The wonderful Amanda has graciously had a chat with me about her book Dead Bodies Do Tell Tales - A Jack the Ripper Novel .
Dead Bodies Do Tell Tales - A Jack the Ripper Novel was first published way back in 2013. It was my second published book, coming after Jack the Ripper's Many Faces, which was a whole different kettle of fish compared to Dead Bodies Do Tell Tales.
The main reason why I wanted to write something as dark and haunting as Dead Bodies Do Tell Tales was because I am a avid reader of Dickens and Poe, there are even a few haunting tales from Conan Doyle I have read in the past that have stayed with me too, but more than that, these stories have always made me question if I could write something like that. Could I write a gothic Victorian novel with dark undertones but at same time be a story that makes you want to know more about not only the Jack the Ripper crime but the big players within it? It was an experiment to myself really, I never imagined that other people would like it as much as they have. However, I am glad they do because it means that my characters that have sat in my head for a while are being shared, they are being enjoyed and that means a lot, it's just so touching to me.
I knew I wanted to write a story from the feelings of one the victims for a while. A daunting task, considering I will never meet them and I could get them all wrong but I wanted to express what I think when I think of them. To me, they were not a means to an end, they were not a thing for us to describe what was done to them. They were living, breathing people that must of had thoughts and feelings of there own. I hope in Dead Bodies Do Tell Tales, I do the victims proud in some strange way.
My ideas for my stories comes to me in various forms. My brain has this way of remembering moments, of things I have heard, read and seen without me even knowing it has and then for some strange reason those things can pluck themselves into the front of my head while I'm writing. For example, in Dead Bodies Do Tell Tales I have Thomas Dunn waking up with colours and shapes in his eyes. A small, perhaps unimportant event in the story, but nevertheless that comes a moment when I was a toddler, I fell asleep with the sunlight coming through the windows and I woke with shapes and colours in my eyes. I remember wondering why my eyes were doing that and that memory stayed with me and decided to put itself in my story at that moment.
There are other memories I have used, such as there is an important moment when Thomas Dunn is in a small park looking at a statue of William Shakespeare. This place actually exists, it is behind Wood Street Police Station in London, when I visited it, an odd thought hit me that the statue looked like how i imagined the door knocker in The Christmas Carol to look like and that thought took off.
As to the facts of the Jack the Ripper case mentioned within my stories, they are planned as far as I know I am ALWAYS going to put them in to my fictional stories but they are also not planned, because I never know when they will appear. For someone that is organised in her day to day life, I mean I have lists for lists, people! But when I write fictional stuff I never know what I am going to write when I sit down to write a chapter, it flows easily, it doesn't give me a headache and I very much enjoy writing it and for those reasons the stories can become very close to me.
One thing the reader probably doesn't know? Well, although Dead Bodies Do Tell Tales, is my second published novel it is actually my third written novel. I have not published my first ever novel on the Jack the Ripper case, it is completed and if you think Jack the Ripper's Many Faces, Dead Bodies Do Tell Tales or even The Strange case of Caroline Maxwell has factual elements within them, well all I can say is, you have not read anything yet! But I have one...huge... problem, at the moment it's the size of War and Peace!
The cover? I am very lucky indeed. I have an Sister in Law that is extremely talented in everything she does. She did the cover for Dead Bodies Do Tell Tales and The Strange case of Caroline Maxwell. I give her my story to read and she comes up with the cover, all I tell her is that I want something personal to me on it. There actually is on both of the covers, some small detail that just means something to me. Much like a certain running theme that I have inside both of books, it maybe a small thing, a small detail that probably won't mean anything to the reader or the story but means quite a lot to me.
It is something of myself that I have shared with the reader, (whether they know they are seeing or reading it) as a thank you for reading my words.
Thank you Amanda
If you haven't already I highly recommend you read Amanda book my review and can be found below along side a link where you can purchase the book.