Kerri, what was your inspiration for writing STALKING JACK THE RIPPER?
My inspiration for writing SJTR can definitely be credited to my grandma. She loved a good “whodunit” and once I figured out that I wanted to write a YA CSI, there was really only one unsolved mystery that was worthy of the ultimate whodunit. I think she would have really enjoyed it.
How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?
Oh my gosh. I started writing with the hope/intent to get published back in 2009/2010. I signed with my agent in 2012 and before that there were hundreds of rejections for a couple of projects. I think I signed with Barbara on my fifth novel? It gets hard to keep track of ;) We’d gone out on submission with two other projects and had come SO CLOSE to selling them, but editors even get rejected from their bosses when they really love something.
SJTR was a bit different. We went out on sub and a few weeks later my agent called me over a holiday weekend to let me know an offer was likely coming the next day. It STILL feels like the most surreal thing even as I sit here holding my published book in my hands, and sobbing like the emotional mess I am. I never thought I’d say it, but the struggle to get here—with all the rejections and close calls and tears and laughter from other projects—were worth it once I got the phone call that changed my life.
What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
My best advice is always to NEVER give up. Keep writing and have your work critiqued with an open mind. One thing I’ve learned about writing/critiquing is so simple but easy to forget: the way we think we’re communicating through our world filter, and the way it actually comes across on the page, might not translate through another person’s filter in the same way. Be open to advice and take what resonates with you. At the end of the day it’s your story to tell. Oh! And be kind whenever you can. Kindness and encouragement help while on this journey. You never know when your door is going to swing open.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on book two in the SJTR series. I can’t say much about it yet, but it starts a week after the events end in SJTR. There’s a new setting, new murderer on the loose, and new sides to our favorite characters that we learn. I will say it takes place in an infamous castle and there are plenty of twists and turns that I hope readers enjoy…
ABOUT THE BOOK
Stalking Jack the Ripper
by Kerri Maniscalco
Presented by James Patterson's new children's imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion...
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.
The story's shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.
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ABOUT THE AUTHORKerri 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.
It will be available in stores and online September 20, 2016.
Jocelyn, Shelly, Martina, Anisaa, Sam, Erin, Susan, Michelle, Laura, and Kristin