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.
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.