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Author Interview with Doug Lamoreux

I do have a normal Ten + 1 Question I ask an author about their book and process but for Sauy Jacky I decided it needed it’s own set of questions for Author Doug Lamoreux.  I also felt that since I have reviewed several of Doug’s books in the past he was due a new set of questions as well. As always, when the author does the review all I do is copy and paste to the blog editor to post. I DO NOT edit for spelling, grammar, or anything else. I am in no way saying there are issues, as normally those are my issues, but want it clear these are the author’s words. So, without further comment………………………………….

Question 1: What was the driving force to write the book, Saucy Jacky?

A big project had fallen through and a solid draft of a manuscript had to be shelved. Six months of writing time had been wasted and I was more than a little angry about it. I funneled that anger into an idea I had been kicking around for a very long time; the possibility of telling the London Ripper murders of 1888 from the killer’s point of view. I started writing – found Jack’s voice immediately – and the novel took off.

Question 2: How did your friends/family react when you stated you were writing about Jack the Ripper?

I don’t, as a rule, discuss ‘works in progress’ in any detail at all. I save the detail for the work. Family and friends rarely ask what I’m working on and usually only get one or two sentences in reply. In this case, it went something like this: “I’m writing the Whitechapel murders from Jack the Ripper’s point of view.” Followed by silence. Followed by a hesitant, “Oh, yeah?” That was the extent of it. With the exception of one good friend (and his wife), who were deeply interested and very excited. They wanted details and often inquired how it was going and repeatedly asked when it would be finished. The novel is dedicated to both.

Question 3: During the initial writing process how was it to work with Ripperologists?

When I’m writing a solo novel, I don’t work with anybody. I made an intense study of the works of numerous ripperologists before the writing began. Then I had to make solid decisions as to which direction I would take my story. No one knows who Jack the Ripper was (despite fierce assertions to the contrary). There are many ‘official’ suspects and staunch advocates in every camp. I pushed aside all the ‘usual suspects’ for what I thought was a simpler and more likely explanation: he was a complete nobody – which made him very interesting indeed.

Question 4: What were some of the Newspapers, or journalists, from the period you recall had some great information on Jack? 

I name them in the novel; over a dozen different papers (with many journalists) covering the crimes. All had great information and, some, misinformation, to inform, amuse, and annoy Saucy Jacky – who must have been reading about his work on a daily basis.

Question 5: What are you working on now? What Genre?

I have four or five novels started and in various stages. All in the horror or mystery genres, save one. None has caught fire in my imagination yet.

Question 6: Who do you imagine being the people reading your book? 

Saucy Jacky is a historical horror novel. It pulls no punches in regards to the atrocities committed, neither does it gratuitously exploit them. It is exactly what it claims to be: The Whitechapel Murders as told by Jack the Ripper. The reader goes with the killer to his place of legitimate employment, on the job when he commits his murders, and back home again (every moment inside his head). It is sometimes grim, but it is also – I think – very entertaining and oddly amusing at times. All sorts of very nice, perfectly reasonable adults read and enjoy well-written horror and suspense. But it is for adults. 

Question 7: Do you expect any reaction from those who call themselves Ripperologists?

Not particularly. I know many have a copy and have added it to their reading piles, but those are often tall piles. There are a lot of ripper scholars with many points of view. Some don’t bother with fiction at all. They are serious students of historical crime and punishment. Of those that do read novels, I have the same hope I have for all my readers – they find something entertaining about my presentation. We’ll see. (For a lark, I added a few ‘Easter eggs’ for ripperologists; my Saucy Jacky encounters a number of famous historical ‘suspects’ in passing as he moves through London’s East End. The average reader won’t notice a thing.)

Question 8: Any good suggestions for those who want to try writing their own book, based on a historical figure?

I never give writing advice – to anyone. Good writers don’t need it. Bad writers won’t take it. I’ll just say: If you’re writing a grocery list, know what you want to eat. If you’re writing a historical novel, know your history. Then all you need do is sit down and write. If you do it long enough, you’ll get good at it. That’s the extent of my advise.

Question 9: When not writing how do you like to spend your time?  

I read – a lot. All good writers read – a lot. And I collect and watch old films, horror films, thrillers, westerns, you name it. I disappear into the past.

Question 10: Any plans for future romps into historical fiction? 

It’s always possible. I’ve written several (Saucy Jacky, 1888; Dracula’s Demeter, 1897) and love the writing and love the research. It’s always possible.

The 11th Question: Any thoughts on who you think Jack may have been? 

