Los Angeles, CA, May 28, 2014 --(PR.com
)-- Title: A Model Murder (Book 1)
Series: Alicia Allen Investigates Trilogy
Genre: Crime Fiction
Author: Celia Conrad
Publisher: Barcham Books
ISBN-13: 978-0954623326 ISBN-10: 0954623320
Release Date: Sept. 15, 2011
Paperback Pages: 341
E-Book: Kindle (KDP Select)
What do law firms and hostess clubs have in common? The answer lies at the heart of British author Celia Conrad’s “A Model Murder,” a crime fiction novel featuring the murder of a young model moonlighting as a stripper and the harassed-at-work London woman lawyer who sets out to bring the murderer to justice.
The thriller appeared on the literary scene in 2011 before news events made its plot points seem positively prescient. Last April, a stripper was found murdered after work in Atlanta, Ga.; and last year, a gender discrimination lawsuit against a prominent American law firm settled in favor of its women lawyers.
Los Angeles journalist Marlan Warren (MW) caught up with Celia Conrad (CC) to discuss “A Model Murder” (AMM) and why Barcham Books has decided to launch the e-book as a giveaway via Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select program May 31 through June 2.
MW: In AMM, the soon-to-be-murdered moonlighting model tells someone, "He told me he was used to getting what he wanted..." in describing an aggressive club customer. This alpha male attitude is echoed later in an encounter your heroine has at her law firm with a psychotic boss. How much of your professional lawyer experiences found their way into Alicia's world?
CC: AMM is autobiographical in parts, which probably makes it darker because it is real. The legal profession is still male dominated despite what we are told about more women qualifying or more women reaching top jobs. I think for a young woman within the law it can still be quite hard.
MW: What kind of research did you do regarding hostess clubs?
CC: When I was doing a little modeling, I met a model who worked in a club to supplement her income. To research, I went to clubs and talked with the women. They told me they had to generate money for the club by being "nice," but how “nice” came from the top. Some women felt pressured, others did not, depending on the boss.
MW: What’s your opinion of the recent workplace gender discrimination lawsuits?
CC: I am sure there is still a lot of bullying. In terms of sexual harassment, the laws have tightened but I'm sure it still goes on and women are reluctant to speak out for fear of repercussions.
MW: Your heroine is a half-Italian London lawyer with a passion for justice and a chip that rhymes with “Singles.” How much of yourself is in Alicia Allen?
CC: I do love potato chips. We share tenacity, passion and curiosity. She’s half-Italian because I love Italy. I wanted her to be sharp-witted, warm-hearted and likeable with moral fiber, backbone and sincerity. I only wish I’d thought of her retorts when I was working within the law. Like me, she looks vulnerable, but she’s a tough little cookie.
MW: What were the circumstances surrounding publication?
CC: I wrote AMM at the suggestion of my then-agent and mentor, Paul Marsh, who encouraged me to write about my law experiences; and I put what I knew from modeling into the mix. Paul passed away before AMM was published. Then my mother passed away, and I was too immersed in personal turbulence to focus on promotion. Hopefully the free Kindle e-book offer will attract a fresh crop of readers and stimulate interest. The paperback will remain for sale and on the shelves of U.K. libraries.
MW: What is your writing process?
CC: I jot down notes in pencil and then plot the book out. Then I work the plot backwards, having decided on whodunit and the red-herrings. The actual writing took about 8 weeks. I edit as I read aloud: something Paul taught me to do.
MW: “Wilful Murder” and “Murder in Hand” round out the trilogy. The former takes Alicia to Australia, and has a plot that turns on a string of murdered relatives over a Will, and the latter takes Alicia into the depths of corruption in Sicily. Did Paul Marsh assist in the crafting of these books as well?
CC: Yes. Before he died, Paul had read both books and was really happy with them. He believed Alicia is a great character who deserved to find her audience. That endorsement has always pushed me on.
Celia Conrad | barchambooks at btconnect dot com
Publicist | memoircity at gmail
Website | www.aliciaalleninvestigates.com
Author Blog | celiaconrad.blogspot.com
Twitter | iwrite2b
Facebook | Celia Conrad Author