. Since then I’ve lived in an imaginary world that feeds my need to write stories. I love animals but I have no pets. I like nature and good food, wine, and conversation and I love chocolate.
Could you please tell us readers about your book and what inspired you to write your book?
It was a change in the weather! I love France and one of my favourite places is the Cévennes, a rugged upland area in the south. When there, I stay in a tiny village in col de la Pierre Plantée (planted rock). At an altitude of 1263 metres the weather can be challenging. In June the pastures are pear-green, the pines are inky-green in colour with the pale yellow pollen from the cones drifting on the gentle breeze. The leaves of the chestnut trees are the same lush shade of green as shamrock, and, amidst the green expanse sit clumps of sunshine yellow genêt (botanical name Genista).
Having said that, the weather can be extreme and it can change in a moment – as it did overnight on September 27th in 2007. I woke up the next morning to a silent and white mountainous landscape and, after taking in the view, my thoughts turned to murder and how easy it would be to use snow in a place like the Cévennes to cover someone’s misdeeds. Within the hour the opening paragraphs of Messandrierre had been crafted in my head. The rest of that story and the follow-on books took a lot more work.
What would your advice be for aspiring writers?
Never give up.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing about a book?
The colour in the writing. I never read blurbs, so when I’m in a bookshop looking for something to read I always go straight to the first page and begin there. If I can’t see the colours in the words after the first couple of paragraphs, I know that book isn’t for me and it goes back on the bookshelf. A book has to grab my attention from the very first line and it has to leave me always wanting to know more.
What is your writing process like?
I’m quite scientific in some respects. I had my timeline for all four Jacques Forêt books and to supplement that I drew up a chapter/scene plan for each one as I came to write them. I use a spreadsheet to do this and on there I note down, characters involved, point of view, location and questions I want to be raised in a reader’s mind for each scene. At the completion of this I usually have all the key scenes for the principle plotline. Then I make some notes about the sub-plots and they usually remain in that form. Then I think on it for a bit and then, having got my opening paragraph clear in my head I start writing. I kind of keep on going after that as I write through my characters.
Every so often I stop and go back and crosscheck where I am with my plan. Sometimes my characters take me off plan and then I need to decide whether I will stick with that or not. If I need to edit at that point then I will before I continue writing.
Unfortunately I’m not able to write full-time as the majority of my week is spent at the theatre. My writing has to be scheduled in whenever I have a spare morning, afternoon or evening. But I am getting very good at sticking to my scheduled writing time each week.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
In some respects I’ve been researching my novels set in France ever since I was a teenager and made my first visit. I’ve kept journals for all of my trips to France and I often consult them for information about a place or location or an incident that has remained in my memory. I’m a book collector and I have shelves full of books on France that I also consult when I have a question and I use on-line forums as necessary. As for how long this all takes – well it varies greatly depending on the plot. In Montbel, (book 3), for instance, I had to spend quite a bit of time researching the world of professional chefs. That was most interesting and took whatever spare hours I had over a month before I’d got everything I needed noted down.
Do you have a set schedule for writing, or do you only write when you feel inspired?
My writing is scheduled to whenever I have a spare time slot. Usually I know exactly what I want to say as the words will have been buzzing at the back of my head for a couple of days beforehand.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
Wow, that’s a tough question and it’s kind of hard to answer because there are so many. I’m an avid reader and always have been. My bookshelves (and you really don’t want to know how many of those I’ve got!) are a testament to my very varied taste and my obsession with book collecting. OK, so narrowing it down, I have to start with D H Lawrence – I love the colour in his writing, he uses words as though they are oils on a palette and as I read his books I can see the brush strokes and the fabulous pictures he paints in my mind’s eye. Robert Louis Stevenson for his wit and observation. Nathaniel Hawthorne for the gentility of his story telling. Mervyn Peake for his amazing and completely believable but outlandish characters and descriptions. Dame Freya Stark for the genuine humility of her narratives. And finally, Thomas Hardy for the poetry in his words no matter what the form of the text.
Lastly, when can we readers expect to read more wonderful books from you?
I’m writing the fourth Jacques Forêt story at the moment and that has to be with my publisher by the end of March 2019. I expect that, round about the end of summer 2019, the novel will be out in print and e-book format.
Its official book lovers, I am obsessed with Angela Wren! If you have liked what you have read about Angela Wren and are interested in learning more about Angela Wren and reading Angela Wren’s work, then please do have a browse of the links below and be sure to have a read of the preview too! You will not regret it.
Goodbye for now book lovers,