I had the pleasure of reading Stalking Jack the Ripper early and let me tell you- this book is fantastic. It is everything I wanted and I was impressed that even with the morbid topic (serial killer and mortuaries) there was still a lightness and humor that I was not expecting. Today I’m so excited to have Kerri here talking about her book’s inspirations and inner darkness.
ABOUT STALKING JACK THE RIPPER:
Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.
Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.
Audrey Rose often speaks of a darkness within herself, less consuming but akin to the darkness within Jack the Ripper. Do you think we all have that darkness within us, lingering just below the surface?
To a certain extent I think we all have darkness that surfaces from time to time, whether we want it to or not. Maybe not murder or anything so drastic, but darker emotions. Anger. Frustration. Negativity. Jealousy. Pessimism. We’re human and have a multitude of feelings on any given day, but it’s what we choose to focus on that truly matters.
For Audrey Rose it’s a bit different. She often struggles with her passion for studying the inner workings of the human body and society’s opinion on it. During that time frame [the Victorian era], forensics and cutting into a corpse were considered to be desecrating the dead. Which was blasphemous for a man to do, let alone a young lord’s daughter. She won’t be deterred from her chosen path, but doubt sometimes crops up if she allows herself to think about her dark deeds. On the outside she might appear to be on the same path as Jack, but Audrey Rose knows there are lines she won’t cross for science or discovery. Which is what ultimately separates her from the Ripper.
How much of the book, if any, is inspired by personal experience?
Honestly? I believe it’s hard for any writer to not have a bit of themselves or some personal experience creep into their work. Audrey Rose and I would definitely get along in real life. We both have a love of dresses and forensics. Lucky for me, my sister has a boutique, so I’m always adding to my dress collection. When we were growing up, my parents encouraged my sister and myself to pick a job we loved and work hard to achieve our dreams. Our gender wasn’t considered a limitation for a second. I attended art school in New York City but considered changing majors and studying forensics. I was serious about it, and took criminal justice and psychology courses. It was so refreshing to be good at science after being told in high school that girls weren’t as good as boys were. Part of hearing that from teachers inspired me to write about this girl who uses forensics like a superpower to hopefully stop one of the most infamous killers in history. And she does it all with style, naturally.
ABOUT KERRI MANISCALCO:
Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside NYC where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats. Stalking Jack the Ripper is her debut novel. It incorporates her love of forensic science and unsolved history, and is the first in a new series of gothic thrillers.
3 Finished Copies of STALKING JACK THE RIPPER (US Only)