Please give a warm welcome to Historical Mystery author, N. Joy.
I’ve wanted to be a novelist since I could remember. I’d been working on various ideas for a while but couldn’t connect fully with my muse. A couple of years ago I was reading a magazine article about the usual Jack the Ripper suspects. Right at the end was a paragraph detailing a suspect I’d not heard of before. I loved the idea, it was quirky and different. That was it. My muse had kicked it up a gear.
I am by no means a Ripper buff, but I’ve read up on the unsolved murders over the years and am captivated by the mystery and the theories surrounding the killings. Why did they do what they did, why did they stop, was it one person, a duo or copy-cat killers? Were they killed themselves, arrested for a different crime, left the country or did they simply lose it with the horrific death of Mary Kelly, and go insane? The questions are endless and the answers elusive. It is the intrigue, mystery, and the unresolved status surrounding Jack (or Jill) that I found to be my inspiration.
I couldn’t shake the ghost of this latest suspect, the twist to the tale that she provided haunted me. The only way to be rid of her was to weave her imaginary tale to it’s historical conclusion. The cause of my motivation was the convicted murderess Mary Pearcey. I explored the nature of the human mind, and the capacity of a person’s actions. This offered a myriad of possibilities. Mary would become a passionate yet cold-blooded murderess.
She is the novels protagonist, a female in a man’s world. I enjoyed discovering the gender stereotypes of the age and equipping Mary with the persona to break a few of them!
Once I had a name I found information about the last few years of her life was readily available. None stated what her early life was like, what lead her to behave the way she did. Armed with facts from the trial and a rough time-line of her later deeds I needed to fashion a journey where the destination would be the magistrates court. I wanted the story to be as authentic as possible, so I threw myself into researching Victorian England. I learnt about education, professions and investigated the poverty that was rife in the East End. It was like being back at school (but I enjoyed it!) I didn’t want to start the novel with the Whitechapel murders, I wanted to create a unique tale. As a result, Mary had several different jobs and fought many personal demons in my quest to turn her into one of Britain’s most notorious killers. I hope I wove the known facts of her depression and alcoholism into a believable character. The novel took shape with Marys voice coming out in my words.
I allowed my version of the Ripper to stalk the pages and lives of people who once lived, creating a fictional world in the shadows of the past. I wanted her to be a disturbed individual who used her addictions to cope with life but to also experience episodes that would make her character’s final actions more understandable in the eyes of the reader.
I infiltrated Marys world, ‘lived’ in a time that is different to my own to write from Marys point of view which was both exciting and harrowing but also a little troubling when it came to the murderous aspects of her personality, but I did discover that I had a taste for ale! There were a few disturbed nights of sleep as I opened my mind, and world, to that of a serial killer.
N.Joy is an author, artist and mum born and bred in the inspirational setting of North Devon. She is passionate about literature and giving everybody the opportunity to read.
As a teenager she had poetry published in anthologies has exhibited art locally N.Joy's personal interests including writing, reading, drawing and miniature sculpture as well as wood work which she’s not very good at! N.Joy has loved writing since she was a child (wrote her first book aged 9) and loves cats, wolves, unicorns, dragons and Christian Slater!
In the autumn of 1888 terror stalked the streets of Whitechapel, women of the night were slaughtered in the streets but the perpetrator, ‘Jack the Ripper’, was never caught.
Follow a surprising suspect as she weaves her mayhem into a tapestry of blood and lies in a twist on one of Britain’s most notorious unsolved murders.
What if Jack was a Jill?
Fascinating... I can't imagine how difficult it must have been to "get under the skin" of a serial killer.ReplyDelete
Hello Jacqui. It was hard to into that mindset of a killer, especially one that did what this one did! Spent a time watching dissections and reading psychology reports .... and it never quite leave you!Delete