I’m so excited to be spotlighting A Forgery of Roses as well as sharing my interview with the author, Jessica S. Olson, today!
Welcome Jessica! Thank you for allowing me to interview you! Can you start off by introducing yourself?
Hi! I’m Jessica, and I’m the author of Sing Me Forgotten, a YA fantasy gender-swapped Phantom of the Opera, and A Forgery of Roses, a gothic murder mystery with magic! I live in Texas, where it is entirely too hot, and love vampires, carbohydrates, and music.
How would you describe A Forgery of Roses in one sentence?
I pitch it as STALKING JACK THE RIPPER meets the portrait magic of THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY. A girl is blackmailed into trying to raise a boy from the dead with her dangerous portrait magic, but as she completes the painting, she discovers the death was no accident and the killer is after her next!
Can you introduce us to the main character(s) of A Forgery of Roses?
The main character is Myra Whitlock, a young portrait artist with a dangerous secret: she’s a Prodigy, and therefore has the power to alter people’s physical bodies with her magical paintings. She’s loyal and determined, but she has a hard time trusting people. I love her so much, and I hope you all will, too!
Do you know from the beginning how your books will end or do you let your characters decide their journey?
I am a plotter 100%. I outline all my novels very thoroughly before I ever type a word of the first draft–it’s just the way I am. I think particularly with a book like A Forgery of Roses, where the plot is a murder mystery, it was essential for me to know the answer to the mystery that Myra was trying to solve, that way I could pepper in the clues and discoveries throughout the story so that it would all lead to the culminating moment when she solves the case!
Do you have a favorite scene, moment, or quote from the book?
Oh, I really love the scene when Myra figures it out. It was one of my favorites to write, and I cannot say more so I don’t spoil anything!
What is something readers will find in A Forgery of Roses that they may not realize based on the synopsis?
I hope that readers will be able to see their own struggles in the lives of the characters! I worked really hard trying to make sure the characters represented real struggles that real people face. Whether that’s grappling with how society views mental or physical health, dealing with the constraints of poverty, or trying to come to terms with what you can and can’t control in your life, I think there’s a lot that people will hopefully be able to relate to!
What are three books you would recommend if someone enjoyed A Forgery of Roses?
The Stalking Jack the Ripper series, of course, which is a trilogy! But if that only counts as one, I think people who love A Forgery of Roses would also love Erin A. Craig’s House of Salt and Sorrows as well as Adalyn Grace’s upcoming Belladonna, which are both gothic murder mysteries in the same vein!
What’s something you hope readers will take away from A Forgery of Roses?
That even when life is at its hardest, the people you love can carry you through.
What’s next for you? Anything you can share?
I’m hard at work on another novel full of kissing and murder and magic! I hope it’ll find its way onto the shelf right next to Sing Me Forgotten and A Forgery of Roses very soon!
ABOUT THE BOOK
Myra Whitlock has a gift. One many would kill for.
She’s an artist whose portraits alter people’s real-life bodies, a talent she must hide from those who would kidnap, blackmail, and worse in order to control it. Guarding that secret is the only way to keep her younger sister safe now that their parents are gone.
But one frigid night, the governor’s wife discovers the truth and threatens to expose Myra if she does not complete a special portrait that would resurrect the governor’s dead son. Desperate, Myra ventures to his legendary stone mansion.
Once she arrives, however, it becomes clear the boy’s death was no accident. Someone dangerous lurks within these glittering halls. Someone harboring a disturbing obsession with portrait magic.
Myra cannot do the painting until she knows what really happened, so she turns to the governor’s older son, a captivating redheaded poet. Together, they delve into the family’s most shadowed affairs, racing to uncover the truth before the secret Myra spent her life concealing makes her the killer’s next victim.