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Monthly Archives: February 2019

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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