My thanks to Ann Lewis for stopping by Tribute Books Reviews & Giveaways and sharing her thoughts about her book, Murder in the Vatican.
ABOUT ANN: Born and raised in Waterford, Michigan, Ann Margaret Lewis attended Michigan State University, where she received her Bachelor's degree in English Literature. She began her writing career writing tie-in children’s books and short stories for DC Comics. Most recently she published a second edition of her book, Star Wars: The New Essential Guide to Alien Species, for Random House. After attacking the Star Wars universe, Ann plunged into writing science fiction/fantasy, historical fiction, and, of course, mysteries. Her latest book is Murder in the Vatican:The Church Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes published by Wessex Press. She is also co-writing a historical novel entitled Roman which tells the true story of a priest in 1840s southern Indiana who was accused of assaulting a woman in a confessional. Ann is a classically trained soprano, and has performed around the New York City area. She has many interests from music to art history, to theology and all forms of literature. She is the President of the Catholic Writers Guild, an international organization for Catholic Writers and the coordinator of the Catholic Writers Conference LIVE. After living in New York City for fifteen years, Ann moved to Indianapolis, Indiana with her husband Joseph Lewis and their son, Raymond. Together they enjoy their life in the heartland.
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1. How did you come up with the title?
Believe it or not, the publisher came up with this title. My original title was Sherlock Holmes: The Church Mysteries, but the publisher felt it wasn’t—I dunno—catchy enough? They wanted something a bit more lurid, I suppose. It is the publisher’s prerogative to pick the title and in this case it works.
2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
That faith and reason go together. They are not mutually exclusive. In fact, one must reason to have faith, because faith is what one knows to be true.
3. How much of the book is realistic?
Well, it is historical fiction. I did my best to be historically accurate in tone, language, setting, characters. Pope Leo was a real person, and many people around him were real people (like Cardinal Rampolla the Secretary of State). But Holmes stories always have a suspension of disbelief involved, because Holmes is so amazing.
4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
I’d find some of the linguistic anachronisms that some people have pointed out to me. As it is, I am changing some of them in a second edition.
5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Language first – imitating Conan Doyle is no piece of cake. And anachronism. You don’t know how easily that can slip in to a historical piece.
6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
That your characters can take off and lead you through the story. It’s amazing when it happens. My characters literally told me the story, and I just followed along.
7. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I realized I could write pretty well in high school. I purposely took hard writing classes my senior year while everyone else was suffering from "senioritis." I had it, too, but I lost myself in my writing and in reading mysteries.
8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have too many favorites to name. Contrary to what you might think, Doyle isn’t my true favorite. My true favorite is G.K. Chesterton, and it kills me, that as an English major, I did not read his work in college.
9. Tell us your latest news.
I’m singing in an opera for the first time. I’m a classical singer, and I’ve never taken a step into opera, and I’m singing in the chorus of La Traviata with the Indianapolis Opera. I’m terrified. I have to memorize all this Italian in two weeks and I’m freaking out.
10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I hope if you decide to read my book that you simply have a good time with it. It is meant to be good fun. And I also hope you have a blessed and peaceful Easter.
ABOUT MURDER IN THE VATICAN: A sudden death in the Vatican. An international incident over stolen artifacts. A priest’s wrongful imprisonment for murder. In this collection of three as yet untold tales, hinted at in the original Holmes stories, the voices of Dr. John H. Watson and the legendary Pope Leo XIII reveal how the great Sherlock Holmes brought these grim ecclesial cases to startling and poignant conclusions.
Murder in the Vatican by Ann Lewis is available for $14.56 at Amazon.com and at HolmesChurchMysteries.com.
Review copy provided by the Murder in the Vatican Blog Tour.
Congratulations to our winner: Molly E!