Today I welcome Alison Golden, a lovely writing colleague of mine, whose books looks lovely. And what do you know – she’s got a brandnew one out this week: The Case of the Broken Doll (An Inspector David Graham Cozy Mystery Book 4) – already blessed with outstanding reviews.
Alison is the creator of the Reverend Annabelle Dixon cozy mysteries, a charming, fun series featuring a female vicar ministering in the beautiful county of Cornwall, England. She also produces a Jersey-based detective series featuring Inspector David Graham and the Diana Hunter series, set in Vancouver.
Her books’ themes range from the humorous and sweet to harder hitting suspense.
They are recommended for readers who like to relax and unwind with their books, who enjoy getting to know the characters, and who prefer the tougher side of life implied.
She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and twin sons. She splits her time traveling between London and San Francisco.
Hello Alison. Plese tell my readers what type of crime fiction do you write and why?
I write in the cozy mystery genre with a few slight twists. All my books are clean reads no graphic violence, sex, or strong language. Two series are set in England where I am originally from, although I have lived in California for twenty years. One of my series is a sweet, light, funny cozy featuring a ditzy but ultimately smart vicar who loves cake, the other series set in England is a more traditional British detective with some fun and seriousness written into it. The third series features a badass heroine, former spy. That one gets the heart pumping a little with some romantic tension and some suspense.
Do you find any crime fiction writers or detective over-rated, and if so, why?
Not so much writers but I’m not keen on books where there are no redeeming characters. I struggled with Gone Girl and Girl on a Train for that reason. I simply wasn’t rooting for anyone and emotionally they left me flat.
Are you like any of the characters (and how so)?
I am most like Annabelle, my vicar. Like her I have a sweet tooth, I love to drive the English country lanes in my car, and can appear quite ditzy and absent-minded. I’m just thinking about so many things at once! I also have some Diana Hunter in me, too. I wanted to be a Charlie’s Angel as a girl and would imagine myself righting all the wrongs I used to hear about on the news.
What is more important in your books – the plot twists or the characters?
Ooh, that’s a difficult question. I would say they are both equally important. I love character. That is where my heart is. I am a huge observer of people and have spent hundreds of hours analysing different psychological types. My characters become like friends to me and I love to find out where they go next. But I think plot is important too. It is important to feel tension, especially in a mystery, and for there to be underlying conflicts. Surprises add something extra and can elevate a book from good to excellent.
Do you plot the entire novel and know who did it before you start, or can that change?
Until my most recent book, The Case of the Broken Doll, I would have said I know it all beforehand. However, when I read over the first draft of Broken Doll. I felt there wasn’t enough suspense and I completely rewrote large parts of it and changed who did it.
Do you include humour?
Yes, all my novels contain humour of some kind. Often dry, but sometimes slapstick and farce. It is addicting to be able to make people laugh, it’s the best feeling in the world, and if I can do that through my writing, that’s fantastic.
What are you working on now?
I am plotting two Reverend Annabelle Dixon novels. My lips are sealed.
What do you do when you don’t write?
I market my books, hang out with my family, sleep. That’s all I have time for.
What is your favourite book?
My favourite books are “We Need To Talk About Kevin,” by Lionel Shriver, “Life After Life” by Kate Atkinson and “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote.
Great choices, Alison. What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?
I’m currently re-reading “The Sculptress” by Minette Walters in paperback.
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Alison Golden was born and raised in Bedfordshire, England. She writes cozy mysteries and suspense novels, along with the occasional witty blog post, all of which are designed to entertain, amuse, and calm. Her approach is to combine creative ideas with excellent writing and edit, edit, edit.
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