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Mathilde Vuillermoz launches Anthea Press, introducing a new action hero for today’s world

Mathilde Vuillermoz launches Anthea Press, introducing a new action hero for today’s world
There’s a new hero in town: William Trevor Francis (WTF) and he’s quickly becoming the next big hit with thrill-seeking audiences everywhere!
In this exclusive article, we speak to serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist Mathilde Vuillermoz, founder of publishing company Anthea Press, and British author Marc-Allen Barker about how, together, they have been working on a mega series project that reinvents the action genre with a fresh, fun and bold approach: WTF – Thief for Hire.
Anthea Press publishing logo
“I knew I wanted to start my literary publishing venture with a gripping action-adventure,” says serial entrepreneur and CEO of multimillion-dollar company MV Worldwide Group Mathilde Vuillermoz of her new publishing house, Anthea Press, which has just released its first title, WTF – Thief for Hire by British author Marc-Allen Barker.
She continues: “I wanted a formula that I knew was tried and tested – and commercially viable – but I was also looking for material that was fresh and original. Something different that stood out from the pack. That’s exactly what I got with WTF – Thief for Hire. It’s brilliant, fun, clever and witty escapism literature at its best.
It doesn’t take itself too seriously, the characters are relatable, the travel across Europe is exciting, and the chemistry between the ‘cop and robber’ is fresh and new.
It’s pure entertainment, and a genuine page turner that provides readers with an action-packed and gripping story from beginning to end. The moment I started reading it I couldn’t put it down. I just knew I had to publish it.
Thanks to my experience as a literary and film agent, I instinctively knew I had a marketable project which I could sell the screen rights to, allowing me to utilize my network of studio contacts.
It is important to me that I maintain some level of creativity in the process as my experience in the television and film world allows me to bring a unique perspective to the development of this series.
“Thinking big was always the vision behind this endeavour. Like William Trevor Francis (the character), I am also a gambler and a calculated risk taker. I’m ‘all in’ on this project because I am confident in the material and its wide audience appeal.
Because of this, I am doing everything I can to make sure that the ‘WTF project’ is multi-layered with opportunities for the big and small screen, as well as the gaming industry where I already operate through some of the companies I own.”
"Serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist Mathilde Vuillermoz, founder of Anthea Press, says that WTF – Thief for Hire by British author Marc-Allen Barker is pure escapism at its best."
“With Marc-Allen Barker and his book WTF - Thief for Hire I have all the ingredients I need for success: the book, the writer, and the talent. It’s all there!
During my years as a literary and film agent, I have always been on the lookout for a project I could connect with enough to publish and/or produce myself.
Originally, Marc-Allen Barker sought representation with me in 2018 for his screenplay of the same name. However, after multiple meetings with him and my team in Los Angeles, I quickly realized that instead of selling his material for a short-term gain, he possessed the talent, personality, charisma, and skills for us to turn his WTF vision into a long-term marketable brand across multiple platforms.
Marc-Allen Barker, and his alter-ego William Trevor Francis, was just what I was looking for. I knew this was ‘it’.
Both Marc-Allen and I were born in France, educated in London, and live in Los Angeles, and we are both passionate about the entertainment industry, the creative process, and the business mechanisms that take place in the background.
Our backgrounds are remarkably similar. Our passion for world travel, food, culture, and the arts lined up in a way that allowed us to converse and strategize together easily.
We have always been ‘on the same page’ with our global vision and approach for WTF: to be a fun and entertaining form of ‘escapism’.
When I first asked Marc-Allen if he would consider adapting his screenplay into a book format, he was a little sceptical at first, having never written a book before.
But after reading his first chapter I was hooked and incredibly impressed! I instinctively knew I had something terrific on my hands: it was everything that I could have hoped for and more!
Flipping through the first pages I was immediately transported into his (and his alter-ego’s) world – and what a world it is! In my opinion, William Trevor Francis (WTF) is a refreshingly bold take on the tried and tested ‘reluctant hero’ character.”
WTF - Thief for Hire book front cover
"A clever and charismatic blend of James Bond, The Transporter and Californication, William Trevor Francis will take the reader on an unforgettably fun, entertaining, and action-packed journey across Europe with a deadly twist and turn at every corner"
“The character has an affinity for strip clubs, smoking, gambling, excessive drinking, and high-end robbery but author Marc-Allen Barker successfully pits this unapologetically- flawed male character against an equally strong, talented and capable female Interpol agent, Monique Lefort.
