A huge welcome to today’s Author Influences with Alison Morgan. Alison’s debut thriller A Justifiable Madness was published on 10 September 2017. More about the book a little later, as I hand you over to Alison to talk books.
Which authors/books did you like to read as a child?
As a young child, Beatrix Potter and Enid Blyton’s ‘The Five Find Outers’, then classics such as ‘Alice in Wonderland’, ‘Thursday’s Child’, and ‘Moonfleet’, and as a young teenager anything by S E Hinton, and ‘Run Baby Run’. I read Papillon and Banco as an older teenager, several times.
Were you good at English at school? Did you like it?
At school I wanted to be good at English, but my imagination was better than my grammar, so my results were average. I loved to understand the derivation of words and still do.
What genres do you like to read? Have they had an impact on the genre you write?
Thrillers, adventure stories, mysteries, autobiographies, true crime… and yes, all have had influence.
If you were to write a different genre what would it be and why?
Children’s adventure stories. Why? As a personal challenge to encourage young people to read more, and because they would be tricky to write.
Did any author’s work encourage you to pick up your pen and write and if so who, what and why?
Probably who I read as a very young adult, Dick Francis, Alistair Maclean, Wilbur Smith and more recently R D Wingfield, M R Hall and Mark Billingham. There is always a mystery or problem to solve, and the character driven stories with humour have influenced my writing the most. None of them are pretentious.
Are there any authors who, as soon as they publish a new book, you have to get it?
Not so much these days. There are so many good books to read by a variety of authors.
Which books have you read that have made you think ’Wow, I wish I had written that’ and what was it about the book?
All the ones I couldn’t put down. Mostly because of the attachment to the characters in the book and the predicaments they are in.
Have any of your plots/characters been influenced by real life events/people? (Be careful, I don’t want you getting sued!)
My debut novel is inspired by true events and by my life as a psychiatric nurse. The characters I write tend to be amalgams of several people I either know or have come across in life. Parts of me end up in at least two main characters.
Thank you Alison for taking part and for the brilliant answers.
Alison’s debut novel A Justifiable Madness is out now and here is what it’s about…
Can you really tell the difference between madness and sanity?
Mark Randall goes to great lengths to get himself admitted to an acute psychiatric ward and, despite being mute, convinces professionals that he is psychotic. But who is he and why is he so keen to spend time in a psychiatric hospital?
When Mark is admitted, silent and naked, the staff are suspicious about his motives.
Dealing with this, as well as the patients on the ward, Mark’s troubles really begin once he is Sectioned under the Mental Health Act. When decisions about his future are handed to Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Giles Sharman, Mark’s life goes from bad to worse.
Drugged, abused and in danger, Mark looks for a way out of this nightmare. But he’s about to learn, proving that you are sane might not be easy as it sounds…
About A.B. Morgan
Alison lives in North Bedfordshire and is making the most of a mid-life crisis. Married to an overgrown child with a beard, she has grown-up children who have flown, and a dog who has replaced the children in the nest. Last year a dodgy heart forced her to sit down for more than five minutes. She sat at a computer keyboard and a story came out of her head, which had been lurking there for several years while she was working as a mental health nurse. Debut novel A Justifiable Madness was published by Bloodhound Books in September. Other novels are forming an orderly queue, with the second, Divine Poison, nearing completion.