Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Interview with Addie Thorley for An Affair Of Poisons

An Affair of Poisons

by Addie Thorley
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Release Date: February 26th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
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After unwittingly helping her mother poison King Louis XIV, seventeen-year-old alchemist Mirabelle Monvoisin is forced to see her mother’s Shadow Society in a horrifying new light: they’re not heroes of the people, as they’ve always claimed to be, but murderers. Herself included. Mira tries to ease her guilt by brewing helpful curatives, but her hunger tonics and headache remedies cannot right past wrongs or save the dissenters her mother vows to purge.

Royal bastard Josse de Bourbon is more kitchen boy than fils de France. But when the Shadow Society assassinates the Sun King and half the royal court, he must become the prince he was never meant to be in order to save his injured sisters and the petulant Dauphin. Forced to hide in the derelict sewers beneath the city, any hope of reclaiming Paris seems impossible—until Josse’s path collides with Mirabelle’s, and he finds a surprising ally in his sworn enemy.

She's a deadly poisoner. He's a bastard prince. Together, they form a tenuous pact to unite the commoners and former nobility against the Shadow Society. But can a rebellion built on mistrust ever hope to succeed?

Can you briefly describe An Affair of Poisons and their main characters?

An Affair of Poisons is a YA historical fantasy set in late 17th century Paris that imagines what could have happened if La Voisin, one of the most notorious witches and poisoners of the time, had succeeded in her attempt to assassinate King Louis XIV. In real life, her plot was foiled and she and her accomplices were burnt at the stake. But in my version of history, things play out quite a bit differently. The story is told from two perspectives. The first is Mirabelle: La Voisin’s daughter, who is responsible for creating poisons for the Shadow Society. And the other narrator is Josse: the bastard son of the king who must go into hiding with his royal siblings after their father is killed. 

Who would you say is your favourite character from the story and why?

Ahh this is such an impossible question! It’s like asking me to pick a favorite child—I love them all. But if I have to choose, I suppose I’d say Josse. He was just so easy to write. I always knew exactly what he would do or say; it was like he was sitting in my brain dictating to me. 

How did the story occur to you? Did you find inspiration anywhere? 

This sounds totally creepy, but I have always loved poison. Something about smoky laboratories and bubbling cauldrons and dangerous, colorful bottles really calls to me. So when I began writing novels of my own, I knew I wanted to write a poison book. I just wasn’t sure who or what it would be about. One day, while doing research for a different project, I happened to read about the sorceress La Voisin and the scandalous event known as L'affaire des poisons (here’s a quick run-down: members of the French nobility began hiring witches and poisoners to get rid of their bothersome husbands and rivals at court. It turned into a huge scandal that reached clear to the king’s inner circle.) I immediately felt that spark; I had found my poisoner at last.

If you could choose one song to describe your book, which one would it be?

I don’t really have a song for the book as a whole, but each of my main characters has a “theme song” that I’d listen to on loop to get in the right headspace. Josse’s song is Vindicated by Dashboard Confessionals (soooo much angst haha) and Mira’s song is Foreigner by Ledger. It perfectly encompasses her fish out of water status within La Voisin’s Shadow Society.

If your book was about to become a movie/TV show, who would you see playing as the characters in An Affair of Poisons? 

Ohhh this is so fun to think about!! I think Noah Centineo would be a perfect Josse (I may have a slight crush lol) And I’d really like Kiernan Shipka as Mirabelle. Kate Beckinsale would be AMAZING as La Voisin, and I think Willem Dafoe would make a great Lesage. Tom Felton is the only person who could play Louis. 

Since it is still cold outside, what hot drink do you think will go with your book to have a perfect book date? 

Definitely a spicy hot chocolate! Something decadent and rich but with a major kick. 

Can you recommend your readers any other books in case they are left hungry for more once they finish An Affair of Poisons?

Can I ever!! I’m currently obsessed with Spectacle by Jodie Lynn Zdrok and Enchantèe by Gita Trelease. It’s SUCH a great year for historical fantasies set in Paris!! I also have to mention The Oracle Glass by Judith Merkle Riley. It’s another novel based on L'affaire des poisons and it’s absolutely magical! Plus it features many of the same characters as An Affair of Poisons, so if you’re having withdrawals, it’s the perfect antidote! 

What’s next for you?

I have a YA fantasy duology starting in Spring 2020, and I’m SOOO excited about it! It’s called NIGHT SPINNER and it’s a gender-swapped reimagining of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. It’s set in a world inspired by the Arctic Tundra and it features girls with swords and volatile night magic. You can learn more and add it on Goodreads here: Night Spinner.

Addie Thorley spent her childhood playing soccer, riding horses, and scribbling stories. After graduating from the University of Utah with a degree in journalism, she decided “hard news” didn’t contain enough magic and kissing, so she flung herself into the land of fiction and never looked back. 

She now lives in Princeton, New Jersey with her husband, daughter, and wolf dog. When she’s not writing she can be found gallivanting in the woods or galloping around the barn where she works as a horse trainer and exercise rider. 

AN AFFAIR OF POISONS is her debut novel.

1 comment:

  1. "What do you think about AN AFFAIR OF POISONS? Will you be adding it to your TBR?
    What's your favourite YA genre?" I have added it to my TBR! I love high fantasy! I think alchemists are great!