Blending action adventure with self-depreciation, wit, romance, and humour is not easy but WTF – Thief for Hire does just that in a very ‘real and relatable’ way. The characters are credible and honest. You can’t help but root for them!
As a woman and an entrepreneur, I am aware of the sensitivity to a character that differs from today’s ‘male ideal’.
In a world where we are increasingly quick to criticize and condemn anything that doesn’t immediately conform to our changing standards and values, I found WTF – Thief for Hire unapologetically refreshing.
The reader is presented with a character that makes zero attempt to curb or conceal his vices (he enjoys them too much) but who is equally able to appreciate and respect a strong woman (in the form of Monique Lefort, his Interpol adversary) and the conflict and adversity she brings.
I also like the strong moral compass which guides him and the clever ‘tongue in cheek’ level of sophistication that the author gives the character.
Most of all though, WTF - Thief for Hire doesn’t take itself too seriously and gives the reader a glimpse into a different lifestyle and experience that they are – most likely – not familiar with.”
"From the pen of British author Marc-Allen Barker has emerged the irresistible and irrepressible character William Trevor Francis. Buckle up, you’re about to go on a wild ride with a new hero that will have readers shouting WTF in glee."
Author Marc-Allen Barker is equally confident in WTF’s future: “I’m a Bond fan. I grew up on the Fleming books. I know that character like the back of my hand – and that’s why I tried so hard not to copy it. I respect it too much.
Instead, I wanted to create my own stand-alone character – more of an homage than an imitation. Ultimately, I wrote a book that I would want to read: something that was fun and entertaining.
A book that the reader wouldn’t have to work too hard at to understand or follow, but that at the same time would transport them, if just for a brief moment, into someone else's exciting and dangerous world.
I think I’ve managed to present the reader with a relatable character that is equally appealing to men and women (albeit for very different reasons).
WTF – Thief for Hire gave me the opportunity to use my personal experiences (and my imagination) to create an escapist adventure while paying tribute to some of the iconic Hollywood action heroes of the ‘80s and ‘90s that I grew up with.
It’s fun and entertaining. I’d want to read it just as much as I’d want to watch it on the screen, but I also believe that what makes WTF – Thief for Hire so different is exactly why it will do so well. It doesn't follow the rules.”
Speaking about the character of William Trevor Francis, Marc-Allen says that he has infused WTF with many of his own attributes.
He explains: “The character is fictional (just for the record, I’m not an international thief!) but there’s a lot of ‘me’ on the pages.
I purposefully gave the character as much of my personality, and background, as possible (the good and the bad) because I wanted the character to be believable and credible.
With William Trevor Francis and I sharing so many of the same traits and experiences, I just think it makes the character so much more interesting and, dare I say it, likable.
No, he’s not your ‘typical hero’ but I think everyone will end up rooting for the self-sabotaging risk-taker because at the end of the day he’s a good guy trying to do the right thing. At least what’s right in ‘his’ books!
I also tried very hard to avoid the stereotypical pitfalls and clichés that have unfortunately become all too common, so I didn’t ‘play it safe’ with regards to the character or the choices that he makes.
For me, safe equals boring. I don’t like boring. I wanted something that would shock and delight in equal measure. A book that could be both fun and dangerous at the same time.
You shouldn’t like him but deep down you really do! Despite his many flaws and ‘poor choices’ you can’t help but cheer him on.
As a husband, and a father, I also think it’s important to portray ‘real’ characters that might be flawed but who are ultimately guided by a strong moral sense of what’s right and wrong.
I wanted this book to be equally appealing to a male and female audience, and I genuinely believe that the characters I’ve created are strong, credible, relatable, and refreshing.
At the end of the day, as an author it boils down to the entertainment factor. Was the book a fun read? Did you enjoy it? And would you recommend it? If I hit all three then I’m happy. Job done!”
WTF Thief for Hire by Marc-Allen Barker (Anthea Press) is out now on Amazon, priced £11.79 in paperback, £8.42 as an eBook, and £16.85 as a hardcover.  For more information, visit 

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