LOCK & MORI – Interview & Giveaway

I’m finally back from vacation and back on track now that school has started.  PHEW is there any rush like the end of summer programs meeting the beginning of the school year? After all the delays and holidays I am finally returning to Lock & Mori which was released YESTERDAY – wheeeeee! You might remember my overwhelming affection for this modern day re-telling of the Sherlock Holmes canon featuring a female teenage Moriarty (yes) and a teenage Sherlock solving mysteries and kissing as they hurtle towards their fate from my last blog.  Today, I have an interview with author Heather W. Petty AND I’m giving away a copy of Lock & Mori! Onto the interview!

heather

How were you first introduced to Sherlock and the work of Arthur Conan Doyle?  Did you always want to write your version?

I read the stories when I was a teenage murder mystery addict, but they weren’t my favorite, if I’m being honest. I was way more into Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie. But rereading the stories more recently was really interesting. The narrative style really holds up for a modern reader. I think the first-person narrative mixed with some of the more progressive ideals presented in the stories are why derivative works have been so popular throughout the years.

How did you decide to write from Mori’s POV instead of Sherlock’s?

From the start, I wanted to tell the story from the perspective of the villain. It was the biggest part of the appeal of the idea for me, really.

Why did you choose to set the story in present day?

I wasn’t really interested in writing a historical, so pulling the characters into the present day was a pretty easy decision.

I know you don’t want to spoil the next two books – but are you planning on introducing more characters from canon (in your own versions, of course!)24885790

The book is an origin story, so I’m trying to match up this story with an alternate, modern version of what happens in the canon. That means a lot of the characters introduced in the canon aren’t necessarily available to me. But I can’t answer this specifically yet. For reasons. 🙂

Do you have some recs for other YA mysteries?

YES! One of my favorites of the 2015 debuts is Mary McCoy’s DEAD TO ME. It’s Golden Age Hollywood noir perfection. I love that book so much! I also really loved TEN by Gretchen McNeil, UNSPOKEN by Sarah Rees Brennan, and THE BOOK OF BLOOD AND SHADOWS by Robin Wasserman. Finally, keep 2016 in mind. Kristen Crowley Held has the cutest most hilarious mystery coming out in March called HOLDING COURT. And in June 2016, Bill Cameron has a YA mystery called PROPERTY OF THE STATE coming out that is BRILLIANT. I literally can’t wait to get my hands on a finished copy when it publishes just so I can reread it again and again.

Rank your favorite versions of Sherlock?  (note: it is OK to have The Great Mouse Detective as number one)

I couldn’t possibly rank them. I will say that House was probably, to me, the most unique derivation so far—so unique many people don’t realize it’s a Sherlock derivative work. And there’s a special place in my heart for the Jeremy Brett Sherlock from ITV’s various Sherlock series in the 80s and 90s. That show is probably what made me first fall in love with Sherlock and want to read the full canon. (As an aside, I saw Great Mouse Detective in the theaters when it first came out! Aaaaand, now I feel like the oldest ever.)

Find Heather online: website | Twitter |Facebook | Goodreads

Thank you, Heather!  I sometimes forget House is a Sherlock reboot too!  I love when stories come back over and over in different ways, I think it’s one of the things that really drew me to Lock & Mori.

ARE YOU DYING TO READ IT YET?  Since it’s out now you can order a copy of your very own!  Or you can go check it out from your local library (if don’t have it, suggest they purchase it.) AND YOU CAN WIN A COPY HERE!  All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog by Wednesday, September 23 and I’ll select a random winner.

Get on the case already! (sorry, I couldn’t resist …)

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LOCK & MORI by Heather W. Petty

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Yes.  Yes, it’s exactly what you’re thinking right now.  Yes.  It’s a broody, brilliant teenage Sherlock Holmes solving mysteries and sharing kisses alongside the troubled teenage genius Miss James “Mori” Moriarty.  I am guessing that your reaction is probably similar to mine the first time I heard about this book and then saw the delightful cover –

I must agree.  I tore through this book when I got my hands on the ARC and it fulfilled all my Sherlock/mystery/messed up YA romance needs.  I think teens are going to LOVE this book. When I was asked to be part of the book tour, I couldn’t say yes fast enough. SO this week I will be bringing you all the reasons you should pre-order this book (it comes out on September 15) and NEXT week I’m hosting an interview with author Heather W. Petty and Simon & Schuster is hosting a giveaway for one lucky reader.  Whooo-hooo!  So what’s so special about Lock & Mori? Let me count the ways …

THE MYSTERY

I am always glad to find a new mystery for my teen readers that is not historical or paranormal.  Not that there’s anything wrong with mixing up genres like that – but I have some teen readers that ONLY want contemporary action/thriller/mysteries and there’s NEVER enough for them.  More often than not, they’re also reading from the adult section because…well, there’s just not enough YA with contemporary, hard-edge mysteries with NO magic just clever, contemporary mystery solving with some ass-kicking and dangerous twists. Lock and Mori totally fills that gap – yes there’s romance, there’s personal/family trauma and drama, but at heart, it’s a crackerjack mystery with real villains and real stakes.

THE CANON

Yo – are your teens as into BBC’s Sherlock as mine are?  Yeah, I thought so. My teens won’t stop talking about Sherlock.  Is part of this due to Benedict Cumberbatch’s cheekbones?  WELL SURE.  But another part is that the BBC’s Sherlock does a great job making Sherlock of the here and now.  Lock & Mori has that same vibe.  Sherlock is still his same old disdainful, unbearably clever self … but he’s also very much a teenage boy in London in the here and now.  It does a great job, just like the BBC show, of weaving in the same old story with something very contemporary.  I think teens will be drawn to that mix and find it a good match with the show.  And, like the show, Lock & Mori isn’t afraid to invent new ideas and new interpretations of Sherlock and the world he lives in – another thing teens who eat up fanfic and AUs will be surely drawn to.

MORI!

Yes, this story is narrated by Mori, not Lock and it’s fantastic to see him develop as a character through the eyes of someone other than John Watson.  BUT EVEN WITHOUT ALL THAT, THERE IS MORI.  She is fierce, smart, sad, dangerous, and on the precipice of … of … something very dark and alluring indeed.  It makes it nerve-wracking to read about her and her voice keeps the pages turning. (did I mention I tore through this book?) Lock and Mori have a steamy, passionate connection which adds some dimension to the mystery and makes everyone who knows how canon says their story will end wiggle their toes with anticipation.  It’s a smart move on Petty’s part as a writer, because it gives Mori some fallibility that still has you rooting for her and it gives the reader a delicious frisson of angst and suspense in a story that’s hundreds of years old and told over and over.

Mori is an absolute delight as a narrator and a YA treasure of a character.  She is female heroine who the text foreshadows will become an anti-heroine, oh my goodness what’s not to love!

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I think teens are going to love this book!  I’ve already started telling my most passionate fandom teens about it and they nod their heads with vigorous approval and anticipation.  I think you’ll be doing the same thing! I recommend Lock & Mori as a first purchase for libraries where mysteries, books with slightly amoral protagonists, and fandom followings are big draws.

And make sure you come back next week for my interview with Heather W. Petty and a GIVEAWAY!!

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