Minnie Price married late in life. Now she is widowed. And starving.
No one suspects this respectable church-goer can barely keep body and soul together. Why would they, while she resides in the magnificent home she shared with Peter?
Her friends and neighbours are oblivious to her plight and her adult step-children have their own reasons to make things worse rather than better. But she is thrown a lifeline when an associate of her late husband arrives with news of an investment about which her step-children know nothing.
Can she release the funds before she finds herself homeless and destitute?
Fans of ‘The Hoarder’s Widow’ will enjoy this sequel, but it reads equally well as a standalone.
- Did or do you like to read comic books/graphic novels? Which ones?
No, I am afraid this is a genre I have never tried. I like words, and plenty of them!
- Whom did you inherit your love for books/reading from?
Reading and a love of books is in my DNA! My mum was an avid reader. An enduring childhood memory I have is of her armchair, which always had a library book over the arm. She took me to the library every week and by the time I was eleven I had read all the books in the junior section. Mum’s dad was also a reader. She used to tell stories of coming home after a night out dancing to find him sitting by the fire reading. She would kick off her dancing shoes, put the kettle on and then settle down beside him to read until the fire had burned down to nothing. I like to think Mum would enjoy reading my books.
- When you need a murder victim or someone you can diagnose with a serious disease or someone who is involved in a fatal accident do you sometimes picture someone nasty you have met in real life and think ‘got you’ LOL?
I don’t write crime books but taking your question in a more general context, I do borrow characteristics and biography from people I know. The Widow’s Mite is about a lady who, from relative wealth, finds herself in utter penury. I knew of a gentleman who, for similar reasons, endured the same awful ordeal. The situation intrigued me and I wanted to explore its genesis and possible outcome. Maisie, another character in my novel, sprang from the owner of a house I once viewed as a prospective purchaser. Her husband was a hoarder. Her situation moved me and I wanted to imagine an alternative life for her.
- How do you come up with the names for your characters?
That’s a tricky one. Sometimes they just come to me, almost as though the characters have introduced themselves. Occasionally I feelas though the name as to reflect something of the character, hence the spiky woman in The Widow’s Mite is called Viola Cutler. Names need to be generation-appropriate. The women in The Widow’s Mite are about my age so I thought back to girls who were my contemporaries at school. I don’t always get it right. In a previous book I ended up with a Rob, a Robert and a Bob, so one of those had to be changed.
- Do you write other things beside books (and shopping lists 😉 )?
A shopping list is essential! I exchange letters with my mother-in-law, who doesn’t own a computer and likes to do things the old fashioned way. After I had published my Highbury Trilogy I was invited to contribute a monthly blog for Austen Authors, a co-operative of writers of Jane Austen-inspired novels.
- If a movie or series would be made from your books, would you be happy with the ‘based on’ version or would you rather they showed it exactly the way you created it?
Oh I am a purist. I think that the original book cannot be improved upon and any film adaptation should remain faithful to it. I watched the recent film version of Little Women and couldn’t understand why they had started three quarters of the way through. If any of my books ever made it onto the screen I would want them to be as close as possible to the original.
- Who would you like/have liked to interview?
I am not sure about interviewing but I would like the opportunity to have a coffee with writers like Patrick Gale, Salley Vickers, Anne Tyler or Elizabeth Strout. I admire all of their writing and would love to see if their writing processes are similar to mine.
- Do you have certain people you contact while doing research to pick their brains? What are they specialized in?
That depends on the book. For The Widow’s Mite I needed some advice about inheritance law and Probate so I called upon a friend who has studied law and is a JP (Magistrate). I also needed help with police procedure. Luckily I have another friend who is a Detective Constable. My books are based in the real world and so accuracy is important. If I get something wrong it will spoil things for the reader. I do Google quite a lot!
- Is there someone you sometimes discuss a dilemma with?
My husband Tim and my daughter Abby are brilliant about this. They let me witter endlessly while I work out issues which aren’t quite sitting right. Often I just need the opportunity to talk about the problem and the solution will come to me, I don’t actually need any input, and they understand they are just a sounding board. But often they come up with prompts and helpful questions which guide my thinking.
- What is more important to you : a rating in stars with no comments or a reviewer who explains what the comments they give are based on (without spoilers of course).
Spoilers are soul-destroying! But any feedback is great. On the whole I prefer a few sentences. When I’m shopping around for something I always read reviews before making my choice, these are more helpful than simple star ratings. But I know not everyone is comfortable with words (taking us back to where we started) so star ratings are good too.
Thank you, Allie Cresswell and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
Allie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.
She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.
She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time having retired from teaching literature to lifelong learners.
She has two grown-up children, two granddaughters, two grandsons and two cockapoos but just one husband – Tim. They live in Cumbria, NW England.
The Widow’s Mite is her tenth novel.