All kinds of thoughts. We could talk forever regarding who he ‘might’ have been. But I am open-minded on the subject. I have no convictions and, in truth, I have no real idea.

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Posted by on February 16, 2019 in Interview

 

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Saucy Jacky by Author Doug Lamoreux

The name Jack the Ripper still will bring interest to the mines of individuals today, as much as it did when he committed the murders that made him famous, back in 1888.  The man would send fear across a city, if not a country, not just for the murders but the brutality of those murders. The fact after so many decades, no over a century, and there is still debate on who he was can be considered astounding. There have been plenty of television shows, movies, books, and other mediums of entertainment that have covered the man. We now to get to take a very different look at him thru the mind of author Doug Lamoreux in his book, Saucy Jacky.

Saucy Jacky will take the reader into not the gruesome crimes that where committed but dare I write this mind and what drove him.  I will warn readers with squeamish stomachs Lamoreux did his research for this book. He does not spare any details on how Jack’s victims met their ends. I will also remind potential readers the book takes place in the late 1800s in London, England. A period that saw high immigration, large unemployment, and even some racial/ethnic divides.  These could be prevalent in the Whitechapel district of London where the Ripper committed much of his murders.

The book opens as Jack himself is describing the sensation he, and his victim, felt as he proceeded to stab her for the first time. Yes, you read that right the book opens as Jack describes how is going about killing his first victim. Sharing with the reader his thought processes, where he got the knife, and even correcting himself as he tells the tale. He will even go as far as to promise to name himself at some point, but for now, he is Mr. ___.

Readers will get a taste of the man behind the knife, and those crimes as you continue to read the book. I will say that I am being a bit vague as I do not wish to give too much of the book away.  I will just note that as you read there will be many pieces of information that will be touched on regarding Jack.

You will discover how his lodgings will play a big part in his crimes. All I will allude to here, is you have to ask yourself how can living above a now-shuttered shoe store help Jack. Mrs. Griggs, who is his landlady, will be just as helpful due to her love of sharing the daily news with Jack.  A woman who is politically active who leads a group of women who call themselves Dress Reformists will all come into play in helping Jack.

There are also those individuals he works alongside in his daily job. A job that leads him to hear some great gossip from a female co-worker who is dating a policeman. This co-worker will give Jack a behind the headlines account of what the police are doing to try and capture the killer.

Saucy Jacky will go into great details on what potentially may have driven the man to commit such atrocities to these women of Whitechapel. You will learn why he selected these women, and how he was influenced by his upbringing. The interesting pieces are also what drove him to write his infamous notes to the newspapers, and police. There will be some real genius in how those were done and how, if true, would have really thrown the police off in that period. Something, for the reader, to discover as they read the book.

There will be many other insights into what may have been the mind of Jack throughout the book. As he learns about the police activities, he will share his thoughts on those coppers.  There will be vigilante groups created to also capture him, and one of their leaders will get a “special” gift sent to him. There, of course, will be his commentary on the Dress Reformist meetings as well. The biggest insights will come as we get to read his reactions to how the press, during the period, covered his crimes. We will also get a sense of how he felt having the name Leather Apron given to him, and what drove him to really name himself.

Saucy Jacky is of course based on what author Doug Lamoreux gained from the research he did for this book. He involved Ripperologists, those past newspapers, their journalists and so many others he thanks in his acknowledgments. The one thing is clear if any of the thought processes utilized within this story are true to the real Jack, well it’s no surprise he was never found.

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2019 in Reviews

 

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Heavenly Vision by Koos Verkaik

Religious cults have been part of our world for ages if not just thru stories, but actual cults that can be found throughout this world. They have filled the void for those who felt lost and needed a sense of belonging. They have filled the void for their leaders who wish to corrupt a religion to get people to their bidding.  There are of course numerous reasons why people both join, and start a cult and would be a story upon itself.

I bring up religious cults as they will become part of the story of Author Koos Verkaik’s aptly titled book Heavenly Visions. A book that will find a reader facing different time periods as a story unwinds thru the words with in the pages of this book. The book will introduce the reader to a wide range of characters, and even a range of time periods.

The book starts interesting enough in the year 1745 and will introduce the readers to ship captain Adriaen Kalf.  The Captain will have the most unfortunate events that will cause the man to see formal charges filed against him. The events that lead to his charges will be found spelled out in an old Atlas that falls into the hands of one Jan Glas.

