Please welcome author Amy Carol Reeves to Dark Faerie Tales! She recently released the final book in the Ripper Trilogy, Resurrection, on April 8, 2014 from Flux Publishing. Want to know our thoughts on this series? Read Bridget’s reviews for Ripper and Renegade by clicking on their titles. The review for Resurrection will follow this post.
Amy Carol Reeves has a PhD in nineteenth-century British literature. She lives in Columbia, South Carolina where she works as an Assistant Professor of English at Columbia College and writes young adult books. When not teaching, writing, or spending time with her family, she likes jogging with her Labrador retriever, Annie, and daydreaming about Bront? novel hunks. Resurrection is her third novel.
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DFT: To start things off would you like to tell us about the Ripper series and what inspired you to write it?
Amy: I’ve always been fascinated with the Jack the Ripper story—specifically that it could happen during the seemingly well-behaved Victorian period. I got the idea to write a historical fiction book about it after going on Donald Rumbelow’s Jack the Ripper tour in London during graduate school.
DFT: I loved that Abbie was so independent and even though she could easily live a pampered life she decides instead to work at the hospital. Was it difficult to make Abbie a realistic character that was so different from the average rich girl in a time period where it was looked down upon for privileged women to work?
Amy: What helped me make her situation realistic was creating her unusual background in Ireland. Who knows? She might have turned out very differently if she had been raised by her Grandmother in Kensington. But I think the fact that her mother was independent and would naturally raise Abbie with her values, made her situation more believable. Furthermore, her mother had to make her living as a governess, so it wasn’t like Abbie was raised in a wealthy environment. It was quite a shock to her when after her mother’s death she was suddenly plunged into Lady Westfield’s world!
DFT: My favorite thing about the Ripper series is that it is set in London in the late 1800’s. This has always been one of my favorite settings for a book. What is it about London that made you choose it as your setting?
Amy: London was the center of everything during the Victorian period. It had essentially replaced Paris at that point in history as a rising city. The Great Exhibition of 1851 was a big deal for the Victorians, showcasing for the world all of England’s treasures and achievements. And yet, there was a “darker” side to Victorian London—I feel as if the display at the Great Exhibition of metal noses to mask the scarring of syphilis gestured to this. During the Victorian period, there was a population explosion and rising poverty and prostitution particularly in East End London. Infant mortality and illness and were just a few of the problems plaguing this part of London.
DFT: I also really liked that you implemented historical facts into a work of fiction. Why did you decide to feature the famous story of Jack the Ripper in your book? And how difficult was it to combine the historical elements with the fictional elements?
Amy: Besides my own fascination with the Jack the Ripper story, it’s one of those topics that piques everyone’s interest. Like Sherlock Holmes and Dracula, the Jack the Ripper story is one piece of Victorian history/literature that most people are familiar with. Truthfully, it wasn’t that difficult to combine the historical facts surrounding the Jack the Ripper murders with my own fictional story. As much as possible, I tried to keep the timeline and facts surrounding the five canonical murders accurate and then I wrote my own story around it.
DFT: William and Simon really couldn’t be more different, but Abbie cares deeply for both of them. What is it about each of them that she finds so appealing? Did you always envision them being such polar opposites?
Amy: Always. They were always supposed to be opposites. The love triangle is based on the love triangle between St. John Rivers, Rochester, and Jane in Jane Eyre. It’s one of my favorite love stories—where both men have different virtues (and flaws!) to offer her and yet she must choose. Simon is steady, rational, and disciplined, much more in control of his feelings than William. William is well…not in control of his emotions, but Abbie loves his raw honesty and his unpredictable personality.
DFT: What famous person do you picture when you think of Abbie? William? Simon?
Amy: Hmmm….that’s a difficult question. Truthfully, I could see Emma Watson as Abbie. I really struggle in my mind over who could play William and Simon in a movie version of Ripper.
DFT: Out of all the characters you created in the Ripper series, which one was your favorite? Which one was the most difficult to write?
Amy: Abbie is, of course, my favorite character. I like watching her develop from the stubborn girl trying to get her mother’s brooch back from the pickpocket in the opening scene of Ripper, to a more knowledgeable character facing the Ripper. In terms of the most difficult character to write, I had a hard time with the Ripper. He needed to be a dangerous murderer, and yet I wanted his character more complicated. I wanted the reader (and Abbie) to see how he became the murderer that he is in the trilogy. He has a long history, much of it interconnected with Abbie’s mother; this history is revealed in Resurrection and it deepens Abbie’s understanding of what drives him and why he is so obsessed with her.
DFT: If it’s possible without spoiling anything, what was your favorite scene to write in Resurrection?
Amy: I had many favorite scenes in this book, but I have to say, one of my favorite (and most difficult) scenes to write was Abbie’s final showdown with the Ripper. The previous books had been building up to this, so I wanted to write it well. Without giving away spoilers, I will say that I had tons of fun destroying Lady Westfield’ s lovely home during the scene.
DFT: This was the end of the Ripper series, so can you tell us about any other projects you may have in the works right now?
Amy: I’ll probably write another historical fiction. Right now, I’m doing a lot of research on different eras that I’m interested in. The reading and research is always fun!
Available April 8, 2014 from Flux
About this Book:
When she catches Edmund Wyatt following her through the streets of London, Abbie Sharp learns that every British monarch for hundreds of years has known about—and financially supported—the Conclave. Furious that the monarchy would cooperate with such a nefarious group, Abbie refuses Wyatt’s request for help in catching the person who is blackmailing Queen Victoria with this secret information. But a far greater threat emerges when the Ripper, Max, returns and brings a string of new murders with him. Abbie must choose whether to help the Queen she now despises or stop Max from succeeding at his most diabolical plan yet—the creation of a whole new Conclave aimed at usurping the British throne.
Click HERE to read an excerpt