It is no secret that I love the Stalking Jack the Ripper series. I basically can’t shut up about it and always look forward to diving into one of the books. So I was beyond excited to get a chance to ask Ms. Maniscalco some questions about her latest release ESCAPING FROM HOUDINI. Let’s give her a warm welcome to Under the Covers today!
Welcome to Under the Covers, Kerri. We are so thrilled to have you here today to talk about your latest release ESCAPING FROM HOUDINI. This is the third book in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series, following our beloved main protagonists Audrey Rose and Thomas Cresswell. I admit I’m head over heels in love with these two. What is your favorite thing about their dynamic and about each of them as individual characters?
Thank you so much for having me! I’m thrilled to hear that you love these two as much as I do. GREAT question, btw!
Honestly, I adore how they complement each other both in life and when they’re working on a case. Audrey Rose definitely doesn’t shy away from her emotions while Thomas can be so scientific and cold at times. He warms up whenever she’s in a scene and remembers the human element is just as important as the bottom line. They bring balance to each other, and allow each other’s traits to be used in the most positive sense. I also really love their banter! Audrey Rose can be serious and Thomas can be so mischievous—it’s fun seeing when those qualities clash and how they navigate to find equal ground.
With each book in this series you take events from real life and folklore and twist them into your story. How much research goes into crafting these novels and has there ever been anything you were either researching or writing that affected your sleep at night?
A TON of research goes into these prior to drafting. I usually like to have an entire document dedicated to notes about the historical figure and location and customs before delving into more finite things like murder cases and studying medical documents. Surprisingly enough, I haven’t lost any sleep yet! In fact, I usually fall asleep watching the ID channel at night. Murder makes me sleepy 🙂 I’m not sure what that says about me…
What’s the creepiest thing from real life you’ve included in a book?
I haven’t quite included the creepiest thing from real life yet…but something I’m SUPER creeped out by is spiders. There’s this one scene in HUNTING PRINCE DRACULA (you’ll totally know what I’m talking about if you’ve read it) that made my skin crawl while writing it, and I’ve gotten quite a few comments from readers about how scared they were during that scene. Gah! Just thinking about it makes me feel all creepy crawly!
Looking at the future, do you have any other murder/mystery cases you’d be interested in exploring in this series?
There’s a case I’m VERY excited I get to explore in the fourth book of this series, and while I keep saying it’s the final installment, there are so many mysteries in the world that need solving. Though I’m not sure if Thomas and Audrey Rose will be in the starring role for those books. There are some side characters from both HUNTING PRINCE DRACULA and ESCAPING FROM HOUDINI who I’d love to explore more of.
Did you always know you wanted to write in this genre and why?
I’ve always been drawn to anything dark with a lot of atmosphere—fantasy, horror, it’s usually the setting or story that pulls me in and not necessarily a genre. In fact, my trunked novels before SJTR were mostly fantasy and science fiction. As a reader, I love mysteries and when I decided to write about a forensic student in the 1800s, gothic Nancy Drew sprung to mind and I couldn’t wait to roll up my writing sleeves and work on Audrey Rose’s story.
Lets get to know you a little better! Tell us five things about yourself we wouldn’t normally know.
Ooooh, okay let’s see…
- When I’m not writing, I’m usually in the kitchen.
- I have neurological Lyme disease.
- I write about blood, but have a major phobia (getting blood drawn is a huge ordeal for me, and it happens every three months, much to my constant dismay).
- I have three tattoos, loosely based on poems about freedom and hope.
- I haven’t drafted any of the books in this series the same way.
What’s the last book you read and loved?
ENCHANTÉE by Gita Trelease (Hitting shelves in February!) It’s utterly mesmerizing and the setting is Paris in the 1700s and there’s M A G I C everywhere. And yummy food. My foodie heart was so happy while reading this.
What has been one of your favorite moments from your writing career?
Oh my gosh…this one is HARD! There have been so many incredible, pinch-me moments that I never dreamed possible! There was a Knoxville writing contest held in my name and I was able to judge the AWESOME stories. But it has to be that first phone call from my agent when she said an offer might be coming on my book. I’d written like seven books before SJTR and had been out on submission twice (coming VERY close to that elusive publishing contract), and I broke down and cried. This book was the closest to my heart and everything that’s come after that phone call has been beyond my wildest dreams.
What can we expect from you next?
I’m currently working hard on the fourth and final installment in this series, and I’ve been filled with ALL the emotions while drafting it. I hope readers enjoy this epic finale as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it! Murder. Mystery. Romance. Possibly betrayal. And subterfuge. Some of my most favorite things 🙂
We can’t wait and thanks so much for sharing with us today!
Thank you so much for having me, I had a lot of fun!
Available September 18, 2018!
by Kerri Maniscalco
Released: September 18th 2018
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper #3
Published by Jimmy Patterson
In this third installment in the #1 bestselling Stalking Jack the Ripper series, a luxurious ocean liner becomes a floating prison of scandal, madness, and horror when passengers are murdered one by one…with nowhere to run from the killer. .
Audrey Rose Wadsworth and her partner-in-crime-investigation, Thomas Cresswell, are en route to New York to help solve another blood-soaked mystery. Embarking on a week-long voyage across the Atlantic on the opulent RMS Etruria, they’re delighted to discover a traveling troupe of circus performers, fortune tellers, and a certain charismatic young escape artist entertaining the first-class passengers nightly.
But then, privileged young women begin to go missing without explanation, and a series of brutal slayings shocks the entire ship. The strange and disturbing influence of the Moonlight Carnival pervades the decks as the murders grow ever more freakish, with nowhere to escape except the unforgiving sea. It’s up to Audrey Rose and Thomas to piece together the gruesome investigation as even more passengers die before reaching their destination. But with clues to the next victim pointing to someone she loves, can Audrey Rose unravel the mystery before the killer’s horrifying finale?
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