As we continue to read the book, we find out that Captain Kalf had taken on a very unique device that time has nearly forgotten about. I write nearly, as Glas will be involved in helping an article get written about Kalf and it leads to an invitation to a symposium held by a publishing company. The company, Arnold McKay Publishing, is being the magazine ParaPsycho. It is during the symposium that many of the other key characters in the book will come into the picture. There is Pamela Mitchell from the magazine, a Hellen Derringer from a group called the Third Eye Association, and the beautiful Mary Landock.

The events in, Heavenly Vision, will start growing more and more intriguing during this event. Mary has her purse stolen that leads to a chase, police involvement and so much more. These events will eventually lead to Jan Glas, in England waking up in a Hospital.  There is much that is being left out on purpose as one must really get to read how this all happens as it is exciting and very intriguing.

The book will lead you back in time a few more times as you read the pages. One of the more interesting, trips to the past, will involve the introduction to Manuel Raso back in the late 1880’s in several southern US States. Our introduction to him will tell the tale of his unique gift that potentially came from a kick to the head by a horse. A gift that will leave many in tears, but grateful for meeting the man. A gift that will find him gaining a “cult” like following and eventually a formation of a town in Florida.

All of these past events will somehow find themselves tying back to Jan Glas, ParaPsycho and Arnold McKay. They will also go back to that secret cargo that Captain Kalf had upon his ship. All of these pieces are tied together much like a jigsaw puzzle being completed.  The rush of finding a place for each piece, and that feeling of nearing completion will be felt as you read what Author Koos Verkaik has laid out within the pages.

I do realize some people do not like stories that seem to jump around from one period to another. I however found this to be a great tool within the story and added so much to this book. There was just the right amount of changes that it did not take away from the overall enjoyment of the story. In truth, it only added to the complete puzzle as things are unveiled as you reach the finale of the book. Those who enjoy mysteries, suspense and intrigue will surely enjoy this book by Koos Verkaik.

 
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Posted by on December 24, 2018 in Reviews

 

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A Light in the Desert by Anne Montgomery

I first want to state I do not always re-post a blog review but in this instance I felt it was necessary. You see the book, A Light in the Desert, seems to have some interesting luck. The book saw it’s previous publisher close and is being republished. I want to say this is not the first time either to be honest, but we won’t get to much into that. I just know that Author Anne Montgomery haw been one of those authors who I have reviewed a few of her books. It is for that willingness on her part to allow me the pleasure of reading her books that I am re-posting this review. I do hope you find it helpful in discovery a new read that you should really enjoy.

I have to admit when I saw the title to author Anne Montgomery’s newest book I had a flashback to the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Why? In the movie Brad and Janet go toward a light to find help after a flat tire and a song plays. The song has a lyric of, “In the velvet darkness of the blackest night, burning bright, there’s a guiding star, no matter what or who you are.” I of course started humming the rest of the song but after reading, A Light in the Desert, I found this lyric to be quite fitting.

I write this as such a light has numerous connotations available to why it may be seen. A religious person would think of the light that led the three wise men to the manger where Jesus was born. Those not of a religious background may think alien, car light, train, or just a plain old light with nothing special to it. The book will introduce the reader to a few potential options but in its core is a story that takes the reader into the lives of many people that are as diverse as the wild of the Arizona Desert they all call home.

A Light in the Desert will introduce the reader to former Vietnam veteran Jason Ramm who has moved into town. He’s been able to settle in and found he’s been welcomed by the locals. As a person reads the book they will get to find much more of his background, including potential mental problems. These problems did not appear till he had a “mission” in Jerusalem and you may wonder what was he doing there. You will of course need to read the book to find out why. They will also find that he finds a dog, near death, and helps bring it back to life.

There are other characters like young teenager, Kelly Garcia, who is very pregnant and living with The Children of Light. The children are a group of Pentecostal zealots who try to live the way of the bible. They try and grow all their own food and help take care of those who cannot help themselves like Kelly. She has found her way to their home after a jealous mother decided she could not live with Kelly in the house any longer. Kelly does have a birth defect in her face, but it appears some man still found her beautiful.

There are other characters within the book such as a malicious gas station owner who has no problem beating his own son. The man’s problem is that the son has reached an age where he is not afraid of his father and is himself quite ruthless. The local store owner is the man all should talk to if they want to find out about their neighbors as he is the local gossip. He hears so much and sees so much as he does operate the only store around. There then is a smart and edgy news reporter who according to her bosses is a bit “past her prime”. She has won several Emmy’s but her age has caught up to her and in the world of TV News that is deadly.

