1. The details in the book are remarkable—from the specifics of dissection and Victorian-era medicine to the historically accurate descriptions of late 19th-century London. What research did you do to make the story so authentic?
Thank you! I pored over actual Ripper case files and studied the notes the forensic team/medical examiners had taken during their autopsies. I thought it was really important to capture the medical techniques of the day and spent a great deal of time investigating what was around, how it was used, and what the general thoughts of the public were. One of my favorite parts in Stalking Jack the Ripper is when [Audrey Rose’s] uncle, a brilliant forensic medical examiner, has his own theories that cannot be proven by medical professionals, but are practices and truths we know today. I also did a lot of research into how autopsies are conducted today, what bodies smell like after trauma, to fully flesh out my understanding of how our procedures might differ from Victorian practices. I’m also into history, and growing up outside of New York City meant that there were many historic sites to visit. Family vacations always included stops along the way—whether we’d attend a historic home tour or visit the Vanderbilt Mansion, history was incorporated into our activities. When it came time for my Victorian research, I really enjoyed getting lost in the details of the period. Fun fact: the house I grew up in was built in the 1700s, with an addition in the 1800s.
2. Writing for an audience of teenagers is no easy task. Why did you choose to write for young adults?
Young adults are complex and intelligent, and have so much passion for their beliefs. It’s a time in our lives where we’re struggling to either be who we are or find out who we are through trial and error. It’s this faltering step into the adult world, where ideals can be crushed or fostered. YA literature shows us—in a big way—that we can be the light in the darkness. We can all be the heroes/heroines of our own stories. Thanks to my grandma, I still believe the impossible is absolutely possible, no matter how many doors are slammed or how hopeless things may appear. That’s just an unexpected, crushing plot twist, which, as YA readers know, makes the resolution all the sweeter. All of the firsts and the unfettered belief that we can make a change in the world so we attempt to do just that—that’s the true magic of YA literature, and why I chose to write for teens.
3. What’s next for you? Will we see a sequel to Stalking Jack the Ripper?
The early response to Stalking Jack the Ripper has been absolutely incredible. Things I never dared to dream have been happening and I just sit back, pinching myself most days. I’ve always wanted to have a series of interconnected stand-alones, like novel-length penny dreadfuls, and am thrilled to say there will be two more gothic adventures for Audrey Rose. Right now I’m hard at work on book two, and I’ll just say that it’s got a new setting that’s as creepy as Victorian London. We get more forensics and autopsies, some scary folklore, and twists and turns that will hopefully keep readers guessing until the end. There may also be an infamous castle involved where a bloodthirsty legend is said to haunt the halls at night. I cannot wait for it to hit shelves in the fall of 2017.
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.
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.
Tour Schedule:Week 1:
3 Finished Copies of STALKING JACK THE RIPPER (US Only)