Welcome to our fifth annual FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT event!
October 17th – October 31st, 2016
Thanks for checking out the FIFTH annual edition of FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT where Alyssa (Books Take You Places), Amy (Tripping Over Books), and I bring you two full weeks of Halloween-related posts! We’ve invited bloggers, authors, and book lovers alike to share their favorite things about Halloween and we feature a new person and post each day.
I’m so excited to share a fun Halloween Q&A with Stalking Jack the Ripper author Kerri Maniscalco! Kerri is such a lovely person and she was gracious enough to participate in a Fortnight of Fright even though it was RIGHT after her book launch. Check it out below!
I’m a total chicken when it comes to horror and yet Halloween is one of my favorite holidays! What’s your favorite part about Halloweentime?
Is it cheating if I say EVERYTHING?! I grew up in New York and absolutely *love* the fall and changing leaves. Running around in costumes, crunching fallen leaves and breathing in the scent of leaves and firewood—it’s as if the whole earth is celebrating before the winter rolls in. So yeah, the entire season in general—the fun/creepy movies and shows on tv, and books that make me want to snuggle up with tea and fuzzy socks. Those are part of my favorite Halloweentime things 😀
STALKING JACK THE RIPPER is such an excellent, atmospheric read for Halloween. Did you always feel drawn to write horror?
Aww thank you so much! I’m glad you think so! I am a giant fan of mysteries and thrillers and grade B horror movies. So when I set out to write this book, I wanted to take elements of my favorite fall things and sort of combine them together. I love Poe’s brand of horror—horror that borders more on the psychological uncertainty than the gross-out variety—and wanted to weave shades of horror throughout, but not be too heavy-handed with it. My favorite reads are the ones that treat atmosphere and setting as if they were unsettling characters themselves, and hope readers who enjoy that find those elements in SJTR.
I read in your bio that you grew up in a semi-haunted house! What’s the creepiest thing that ever happened there?
Oh my gosh, how much time do we have?? I think one of the creepiest things that ever happened was when my best friend and I were in the kitchen getting an after-school snack and heard this little kid laughing uncontrollably in the foyer. It was on the opposite end of the house and we thought my mom and younger sister had just come in and ran to go help them with groceries…only no one else was home. The tv wasn’t on. The radio wasn’t on. No open computers or electronics in any way. We went through the whole house, CONVINCED my sister was home and was messing with us. When my mom pulled into the driveway several minutes later and my sister got out of the car we were so freaked out! We later found out through old documents that a child had lived and died in the home a long time before then.
Do you think your experience with the haunted house started your love for the delightfully spooky?
I think it definitely helped my muse form its admiration for the creepy and unusual! It also really helped form my love of history because parts of our house were dated to the Revolutionary War era and other sections were added on in the 1800s. We were always finding cool things on the property and in the walls whenever we’d do a renovation. Old toys, vintage marbles, really cool and weird things. They were like little treasures growing up. I loved making up stories of who they could have belonged to and what their life might have been like.
What are some of your favorite Halloween traditions? (Movies? TV episodes? Haunted houses?)
When I still lived in NY I really loved traveling up to the Headless Horseman Haunted Hayride in Ulster Park, but really I enjoy any corn maze or haunted house. I also love going to pumpkin patches and searching for the perfect gourde to carve up. Much like my main character enjoys carving corpses, I think 😀
What’s the best Halloween costume you ever had? (Or have ever seen?)
My mom used to make all of our costumes and I’d be hard pressed to choose my favorite. One year I was a mermaid. Another I was a butterfly. Actually…maybe this year is one of my favorite costumes…I bought this Rey (from Start Wars) cosplay outfit and I am SO EXCITED to wear it out! I will be posting a bunch of embarrassing pictures all over the interwebs, for sure.
I always love reading spooky or atmospheric reads around Halloweentime! What are some of your go-to recommendations for readers looking for the perfect Halloween novel?
Me too! They are The Best! Classic-wise I always say Poe. I love The Fall of the House of Usher or A Cask of Amontillado. More recent? I cannot get enough of Cat Winters’ work. IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS and THE CURE FOR DREAMING are FULL of atmosphere and are beautifully written. I’m DYING for ODD AND TRUE. I mean…here’s the pitch for that and I seriously cannot wait to see what she does with it: “A dark Edwardian tale involving two sisters, American monster legends, family secrets, and the war between reality and imagination.” YASSSSS, PLEASE.
If you could hang out with one creature/ghost/monster/witch/villain, who would you want to get to know better and why?
Ooooooh GREAT question! I really love villains, especially ones who are more or less in that gray area as far as their evil deeds are concerned. I absolutely ADORE the Darkling from the Grisha trilogy. He was definitely a villain, and yet his backstory and the way he really believed he was protecting the Grisha was fascinating to watch unfold. I always hear the song “Sympathy for the Devil” in my head when thinking of favorite villains, and think that’s the quality in a nutshell that I gravitate towards. Dark characters who are still relatable and sympathetic as opposed to full-out evil.
Thanks so much to Kerri Maniscalco for this awesome and fun interview! Her book, STALKING JACK THE RIPPER, is on sale now (and I personally enjoyed it so much!) – check out some book details below!
Presented by James Patterson’s new children’s imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion…
Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.
Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.
The story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.
Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside NYC where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats.
STALKING JACK THE RIPPER, a #1 NYT Bestseller, is her debut novel. It incorporates her love of forensic science and unsolved history.
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