Interview With an Author: Sally Thorne

Daryl M., Librarian, West Valley Regional Branch Library,
Author Sallt Thorne and her latest novel, Angelika Frankenstein Makes Her Match
Author Sallt Thorne and her latest novel, Angelika Frankenstein Makes Her Match. Photo of author by Katie Saarikko

Sally Thorne is the USA Today-bestselling author of The Hating Game. She spends her days climbing into fictional worlds of her own creation. She lives in Canberra, Australia, with her husband in a house filled with vintage toys, too many cushions, a haunted dollhouse, and the world’s sweetest pug. Her latest novel is Angelika Frankenstein Makes Her Match and she recently talked about it with Daryl Maxwell for the LAPL Blog.

What was your inspiration for Angelika Frankenstein Makes Her Match?

During the COVID-19 lockdown, I opened a blank word document to write ANYTHING—and the first line of this book came out. I was really intrigued—I had never before thought that Victor Frankenstein might have a sister! I was also inspired by my Victorian-Gothic dollhouse.

Are Angelika, Will, or any of the other characters in the novel inspired by or based on specific individuals (other than the ones drawn from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein)?

They are all absolute works of fiction!

How familiar were you with early 19th-century England prior to writing this novel? Did you have to do a bit of research? How long did it take you to do the necessary research and then write Angelika Frankenstein Makes Her Match?

I am not an expert, and I just researched as I went along. Every second sentence I typed made me pause. When were candles invented? When were windows, zippers, pistols, and chandeliers invented? I read about the history of apple varieties and pig breeds in England. It was a lot of side-tracking and time-wasting. The entire draft took me about a year, which is average for me.

What was the most interesting or surprising thing that you learned during your research?

I was surprised to learn that microscopes were invented much earlier than I thought—the 16th century.

If Angelika Frankenstein Makes Her Match was going to be adapted into a motion picture or television series, and you were granted the role of Casting Director, whom would you cast for the lead roles?

I love this question because I would kill for this to be a BBC Miniseries, but I think the actors would need to be young unknowns!

Do you have an idea or theory regarding why/how Frankenstein has become so ingrained in western culture and continues to inspire new works over two centuries after it was written?

I think we are really interested in themes of altering the course of nature, what humanity is, revenge, and the darker side of science.

What’s currently on your nightstand?

My jewelry box, the wrist brace I wear at night for my Carpal Tunnel, Aspect Probiotic night mask, and about three lip balms.

What was your favorite book when you were a child?

I read a lot of very old books as a kid, and I loved Mary O’Hara horse stories—My Friend Flicka, Green Grass of Wyoming, Thunderhead, and The Catch Colt. The prairies were brought to life for me.

Was there a book you felt you needed to hide from your parents?

Any of the Harlequin romance novels I’d borrowed from my mum!

Is there a book you've faked reading?

I think at University I pretended to have finished Anna Karenina in an Intro to Literature class.

Can you name a book you've bought for the cover?

At one point, I collected interesting copies of Wuthering Heights and bought dozens based on their covers. Then I started running out of room in my house…

Is there a book that changed your life?

My own book. My debut novel, The Hating Game. It’s corny, but it’s true. It got me out of my 9-5 office job and helped me travel the world.

Is there a book you would most want to read again for the first time?

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren. It’s a riot.

Book cover for Angelika Frankenstein Makes Her Match
Angelika Frankenstein Makes Her Match
Thorne, Sally