The book will take the reader into a very complex plot filled with many plot lines. Ramm seems to be just another man escaping the big bad world but there is so much more to him. He helps the Children of Light and even takes a liking to Kelly. She needs help and someone to watch over her as she is under educated and the world has not been kind to her.  Ramm even may believe that she may help him with the madness he struggles with all the time.

There then is the gas station owner’s son, Billy, who stole so much from his father before running away. In truth Billy had left a nice package for his father in the bathroom of the gas station but it was found before it could do any damage. Billy has missed that opportunity but for those riding the train that goes through the area will find out, he is not done yet.

The book does have several different plot lines, but there is one thing that runs throughout the book. This is how one should never give up and fight for what they feel is right. Yes, there are those within the pages of, A Light in the Desert, that are misguided but the story unfolds nicely thanks to Montgomery’s writing. People will find some characters larger than life, and others you cannot help but sympathize with. There are even moments when one may feel terrible for Billy, and the next want to him hurt. The one character that caught my eye was that of the “retired” TV Reporter Kate. I felt there may be a bit of Montgomery in this character when one considers her back ground in TV. The simple truth is that each character is well developed and the story eventually will find a point where all the plot lines seem to join and converge on the right track. I have one final note and that is be sure to read the Dedication as the struggles Ramm has may be more real for the reader

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2018 in Reviews

 

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Help Save Kiki from Cancer (GoFundMe Campaign)

I hope people will read the below as it is the information that was shared in a recent GoFundMe Campaign that my wife and I created for our cat Kiki.  The link to the campaign is below and I wanted to share this posting here in hopes others may read and share.  I thank you all in Advance.

My name is Kiki and I’m hoping other humans will help my humans, Shawn and Jennifer, raise money so I can have cancer surgery. A recent visit to the Vet was scary but when my female human heard the word cancer she did cry.

I have heard my humans discussing finding the money for the surgery and they have talked about this thing called debt. I guess my female human has many student loans, and my male human may have to pay more on his medications for Multiple Sclerosis when the new insurance year starts. I will be honest, being a cat I have no idea what that all is, but money is tight.

So, I am hoping that there are other kind humans that may help us get this surgery done. They have a mass to remove from my cute tail. After the surgery, there will be additional costs for further treatments and why I hope to raise the money to help my humans.

You see, these two humans brought me in to their home and have taken good care of me and their other cats. We have been given much love, toys, and played with often. The vet visit for me came not long after we lost my big sister who died from old age and her organs shutting down. It is for this reason why I do not want to leave my humans now as they need me to fill the hole left by my big sister leaving the family.

So, I thank any and all humans for helping with the funds that I am looking for to help my humans. Please do not tell the secret that I can use this computer thing. My male owner is always working on one, and as he works I will sit on the desk and watch him and how I learned. He’s just not happy when I go after that thing called a mouse.

In all seriousness, Jennifer and I would greatly appreciate any help that people will be able to give us in keep our Kiki in our lives. She is a unique cat who is willing to share her love with us daily. I do hope those who have read the posting get a smile about how I wrote this posting as I wanted to show that although a Cancer diagnosis for anyone is never good, it is by staying positive and finding a way to smile that keeps us going.  Again thank you to all that are able to help. If for some reason we go over the requested amount we will be giving some of those funds to charity

 

https://www.gofundme.com/save-our-kiki-from-cancer

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2018 in Personal, Uncategorized

 

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Water to Water Character Interview Kititit (Weesah)

The below is a character interview from the book Water to Water written by Author Karen A Wyle. Please enjoy the insight into on of the characters minds from her book.

{Note Kititit is a Weesah and a peddler who befriends Terrill and Honnu}

Q. How did you become a peddler

A. Well, now. That’s a ways to think back . . . . When I was a young sprout, we had a neighbor who was a peddler, wagon and all. I thought her wagon was about the prettiest thing I’d ever seen, all painted up as it was. And she used to let me help load the goods in the back – leastways, helping is what she called it. Getting in the way is what I’d call it, remembering. And when she’d been away and came home again, she always had stories to tell about the places she’d been. I’d never been anywhere, and I got to hankering after a life like she had.

 

Q. Your wagon – did it used to be your neighbor’s?

A. Right you are! Though by the time she figured she was ready to stay home and play with her grandchildren and take it easy, the wagon was what you might call used up – the canopy, anyway. My folks gave me a new one, and I picked what to paint on it.

