Welcome to UTC, Ava! Let’s get to know you better. What are five interesting things about yourself that readers wouldn’t necessarily know?
Hi, and thanks for having me! Let’s see…
- I used to eat raw bacon as a child
- If I had enough time, I’d learn Russian, French, Spanish and Swedish – all the sexy languages!
- My childhood ambition was to be a trapeze artist
- I can do a backwards dive into the deep end of a swimming pool
- I am a terrible cook, but kick ass at jigsaw puzzles
In UNTOUCHABLE, you explore the life of an escort. What kind of research did you have to do for this? And what was the most interesting tidbit you found?
It wasn’t anything like as salacious as people imagine! Mainly I did my research online, reading escort blogs and so on – there’s plenty of stuff out there. But I have met a couple of women who were in the business for a while, so I picked their brains about what it was like, and they told me some great stories.
The most interesting tidbit? How many clients go out of the way to make sure the escort enjoys herself too. You’d have thought they wouldn’t bother, but it seems even when paying for sex, most men want the feeling to be mutual.
As this book is a thriller, I would love to know what key elements you think every great thriller should have.
Fab question! I don’t think there’s any formula, and it all comes down to personal taste. For me, high stakes and real tension and jeopardy arise not from wall-to-wall action scenes or intricate plotting, but from character. The more I understand and am rooting for a protagonist, the more exciting I find the story. Once I’m right in someone’s head, I care very much what happens to them.
Stella finds herself around many powerful men in this book. What characteristics do you think every female protagonist should have in order to be able to deal with the situations she faces?
Well, I guess every female protag has to have balls. Stella’s profession takes a measure of guts, even before she finds herself in a whole shit load of trouble. But I think another essential is a sense of justice. Stella knows she’d be better off leaving well alone and keeping her mouth shut, but it’s just not in her nature. Despite being an escort, she’s a deeply moral person, and hasn’t got it in her to let a guilty man get away with murder.
If you had to describe UNTOUCHABLE in a tweet (140 characters or less) what would it be?
High class call girl, Stella, takes on a top level conspiracy that confronts her with a past she would rather forget.
What was the last book you read that kept you up all night reading?
Nothing keeps me up all night reading! I am religious about getting enough sleep as I can barely function on less than eight hours. But Tuesday Falling by S Williams got me pretty close to midnight. A fast-paced compelling story with a vivid London underground setting, a book that deserves a lot more attention.
What’s next for Ava Marsh?
Well, I’m in the middle of editing my next book, EXPOSURE, which reveals the life story of Kitty Sweet, a former porn star – now serving a life sentence in prison for double murder. It’s quite different to UNTOUCHABLE, but has been a lot of fun to write. And yes, plenty of research needed there too – mainly memoirs of people involved in the industry rather than watching actual porn.
Released: October 6th 2015
Published by Berkley
Spend a night of sexual adventure with this gritty, debut thriller.
In a toxic world of lust, lies, and elegant hotels, London’s high-class escorts cater to the carnal appetites of powerful men. It’s a game Stella knows how to play, one that allows her to escape the nightmares of her past. The rules are simple: always leave your client satisfied, don’t get involved, and never disclose your real name. But when a fellow call girl is murdered, the game changes completely. And there’s only one rule—survival.
Once a respected professional, Stella knows how easily men can get away with murder—especially when the victim is a prostitute. Determined to get to the truth, she finds herself sucked into a deadly conflict with some of the world’s most powerful men. But while they may consider themselves above the law, there’s one secret every escort knows: no man is truly untouchable.