Who is Alicia Allen?
Characterization is one of the key components in a novel so, for authors, it is crucial when creating a lead character that the “creation” will appeal to a wide range of readers. This is particularly important for any author writing a series featuring the same character and who wants readers to read the rest of the novels in that series.
A Model Murder is the first part of the Alicia Allen Investigates crime trilogy and introduces Alicia, the spirited Anglo-Italian, private client London solicitor with a passion for solving crime and for munching Pringles. I am often asked questions about where the idea of Alicia came from. The most common ones are:
1. Why is she a solicitor?
2. Why did I make her a private client solicitor?
3. Where did the idea to make her Anglo-Italian come from?
4. Why Pringles?
I believe that the old adage “write about what you know” is good advice and a very good place to begin when developing and shaping a lead character. I qualified and worked as a family lawyer before I became an author so it seemed natural for me to create a character who was a solicitor because I could write about her work as a solicitor from my own personal experience of working within the law and dealing with lawyers and clients on a daily basis. Knowing the ins-and-outs of office politics in a legal setting has been particularly useful in the plots of all three novels in the series.
I made Alicia a private client solicitor rather than a criminal lawyer because it was a slightly different angle. Additionally, as a private client solicitor dealing with Wills and Inheritance there is much scope for corruption and murder and something which Alicia particularly discovers in the course of her work in Wilful Murder and Murder in Hand, the second and third books in the trilogy.
The Italian influence comes from being an Italophile with a love of the language, country and culture and that is a theme running through all the books. I also have an Italian background from way back which is probably why the influence is so strong and the desire to express it on paper. When I was researching for Murder in Hand, half of which is set in Italy, I came across some very interesting cases in Italy of family inheritances vanishing in mysterious circumstances, which sparked the idea for the plot.
Why Pringles? Pringles seems a very good fit for Alicia’s personality as once you start eating them you cannot stop and in the same way once Alicia begins investigating a case she feels compelled to press on whatever the consequences. And I think it is an engaging side to her personality. She has her foibles and that makes her very human.
You can read the latest news and media on the Alicia Allen Investigates crime trilogy at the Alicia Allen Investigates website
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