New Release Interview: A Study in Ashes by Emma Jane Holloway


holloway-ashesSteampunk. It’s rising!

Emma Jane Holloway is rising with it.

She is the author of A Study in Silks and A Study in Darkness. The two novels in the Baskerville Affair are steampunk and feature the dynamic heroine Evelina Cooper. She is the niece of Sherlock Holmes and she has her uncle’s famous predilection for getting into trouble with the nastier elements of Victorian London.

With the third book in the series, A Study in Ashes, Evelina Cooper returns once more—and is put into a most perilous of situations.

To celebrate the new book, here is an interview!


Shawn Speakma: A STUDY IN ASHES is now published! It is the third book in the Baskerville Affair series. Tell Unbound Worlds readers about the first book, A STUDY IN SILKS?

Emma Jane Holloway: It’s a steampunk fantasy. Fog, gaslight, and nineteenth century London—is there a better setting for skullduggery? Evelina Cooper, the niece of Sherlock Holmes, finds herself trying to solve a series of murders, sometimes with her uncle’s help, and sometimes on her own. But every time she answers one question, another raises its head—and it’s usually bad news. There is magic, clockwork, young men she shouldn’t kiss, ballrooms, and a talking mouse. Things occasionally blow up or burn down.

Shawn Speakman: You have taken history and literature and twisted both to your needs. Did Evelina come first? Or did research come first?

Emma Jane Holloway: I’ve been interested in history all my life and have picked up a lot of information on the nineteenth century without thinking of it as research per se. It’s more like a lot of facts piling up like dust bunnies in my brain. Then came my heroine, rising triumphantly out of the historical lint on a cloud of aether.

Shawn Speakman: A STUDY IN ASHES puts Evelina in a pretty difficult place. How much fun do you have putting her in that place and then trying to get her back out again?

Emma Jane Holloway: It’s a good thing characters can’t sue their authors. In A Study in Ashes, all the characters have to face what’s darkest in their character, and that means they literally and/or figuratively have to travel through the underworld to be reborn into their true strength. Or not, as the case may be. There’s just no redeeming some people.

Because Evelina has this incredible and dark power, she has to come to terms with who or what that makes her. Being Evelina, she never does what anyone expects her to, right down to getting an airship drunk in the middle of an epic battle.

Shawn Speakman: On a different note, are you a fan of the various Sherlock adaptations in movies/television right now? What do you think of them?

Emma Jane Holloway: I actually like all of them in different ways. The BBC adaptation is my favorite, but each has its merits. Sherlock Holmes is a bit like Bach—you can play it all sorts of ways, but somehow it’s still Bach. The essence is infinitely flexible but still holds its shape.

Shawn Speakman: Are you working on anything new? Something coming out after A STUDY IN ASHES?

Emma Jane Holloway: I’m always working on something. After all those battle scenes, my comic muse is itching for a turn on the stage.

If you haven’t read this series but you are a fan of Steampunk and/or Sherlock Holmes, definitely give A Study in Silks a try! And if you already have, the new book is out! A Study in Ashes by Emma Jane Holloway is in fine bookstores now! Follow her at!

Off to study…