March 18, 2014

Author Interview: Angela Misri, author of Jewel of the Thames

Angela Misri
author of Fierce Ink Press' newest YA novel,

Jewel of the Thames
A Portia Adams Adventure
Fierce Ink Press
238 pp.
Ages 12+
March 2014

has graciously agreed to allow
CanLit for LittleCanadians
to delve into her writing world
and learn some details about her and her book.

HK: Sherlock Holmes is such an iconic literary character that many writers have found different ways to incorporate him into their own writing. Why have you chosen to do this?

AM: Portia was not always based out of Baker Street, though since she shimmered into my imagination she has always been a young Canadian detective. Two things inspired me to place her in the home of Sherlock Holmes. First, the style and writing of the Conan-Doyle Casebooks, which felt like a natural way to write detective fiction for me. The second is that I was inspired by Stephen King’s Holmes short story called ‘The Doctor’s Case’ which opened my eyes to the idea that Holmes could live on beyond the stories written by his original creator.

HK: How did you have to adjust your style of writing to accommodate the 1930’s time setting of Jewel of the Thames?

AM: Like the style of the casebooks, I found that when writing about Portia, my voice naturally becomes more formal. I had to do a lot of research into the actual words and slang used at the time, and my editor actually helped me with that as well. I found that by keeping Portia Canadian (that went back and forth in development by the way), I was able to more easily account for her slight difference in speech from the Londoners she finds herself around.

HK: I notice that there are nine casebooks listed on your Portia Adams blog. Will each book have its own stand-alone mystery that needs solving or will the books be revealing new information that will go towards solving a big mystery?

AM: Yes, each casebook is a mystery to be solved, much like the original casebooks were written. I would have been happy to publish each casebook on its own (like The Green Mile by Stephen King) but found that there was more interest in a larger story arc wrapped around the mysteries that Portia solved. So for the first book, I took the first three cases and fleshed out that larger story – of Portia’s evolution from newly orphaned Canadian girl to an aspiring consulting detective in London.

HK: Your book has elements of historical fiction, romance, and mystery. Which of these was the most difficult to incorporate into your first Portia Adams book.

AM: Oh for sure the romance. I think because I read a lot of historical fiction and mystery, writing those two feels entirely natural to me, but I don’t read much romance at all, and therefore found it hard to write. My publishers helped me a lot with it, asking me the right questions that led to me write out scenes that only played out in my head.

HK: I have one favourite question that I like to ask authors. This is it: would you rather produce one book of extraordinary importance that becomes a classic but one to which all your writing is forever compared, or would you prefer to author many different books for different audiences and which could not be compared to each other easily?

AM: Wow, that is a hard one! I believe I would like to author many different books for many different audiences and I pick that because I do actually write very different books. Portia Adams is my first series, but I have written another historical fiction novel based in 300BC India called Savitri (unpublished), and a time-travel romance I published under a penname and I have the outline for a dystopic fiction series that would probably fall under the fantasy YA genre. So I have a LOT of stories in me (like many people I know) but I don’t think I yet have the idea for a book of ‘extraordinary importance.’ Maybe someday ; )

Many thanks to Angela Misri 
for taking the time to answer these questions
to Colleen McKie at Fierce Ink Press 
for making arrangements and including me in the blog tour for Jewel of the Thames

1 comment:

  1. This is great. I liked that the romance wasn't over the top in the novel - it makes it more believable knowing that we're dealing with Portia Adams and not some sappy love creature. :P

    Glamorous Book Lounge