Interview with Adrienne Kress, Author of The Friday Society

Please welcome Adrienne Kress, author of The Friday Society, to the virtual offices today.  She’s here to chat about her latest release.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Adrienne Kress] An author/actor who is utterly fabulous in every way, and beyond humble.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Friday Society?

[Adrienne Kress] In very brief:  Steampunk Charlie’s Angels without the Charlie.

In slightly less brief: Three female assistants to powerful men in London society (lab assistant, magician’s assistant, combat assistant) realise that they are just as talented (if not more so) than their bosses and team up to solve a series of murders and thefts, as well as save the city from general destruction, in London 1900. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Adrienne Kress] This is a tough question.  The story is kind of a combination of many different things I’m interested in, Steampunk, strong female characters (as well as strong female friendship – no cattiness in my story, no frenemies, just true loyal quality friendship like the relationships I have with my female friends), mystery, humour.  I’ve also been a temp to make ends meet so I know what it’s like to be an assistant and not really get the credit or respect you are really owed.  I figured pairing that with the sexism of the Late Victorian/Early Edwardian period could result in a pretty interesting story about girls finding their way in life, as well as learning that they are strong individuals and worthy of stepping out of the shadow of their bosses.

In general I have an interest in (and distaste for) labels and how society puts everyone into categories and doesn’t seem to want to recognise people as individuals.  This is also why I address classism and racism in my story, not just sexism. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Nellie?

[Adrienne Kress] Honest, sweet (though prone to anger), bold

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Cora won’t leave the house without.

[Adrienne Kress] Her pistol that her boss, Lord White, had customised for her.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Michiko’s bedroom?

[Adrienne Kress] Comfortable bedding, any decorative features, friends. (Michiko lives with her boss, Sir Callum Fielding-Shaw, and he doesn’t treat her particularly well.  He provides a roof over her head and food, but not much else.  He also doesn’t permit visitors.)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Adrienne Kress] Douglas Adams, Shakespeare, Edward Gorey, children’s authors such as A.A. Milne, Lewis Carroll, J.M. Barrie, Norton Juster

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Adrienne Kress] Computer, tea, focus

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Adrienne Kress] A rather disturbing (and definitely not for kids) adult fantasy novel called THE PATTERN SCARS by Caitlin Sweet

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Adrienne Kress] I can’t think of just one.  The books of Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary really made me love reading as a kid.  But THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY made me see books (and writing) in a whole different light.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Adrienne Kress] I’m a huge cinephile, so I enjoy going to the movies a lot.  Otherwise just spending time with friends and family makes me perfectly content.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Adrienne Kress] Easiest way is to email me at adriennekress(at)gmail(dot)com.  Or I’m on Twitter at @AdrienneKress.  I also have a website (and blog):

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can order The Friday Society from your favorite bookseller or by following the links below.  In stores December 6th.

About the book:

An action-packed tale of gowns, guys, guns–and the heroines who use them all

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.