Emily Castles Interview (Plus a Three Sisters Giveaway!)

As Monty Python once said, and now for something completely different!  As I've been constructing features and posts for Indie in Summer, I crossed paths again with the delightful British author Helen Smith.  Last year, with my review of Alison Wonderland I was able to feature an author interview with Ms. Smith, and now that I've read (and loved) her newest short story Three Sisters Helen was kind enough to join Her Book Self again for another interview, this time in the voice of her heroine Emily Castles!  I've always imagined how fun it would be to sit down and have a conversation with my favorite book characters so here's a little piece of what that would be like!   

As a special bonus, Helen Smith has offered to sponsor a giveaway of one ebook copy (your choice of format) to one lucky reader!  Check out the details after the interview!

Hi Emily! Thanks for joining me! Tell us a little about yourself.
Hello Lisa, thanks for inviting me here. I live in London in a quiet street that is typical of many residential streets in London: some of the occupants have lived here all their lives, others have come to live in London from abroad – there are Somalis, Jamaicans, Japanese and Australians; there are people with families, elderly people and young people who are living together and splitting the rent. Since going to a wonderful party in a big house at the end of my street that had been temporarily taken over by artists and circus performers, I have got to know some of my neighbors. I have realised there’s a secret behind every front door!

As this is a book blog, do you consider yourself a reader? What are some of your favorite books and/or authors?
I love Agatha Christie – she’s my favorite author.

I'm so sorry about the loss of your dog, Jessie. It seems that most people without pets have a difficult time understanding the bond between humans and canine companions. How do you best describe the relationship to them?
Thank you. Jessie was really old but I was still sad when she died. Looking after a dog is a huge responsibility as it’s your job to make sure they’re healthy and happy. But it can be very rewarding as dogs are really good companions; they just seem so cheerful all the time. For much the same reason that you yawn when you see someone else yawn, or cry when they cry, or smile when they smile, when you see a happy dog, it makes you happy. When that dog is your dog, it makes you feel proud: everything is OK with one little part of the world that you are able to control.

It was a pretty big step for you to attend your neighborhood party despite still grieving for Jessie and I'm sure you never anticipated what an eventful evening it would be. With all that occurred, do you regret at all your decision to go out that night?
It was one of the most exciting nights of my life! I met some very interesting people, solved a mystery and got to know my neighbors. I’m really glad I decided to go out that night.

Your neighbors display a wide variety of circus type talents. If you had to join a performing troupe, what would be your job?
I’d love to be an aerialist, doing all sorts of daring tricks on the trapeze.

Could you share your recipe for cheesy potato bake?
Ha! It turns out I’m better at sleuthing than cooking. I just throw the ingredients together and sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. You’d do better to follow a Jamie Oliver recipe than follow one of mine.

Have you embarked on any adventures since what happened in Three Sisters? (Any hints about what's next to come in The Emily Castles Mysteries?)
Yes, my neighbor Victoria owns a dance and drama school for children – she used to be an actress. She has been receiving poison pen letters and has asked me to work undercover in the school to find out what’s going on. Apparently someone has uncovered a secret in Victoria’s past. She’s being very cagey about it but I need to try and find the truth about what happened twenty years ago to shed light on what’s happening now. Someone who works at the school has died and I’m sure the events are connected.
Thanks for joining me, Emily!  

And for everyone who enjoyed this little peek into the life of London's latest detective, be sure to enter for your chance to win an ebook copy of Three SistersTo enter, check out her blog, and then come back here and leave a comment on this post - or my review of Three Sisters - telling me something interesting you learned about Helen or her work!  (Contest will be open internationally from now until July 20 JULY 29 - Be sure to leave a way to contact you if you win!)

4 Response to "Emily Castles Interview (Plus a Three Sisters Giveaway!)"

  1. biblioholic29 says:
    July 8, 2011 at 10:19 AM

    She mentors members of an exiled writers group, which is fascinating. She also listed Candide as a favorite book, and it's one of mine as well. (It's pretty rare.)

  2. Anonymous Says:
    July 8, 2011 at 2:08 PM

    I learned she has had a lot of jobs in her life, from cleaning motels to working as a magician's assistant.

    Emily Castle sounds like a great character. Her book Alison Wonderland also caught my eye.

    carolsnotebook at yahoo dot com

  3. Enbrethiliel says:
    July 9, 2011 at 3:31 PM


    Speaking of contests, Lisa, you just won one of mine! =D


  4. lisa :) says:
    July 22, 2011 at 2:40 PM

    I'm going to leave this contest open for one more week in hopes of drawing more entrants! Winner will be selected on July 29th!

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