September 21, 2016
Hello Readers! Welcome to our Tour Stop for
Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco!
We have Kerri on the blog today talking about writing!
Check out the rest of the tour below,
and be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
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.
- There are allusions in the story to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and the interactions between Audrey Rose and Thomas (or, as they might prefer, Wadsworth and Cresswell) are reminiscent of a Watson/Sherlock pairing. What stories inspired you as a teenager, and how did your favorite stories affect your writing?
Whether in friendships or with adversaries or romantic interests, push-pull relationships and witty repartee get me every time. As a reader I hang on the edge of my seat, salivating with the will they/won’t they that builds on each page. Growing up, I was obsessed with gothic horror stories and books about amateur sleuths. Edgar Allan Poe, Mary Shelley, the Nancy Drew series. I loved the palpable tension and the way the atmosphere was a character unto itself. When I read stories like “The Tell-Tale Heart” or “The Cask of Amontillado,” I felt the beat of the buildings, the psychological darkness seeping onto the page, and was blown away by the character motivations.
I’m a pretty big Shakespeare fan, and the way he crafted allusions and double meanings into his work is a huge inspiration. In fact, the opening Macbeth quote is more than just an allusion to the blood being spilled in the book…
Poe was another master at including allusions in his work, and I adore those little Easter eggs that are left for readers to snatch up. And Frankenstein’s monster? My goodness. Shelley’s monster and his reflection on both himself and his dark deeds, and how he related to Satan in Paradise Lost—that was so powerful to read. My favorite characters—whether heroes/heroines or villains—are the ones who are more gray than black or white. I think that’s the common bond between all of my most cherished reads and what has inspired my writing the most.
- Most writers have a specific writing routine—whether it’s chaotic, strictly regimented, or somewhere in between. What would you say is the most unique aspect of your own writing process?
One of the more unique aspects of my writing process includes a lot of pre-writing research that I tackle like a nine-to-five job. Most of it is pretty gory, so I balance out the darkness with plenty of cuddle time with my kitty muse, Bella. I’ve found I work best creatively when I’m in a routine—I get up, write/research until dinnertime, then stop to cook for (and with) my family. Cooking is something I’ve loved since I was a kid standing on a stool in my grandma’s kitchen. While I’m chopping up veggies, I’m plotting and planning my next day’s material. One little quirk of mine is I always leave off on a high point in a chapter. I’ve found that when I do it’s easier to dive back into writing the next morning. I already know where I’m heading and then the writing flows into the next scene. I also take breaks throughout the day to either do yoga or some crunches (or any form of exercise). If I do sets of fifteen it helps oxygenate my brain and keep the creativity flowing.
After dinner I answer emails and work on any interview requests or online events I’ve committed to. I also chat with readers and writers on Twitter, then I either read or watch a little TV before bed. (Usually I’ll try to watch something that evokes atmosphere and I’ll think of how to incorporate those feelings into my work.) I’ve found that if I try and write in the afternoon and mess up my morning routine, I have a difficult time with getting into my groove. I’m definitely a creature of habit when it comes to my schedule. No matter what I’m doing, though, I always strive for balance. If I’m off-kilter my work will suffer, so I’m a big supporter of having at least one day a week to step away from writing and get out of the house. It’s good to nourish your muse.
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