2015 Debut Authors Bash: Heather W. Petty (Interview + Giveaway)

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Hey everyone! Welcome to my stop on the 2015 Debut Authors Bash! I’m so excited to be hosting Heather W. Petty, author of Lock & Mori (September 15, 2015, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers). Today, I’m pleased to share with you an interview with Heather, as well as an epic giveaway! First, here’s the epic cover and synopsis:

L&M In modern-day London, two brilliant high school students—one Sherlock Holmes and a Miss James “Mori” Moriarty—meet. A murder will bring them together. The truth very well might drive them apart.

Before they were mortal enemies, they were much more…

FACT: Someone has been murdered in London’s Regent’s Park. The police have no leads.

FACT: Miss James “Mori” Moriarty and Sherlock “Lock” Holmes should be hitting the books on a school night. Instead, they are out crashing a crime scene.

FACT: Lock has challenged Mori to solve the case before he does. Challenge accepted.

FACT: Despite agreeing to Lock’s one rule—they must share every clue with each other—Mori is keeping secrets.

OBSERVATION: Sometimes you can’t trust the people closest to you with matters of the heart. And after this case, Mori may never trust Lock again.

Goodreads | Amazon | IndieBound

And now here’s the interview! Enjoy!


Question: Lock & Mori is a YA Sherlock Holmes retelling! Where did the idea come from? Why Sherlock Holmes?
Answer: I was reading an article about nemeses relationships that mentioned Sherlock is the only person in the canon to ever actually meet Moriarty. We only know what Sherlock told Watson about Moriarty. So I thought, what if he lied? What if Sherlock knew Moriarty from when they were in high school? What if something happened in high school turned them into enemies? And the book ideas kind of spun out from there.

Question: Imagine you’re speaking to someone who hasn’t heard a single thing about your book. Without using the phrase or words “YA Sherlock Holmes retelling,” how would you describe your Lock & Mori to them?
Answer: It’s the origin story of a criminal mastermind, whose high school relationship with her future nemesis set her on the path to what she would become.

Question: Did you do a lot of research prior to writing Lock & Mori? If so, what was the most interesting thing you learned?
Answer: Definitely. And I think the most interesting research was learning more about the way the English legal system works and how it differs from ours. But, then, I really love to study law, so I may have just been geeking out a bit.

Question: Biggest difference (editorial, character, etc) between your first draft and the final first edition of the book?
Answer: Well it definitely got better! Nothing major got added or taken away, but my editor definitely helped me to make the book much stronger. I learned a lot for sure!

Question: According to your bio, you’ve been obsessed with mysteries since you were twelve. What’s your favorite mystery book? Favorite mystery author?
Answer: Agatha Christie was my first and will probably always be my favorite mystery author. (Even though she totally cheats.) And MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS will probably always be my favorite, although I love the Tommy & Tuppence books so much, it’s hard not to pick one of theirs. MOTOE, though, blew my little 12-year-old mind back when I read it. It was the book that made me obsess over mysteries for the rest of my life.

Question: Craziest thing you’ve had to Google for a work in progress?
Answer: I once Googled abandoned buildings in East London, how to delay-start a fire, and how alcoholism affects decomposition of a corpse in the same night. I’m pretty sure I made it onto some kind of watch list with all of that.

Question: Name one book you read within the last six months and STILL can’t stop thinking about.
Answer: My most recent would be MOSQUITOLAND by David Arnold. That book completely opened, broke, and revived my heart in ways I never expected. I literally had to be consoled by a flight attendant while reading the end. He got very confused when I was smile-crying at my iPad and then hugging it. (It’s possible I should never fly Southwest again.)

Question: Favorite part of the publishing process so far?
Answer: Definitely the people. Beyond all of the amazing people I’ve gotten to meet through my literary agency and publisher, meeting other authors is so very cool. Honestly, going to some of the events/shows/festivals and hanging out with brilliant and hilarious authors for a weekend is like my utopia. It’s really hard to say goodbye.

Question: Lock & Mori is going to be a trilogy! Can you share any news? Are you editing book two? Writing book three?
Answer: I am currently editing book 2 and starting to write book 3. I’m super excited about what happens next!

Question: Aside from the Lock & Mori sequels, are you working on anything new?
Answer: I am! But I can’t tell you about it yet. (And I want to talk about it SO VERY MUCH.) Fingers crossed I’ll be able to make an announcement about it someday soon. :)


Heather Petty
Heather has been obsessed with mysteries since she was twelve, which is when she decided that stories about murders in London drawing rooms and English seaside villages were far superior to all other stories. Lock & Mori is her first novel. She lives in Reno, Nevada with her husband, daughter, and four hopelessly devious cats.


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Finally, thanks to the lovely Heather, we have an AMAZING giveaway for you guys! One lucky winner will receive a copy of Lock & Mori, plus an awesome swag pack! One winner, US & CAN only!

So, the rules:

-Giveaway is US & CANADA Only

-Winner has 48 hours to respond. If winner does not respond, a new winner will be selected.

-You must be 13 or older to enter OR have your parents’ permission.

-I am not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items.

-I reserve the right to change any rules as I see fit for each individual giveaway

*The above giveaway rules were borrowed and modified from Jessica @ Just a Book Lover.

With that being said, I wish you luck! May the odds be ever in your favor!

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4 thoughts on “2015 Debut Authors Bash: Heather W. Petty (Interview + Giveaway)

  1. I’m a little obsessed with Sherlock Holmes and this book caught my eye. Some people mentioned comparisons to Elementary, but that is Holmes/Watson not Holmes/Moriarty. Can’t wait to read this!

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