 

Q. You have a mate and children, I hear. How have you managed to strike a balance between traveling and family life?

A. Well, I don’t have just any mate. I made sure to find a lady as liked to hear stories. I promised to always bring back plenty of stories. And she’s an independent sort – doesn’t need someone at her elbow all the time, telling her how to do things. A mate as hung around every day might get annoying for such as her. So we suit each other. And the longer I’m away, the longer I stay home and do my bit with the young ‘uns and the beasts and the garden and all. And now that some of our young ‘uns are grown, she has plenty of help when she needs it.

 

Q. You’re acquainted with Terrill and Honnu, I believe. How did that come about?

A. I’ve known Honnu a good piece of his life, I’d say. I visit a few different fisher villages, and he lives – or lived, I’m not sure which is right just now – in one of ‘em. I was the first Weesah he ever saw, I reckon, and how he would stare! Anyhow, he’s a curious fellow and always likes to hear my traveler’s tales.

 

Q. That brings up an interesting point. Aren’t you somewhat given to exaggeration in those tales of yours? Should Honnu believe everything you say?

A. (laughs) No, I can’t say as he should. But I reckon he knows that. Now, I wouldn’t say he knows just what to believe and what not to. But if he ever asked me, serious-like, I’d tell him.

 

Q. And Terrill? How did you meet him?

A. That was luck, if luck is something that happens, as to which I’ve no firm opinion. His da took ill, and Terrill was one of the funeral party as took him to the sea. I left Honnu’s village about the time they left to head home again, and we got to talking on the road. A nice young fellow. On the serious side, and tending to worry more than is comfortable for a youngster his age. I did my bit to cheer him up, when I could.

 

Q. And how did Terrill and Honnu meet each other?

A. (chuckles) Well, I’ll maybe let you ask one of them about that. I’d best be packing up and heading on, pretty soon. Any last questions? Or might you be wanting something from the wagon before I go? I’ve got some good knives I picked up a few towns back. Or if you’ve little ones at home, I have toys — balls for juggling, and these dolls. See the bits of shell that make up the armor? And of course, I have fish. Always plenty of fish.

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2018 in Interview

 

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Water to Water Character Interview Terrill (Vushu)

The below is a character interview from the book Water to Water written by Author Karen A Wyle. Please enjoy the insight into on of the characters minds from her book.

 

[NOTE: Terrill is a Vushlu. He would have become an adult next year by taking a ritual first journey to the ocean with other Vushla his age. Instead, he attained adult status prematurely, accompanying his dying father to the ocean, where his father went into the water to be dissolved.

 

Interviewing Terrill is a tricky task. As the book begins, he is understandably morose. Later, when he is less so, he has good reasons not to reveal his activities and concerns. I’ve dealt with this dilemma by splitting his interview into two, and working within the limitations Terrill sets.

 

The first interview takes place at a rest stop during the funeral party’s return trip. Terrill speaks in a quiet monotone most of the time.]

Q. I’m very sorry about your father.

A. Thank you.

 

Q. It will take you quite a while to get home. How are you occupying yourself along the way?

A. I’m trying to remember as much as I can about Da. [a pause; he clenches and armors his fists] But the things I remember keep reminding me of things I don’t know. Questions I never asked, and never can, now. [long pause]

 

Q. Have you found any ways to keep your spirits up?

A. There’s a Weesah peddler who’s been traveling alongside us. He likes to tell stories. When I listen to them, it takes my mind off . . . other things. I’ve even laughed a few times. [glances to the side] Not that my uncle approves. Of the listening or the laughing.

[An older Vushlu approaches; the interview concludes]

———–

[The second interview takes place around three months (or the equivalent) later. Terrill is now traveling in the peddler’s wagon, as is Honnu, another Vushlu about his age.]

Q. Is this where you expected to be, at this time?

A. No. Nothing about what I’m doing these days is as I expected. One unpredictable event has led to another.

 

Q. What can you tell me about these events?

A. [a slight smile – which for Vushla means a rounded mouth] Very little, I’m afraid. Except that one of our funeral party, my aunt, became very ill on the way home. The others returned to the sea with her. I [a short pause] chose not to. That led to my becoming better acquainted with Honnu. And that led to everything else.

 

Q. So do you think you’ll become a peddler?

A. [another smile] I don’t think so. But for now, I’m a peddler’s assistant and have my duties. I’d better go.

 

Q. Perhaps we’ll meet again along the road.

A. I . . . don’t think that is very likely. But stranger things have happened. [a quiet chuckle] Indeed they have.

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2018 in Interview

 

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