Interview: Adrienne Kress, author of The Friday Society

Written By: Kellie - Mar• 25•13

I’m super excited about today’s interview, as I haven’t stopped gushing about The Friday Society since I finished reading it. You can check out my review, here. Next up, in my quest to make everyone read this fantastic YA book, is an interview with the author, Adrienne Kress. She’s an author, actress, and Canadian to boot. You can follow her on her website, or on twitter, but for now… interview time!

the friday societyThe Friday Society: Set in turn of the century London, The Friday Society follows the stories of three very intelligent and talented young women, all of whom are assistants to powerful men: Cora, lab assistant; Michiko, Japanese fight assistant; and Nellie, magician’s assistant. The three young women’s lives become inexorably intertwined after a chance meeting at a ball that ends with the discovery of a murdered mystery man.

It’s up to these three, in their own charming but bold way, to solve the murder–and the crimes they believe may be connected to it–without calling too much attention to themselves.

Set in the past but with a modern irreverent flare, this Steampunk whodunit introduces three unforgettable and very ladylike–well, relatively ladylike–heroines poised for more dangerous adventures.

Kellie: What has been the biggest surprise for you in publishing your YA debut?
Adrienne: I come from the world of middle grade which is fantastic but very different when it comes to its internet presence.  So I think for me the biggest surprise was just how incredible the online YA community is.  There are hundreds of blogs started by YA readers all about books and I just think that’s fantastic.  There’s a real passion for reading out there.  I also can’t get over just how supportive everyone is of each other – bloggers supporting bloggers, authors supporting authors, bloggers supporting authors, authors supporting bloggers . . .  It’s like we’re all in this together – readers/writers vs the world!  And we are so totally going to win :) .
Kellie: From concept to completion, how long did The Friday Society take you to write?
Adrienne: I sold TFS on a book proposal so it was a slightly unusual process for me.  I initially had a first chapter and a synopsis which I then worked with my soon-to-be-but-not-yet-at-the-time editor on expanding into 20K words.  My editor then took that to the house to pitch it.  When it was accepted (yay!) I then wrote the rest.  That first part of the process took about two months (that also included a lot of waiting).  After that I’d say the rest of the book came together in four months.  Of course, it still takes a long time for a book to come out as there are all the stages of editing, design and promotion.  So I sold the book in the fall of 2010 and it came out the fall of 2012.
Kellie: D

id you find world-building or character-building to be more of a challenge?

Adrienne: I tend to find world building more challenging than character building.  And I think this comes down to the actor thing.  I have spent my whole life fleshing out characters I’ve been cast as, and having to do so relatively quickly.  So now creating three dimensional characters for my stories comes quite easily.  But, though more of a challenge, I really do enjoy world building, especially as I was using a city I had lived in for three years.  It was fun taking readers to some of my favourite London sites, and at the same time learning more about the city’s past.  I also have to admit a cheeky fondness for playing around a bit with its history (especially doing naughty things to famous landmarks), it’s the advantage of doing alternate history :) .

Kellie: All three of your main characters have such strong, distinct voices. How were you able to separate each girl’s voice from the others when writing their chapters?

Adrienne: It’s not as tricky as it might seem.  Sometimes it takes a bit of warming up, writing a bit of the chapter and then falling back into the voice, but once I’d established their characters it all became a matter of logic. How would this character react in this situation?  Nellie would react one way, Cora another, Michiko another.  Once you establish who these people are you have the answer to that question and the voice just naturally flows from there.
Kellie: What’s next for you?
Adrienne: I have another YA out this June called OUTCAST, it’s quite different from TFS – contemporary, written in the first person, set in the States in the deep south.  It does retain my unique sense of humour, however.  Oh!  And it’s also my first book where romance plays a major role.  Which is, I think, really exciting :) . This is my first foray into ebooks (Diversion Books) and I am really excited about it.  I am learning so much already and I still can’t get over the fast turnaround.  I mentioned above the two years that passed between signing TFS and its publication, and in this case I signed the deal for OUTCAST a few weeks ago and it’ll be out in a couple months.
I also have some really rather exciting plans for a sequel to TFS, so keep your fingers crossed!
Kellie: Well thank you so  much for taking the time to answer these questions. I recommend The Friday Society to anyone and everyone, so I definitely can’t wait to see what you come out with next.

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