Every Breath is a fantastic addition to the Aussie YA genre and set in the Australian city of Melbourne is Sherlock Holmes meets the boy next door! Today, Every Breath author Ellie Marney chats with me about her recent release.
And, while you're here be sure to check out my recent 5 star review of Every Breath
Hi Ellie! Congratulations on the upcoming release of your debut novel, Every Breath!
I know this must be a really exciting time for you, and quite busy I imagine, so thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions!
It’s been a bit mad, yes, but it’s lovely you asked me to visit :)
Let's jump straight into it, shall we?
Every Breath hit Aussie stores on the 21st of August, how do you feeling knowing people will be able to read your work?
Well, I’m a little nervous! It’s a very strange feeling, having this little private world of your own suddenly come to life and go out into the Real World. When I went to Sydney last May to visit the Allen & Unwin team, everyone in the offices was saying ‘Oh, I read your book!’ and it felt very odd, because up to that point it had just been sort of a secret place that only my editor and I had ever visited. But it’s hugely exciting too – I love Rachel and Mycroft so much, and I’m so happy to be introducing them to other people! It’s an author’s dream, to be sharing your work with so many readers :)
As part of the celebration that is Every Breath's release, you're participating in your first blog tour. How has the blogging community been treating you? Hopefully we've all been as welcoming and as supportive as possible....
Oh, that has been amazing - people have been so generous and supportive! I’d like to say a massive thank-you for that, to all the readers, reviewers, bloggers, and others in the writing community who’ve welcomed Every Breath with such open arms! I’m incredibly grateful and full of love.
Every Breath has been pitched as Sherlock Holmes being the boy next door. For those who haven't read Every Breath yet, what can readers expect?
Every Breath is about a former-rural girl who is forced into city life when her family’s farm nosedives. In Melbourne, she discovers that the wildly eccentric boy next door is an amateur Sherlock – a genius with a passion for forensics – and they combine forces to solve a grisly murder near the Melbourne zoo.
What else can you expect? A leading lady who does most of the grunt work. A leading man who fits the profile of Sherlock but not the mould. A ‘Melbourne: multicultural melting-pot’ cast. The seamy side of the city. Blood – don’t be squeamish now, this is murder. Bad guitar playing. Chemistry, in more ways than one. Lots of oddball t-shirt in-jokes.
Having recently had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Every Breath (I loved it by the way ;D) I know first hand how fabulous the characters are, so let's talk about them. Are Rachel and Mycroft based on anyone you know?
Thank you, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! On characters, I think most writers would say that their characters are a bit of an amalgamation – they share some traits with people you know, or people you observe, with a dash of yourself thrown in, and a big dollop of imagination.
Rachel and I are a bit alike – we’re both quite stubborn – but she’s really a mix of a number of rural people I know, who’ve spent their lives growing up on farms in the Australian country.
Mycroft drinks tea with condensed milk – something I love as well – but he has a lot of skills that I can’t imagine possessing, like the maths-science thing (I can’t even balance a chequebook). In some ways, Mycroft was easy to write because he already has a template – Sherlock Holmes – but Mycroft turned into his own person, with traits that Conan Doyle’s Sherlock never showed, like empathy, and humour, and an ability to communicate and reveal stronger passions.
Describe James Mycroft in 5 words?
Oh, that’s hard! I suppose…eccentric, super-smart, sarcastic, haunted…and, yeah, hot. (Although that could be my bias towards smart – I always think smart is hot!)
You're not biased at all Ellie! Smart is very hot! Admittedly I'm a bit biased in the name department, but I honestly found Rachel to be a great leading lady. How do you think you'd cope if you found yourself in Rachel's shoes?
I think I’d cope okay, although I could never do some of the things Rachel does – my vertigo would probably get in the way. But I could certainly see myself getting a bit tenacious, the way she does, and a bit obsessed. And as for Mycroft…well, I admit it. I would fall in a heartbeat!
Every Breath is a essentially a YA murder mystery with a hint of romance thrown in. How much research went into the forensic aspect of the novel. How did you make sure you got all the details right?
Ah – well, that proved to be quite a tricky aspect of the writing. I wasn’t allowed access to the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, so a number of things I had to just Google (god bless the internets!) or ask my sister, who’s in training as a cardio-thoracic surgeon. She got used to me ringing her up and asking weird questions about how much blood you’d lose if you had your throat cut, and so on! In the final fact-checking stage, I was very relieved to be given the opportunity to talk to a professor of forensic medicine in Queensland, who was kind enough to answer some of my kookier questions about autopsy procedures and Y-incisions.
Ha! Google=our friend! It's amazing the things we can find. A little birdy told me you're quite the traveler so in saying that, what stopped you from taking the same road other Aussie authors have taken and setting the book overseas? Why keep it on home soil?
For one, I wanted the book to be based in Australia – so few YA novels are. I also wanted readers to get a sense of Melbourne as a city, its mean streets and its gritty side. I love my adopted city to death, and it’s always showing me new little twists and turns – it has a real personality, which I wanted to convey in Every Breath.
On a practical note, I also knew it would be a lot easier to research – I have a big family (four boys) and I can’t take much time outside of Real Life to go racing off on research trips, it all has to be squeezed in somehow…and my sons were adamant that the zoo was a great place for an exciting finale! (so it worked out well for everybody, really – they got lots of zoo trips, and I got to check out the location!)
If you could meet anyone dead or alive, real or fictional, who would you want to meet and why?
William Shakespeare, because of THE GENIUS.
Every Breath will be followed up in June 2014 with Every Word. Any hints as to what we can expect from our crime fighting duo Rachel and Mycroft in book two? *hint* *hint*
Ah…I foresee a long journey, back to the heart of Mycroft’s mysterious past, and a great deal of angst and danger in Rachel’s future…compensated for by some really hot moments with Mycroft while unchaperoned…
But I can’t give any more away!
EEEE! I'm excited for that!! Especially these "hot moments" that you speak of! Thanks again for stopping by to chat Ellie!
It’s been a pleasure, Rachel! Thanks for having me!
I'm looking forward to lots more fantastic tales for you in the future.....
....but before you go....
|For all you non-Aussie's out |
there---this is a galah, one of
our native birds!
1. Nutella or Vegemite? Vegemite – with avocado on toast please
2. NRL or AFL? AFL - I have adopted all the strange Victorian customs
3. Favourite native animal? Galahs. We rescued a baby galah with a dislocated wing a few years ago, and its parents came back every day to feed it on our veranda until it was well enough to fly away! I love galahs – they mate for life, and they’re loyal family birds.
4. Favorite [Australian] holiday destination? South-east coast of NSW
5. Favorite [Australian] City? Has to be Melbourne
6. Lucky Number? 5
Rachel Watts is an unwilling new arrival to Melbourne from the country. James Mycroft is her neighbour, an intriguingly troubled seventeen-year-old genius with a passion for forensics. Despite her misgivings, Rachel finds herself unable to resist Mycroft when he wants her help investigating a murder. And when Watts and Mycroft follow a trail to the cold-blooded killer, they find themselves in the lion's den - literally.
A night at the zoo will never have quite the same meaning again...
Every Breath is published by Allen & Unwin and is available now online and in all good bookstores!